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Montague Siblings #2

The Lady's Guide to Petticoats and Piracy

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Felicity Montague must use all her womanly wits and wiles to achieve her dreams of becoming a doctor—even if she has to scheme her way across Europe to do it. A year after an accidentally whirlwind grand tour with her brother Monty, Felicity Montague has returned to England with two goals in mind—avoid the marriage proposal of a lovestruck suitor from Edinburgh and enroll in medical school. However, her intellect and passion will never be enough in the eyes of the administrators, who see men as the sole guardians of science.

But then a window of opportunity opens—a doctor she idolizes is marrying an old friend of hers in Germany. Felicity believes if she could meet this man he could change her future, but she has no money of her own to make the trip. Luckily, a mysterious young woman is willing to pay Felicity’s way, so long as she’s allowed to travel with Felicity disguised as her maid.

In spite of her suspicions, Felicity agrees, but once the girl’s true motives are revealed, Felicity becomes part of a perilous quest that leads them from the German countryside to the promenades of Zurich to secrets lurking beneath the Atlantic.

454 pages, Kindle Edition

First published October 2, 2018

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About the author

Mackenzi Lee

19 books8,308 followers
Mackenzi Lee writes books you might have read. And she no longer uses Goodreads or accepts friend requests.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 6,029 reviews
Profile Image for Emily May.
1,964 reviews294k followers
October 10, 2018
“I don’t know what you’re referencing, madam,” the chairman says, his voice raised over mine.
“I’m talking about menstruation, sir!” I shout in return.
It’s like I set the hall on fire, manifested a venomous snake from thin air, also set that snake on fire, and then threw it at the board. The men all erupt into protestations and a fair number of horrified gasps. I swear one of them actually swoons at the mention of womanly bleeding.

Lee has done it again! I must confess that I wasn't looking forward to this book as much as The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue for the simple reason that a historical romantic comedy with boys getting drunk and falling for each other seems a hard premise to top. But this hilarious feminist book about the power of friendship may actually have done just that.

Felicity Montague wants to be allowed to study medicine and become a physician, but this seems an impossible feat for an 18th-century woman. A unique opportunity arises in the form of Dr Alexander Platt, a pioneer of preventative medicine. She goes to Stuttgart where Platt is all set to marry Johanna-- an old childhood friend of Felicity's before their relationship turned sour.

What happens next is unexpected. Felicity finds herself on a journey - not with the esteemed doctor - but with Johanna and Sim, who is Algerian, Muslim, and quite possibly a swashbuckling pirate.
“Too many white men,” she replies. Ebrahim laughs. Sim doesn’t. Across the table, she meets my eyes, and some invisible string seems to tighten between us.

Lee explores important themes like racism, internalized misogyny, and colonization, but she wraps it all up in a delightful historical comedy. Felicity is somewhere between a smart badass and a socially awkward klutz, which makes her an ideal heroine to root for and relate to. Along with the two other women, she refuses to play by the rules of the man's world she lives in.

Arguably the most interesting part of the novel, which constantly lurks behind all the fun and frivolity, is the challenge to the idea of there being a "right" way to be a woman. Of course, Felicity overtly challenges this by wanting to be a doctor, but Felicity's own prejudice against "feminine" women who like dresses and make-up is also challenged. A woman can be a doctor, a woman can be a wife, a woman can like dresses, a woman can be straight, queer or asexual (as it seems Felicity is) and a woman can be a pirate... and all those are valid expressions of womanhood.
You are not a fool, you’re a fighter, and you deserve to be here. You deserve to take up space in this world.

There are many laugh-out-loud moments, usually at the expense of old white stuffy men. And there are also many heartwarming "hell yeah" moments between Felicity, Johanna and Sim-- moments that emphasize the power of women who stick together. It's easy to spend so much time laughing and enjoying the story that you don't immediately notice they've been brutally smashing the patriarchy along the way.

More, please.

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Profile Image for chai ♡.
321 reviews153k followers
July 31, 2022
If there are infinite universes with infinite possibilities, there definitely exists a version of me that’s a part of a science girl gang on a pirate expedition to save sea monsters, but I'm here paying rent and dreading the next worldwide catastrophe? That is so SICK and TWISTED.
Profile Image for Elle (ellexamines).
1,084 reviews17.5k followers
October 29, 2018
Her dark eyes meet mine and I look between her and Johanna. In the company of women like this—sharp-edged as raw diamonds but with soft hands and hearts, not strong in spite of anything but powerful because of everything—I feel invincible. Every chink and rut and battering wind has made us tough and brave and impossible to strike down. We are made of mountains—or perhaps temples, with foundations that could outlast time itself.

4 1/2 stars. This was lovely. And I want to reread the whole duology now.

So, first of all, Gentleman's Guide To Vice and Virtue was one of my favorite books of last year, and I was really worried this would not live up to it. And it… was missing some of the best qualities of book one, but then had even more new stuff that was better.

I will say I think I also was not that scared that everything would turn out all right? like, you know from the beginning that Felicity will turn out all right with her dream just in a different way than expected. and that didn’t make the journey less fun but I guess... there was a lack of tension in the narrative.

So no, I didn’t love this on the same level as I loved Gentleman’s Guide, but they’re both very solid books in their own right, and this one does an excellent job of not being fanfiction of the previous novel, but an excellent novel in its own right. all of these new characters have solid arcs and their own personalities and it basically reads like a stand-alone with these two random side characters, not like a direct sequel, which is lovely.]

But then there’s so, so much to like about this book.

