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Book Review: The Gentleman’s Guide to Getting Lucky by Mackenzi Lee (4/5)

18 May

I heard about this little novella after I’d finished the first in the series, The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue. I wasn’t sure if it was fully necessary to read it before the second in the series, but I thought I’d give it a try. With my long training sessions, I finished it in less than a day.

Cover Image via Goodreads

The Gentleman’s Guide to Getting Lucky (Montague Siblings #1.5) by Mackenzi Lee

Other books by Lee reviewed on this blog:

The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue (Montague Siblings #1)

Summary from Goodreads:

Monty’s epic grand tour may be over, but now that he and Percy are finally a couple, he realizes there is something more nerve-wracking than being chased across Europe: getting together with the person you love.

Will the romantic allure of Santorini make his first time with Percy magical, or will all the anticipation and build-up completely spoil the mood?

I knew I was going to love this book from the dedication. “To all the fan fiction that gave me the sex education I never got in school.” That hit home for me. I started on when I was about twelve and ran into things that school never talked about. School was sterile; fan fiction was like lively. I connected to Lee instantly and loved how much this novella read like a good smut fic. It was cute and talked about the things that were left out of the first novel. Monty still can’t take himself seriously and Felicity is still meddlesome and it was just lovely. Also, I forgot that they ended the last book on Santorini in Oia and I was in Oia two months ago! So I was super excited for that, too. I have a picture of the bell tower on the cover, see?!

I thought it was very realistic that Monty couldn’t get out of his own head. He’d built something up so much in his mind that he was afraid of having it finally happen because he didn’t think it could be everything he’d imagined or promised. I thought it was so sweet that he was afraid of disappointing Percy more than anything.

Monty was my favorite in this book. Percy took a bit of a backseat because the story focused on Monty getting through his own reservations which was fine by me. It was fun to get into his head and see how someone so confident can be brought to his knees with genuine love. I love how he always insists things are ‘fine’ when they’re clearly not, like when his head is bleeding and he needs stitches.

I think everyone builds something up in their head to be intimidating. Maybe not sex with a new partner, but traveling to a new city or seeing a new show or even eating at a new restaurant.  Or meeting a hero; that can be dangerous. My wedding day had me almost paralyzed with fear. I couldn’t walk down the aisle until my dad dragged me and I choked on my vows until my husband got me to focus on him and ignore the crowd in the pews. I love weddings but my own was terrifying. I finally calmed down at the reception when I got to talk to my friends and family and remembered I didn’t have to be scared of them; they loved me! It took Monty time to find this out, too.

Mackenzi Lee
Image via HarperCollins

All of Monty’s missteps were hilarious and had me giggling throughout the book. He had good intentions but kept fumbling around like he wasn’t really sure what he was doing because he wasn’t in his right mind. His narration was great because he was able to describe his frustrations really well and still make me laugh.

I didn’t like Felicity getting involved. It seemed odd to me that Monty would be so desperate to seek out her help on something so personal. Though they became closer through the first novel, it still seemed like a bit too much for her to be involved and for Monty to trust her on matters of romance when we get from the first book (not sure what’s in the second) that she’s never had a romantic inclination before. With something he’s so worried about, I wondered why he would leave it to someone else.

The audiobook was narrated by Christian Coulson who also narrated the first novel. I’m glad he came back to be the voice of Monty again because I don’t think it would have seemed right to have anyone else. Coulson does a great voice for Monty and gets his sarcasm perfectly. Especially with such a short novella, it would have been odd to have anyone else narrate.

This book makes a good point between the emotional and physical parts of a relationship and how one is not indicative of another. Monty and Percy have a strong emotional connection and their relationship is strengthened by this. Their lack of a physical relationship doesn’t diminish their emotional one. Also, just because their emotional relationship is solid doesn’t mean that either is ready for a physical relationship. It emphasized how an emotional relationship is the real basis of a strong relationship and a physical one is secondary.

Writer’s Takeaway: Lee gave us a great glimpse into her characters after we’d left them. Monty won me over quickly in his book and it was great to revisit them. I’m thankful that recent trends in epublishing have made companion novellas more common. This did feel a bit like fan fiction because of the short nature and how the plot had no effect on the overall arc of the series. Honestly, that didn’t bother me much. It was short and fun and I enjoyed it.

A great way to connect with Percy and Monty again after we’ve left them. Four out of Five Stars.

This book fulfills the 1700-1799 time period of the When Are You Reading? Challenge.

Until next time, write on.

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