Review: The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee

Quick review for a quick read (mostly). Thank goodness I finally finished this book. Let me make it clear that it wasn’t for a lack of trying to get through this book – I liked it, but goodness I’ve had to fight to keep this book for how popular it was at my library for request. It’s not a perfect story, but I found it entertaining for what it offered and appreciated much of what it showcased.

I know why the pairing of Percy and Monty is appealing, but I preferred the sweet, kind Percy as a character to follow mostly over the notably self-indulgent and reckless Monty (though Monty had moments of appeal. He has some great one-liners, but other times made me want to shake my fist at him for his cruel jabs. Argh, confliction. )

Ultimately, this book is a romping multi-racial GLBT romance with action, adventure, pirates (PIRATES!), and romance with a smart-arse anti-hero. Monty’s an outcast – drinks too much, fails to live up to his father’s expectations and he’s unabashedly rakish. He sets off on travels with his sister Felicity and his friend/love interest Percy for one last hurrah before having to take over his father’s estate, but things don’t go as planned when a decision lands the three in trouble and on the run. I guess the biggest drag on this book for me was the thin plot and…Monty. His character did eventually develop and grow through the journey, but his perspective in moments was indulgent and cruel to even the most well-meaning parties around him. Percy and Felicity were excellent to follow and I adored their characters. The plot itself has less backbone and immersion than I would’ve liked, but I liked the backdrop for what it was worth. Ultimately it was one of those books that I enjoyed for the moment and the interactions between the characters (and some of the notably diverse strides it takes compared to its peers), but it’s hard for me to call it a favorite or name as a book I’d return to eagerly since it didn’t fully immerse me. I am interested in reading the following books for the series to see how the author continues the journey of the characters. Felicity being the frontrunner of the next book definitely intrigues me.

Overall score: 3/5 stars.


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