Felicity Montague really did that (found fulfillment in her own life without needing a romantic relationship but with two very close gal pals she loves very much and would die for)

Seriously, Felicity Montague’s character arc is so freaking exciting to me, on so many levels. Felicity being acearo and it not being questioned by the narrative at all!! And her having a goal and working so hard to achieve it, the whole book long, because girls can do anything. But she also gets the chance to grow and change and work through her own problematic mindsets.

So first of all, I love the entire arc around the not-like-other-girls trope. Can I just say, it is so refreshing to see a book powered by women being friends with each other. The whole arc around Felicity getting over her not like other girls shit with Johanna is so! perfect! It is so refreshing that we get this arc – as you start the book, you sort of think you know what you expect from Johanna, especially in a comedy like this. But no, this book is more concentrated around something far more interesting: the girl gang. The girl gang dynamic at the end is so! perfect! I honestly wish there was more.

In general, I really liked that Mackenzi Lee doesn’t shy away from the fact that her lead characters are of a privileged viewpoint. This comes in multiple shades. First of all, there is a lot of focus on Felicity working through her internalized homophobia, which is something that was definitely present - and highly annoying - in book one. But there’s also another shade to this: the narrative around colonialism.

So I adored how this book deals with colonialism in a historical setting. It’s great to see unveil, so I’m being vague, but I really loved all the stuff about Sim and her family. They are trying to keep the natural resources of their home safe while also trying to be a part of a global economy that wants them to fail from the start. Sim’s character, by the way? A sapphic hijabi girl? Talented. Brilliant. Incredible. Amazing. Showstopping. Spectacular.

In her ignorance, Johanna initially wants to take a role in the world of a colonizer. But the narrative is so quick to criticize those viewpoints, to depict them as wrong and awful [as they are]. And in the end, they have to realize that their white, European experience is not the only one in the world, and they don’t always have the answers. They are not always the saviors in their narrative, and that’s okay. Felicity and Johanna have a right to a role in the world as powerful women… but not in the capacity of colonization and appropriation. That’s Sim’s role, and she will kick ass within it.

Listen, it’s just… so fucking good, like so fucking good. I enjoyed reading this so much. Love that “acearo medical student goes on journey with her sapphic hijabi pirate friend and her more-feminine botanist friend” is a thing that I can enjoy in current literature. And I don’t know why you guys have to ask this so much, but yes, there are liberal Monty and Percy cameos. [Was that a question? That shouldn’t be a question. I love them and I would die for them.] Anyway, I absolutely adored this, and I can’t wait to read more by this author.

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Profile Image for prag ♻.
588 reviews587 followers
January 10, 2019
“You’re trying to play a game designed by men. You’ll never win, because the deck is stacked and marked, and also you’ve been blindfolded and set on fire. You can work hard and believe in yourself and be the smartest person in the room and you’ll still get beat by the boys who haven’t two cents to rub together.”

This is a story about what it was like to be a woman in the 18th century. What it was like to be someone who was constantly told she did not deserve to take up space in the world, because she was a woman. What it was like to have to listen to esteemed scholars earnestly explaining to you how reading shrinks the female brain. What it was like to be a woman who wanted to reject compulsory heterosexuality and wanted to live independently in a small apartment with her dog and surround herself only with friends who loved her.

Whereas TGGTVAV was, in its barest sense, a book about two boys falling in love, this is a book about found families and girls empowering girls and being a girl with ambition.

This is a book about Sim, who learned too early that she had to be better than her brothers to even be considered their equal. Sim, who dreamt of inheriting her father’s legacy and being a just and fair ruler, only to learn she never had a chance, because she was a girl. This book is about Johanna, who wanted to learn about animals and go for adventures in the forest, but also wanted to wear silk dresses and makeup. Johanna, who was ready to give up her whole life for a dog. This book is about Felicity, who learns to believe she deserves to take up space in this world. Felicity, who lives on her dream of being a doctor, because without it she would be nothing. Felicity, who learns to live by believing in all the women who came before her, when she doesn’t believe in herself.
I look to Sim, and she looks to Johanna, and Johanna looks at me, and I realize that, in that single moment, like a flash of hear lightning over a bare moor, all three of us are in control of our own futures. Our own lives. Where we go now. For maybe the first time in our lives. With my side pressed into Johanna’s and Sim’s dark eyes meeting mine, I feel newer than I’ve ever been.

This is a book about the family you choose for yourself. The people you find in the most unexpected places, who end up making a home for themselves in your heart. The kind baker who gave you a cream puff when you most needed it, the old friend with whom you had cut off all ties years ago, your brother’s best friend slash lover, or the hijabi pirate who came through for you when you had all but given up.
Percy sees me off at the door with more affirming words but no hug or even a pat upon the shoulder. Thank God for friends who learn to speak to you in your own language rather than making you learn theirs.

This is a book about how it feels when you’re the only woman in a room full of men. How it feels when you’re the only person of color in a room full of white people. How daunting it is, to be confident when you don’t look or sound like everyone else.
As I watch the other passengers, it’s hard not to notice that Johanna and I are some of the only light-skinned Europeans aboard, and the three of us are the only women I can see. […] I can’t think of a time when I was in the minority like this. It must be daunting for Sim to travel Europe knowing that everywhere she goes, she won’t be like people around her.

This is a story of women fighting back. This is a story about how there is no right way to be a woman. This is a story about powerful women who could slit you open with a marlinespike, sew you back shut, and throw a party with cream puffs and cakes the next minute. And I’m so here for it.
Everyone has heard stories of women like us – cautionary tales, morality plays, warnings of what will befall you if you are a girl too wild for the world, a girl who asks too many questions or wants too much. If you set off into the world alone.
Everyone has heard stories of women like us, and we intend to make more of them.

