The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue

Narrated by: Christian Coulson
Series: Montague Siblings, Book 1
Length: 10 hrs and 47 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (3,983 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

A Kirkus Prize nominee with five starred reviews! A New York Times best seller!

2018 Audie Award® nominee for Best Male Narrator!

Named one of the best books of 2017 by NPR and the New York Public Library!

"The queer teen historical you didn’t know was missing from your life.” (Teen Vogue)

"A stunning powerhouse of a story." (School Library Journal)

"A gleeful romp through history." (ALA Booklist)

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.

Don't miss Felicity's adventures in The Lady's Guide to Petticoats and Piracy, the highly anticipated sequel!

©2017 Mackenzie Van Engelenhoven (P)2017 HarperCollins Publishers

Featured Article: 20 Best YA Audiobooks


Young adult audiobooks offer some of the most affecting, original stories that, despite the genre’s name, make an excellent choice for listeners of all ages. Unforgettably poignant coming-of-age stories, hopeful tales of youth resistance, and brave teens reckoning with questions that stump even the wisest adults are at the heart of this varied and exceptional genre. Our list includes selections ranging from historical fiction to sci-fi, romance to historical sci-fi with a romantic twist, and features diverse characters and ensembles that will make it impossible to press pause.

Editorial Review

Christian Coulson is easily one of my favorite narrators, and I desperately need him to narrate more books! With a little bit of adventure, mystery, and romance, this story has something for everyone.Michael D., Audible Editor
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A blend of humor, adventure, and romance

Where does The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

While not the best audiobook I've listened to, it is one of the more enjoyable. The scenarios were humorous, the characters were well realized, and the plot blended enough elements well that I will come back to this story sometime.

Which character – as performed by Christian Coulson – was your favorite?

Felicity was a real stand out. You got a very good sense of her wit, the way she was reacting to the world, and her complicated relationship with her brother.

Any additional comments?

One of the things that is wonderful about this book is its diverse cast, showing that history was as complicated (with many of the same issues) as today. Our main character is bi and lecherous and actually suffers the consequences of his action. His best-friend/love-interest is biracial and suffers from epilepsy. Felicity is wickedly intelligent at a time when intelligence in women was not necessarily prized, and is struggling with society's expectations of her. The three play off each other well, and all grow in their own way. I recommend this book.

23 people found this helpful

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Even better than I expected...

This was a wonderful book that took me by surprise with its humor, well-paced plot, and memorable characters. I took a chance on it, and I am so glad I did. The fact that characters felt flawed and real, yet didn't irritate me, was a refreshing change from other books I have picked up recently. I recommend it to anyone who wants a quick, fun read.

39 people found this helpful

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My absolute FAVORITE audio book ever

Christian Coulson does such a fantastic job performing this book that I cannot express how glad I am that I decided to listen to it rather than read my physical copy. Not only is it an amazingly well written story, full of excitement and heartache and love, but Coulson brings Monty and all the other characters to life in a way that my own mental adaptation could not. It's an absolute must listen and a definite read.

37 people found this helpful

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Good story, masterful narration!

Maybe you’re not into YA titles. I wasn’t. Maybe you’re not into historical fiction, the 1700s, pirates, or some other thing that may cause you to pass this book over. Do yourself a favor and let all of it go and get this book. If you like fiction, good storytelling, adventure, humor, and really, truly, outstanding, narration, you will like this book.

The writing is good, the characters are intriguing, but the narration is superb. Different character voices, different genders, different accents, check. But the narrator goes so far beyond that, he gives us nuance, mood, atmosphere, as well as the very marrow of the main character.

Listening to this narrator is like sitting in a tent in the woods, it’s raining, and your best friend is telling you a story so good, and so well, you hope it lasts until dawn.

30 people found this helpful

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Fun story BRILLIANT Narration

I enjoyed this YA story, it was a fun story, witty and cute. I am glad I finally got to it, but I am so happy I listened to the audio the narrator was brilliant he just nailed it, sometimes a bad narrator can ruin a book this is actually the first time for me the narrator improved the story. I don't think I would have enjoyed the humor as much if I was reading it.

12 people found this helpful

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great characters, weak story

characters were well described, interesting and fun. the plot is a weak contrivance. some characters were just cliches and cartoonish. strong start, weak finish, but worth it as a fun romp

9 people found this helpful

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How could you like Monty?

