Historical novels are not usually my jam, but Martha (one of my fave booksellers and friends) recommended them, so I had to read them.
A Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue
Monty (aka Henry Montague) is a posh ass of the highest order. He lives a lavish, party-going lifestyle, frequently coming home drunk with no idea what he’s been up to. He’s also brilliant and hilarious. In this book he is hiding his romantic feelings towards his best friend Percy, because this is a really dangerous time to be gay, and also he is the heir to the family home, business and fortune. He sets off on one last tour of Europe before he has to start being the sensible heir his father desires, and it all goes to hell in a hand basket. Monty has a lot of pressure on him, and a lot of feelings he is hiding which makes for a more emotional read than I was anticipating. His sister, Felicity is sassy and brilliant, though Monty frequently underestimates her. The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue is brilliant, action packed and never dull, with a truly amazing ending. I loved it far more than I expected to and finished it excited to read Felicity’s story.
The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy
Despite being keen to read it when I finished Gentleman’s Guide, it took me a long time to pick this up (until Martha put in on my TBR ). It also took a while to get into. I liked Felicity, but she wasn’t as instantly gripping and funny as Monty, and I really wanted more of Monty and Percy after the way their story ended. Felicity is a fascinating character. She wants to be “a woman alone” not defined by her relationship with any man. She is very strongly feminist and modern in her outlook. She was a mixed character for me, I adored her determination in pursuit of her dreams and her willingness to challenge the patriarchy and fight against the role assigned to her gender. On the other hand, I did not like how easily she was prepared to exploit others to achieve this. The friendships in this book, Sim and Johanna, were adorable and formed an important part of the story, and of Felicity’s character development. I adored the glimpses of sibling banter between Felicity and Monty. A Lady’s Guide is a great addition to this world, and I would love to see more from this sibling duo.
Have you read either of these books? Can you recommend any similar stories for me to pick up?