:: aroace mc, two side characters with on page attraction to men and women, gay side character, half of the cast is black or biracial
Profile Image for Virginia Ronan ♥ Herondale ♥.
532 reviews34.5k followers
February 1, 2020
”With a chunk of his finger missing, Callum is the most interesting he has ever been to me.”

Well, that sentence certainly got my attention and my first reaction was: RUN, FELICITY, RUN!!! *lol* Because let’s face it, if that’s the only thing that’s attractive about your partner you better leg it and don’t look back. XD Which is exactly what Felicity did and I was so proud of her. XD

I’m getting ahead of myself here though so let’s start with my thoughts after reading this book: Zounds, this was great! <3 And after thinking about it for two weeks I still stand by it. ;-P This book was so very different than “The Gentleman’s Guide” but I loved it nevertheless! I guess that’s mostly due to the fact that Monty and Felicity are such different characters but also due to the topics that were tackled and the time in which those books play in.

As a girl Felicity had to face completely different challenges than her brother and it was so amazing to follow her journey to herself. Also can we please note that I still think that Sim, Johanna and Felicity should have started a pirate girl gang!? They would have been awesome and the bane of every male pirate’s existence! *lol* Or, well, of every man’s existence in general! ;-P

This said: There’s nothing better than a book full of strong women that know exactly what they want and how to fight for it. <3 And now, let’s finally head to my character section so I can gush some more! ;-)

The characters:

You may board this ship but be aware that my crew is kinda rough. Their manners leave much to be desired and they can be quite rude throwing spoilers at your feet! Landlubbers ye be warned! ;-P


”I was sorry that my great plan hadn’t worked out. Sorry I was here relying on my brother’s Christian charity – what little he had to spare – because my plan for my future had lost its footing at every mile marker. Because I was born a girl but too stubborn to accept the lot that came with my sex.”

Felicity is such a great character and every time she was so down I wanted to tell her that she’s perfect just the way she is! I could relate to her hunger for knowledge and the curiosity that comes along with it and to some degree I even found myself in her. I’ve always been fascinated by nature and the human body as well, and for a very long time I actually wanted to become a surgeon or marine biologist. If you would have asked 5 - 15 year old Gin about her future job, she certainly would have given you that answer. *lol* Unfortunately life caught up with me when I got older and I realized that I could become neither of those two. >_< Well, anyway! I could understand Felicity and her desire to be a part of this world. To be more than what all those men saw in her and to remodel and reshape their world into a better place! There was so much she could give and those biased men just didn’t want to see it! *grrr* Still, she eventually tried to work with the tools she had at hand and if you ask me she did a marvellous job of it! <3

”Half my heart is this hunger. My being is constructed by an aching to know the answers to every mystery of the frail ligaments that connected us to life and death. That wanting feels a part of me. It has seeped into my skin like mercury injected into a vein to trace its shape through the body. One drop colored my whole being. It is the only way I can see myself.”

”This work is mine. If it is selfish to want, then selfishness shall be my weapon. I will fight for everything that cannot fight for itself. Block the wind and keep away the wolves and put supper on the table. I am suddenly swollen with more than wanting to be known – I want to know.”


”I’m not telling you how you feel, I’m telling you how you make me feel. I felt so silly for so long because of you. But I like dressing this way.” She spreads her arms. “I like curling my hair and twirling in skirts with ruffles, and I like how Max looks with that big pink bow on. And that doesn’t mean I’m not still smart and capable and strong.”

At first I didn’t know what Felicity saw in her but the more I got to know her, the better I understood why Johanna acted the way she did. Johanna loves to be a woman and she embraces everything that comes along with it, yet she doesn’t want to be defined by her choice of clothes. She’s basically the embodiment of beauty and brains! Unfortunately the men in her vicinity only wanted to see her as a docile girl and didn’t appreciate her intelligence. So you might say that Felicity and Johanna faced exactly the same problems because they didn’t fit in the common mold of their time. Johanna wanted to get noticed for her intelligence and not only for her love for frilly dresses. Much to her chagrin people apparently couldn’t be bothered to see beyond her clothing style though. Poor girl!! >_< Despite everything she still didn’t let anyone get her down though, and that makes her a very strong woman and a truly amazing character! <3


”That’s the lie of it all. You have to be better to prove yourself worthy of being equal.”

Aww how I felt with Sim! She’s the third girl in the gang and even though she’s kind of a pirate princess she still has to deal with the same problems Felicty and Johanna had to deal with. Her father didn’t see beyond her being a girl and even though she would have deserved to be his heir her brother would have taken over if anything would have happened to him. Which is so unfair! Because just like Sim said: As a woman she always had to be better than her brothers in order to prove that she was as qualified as them. I loved that Mackenzi addressed that topic because I think that despite all the decades that are between Felicity’s time and ours this still holds true for many of us. >_<

”I’m sorry your father doesn’t see it.”
“See what?” She raises her eyes to mine, and we trade a look that feels like a dare.
“How bloody brilliant you are,” I say.


”I’m a little disappointed it isn’t blood your dress is covered in. I would quite like to see a lady surgeon at her post.”

What a SLIMEBALL!!! I hated Platt with a fierce passion and his character stands for everything that is wrong in their time. He likes intelligent women? My ass! I would have loved to throw that man into the sea and to watch what the dragons would do to him! *lol* Heaven knows he would have deserved it! Such a conniving, opportunistic, misogynistic and disgusting person! *throws darts at a picture of Platt* XD

The relationships & ships:

Felicity & Monty:

”I’ve missed you. Both of you.” I can hear the soft smile in his voice when he replies, “I won’t tell Monty.”