What a whining, entitled brat. Sarcasm is fine but he was way too over-the-top to be funny. I only kept reading in the hopes that Percy would recover and Felicity would be able to escape her fate at the finishing school.

I understand that the point was that Monty “grew” though his journey and became more empathetic and less self-centered. He did. Barely.

27 people found this helpful

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I couldn’t do it

I tried so hard but I just couldn’t finish. I had heard nothing but great things about this book and it sounded like it was right up my alley. I found myself just unable to finish it. It didn’t capture my attention.

17 people found this helpful

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a little bit frustrating

I loved everyone except the main character really. He was at times charming and at other times insufferable. I liked the style of narration and the tone, it was fun. It had a ton of character. But MONTY!!! Monty......I don't blame him for how he is. but as someone who is not a man or white... it was frustrating to watch him to be completely blind to the struggles of anyone but himself. He was constantly insensitive to his sister and friend..... the well intentioned white knighting was difficult to sit through sometimes.... and wanted to be thanked for being a good and decent person.. its a bit much and a bit too real and not in an enjoyable way....

He's set up for character growth... and he did grow, but it didn't quite feel real or monumental... it was like everyone around him existed for him to learn more about the world but they didn't seem to get much besides a wild adventure and. thats not a bad thing but. It just wasn't for me.

I do like how its written so I'm curious about how the next book will be because I adore Felicity and I feel like a journey with her would be enjoyable... but she also has some learning to do about the world... her 'of the time' feelings about love and who people love felt strange, considering how ahead of the times she was about learning....

29 people found this helpful

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Must Read

Loved it so much. Witty, fun and romantic. Plus the performance was amazing. I couldn't put it down.

13 people found this helpful

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  • Jamie
  • 07-18-17

Hilarious, heartbreaking, honest & beautiful

One of the best books of the year. A hilarious romp of a historical novel, enough danger, magic and adventure to keep me on the edge of my seat, and brilliant, brilliant characters who aren't so much flawed as painfully, adorably real. I couldn't help love Monty even when he was being an idiot, selfish or completely ridiculous, or even all three at once. The side characters and the relationships between them were fantastically portrayed and really made the book. Also, outstanding handling of diversity in a setting and era where being anything other than white, male and preferably rich was subject to varying but usually horrifying levels of prejudice. It covered some really heavy, tough issues without ever coming across preachy or derailing the story and honestly, some of the hardships faced by the characters, especially Percy, brought me close to tears.

10 people found this helpful

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  • Lis
  • 08-22-17

A wonderful listen

Monty is a little hard to like to begin with but I did warm up to him. I loved Percy and Felicity and their adventure in Europe was a lot of fun. The narrator's voice was perfect and enhanced the experience.

8 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 03-14-18

Abso-bloody-lutely brilliant!!!!!!!

I liked everything about this book, it was a riot from start to finish! I don’t normally laugh out loud at books, with this one, I very much did, ALL THE WAY THROUGH!

The narrator was perfect! He suited Monty so well, and, he gave a voice to all the other characters, not over the top at all! Just, a perfect narrator for the time of the story and the character!

I fell in love with Monty, Percy and Felicity straight away! They all have strong, different, amusing personalities and I just rooted for all of them!

The love story within the book was.... beautiful! I just shipped Monty and Percy from the beginning! I had such a smile on my face at the end as well as a few happy tears!

Very action packed, didn’t expect half the things that happened, but, you just need to go with it!!!

Want a funny, lovely, action packed story? READ THIS BOOK!

3 people found this helpful

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  • Katie Stewart
  • 07-15-17

One of the best audio books I've ever listened to.

The narrator was amazing and perfect as Monty's voice and for the story set in the 1700s. This is the feel good adventure novel with a great set of main characters, all three of them distinctive and real. The language is creative and humourus, and I was smiling and laughing the whole way through it. Would highly recommend.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Emmy2468
  • 06-23-20

