Many of you know that Mackenzi Lee’s previous book, The Gentlemans’ Guide to Vice and Virtue, was one of my favorite books of 2017. This follow-up has been out since last fall, but I’ve been both busy and a bit of a slacker, so I’m only now getting around to reading it, despite my eager anticipation.
Felicity Montague finds herself hitting a real low point in Edinburgh when we find her at the beginning of the book. Unable to get any of the medical schools to even bother meeting with her, she’s working in a bakery with Callum, who obviously has an interest in marrying her. Felicity who knows she’s meant for more than baking bread and popping out babies, panics. She makes her way back to London, crashing with Monty and Percy, determined to try things differently with the medical schools. When things don’t go exactly to plan, she realizes she’s going to have to get back in touch with her former bestie Johanna, who just so happens to be engaged to Felicity’s idol, Alexander Platt.
Obviously, I went into this expecting another exciting and funny romp through 18th century Europe, but I was slightly disappointed. While I really enjoyed all of the characters, all the really funny parts belonged again to Monty. Monty is great and everything, but I really thought that this book would really belong to the women and as my sister-in-law-ish put it: “Ladies be funny.”
There was a pretty solid cast of ladies to follow. I loved prickly Felicity even more this time around and Sim was nicely mysterious, but really it was Johanna that I really fell for. Like Felicity, she’s extremely intelligent, but she has a much softer side that helps provide a nice balance to Felicity’s harder edges. Plus, she has her gigantic, slobbering Alpine mastiff. I have to have a soft spot for someone who loves their dog as much as Johanna. I would have liked to see more from Sim as well as more from all three women together. Hopefully, it’s something to look forward to.
All in all, I still loved the book, if in a different way than Gentlemans’ Guide. I’m holding out hope that Mackenzi Lee will return to these characters in the future, not just the ladies, but Monty and Percy, as well.