Haha! Their relationship is still everything! I love them! <333 They’d never admit that they care about each other but when push comes to shove they’ll always have each other’s back! The two are such realistic siblings I can’t even! Mackenzi clearly outdid herself with this sibling rep and I can’t emphasise enough how much I love her for writing them this way! I’m sure many people who have siblings can relate to that and I’m definitely one of them. XD Also Monty and Percy are still so precious!!! I want to hug them for eternity! <3

”Do you want me to marry Mr. Doyle because you think I need a man to protect me? Or complete me? I’ll pass on that, thank you very much.”
“No,” he says. “I just wish you had someone cheering for you all the time, because you deserve it.”

Monty points at me. “That one’s got a squint like she reads too many books.”
I shall break into a thousand pieces with the effort it requires not to roll my eyes at him. He’s taking such great pleasure in his clandestine crowing that he’s going to give us both away.

Felicity & Johanna:

When she looks at me, I am disarmed. “Well then,” she says, and I don’t know how I shall survive these next few days without drowning in her. “Lucky you’re not me.”

Well, those two had a lot of issues to work through but I’m glad they never gave up and actually worked on their relationship! It’s obvious that Felicity apparently feels more than just friendship for Johanna but she never acted on it which is okay the way it is. I mean as far as I could tell Johanna is straight and Felicity seems to be a biromantic asexual? (Just a guess here… I can’t say for sure.) So this ship never would have sailed anyway.*lol* They have a more than just wonderful friendship though and if you ask me this is even more perfect than any relationship would have ever been. XD Gosh, I just loved those two! <333

”How is it, I wonder, that the brain and the heart can be so at odds and yet have such a profound effect upon the functions of the other?”

”I’m so pathetic,” she says, and I can’t tell if she’s laughing or crying. “I’m soft and selfish and sentimental.”
“You’re nothing of the sort, Johanna Hoffmann,” I reply. “You are a shield and spear to all the things you love. I’m glad to be among them.”

Felicity & Sim:

”And I’m not a crocodile. If I am to be an animal, I would like to be a fox.”
“Well then, foxy.” She whips the cloak off from around my shoulders, then smooths the collar of my dress, her hands lingering on my breastbone. “You’ve only got one chance at this, so make it count.”

And now we come to the ship that might or might have not sailed. *lol* I admit it: I wish it would have sailed full force, but I understand and respect why it didn’t. Sim was crushing really hard on Felicity which she never hid and openly admitted and Felicity had feelings for Sim too. So I really dunno if they became a couple in the end but I’m sure if they did it would have been on equal terms. Sim tried to understand Felicity and was very curious about her being ace/aro and I’m convinced that she would have never pushed her to do anything she didn’t want to do. Though I’m also certain that Sim probably would have wanted more out of a relationship with Felicity. I mean she kissed her so there’s that… I guess we’ll never know what happened in the end. Or, well, we eventually might. *lol* There will be a third book after all! ;-P

”Or maybe I would be a flower. But a really tough flower.”
“A wildflower,” Sim says. “The kind that are strong enough to stand against wind, rare and difficult to find and impossible to forget. Something men walk continents for a glimpse of.”

”That oil slick of a smile spreads over her lips, and I want to touch a candle to it and watch her smolder, this dangerous, gorgeous, wildfire of a woman.”

”And would we be happy?” I ask.
“Ecstatic,” she replies.

The feminism & diversity:

”You deserve to be here. You deserve to exist. You deserve to take up space in this world of men.”

Ohh the feminism was strong in this one and I LOVED it! It was so amazing to see how those three girls took their fates in their own hands! <333 They might have had doubts and there were a lot of obstacles in their way but in the end they always continued to fight! Also, Felicity telling off that guy at the reception was one of my fave things ever! *lol* Way to go, girl! XD And can we please note the diversity in here as well?! I mean we have Johanna who’s a feminist even though she loves to dress up and has mastered the art of using make-up! We have Felicity who doesn’t give a damn about her clothes, is ace/aro and can gush about medical theories like a pro and we have Sim who’s a queer muslim pirate princess! (I say queer because I don’t know if she’s the L, B or Q in the LGBTQ+ spectrum. She might be pan, it’s never mentioned so I can only guess.) So THIS was everything!!! <333

”I have as much claim to this world as anyone else. No one will offer Johanna and me permission to make this work ours, to take up her mother’s maps and follow their headings to the horizon’s edge, where the sea and the sky smoke together. First of our name, first of our kind.”

”Really? First girls, and then young lady? That’s how you feel it is appropriate to refer to us? Like children?”
“Your current comportment is excessively so,” he replies.
“And your current comportment doesn’t give me much reason to believe your brain is your best asset,” I reply.

The ace/aro rep:

”I want friends,” I say. “Good friends, that make up a different kind of family.”
“That sounds lonely.”
“It wouldn’t be lonely,” I reply. “I’d like to be on my own, but not alone.”

I think the ace/aro rep was really great in this one but since I’m not ace/aro you’ll have to take my words and opinion with a pinch of salt. The way it was described, it just felt like I understood what Felicity was trying to put into words. Like she loves her family and friends deeply but she has no desire to get physical with them. For instance she doesn’t like hugs (I’m such a hugger! *lol*) and her kiss with Sim was okay but not as earth shattering as it might have been for people with another sexual orientation?! Does that make sense? If you’re ace/aro and read this please correct me if I’m wrong. XD Ultimately the rep was done in a way I could grasp, it made being ace/aro more tangible for me and so I think it was done well. =)

”Did that work any sort of magic?”
“Not really.”
“That’s a shame.” She settles back into our little nest of cloaks, pulling the collar higher around her face. “It worked for me.”


