“I’ve always been of the mind that subtlety is a waste of time. Fortune favors the flirtatious.”
Historical Fiction isn’t my normal genre. Back when I was a kid I consumed them. Long epic sweeping historical’s were probably my favorite. These days, if I’m reading a book that takes place in our world I tend to stick to the present day, with an occasional dive into the Dystopian future. With the exception of KJ Charles, I just don’t really gravitate to the past anymore.
If I’d seen The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue without the fun title font, and just the dour picture, I’d never have given it a second glance. That just proves how important design and marketing are, because the cover did pull me in. It made me read the blurb, and then I was hooked! I knew it was going to be a fun ride, and that it was something I couldn’t let pass me by. I had to have it, so of course I made it happen!
There was so much this author, Mackenzie Lee, got right. There was so much to love. First of all, the characters were incredibly well done. I thought all of them were fun to read, but the real highlight of the book was the main character, Monty. He was refreshing and funny. He was a bit of a rake, but that’s what made the story better. It wasn’t better because he was a hard drinking promiscuous man, it was because from the beginning you knew he was so much more than that, and how he was only a result of his family and home life.
Speaking of Monty’s family, obviously Felicity was great. For as much as I loved Monty’s impulsiveness, the idea that Felicity was in every way his opposite only made me enjoy her almost as much. Despite how the brother and sister acted like they were annoyed, you could tell how much they actually loved each other. Unfortunately that’s where the good ends for Monty with his family. The thing is, I love how the author didn’t treat Monty’s situation like it would have been in present day. There wasn’t an easy answer for Monty or Felicity. They were the offspring of an Earl, and it meant they had very few choices. While it sucked to read, I wouldn’t have changed how the author wrote it.
Then, of course, there was Percy and Monty. They were best friends with the possibility of something more. They were sweet and frustrating in one ball of unrequited love. I wanted to knock their heads together in the hopes they would see what they meant to each other. It was so obvious they were in love, and I was just like Felicity, rolling my eyes when they thought they were being subtle. Monty doesn’t really do subtle. They only issue I had with Gentleman’s Guide was that after all Monty and Percy’s back and forth, I really wanted a solid ending. I wanted the feels that shot right into my heart, and mostly I got a fade to black ending. We didn’t even get to read their “we’re finally a couple” kiss. I felt slightly let down. I just wanted a little something more.
I can get over it though, because all in all this one was loaded fun ride of historical proportions. It was an adventure from page one, and I enjoyed every second of it. The best news is, I thought this was a standalone, but we get a spinoff! So exciting! I’m now looking forward to reading The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy, because it sounds like we’re going on an all new adventure with Felicity!
If you do decide to read this book, try the author’s note at the end. I loved reading about how much research went into this novel and I think you guys will too.