The silliest, funniest, most wonderful adventure

A lead which you can't help but find charming. A dynamic trio you can't help but get behind. A love story you can't help but fight for. A story you can't help but to fall in love with.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 03-24-20

great book

I absolutely loved this story. brilliantly narrated, with gorgeous characters. I highly reccomend to all.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Laura
  • 03-14-20

a charming adventure

I truly wanted to give this book 5 stars, for its fantastic writing style, witty and warm humour, and fantastic narration by Christian Coulson. In fact, it’s probably my favourite audiobook I’ve listened to so far. I am extremely picky about voices fitting the characters and this was a perfect match. I really loved this book, and am genuinely sad to have finished it. However, I couldn’t honestly rate it 5 stars because of some issues with the pacing, and relationship building. Though the author does a good job at tenderly building the relationship between Percy and Monty amidst the action of the adventure plot, I felt it needed a little more attention - maybe another chapter or so where things slowed down a bit and the relationship conflicts were more thoroughly dealt with. I also think the growth of Monty and Felicity as siblings, and their understanding of each other, could have also been better dealt with; a discussion between them would have really benefited the penultimate chapter - I felt something was missing there. Overall, I definitely recommend this book. It really brought some light to my daily commute. It was nice to read an MLM story that wasn’t entirely focused on relationship drama and the difficulties of being gay in society. In this book, that’s a small background element - as it should be! Those things don’t define our lives and shouldn’t define our literature either.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 03-05-20

a fools errand

Very funny and captivating from the first sentence. It's knowing they are on a fools errand that deminishes the reading pleasure. It makes waiting for a solution fot Monty's crush that works, a long wait.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Ayla Everdeen
  • 02-17-20

Christian Coulson is AMAZING

The story is adventurous and fun, but by the second part it started to lose my interest for a bit, but I just couldn’t drop it...The narrator is so good! Like seriously good! All the different voices he makes are perfect for the characters. Loved it!

1 person found this helpful

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  • A. Willowby
  • 07-05-20

Excellent young adult gay romance adventure story

One of the very best narrators, highly recommend this reader, they are very lively and add to the humour and likeability of the main character. The main character is very well drawn. He is incredibly privileged and somewhat oblivious to the struggles of marginalised groups such as women and people of colour but stick with it as he learns from his adventures and becomes a better ally, this is a deliberate part of the story, told with sensitivity and is not heavy handed. Great to see positive bisexual/gay romance story with happy ending. Incredibly fun, witty characters, great dialogue and well paced, no long winded descriptions. Very well written, brought tears to my eyes. This book will be just as enjoyable to adult readers as it is teens. So good I listened to it twice.
Content warning: there is some historical physical abuse to the main character from a parent. It is handled realistically and sensitively by the writer and the character healing from this abuse becomes part of the story in an empowering way. I didn't find it distressing to read as there were no graphic scenes and the abuse is a backstory. The author focuses more on how the memory of the abuse triggers reactions for the character in the present and on healing and recovery. It's not a main focus of the book, which is mostly adventure, romance, mysticism and a jolly period drama romp.

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  • James
  • 02-17-19

Highly enjoyable fluff!

This was a highly engaging and satisfying historical LGBT romance, which morphs into a transcontinental caper partway through. Being a young adult book, it's horny, but not explicit, which I think is a slight shame; a sex scene or two wouldn't have gone amiss. The adventure caper elements at first seemed to be there just to break up the romantic elements, which I think is a good idea (a full-length romance with no breaks, like 'Call Me By Your Name,' can be a little too heady for me), but the caper ended up being the focus of most of the story. It's quite a good caper though, with layered twists changing the stakes regularly, and a variety of colourful settings and characters. The story also has very modern social sensibilities regarding race and gender and so forth, and it does a pretty good job of not seeming too anachronistic about it. The narrator's perspective of well-meaning but ingenuous white male privilege is well-portrayed. On the subject of the narrator, I recognised in him many of my own worst impulses toward selfishness and insensitivity toward loved ones, making him very relatable to me, and quite literally making his development a guide to virtue, as promised by the title.

Christian Coulson, who was the original Tom Riddle in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, (!) is a perfect narrator for this story. He brings an Eton boy, received pronunciation quality that is entirely appropriate to the character, and he has a frankly very surprising amount of range for all the other characters, making them all sound distinct, sometimes very subtly, and managing convincing French, Catalan, and Spanish accents to boot.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Katie
  • 03-24-18

So bloody brilliant

The blurb for this book does not do it justice! I was not expecting to go on such an amazing journey of scandal, romance, highwaymen, Spanish prisons, magical alchemy hearts, pirates and more. Im going to have a book hangover for a while after this one. I truly wish that I could be friends with Monty, Percy and Felicity. Theyve left an imprint on me.