What’s not to love about this book? From the reps to feminism, from the strong girl gang that took on every obstacle that was placed in their way up to the mystery of the dragons and the conflicts that were dealt with this was a more than just amazing journey to read! Mackenzi Lee took all those different topics and mashed them together into one huge book! And if you ask me she did it masterly! If you like crafty, strong and stubborn women that don’t take any s*it from anyone, do their thing and go their own way “The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy” might be the perfect tale for you. ;-P

”I’m learning there is no one way for life to be lived, no one way to be strong or brave or kind or good. Rather there are many people doing the best they can with the heart they are given and the hand they are dealt. Our best is all we can do, and all we can hold to is each other.
And, zounds, that is more than enough.”


It’s finally time to read about Felicity! XD

I loved “The Gentleman’s Guide” so much and I can’t wait to find out what Mackenzi Lee is going to do with Felicity’s story.
I’ve been curious about her ever since I finished book 1 and I’m so ready “to dive” into this! (Pirate pun totally intented. *lol* ;-P)

“The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy” I’m as ready as I’ll ever be! =)
Profile Image for destini.
239 reviews503 followers
Want to read
July 2, 2017
me: this is going to be the best book of 2018

a party pooper: how do you know it's not even out

me, feeling so attacked right now:

Profile Image for ✨    jami   ✨.
662 reviews3,890 followers
December 16, 2018
okay - I had heard some mixed reviews on this but I ended up quite liking it! The adventure was so engrossing and I loved the presence of DRAGONS. I also really liked the new characters and Felicity's character growth was good. I definitely found this super addictive and I kept reaching for it all the time which is great. AND PERCY AND MONTY ARE SO FCKIN SWEET !!!

But there were some things that kind didn't sit right I will go into when I write my full review.

I'm tossing up between a 3 and 4 star but I'll let it sit for now
Profile Image for jessica.
2,535 reviews32.6k followers
October 31, 2018
‘you deserve to be here. you deserve to exist. you deserve to take up space in this world of men.’

mackenzie lee is truly doing the lords work. this the feminist story that we may not deserve, but one that we definitely all need. praise be!

although i wasnt as in love with the plot of this book as i was with ‘gentlemans guide,’ this had to be one the best messages i have ever read in a YA story. its so empowering! and the writing was absolutely outstanding. the pacing, the depth, the subtle nuances. just the way the words were crafted, making me feel like felicitys thoughts were my own thoughts. gosh, this book had so many things i wish the men in my life would realise. i just want to give them this book and say ‘here. read everything ive highlighted.’

even though this story is set in the 1700s, every single thing can still be applied today. yes, we have come a long way since then - no one would look at me twice if i said i wanted to become a doctor - but we still have room for improvement when it comes to gender equality.

and i love how each of these strong female characters were based on real women in history. i feel so humbled for being able to see a glimpse of the trials they had to endure in order to get women rightly recognised. i am so thankful for those ladies who paved the path so that i may have the rights i have today. those women sought to make a better life for themselves than the one that was expected of them, even when it meant facing ridicule and torment. nevertheless, they persisted. and i will, too.

4 stars
Profile Image for Angelica.
805 reviews1,132 followers
May 5, 2019
Last year I had the pleasure to read the first book in this series, The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue. And you know what? It made it to my list of best books I read in 2017. And now, here we are, getting Felicity's side of the story and it was both wonderful and slightly disappointing.

The amount of research and dedication that it must have taken Mackenzi Lee to make this book so historically accurate is honestly astounding. There are so many conversations on medicine and just general life at the time that it's almost like I'm learning a history lesson as I'm reading.  This book deserves a star for the authenticity of the story alone!

Then there was everything else that I enjoyed. 

The characters in this one are such complex beings, full of dreams and passions and the drive with which to achieve them.  Then there is the way that Lee uses these characters to discuss many of the complex social issues that plague the Victorian era, and still plague us today.

One of my favorite things about The Gentleman's Guide, was how well it integrated prevalent social issues into the character's lives and developmental arcs, as well as into the story in general. It also managed to wonderfully display the intersectionalities of race and gender and sexual orientation and the privilege that some of those combinations of things may have over other. Best of all, the novel managed to so all of this without sounding preachy or forced, in a way that was extremely respectful and well eloquent. And Lee somehow managed to do so the very same in this novel.

My favorite part of the novel and there were many, was a conversation between Felicity and Johanna where the latter argues that there is no 'right way' to be a strong and intelligent woman. That one can like dresses and makeup and still be smart and hard working. I love the point she makes about women discriminating on other women, thinking themselves superior because they view such frivolous interests as a sign of weakness and submissiveness in women. This reminds me of a discussion I had on a similar topic that you should check out:  Discussion Time – My Problem with the Old “Strong Female Characters” in YA Literature, and Why I’m Glad That’s Changing.

So, why the three stars? Well, this book is extremely long for apparently no reason. I had a similar problem with book one and it was that the book dragged at certain parts of the story. It felt unnecessary that this book was 500+ pages. There were sections that could have been cut shorter or completely removed as it took the plot way too long to start up and the pacing was extremely off. Where The Gentleman's Guide felt more like a wild, accident-filled adventure, this one felt like a borderline plotless tale that was far more serious than I had expected.

