‘The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue’ by Mackenzi Lee – Book Review

Blurb from Goodreads

Henry “Monty” Montague was born and bred to be a gentleman, but he was never one to be tamed. The finest boarding schools in England and the constant disapproval of his father haven’t been able to curb any of his roguish passions—not for gambling halls, late nights spent with a bottle of spirits, or waking up in the arms of women or men.

But as Monty embarks on his Grand Tour of Europe, his quest for a life filled with pleasure and vice is in danger of coming to an end. Not only does his father expect him to take over the family’s estate upon his return, but Monty is also nursing an impossible crush on his best friend and travelling companion, Percy.

Still it isn’t in Monty’s nature to give up. Even with his younger sister, Felicity, in tow, he vows to make this yearlong escapade one last hedonistic hurrah and flirt with Percy from Paris to Rome. But when one of Monty’s reckless decisions turns their trip abroad into a harrowing manhunt that spans across Europe, it calls into question everything he knows, including his relationship with the boy he adores.

My Review

Mild thematic spoilers.

This book was going so well until that lacklustre ending just crapped all over a really enjoyable story-line complete with a great chronic illness rep that I was totally loving.

‘The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue’ had a lot going on with all of its hot topic story-lines that were somehow mashed into this contemporary style historical fiction! I know that doesn’t make sense but the way the dialogue was phrased etc was 100% contemporary (and a little irksome to this purist tosser at times)


There was a nice amount of historical accuracy to somewhat stop me from flipping that bitch-switch of mine!!!

Monty was an utter douchebag of a human being but his character underwent a personal journey… I wouldn’t say he underwent a complete transformation because honestly he was still a bit of a knob at the end in my opinion, but on the whole his entire character arc was incredibly enjoyable to read about.

Yay personal growth!!!… -ish… LOL!!!

Percy was Monty’s bestie (and ultimately love interest) and all around sweetheart. Bless him he was a little too manic pixie dream boy perfect at times. Like I wanted him to get some backbone and slap Monty in the face…

With a bus…



I utterly adored Percy’s illness story-line. I thought it was incredibly well handled and made him feel much more authentic than standard manic pixie dream boy types. So yes, his illness story-line just gave me all the feels and I did the whole emotionally identifying with him…

Felicity was Monty’s sister and wow she was great fun. She was supremely feisty and all that jazz, had some brilliant lines…. but I swear it felt like her character disappeared for the second half of the book. Really feels like she was just thrown into the mix in this book purely to introduce us to her and then for her to be all, ooh I’ve got my own book. Read that and be all feminist and feisty with me. Plus pirate adventures woo…. And I’m like ambivalent AF. I don’t like it when characters are purely there for a sequel setup. Doubtful I’ll be bothered to read it now. (spoiler alert; a few weeks later I borrowed the sequel from the library and DNFd it so hard!!!)


I was enjoying all the adventuring around Europe until the big dramatic climax which was not big, dramatic nor climactic.

Instead we got a painfully rushed, stupidly far fetched damp squib of an ending and I felt extremely let down. It really left a bad taste in my mouth sadly.

I think three stars is fair. Coulda, woulda, shoulda been more though!

12 thoughts on “‘The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue’ by Mackenzi Lee – Book Review

  1. HAHAHA this review had me cracking right up 🤣 You’re hilarious, Emer!! Monty really sounds like a total knob and I’d like to not meet. I was initially really excited to read this, but then there was the whole blow up with the author and it really turned me off it. I felt ambivalent again for a while, but your review has convinced me to not pick this up after all. So thanks for helping me sort myself! 😂😂😂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. absolutely crying at that bitch switch line omgg
    I completely feel you about this book. I love love LOVEEE felicity and was like wtf when she disappeared
    and the end…I just can’t
    this is a lovely review

    Liked by 1 person

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