Guide Series #1
What a delightful novel this turned out to be! Having caught some preview chapters prior to the book’s release, I knew that The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue would be a fun and flirty romp through 18th century Europe. What I didn’t expect, was the deep and meaningful issues that it would address: the stigma and persecution of homosexuals, the strong prejudice against black and biracial individuals, and the restricted roles of women in society.
Monty is a young lord, set to inherit a dukedom, with a proclivity for members of both sexes, in a time when sodomy was not only considered sinful, but was illegal and could land you arrested or worse. Percy is the biracial son of a gentleman, raised in polite society but never fully accepted by it. And Felicity is a bright young woman in a man’s world, interested in medicine in a time where a woman’s role was limited to embroidery, entertaining, and childbearing. All three feel a need to quietly rebel (or in the case of Monty, loudly and overtly rebel) against the lot given to them. And through it all they are thrust into an high-stakes adventure through regency Europe.
This is a story about not fitting the mold, and finding your place in the world. It’s about challenging expectations and dealing with the fallout. And it’s about being who you are, despite what the world may think of you. I truly adored this book, and I recommend it for anyone who appreciates the challenges that come with being different.