I absolutely loved the first book. There was a certain magic to it that I kept expecting to come into play in this one. Sadly, I just didn't feel it as strongly. 

Overall, I did enjoy it though. And I do recommend it! There are definitely a lot of important topics discussed in this book, and they are wonderfully written. The characters and their complexity are also fantastic. But in my opinion, this did not live up to the expectations set by the previous book.

**I received an advance copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.**
Profile Image for Larry H.
2,484 reviews29.4k followers
October 23, 2018
It was so good to get back into this series! I loved The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue (see my review), Mackenzi Lee's first book in this series, and I hadn't realized how much I missed these characters until I began her new book. Once again, I am so taken by the originality of her ideas, and the way she makes books set in the 18th century feel so modern.

"It would be so much easier if I did not want to know everything so badly. If I did not want so badly to be reliant upon no soul but myself."

For most of her life, Felicity Montague has dreamed of nothing more than a career in medicine, as a doctor or surgeon. Rather than fuss over parties or fashion or social standing, she is most comfortable with her medical texts and science books, where she can learn new things instead of being forced to make small talk. Yet this path is closed off to her as a woman—her family barely cares about her if she's not willing to be married off, and no hospital or medical school will give her an audience, let alone an opportunity to study.

After spending time in Edinburgh, where she hoped to enroll in the city's newly minted medical school, she discovers she is no closer to achieving her ambitions than before. And worse, she must dampen the affections of a kind baker with whom she has worked, as he wants to marry her and essentially "save" her from worrying about her ambitions.

"There are far worse things for a woman to be than a kind man's wife. It would be so much easier than being a single-minded woman with a chalk drawing on the floor of her boardinghouse bedroom mapping out every vein and nerve and artery and organ she reads about, adding notations about the size and properties of each."

With nowhere to turn, Felicity learns that a doctor she idolizes is marrying her childhood friend (from whom she has been estranged since a nasty argument a few years before) in Germany, and there is a chance that this somewhat-unorthodox doctor might have a place for her on his team. She agrees to travel to Stuttgart with a mysterious young woman named Sim, who promises to fund Felicity's travel to the wedding if she can pose as her maid. Despite the fact that Felicity isn't quite sure of Sim's motives, she readies herself to be reunited with her old friend, and hopes her life will change when she meets Dr. Platt.

But when Sim's true reasons for wanting to accompany Felicity are revealed, it upends her plans to get a job, threatens her still-shaky relationship with Johanna, and more importantly, endangers her life, as she becomes mired in a plot to recover scientific artifacts which have effects both sentimental and possibly life-changing. Her involvement pulls her from Germany to Switzerland to Algiers and Gibraltar, and what she sees and experiences toughens her resolve, leads her to some important self-discovery, and opens her eyes to some things she never imagined existed.

"You deserve to be here. You deserve to exist. You deserve to take up space in this world of men."

The Lady's Guide to Petticoats and Piracy is truly a literary jaunt. It's a novel full of adventure, suspense, and some danger, but at the same time, it's a powerful commentary on equality, feminism, gender roles, sexuality, self-belief, and friendship. Yet to have a book explore modern issues against an historic backdrop never seems incongruous, and while at times it feels strange that many of the characters are teenagers given their maturity, I'm reminded of how younger people were considered adults much earlier in those times.

Lee is a fantastic, creative storyteller, and she pays attention to every last detail. I don't know if I loved these characters quite as much as I did Monty and Percy from the first book, mainly because these characters seemed a little less open and accessible emotionally, but I was hooked from start to finish. This is one of those books that is easy to love and not easy to forget.

I hope there's another book in this series coming along sometime soon!!

See all of my reviews at itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com, or check out my list of the best books I read in 2017 at https://itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com/2018/01/the-best-books-i-read-in-2017.html.
Profile Image for April (Aprilius Maximus).
1,093 reviews6,577 followers
October 21, 2021
1.) The Gentlemen's Guide To Vice and Virtue ★★★★★
*.) The Gentlemen's Guide To Getting Lucky ★★★★
2.) The Lady's Guide To Petticoats and Piracy ★★★★★


"Everyone has heard stories of women like us- cautionary tales, morality plays, warnings of what will befall you if you are a girl too wild for the world, a girl who asks too many questions or wants too much. If you set off into the world alone.
Everyone has heard stories of women like us, and now we will make more of them."
Profile Image for chloe.
242 reviews28.3k followers
November 26, 2018
Update: I was trying to be nice with my original rating (2.5 stars), but no. This is a 2 stars from me😓

2.5 stars*
Profile Image for Thomas.
1,462 reviews8,571 followers
January 5, 2019
A lot to love here: a strong focus on female friendship, asexual representation, and several feminist one-liners and passages that made my fanboy heart happy. I so appreciated how Felicity stood by her values of wanting her autonomy, to make a mark in the world, and to help others, without budging on how little she cared about things like romance. Mackenzi Lee did a good job of portraying her emotions throughout the book, like her disillusionment and disappointment in male authority figures as well as the strength and rejuvenation she gained from other women and herself.

I felt disappointed in the pacing of this novel. It takes about 200 pages for things to get interesting, and even then I wanted more time to develop Felicity, Johanna, and Sim's interpersonal dynamics and individual desires. The story dragged, which sucks given the assertive and dynamic quality of Felicity's character.

