Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue

Have you ever just kept going back to a book and never picking it up. Like you were intrigued, but not quite sure about it yet. This was this book for me and I am so glad that I eventually picked this book up and gave it a read.

Our main character is Henry “Monty” Montague is the bisexual son of an Earl and he is very much not ashamed of it. His father on the other hand is a different story. His complicated relationship with his father both helps and hinders his journey throughout the book. He is literally the quintessential hard-headed noble, and he spends most of the book dreading going back to face his abusive father, and return home.

He doesn’t want to give up anything in his life. He wants the money and the guy, but this is not possible in his world. The guy in question is his best friend Percy. It takes most of the book for him to throw caution to the wind, follow his heart, and go for what he really wants. A life free from his father with the love of his life wherever that may lead.

Percy suffers from Epilepsy and experiences racism because of his skin tone throughout the novel. We get a glimpse into how epilepsy is treated and racism in the 1700s. He is the ward of his aunt and uncle and it was through him that his relationship with Monty began. At the start of the book, we know he is going to go off to law school at the end of their trip. We learn that instead of law school he was being sent to a sanitarium instead.

This triggers Monty’s desire to cure Percy at any cost. Even take a mythical cure instead of destroying it. There are Alchemical elements sprinkled throughout the story that keeps you interested in solving the whole time. In the end, they sink the cure into the water instead of using it.

You can split this book into 3 main parts; France, s Adventure/Pirates, and Escaping. There is tons of mystical elements and political intrigue. The beginning starts them off in France with nothing really happening until Monty goes to a party at Versailles where he can’t help but steal something. This starts the entire journey that the whole rest of the novel goes on.

The romance between Percy and Monty is always simmering on the edge. They both have feelings for each other, but unsure if it could even go anywhere. Monty would do anything for Percy and that leads him on an adventure.

Monty’s sister, Felicity is also along for the ride. She wants nothing more to study medicine in a time where women were not allowed to do that. She is to be sent off to finishing school when that is the last thing she would ever want. There is a moment in the book where she tells them that the romance novels she was always reading at the table were actually texts.

There is so many new and excited elements in this story. My only gripe is that the beginning was a bit slow. So I would give this book 4 out of 5 stars. The next book that follows Felicity’s journey to become a doctor.



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