Get it at Amazonfrom our DIK review: I enjoyed every bit of this book and I need/want to convince you to read it too! Delightful, charming, funny, addictive and entertaining, The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue is chock full of both vice and virtue. The Grand Tour of Europe planned by our protagonist quickly goes awry and evolves instead into a dangerous Grand Adventure complete with highwayman, fighting pirates, magical alchemy, and more. But that’s all simply window dressing to what’s at the heart of this novel - love, friendship and hope. In this coming of age story, our lovelorn hero matures and evolves as he s-l-o-w-l-y learns how to become the kind of man he aspires to be. He’s a supremely polarizing character, and perhaps in less capable hands it would be a challenge to redeem our naughty hero, but Ms. Lee manages it. The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue is a wonderful, unforgettable - and redemptive - road trip I never wanted to end. Henry “Monty” Montague is a gentleman born, but a rogue at heart, and his disregard for his reputation and passionate indulgence in what he considers the finer things of life - gambling, men (and women), drink - have yet to be squelched by attendance at the finest boarding schools or by his overbearing and abusive father. Handsome, funny and vain, Monty lives life to its fullest and damn the consequences. Dismissed from Eton after getting caught with another boy, living at home at the mercy of his father (and his fists), his future - managing the family estate - looms large. But Monty has one last hurrah to look forward to: A Grand Tour of Europe with his best friend and the (secret) love of his life, Percy Newton. His younger sister Felicity, a bluestocking in training, will accompanying them as far as Marseilles, where she’s enrolled in finishing school, and when the year is over, the friends will be forced apart - Monty to return to England and Percy to Holland and law school. Until then, Monty has grand plans for their travels. Unfortunately, Monty’s father has his own opinions about the trip and shortly before their departure, he pulls Monty aside and informs him that they will be accompanied by a guardian who will control their finances and itinerary. Mr. Lockwood will also be there to ensure Monty behaves appropriately and will report any infractions to his father. If Monty misbehaves, the trip is over, Monty will be cast off from his family, his money and his position - and he’ll lose this last year with Percy. Frustrated and disappointed, but still hopeful the trip will be great, the group sets off. At first, the trip proceeds much as Monty expects. Mr. Lockwood keeps them on a tight leash but Monty is determined to seize every opportunity to flirt and spend time with Percy whom he adores. Days are filled with visits to museums, churches and other educational pursuits - or more precisely, the opposite of anything that interests Monty. On a rare occasion, Mr. Norcross does permit them to go out on their own, and he and Percy steal away to a nightclub. The evening unfolds much as Monty hoped their trip would - with drinking, gambling, flirting... and a passionate kiss. But when Percy presses Monty about his feelings, he panics and the evening ends on a sour note. Monty is distraught and heartbroken, and unable to fix whatever mistake he’s made. So, true to form, he promptly makes it worse.
Grade: ACheck Review