Overall, huge kudos to Lee for the research she put into this book, as well as for honoring the resilience of women and the many ways women can embody strength and perseverance. Curious to see what she will release next.
Profile Image for Artemis Crescent.
870 reviews
November 24, 2018

Well, this... didn't quite live up to my astronomical expectations. I mean, I wrote a parody song expressing my excitement towards its very existence. I never do anything like that. Ever. But damn did I enjoy 'The Lady's Guide to Petticoats and Piracy'. After waiting ridiculously for over a year, I get wonderful female characters and relationships as a reward, as well as adventure and intrigue.

Felicity Montague is sure to become an icon, if I have my way. Not just for strong women, or historical fiction heroines - there are enough of those already, whose depictions are highly debatable at best - but for asexual protagonists. Asexual female protagonists. Imagine, a heroine not interested in romance! Because it is made pretty clear in this book that that is Felicity's LBGTQA identity, though she doesn't have a word for it yet. She kissed a man. She kissed a girl and liked it, but not enough to desire more. And that's that.

Felicity was incredibly tough, smart and fearless in 'The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue', but in 'The Lady's Guide to Petticoats and Piracy', she is insatiable. The reader will not get enough of this whirlwind of an 18th century girl. Once we are allowed inside her fascinating head, we find that, with all her determination, she still has doubts and flaws; frustrations at the unfairness of a male-dominated world, but wondering whether it would be easier, safer, to simply give up her independence and dreams, which are deliberately rendered impossible by the patriarchy.

Was it right to escape a marriage proposal from a baker? Felicity has worked with him for about a year to make ends meet amid all her rejections from science administrations and universities, and she has a sweet tooth for puff pastries (a nice, powdery touch to her character there). But the baker is a textbook Nice Guy, wanting Felicity all to himself and wanting to suppress her ambitions, which he thinks are a phase she'll eventually outgrow, because silly smallbrained womanly whims amirite?, so she'll stay with him as a reclusive housewife and bearer of his babies.

Never fear, however. Experiencing stress and doubts, especially throughout the ghastly obstacles she has to endure, is human, not weak. To combat low self esteem, Felicity writes down reasons for why she should become a doctor and an equal to men; for why she should be here (be HER); for why she matters; for why women matter, as if that should be up for debate. A lot of marginalized persons can relate to this.

As tough in the face of adversity and blood and guts as she is, Felicity is not a machine. Neither is she some hard, coldblooded action woman. She's a thinker, a strategist, and a healer, not a warrior.

Either way, Felicity doesn't give up. In a world where she is forced to pick and choose which men she can trust in order to receive even a smidgen of recognition, still with no respect, she will come to realise the importance of women supporting other women.

And not just white women.

Here lies the dawn of intersectional feminism.

But more on that in a bit. One final say on Felicity, who I could go on forever about, she is so amazing:

In her own swashbuckling adventure, young Felicity Montague gets to know other girls, and their own individual strengths, challenging her notions of what makes a woman "strong". Felicity grows and develops, from a quiet girl whose aristocratic parents at best tolerate her existence, to a passionate, unstoppable budding scientist and doctor wanting to know everything despite constant rejection and scorn from male higher-ups, to a lass owning her life away from the impossible hurdles of the patriarchal system. As a better person aware of what privileges she has as a white woman in European society. As part of a trio of girl friends, each as determined and unfaltering in their passions as she is.

Each are funny in different ways, as well.

For there are two other women in 'The Lady's Guide' who form the "pirate group" advertised. Not as much as I was expecting, but they are remarkable and unforgettable presences in their own right. I won't spoil much about the rest of the book, but I want to put the spotlight on as many women characters as I can.

There is the Muslim sapphic pirate princess Sim. Representation of this kind doesn't exist even nowadays, so to see it in a historical novel is... not a novelty. It is yet another smack and f&*%^&! you to the patriarchy, white supremacy and colonialism. Unprivileged, and in the shadow of her father and succeeding younger brothers, Sim wears her scars, her knives, her tattoo, and her hijab, with pride.

On the other side of the spectrum is Johanna Hoffman, Felicity's childhood friend whom she had a falling out with years ago. Johanna is what you might expect of a rich aristocratic Georgian lady, and she is the most feminine of the group, but that does not make her the weak link, oh no. She takes crap from no one, and is smarter and more reactive and productive than she lets on. Her mother, Sybille Glass, was a scientist who fought tooth and nail for recognition for all her hard work, and who met a tragic end. Rosy Johanna doesn't find dresses cumbersome (corsets can go to hell, though), and she is not afraid to get her hands dirty. She can be very kind and forgiving, at least compared to the aloofness of Felicity and Sim. She is more forward, open and confident, and less sarcastic and biting, than the other two girls. Johanna's growing relationship with Felicity is lovely, natural and powerful; a mark and grace of female friendships. Trust and respect develop when it comes to Sim. Johanna's close bond with her giant, slobbering dog Max is also adorable and believable.

Additional highlights: One of the first scenes involves Felicity making her case towards an all-male administrative board of directors to allow her admittance for education in medicine. Her mentioning menstruation practically causes pandemonium. Sadly the men's reaction would be unchanged today. A darkly funny yet blood-boiling scene.

And one of the last scenes, at the "action-packed" climax, involves no violence. Matters are resolved peacefully, but not perfectly diplomatically, and it is badass.

Monty and Percy make extended cameos too. They are as lovey and bursting with innuendos as ever. They're funny and sweet. I love that Percy's epilepsy is not forgotten about or reduced to a footnote in a book where he isn't a lead character. He fully supports Felicity in her endeavors, and is very kind to her, in what little page time he appears. Monty gets kicked in the balls (not by who you think) for good measure.

