I want to reread this sometime soon to see if I can bring my rating up. I enjoyed it a lot, loved a lot of it, but just can't say I fully fell in love with the whole book. It's so great to see this book being mainstream though. And I'm really excited to see Felicity's book next. That should be interesting.
A young bisexual British lord embarks on an unforgettable Grand Tour of Europe with his best friend/secret crush. An 18th-century romantic adventure for the modern age written by This Monstrous Thing author Mackenzi Lee—Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda meets the 1700s.
Henry “Monty” Montague doesn’t care that his roguish passions are far from suitable for the gentleman he was born to be. But as Monty embarks on his grand tour of Europe, his quests for pleasure and vice are 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.
So Monty 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, it calls into question everything he knows, including his relationship with the boy he adores.
Witty, dazzling, and intriguing at every turn, The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue is an irresistible romp that explores the undeniably fine lines between friendship and love.
It's never a good sign when, a few days after finishing a book, I'm struggling to remember what it was about in order to do it justice in a review - The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue is one of those books, unfortunately. It's entertaining enough and I enjoyed reading it, but it also suffered from a main character who is (to me, anyway) usually more annoying than charming and a tendency to throw everything but the kitchen sink in to the plot, just in case...
The basic premise is that our main character, Monty, is about to depart on his Grand Tour in the way that all well-heeled young men of the Regency period were wont to do, in his case accompanied by his best friend (and unrequited love interest) Percy. They've also been given the task of depositing Monty's sister at a finishing school on the way and given strict instructions about what they can and can't do. Likewise, at the end of their time together, Percy is supposed to be going off to university in Holland and Monty is already bemoaning that separation.
After Monty follows his dick into trouble in Paris, as well as proving himself to be more than a little light-fingered, trouble starts to follow them. The trio end up separated from their chaperone and on the run, as well as a few things about Percy coming into the open. This is where, for me, the plot starts to go off the rails a bit and the author really should have considered not throwing twelve more plot ideas into the book just in case.
I almost gave this book 3 stars instead of 4 because of Monty, who is pretty much insufferable most of the time. It's rescued by the character of Felicity, who has all the common sense her brother lacks, while Percy still remains a bit two-dimensional at times. Anyway, apparently there's another book which follows on from this one but from Felicity's point of view - The Lady's Guide to Petticoats and Piracy - due out later in 2018.
MANCHESTER VICE is a tale about an ordinary man who makes some poor choices. What makes this a unique and fun story is the giddy abandon with which he goes about making these choices, and the fun I had watching his life deteriorate. I'm a terrible person!
But hey, so is Bradley Sharpe, ("just call me Brad"), but he didn't start out that way. He's on the brink of 60, (OLD to Brad), and tired of his boring life. His job as a crime journalist helps support his family, but it's the same old day to day doldrums. He meets with prisoners as a way of making himself feel useful. When he meets with terminally ill Jim, little does he know how much his life is about to change. How will his life change? What are those aforementioned poor choices? You'll have to read this to find out!
I'm not sure what I was expecting from this book, (perhaps Miami Vice, except set in Manchester?), but what I got was surprising and amusing. First off, it's not that kind of vice. Second, Brad's decline was rapid, willy-nilly, even. He seemed to be blind to his own ineptness, even when he thought was learning from his mistakes. It's easy for the reader to see where he went wrong, but Brad was clueless most of the time. It was fun to see him rolling with the punches, moving from one thing to another, while the whole time still believing that HE'S the good guy.
Entertaining and fast paced, with both outright and dry humor, Jack Strange delivers the goods in this "noirvella" and I had a bloody good time going along for the ride!
You can get your copy here: MANCHESTER VICE
*I received this copy free in exchange for my honest review. This is it.*