The naration.... my goodness it could not have been more perfect! So so good, each character given their own perfect tone, and read so beautifully. I am going to miss the sound of his voice in my ears. I can not recommend this book enough

2 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 09-10-19

Fantastic

Loved this story. Very well written and very engaging. The plot was great, the story had no downfall

1 person found this helpful

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  • Genevieve
  • 05-05-19

Wonderfully suited narrator

Brilliant narrator, this story really suited being read aloud. A wonderfully arrogant dandy travelling with his clever, medially minded sister - what more could you want? Final climax fell a tiny bit short but loved everything else.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 10-18-18

Abso-bloody-lutely a must read.

Finally found a book that I could confidently say "One of my favourite book of all time"—probably my favourite—I know because, there was no hint of lazyness to re-read it immediately—like felicity and her book.

This book is packed with just everything I want in a book;

-It's a History Novel! (Gotta love my history!)
-Adventure
-Romance
- Fantastic Writting Style — Mackenzie Lee, Yo my girl!
-Strong/Intelligent Female Character (Okay, my adjectives for Felicity is definately an understatement—Well, I think all my adjectives for this book is going to be an understatement— this is just to give you a general Idea that, the second main character won't be like any female-just-acting-like-females in 17— she's amazing—okay another understatement.)
-Fast Paced
-Humour
-"Character complimenting plot" base book (Is this a thing? Like in every book I read, there is always a book that slides to a character based novel or a plot based novel, but this one, is too dang just right that it was never annoying!
-It's not dragged!! There is never a frinkin' pages or chapter I feel like tearing, all the pages are so precious!

I'm still smiling after re-reading this novel, and call me crazy but, definately going to read it again! 💃💃

Though the only issue I've had with this book is, I can never read it in public again—had a fair share of embarssment, mainly because I can't stop smiling like a madman—and my attempt to not dance with ecstacy has been rather disastrous, might as well strip me naked.

but, other than that, It's sublime.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 06-12-18

good book

it's a good book narrator sounded bit old for the protagonist over all the writing is good

1 person found this helpful

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  • Warren
  • 06-28-20

SO MUCH FUN

This book was just so much fun I really loved it. highly recommend to everyone

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  • Anonymous User
  • 05-03-20

Really witty and joyous romantic adventure

The humour and vibrant narration really brought these characters to life. I couldn't wait to hear what would happen next, every turn was exciting and fresh. Clever clever storytelling and some emotiobally poignant moments that will stay with me.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 03-15-20

Rollicking fabulousness

The tone, the story, the performance - all totally wonderful. Humour, romance of all kinds, pirates, alchemy, what’s not to love? Recommended for grown up fans of young adult fiction at its finest.

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  • Jayne Fayers
  • 11-30-19

Everything I could hope for (SPOILER-ISH)

From the opening chapters I anticipated a light and fluffy romance with the occasional side-plot slipped in purely to prolong the tension. It took a while to realise that all of that was just setup, and there was so much more to come. A clever mystery unfolded into a genuinely exciting adventure that was almost painful to put down, for fear of what might happen to the characters if I stepped away even for a minute.

At first Felicity seemed to be a somewhat stereotypical anachronistic feminist, Percy started out as a bit of a blank canvas and Monty's narration began as insufferably arrogant, but before they'd even left England they'd bloomed into solid, real people who only evolved and grew as the story progressed. I found myself identifying more and more with each of them, with Percy's not wanting to be 'fixed', with Felicity's frustration at being the true leader, the smartest and most skilled of the three, but constantly underestimated or ignored because of her sex, and with Monty, poor, clueless, self-absorbed Monty, whose noble yet insensitive desire to be a better person drags them all into conflict after conflict.

Mackenzi Lee surprised me with her knowledge of history's intricate details (minus 0.3 stars for referring to stays as corsets, despite mentions of banyans and brunswicks and panniers and pocket slits); there was very little content erroneous enough to jar me out of the story, but when it happened it was brief and quickly forgiven. The themes were all terribly relevant and important to me, with modern sensibilities woven into the language of 18th-century prejudices. Queer, racial and feminist themes drew me to this book, but I was knocked flat to find actual, real depictions of people living full and happy lives with chronic illnesses and disabilities without feeling the need to 'cure' them. As a disabled person myself, I cannot express how much that means to me.

I would have loved this book regardless but Christian Coulson's narration is so perfectly suited to it that I will never be able to extricate his voice from these characters. He's an adorable man at the best of times, but he made me love this book even more than I would have, and this book has made me love him even more.