Series Review: Is this series worth your time? Does it get better as the novels progress? Or does it get worse? Find out below:
Synopsis for The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue (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 traveling 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.
There is a novella: #1.5 The Gentleman’s Guide to Getting Lucky
Book Order: Connected
Genre: Young Adult, Historical Fiction, Adventure, Romance
Heat Rating: warm **suggestive content**
Point of View: First Person, Single
Publication Date: June 2017 – November 2021
Source & Format: Public Library–eBook (#1); Audiobook (#2-#3)
**This post was originally published as a Fresh Friday review of the first book of the series. It has now been updated to include the newest publications in the series.**
Why I Picked it Up / My Expectations:
I don’t think I could escape this book if I tried in 2017. Not that I wanted to. It seemed like it would be a lot of fun but people also said that about My Lady Jane and I didn’t “love” that one either.
So I was hoping for more of a Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda type of experience going into this. I didn’t know what else to expect plotwise but I was ready to be surprised!
What I Liked:
I’ll be honest, I mostly picked this up for the romance between Monty and Percy. I just love all the tension that comes from “off limits” romances. And this is a romance that is off limits in a lot of ways which makes it such an intriguing one to read. Not only are the two best friends but they are two males in a time when that relationship isn’t accepted in popular society. Add to that their ranks in the peerage, race and their own coming of age stories, you have a lot of factors telling these two to stay away.
Which makes those moments of letting go so enjoyable as a reader. These two are just so genuine with each other that you immediately want them to be together no matter the obstacles in their way.
–Slightly Dry Humour–
When everyone mentioned the humour in the book, I was worried I wasn’t going to find it funny. I’m a girl who laughs at everything but humour in books sometimes escapes me. That’s why I considered listening to the audiobook instead because I find it easier to get the sarcasm and laughs. But when I listened to the sample, the narrator didn’t sound like what I imagined Monty would sound like so I stuck with the print.
I’m glad I did because I did find myself chuckling quite a bit at this book. Monty has such an interesting perspective and his off-hand, dry comments just seemed so “British” to me.
Don’t get me wrong, I liked Monty as a lead. As I mentioned above, he’s witty and dramatic and he’s a lot of fun to read about. But Felicity really surprised me as a character. I didn’t think she’d have much of a role but I loved all the little tidbits we got about her and her attitude in general. She’s a fantastic supporting character.
–Diversity & The History–
Like I said in the “Tension” section, you have a lot of social issues/topics at play here. When they are used all together you feel as though you are transported to the 1700s. It just adds this depth and realism to the world by highlighting various things.
What I Didn’t Like:
–It Felt a Little Long–
I definitely missed the “manhunt that spans across Europe” in the synopsis. And while I enjoyed that plot (I’m glad there was something else at play besides the romance) I felt like it took far too long to get resolved. I just found myself getting a little bored with it near the end. While that dramatic plot was moving forward I felt like everything else went to a standstill. For me, this book could have been 50 pages shorter and I would have been more than satisfied.
My Expectations for the Rest of the Series:
Obviously I enjoyed Felicity’s character so I’m excited for her to get her own book!
–November 9, 2018– Book #2: The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy
Felicity was one of the highlights of the first book so I was very excited for her novel.
But I was pretty disappointed in this one. I think I was expecting a different type of novel. I wanted a pirate adventure (I kept reading “piracy” as “pirates”) and that’s not what this is. Not that the story we get is bad–I appreciate the science angle–but I didn’t enjoy the pacing of this novel at all. I thought we spent far too long rehashing Felicity’s constant rejections and it took a long time to get to the “adventure” part of the story.
I respect Felicity’s drive and passion to study medicine. I also liked the fact that she doesn’t really have a romance plotline either. All too often the girls who strive to defy societal norms find love–and that isn’t a bad thing–but I really respected the fact that not every girl wants or needs a romance in her life; that they can want other things and they aren’t any less (or more) of a woman because they don’t want that.
So this book was a bit of a miss. I think if I had a better idea of what to expect my review and rating would be different but this was just so-so for me.
–April 7, 2022– Book #3: The Nobleman’s Guide to Scandal and Shipwrecks
I thought this was a great way to wrap up the series. I felt like I got better closure for Felicity’s story than her actual book. But it was nice to visit a world where people are accepted for who they are, even when the prejudices of the time were otherwise.
It was a fun adventure traveling around and watching all the shenanigans the siblings can get into.
My Rating: 3.5/5
The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue 4/5 | The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy 3/5 | The Nobleman’s Guide to Scandal and Shipwrecks 3/5
This is a great read for historical YA fans without a doubt or if you love stories that take you on a fun and heartwarming adventure, pick this up!
Read if You Like: adventure, historical, GLBT
Avoid if You: dislike adventure, historical
- My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton , Jodi Meadows (The Lady Janies Series #1)
- Victoria and the Rogue by Meg Cabot
- Love, Lies and Spies by Cindy Anstey