A solid cast of humans, humour as sharp and brilliant as in the first book, addictive, masterful writing in a novel that can be finished in two days, and lessons in how bloody fantastic women are, 'The Lady's Guide to Petticoats and Piracy' is a modern treat set in an age of scientific discovery and awakening.

It could have been better, I thought: it's not as exciting as the previous book in the series; I would have liked to have seen more female characters; and Felicity is far too lenient towards the Nice Guy baker, and she does become somewhat of a damsel in distress later on in the third act. But brain beats brawn everytime.

'The Lady's Guide' - destined to become a classic, alongside 'The Gentleman's Guide'.

Thanks, Mackenzie Lee, for making the long, agonizing wait worth it.

Final Score: 4/5

NOVEMBER 2018 UPDATE: At last! After over a year I've finally got my hands on this beauty! I'm almost nervous to start actually reading it.

Wish me luck, and final thoughts coming soon. Hopefully :)

=cue 'The Nightmare Before Christmas' song=

What's this?
What's this?
An answer to my prayers?
What's this?
A sequel with more layers?
'The Gentleman's Guide' was such a ride
Then I heard 'The Lady's Guide' and I cried
Is this a joke? This isn't funny!
Wait next year to take my money!?
What's this?

It's a companion piece that I would not dare dream
Early news of petticoats I already see a ruffled gleam
Gay Victorians were not to end at 'Vice and Virtue'
Now comes a solo adventure starring Felicity Montague
She of science sails with 'Petticoats and Piracy'
Can one book contain her scrumptiously hard and smart personality???

What's this?
What's this?
Felicity joins a girl gang?
What's this?
Feminism beginning with a bang?
Travelling and sailing as first mate
Such swashbuckling excitement, cannot wait
I feel my anticipation flying much too high
Pirates, science, pre-suffragettes, oh my!
It's full of queens! It's full of queens!
Hope and glory for youthful teens
Felicity cut down the Gentleman
Next she'll outwit Nice Guys with her mighty pen
Patriarchy fear the asexual female protagonist
Darling, this charted sequel shan't be missed
From lead to gold on my paper heart it overflows with bliss!

WHAT. IS. THIS????????????????????????

I couldn't express my feelings any other way, badly or not.

I never write about a book I haven't read yet, much less one that hasn't even been published. That alone should tell you how excited I am about this news. I can't imagine it being anything less than satisfactory. If it turns out to be yet another disappointing sequel, well, I'll only have myself to blame. Sames goes for this parody song.

'The Lady's Guide to Petticoats and Piracy' - my new hyped 2018 YA release, after 'The Muse of Nightmares'.
Profile Image for jess.
54 reviews39 followers
Want to read
February 16, 2018
tbh i would probably sell my right arm for this book

EDIT 2-16-18
Profile Image for Kaylin (The Re-Read Queen).
423 reviews1,629 followers
December 31, 2018
3 Stars

There's a lot to love here, with a strong focus on female friendship, fun adventure, two awesome new side characters and asexual representation. But the pacing was off? Like you kind of know where the whole thing is headed from the first page but it takes 400+ to get there and a ton of travelling and side quests I couldn't seem to care about.

It was like as much fun as the characters and ideas where, the plot just wasn't there?
Profile Image for Gemma ♕ Bookish Gems.
483 reviews220 followers
December 11, 2018

I just love everything is this series. I know there’s only two at the minute but…we can dream! There might be more and if there is, what amazing directions we have to go in.

It’s no secret that I ADORED The Gentleman’s Guide To Vice And Virtue. It wasn’t just one of my favourite books of last year, it is one of my favourite books of ALL TIME. I will admit that to start with I was really worried because there is not huge amounts of Monty and Percy in this and I am a little in love with Monty. BUT this book didn’t suffer for not having them in it. In fact, I think it would have suffered if they had been there. Because this book is about Felicity and her struggles of being a woman constricted by the times, she finds herself in. Her story is not unique but it is important and it needed to stand on its own, without the involvement of Monty and Percy.

I did love what we saw of them though. It was sad to see them not having much and struggling to get by. But it was also cute as hell because none of that mattered because they had each other. Money, living in one room, dealing with Percy’s condition…it didn’t matter because they were together. I enjoyed them coming back at the end and knowing that this whole time they had been trying to find Felicity was lovely. I could have done without the heart attach of Percy being shot (Cheers Mackenzi…) but it felt right for them all to be together at that point.

Now, Felicity. Oh Felicity, you absolute diamond. Strong, determined, quick witted with a sharp tongue. She refuses to settle when she knows she is capable of so much more and if that isn’t a universal truth, I don’t know what is. As sweet as Callum was, the fact that he assumed her wanting to be a doctor was just a passing fancy showed that he was never going to be someone Felicity could be with, even if she was that way inclined. She has to deal with being belittled, pushed down, shunned for the simple fact of being a woman. When she see’s an opportunity she goes for it with everything she has and it may not all work out as she intended but the journey to something new shows just how strong she is. She may have to let go of one dream, but she has found another.

Her two companions, Johanna and Sim, bring so much to the story because they are total polar opposites but both bloody strong in their own way. Johanna is intelligent, knows how to use her beauty to her advantage and does everything she can to break away from the men trying to run her life. She escapes and it must have taken a lot for her to leave because she’s always known privilege. To willingly walk away from that, much like Monty and Percy did, takes guts. To stand on your own two feet, to face the harsh realities of the world, takes strength. Sim is the opposite. She has fought and intimidated her whole life. She knows the dark underbelly of the world and has sailed its oceans amongst cut throat pirates. She knows how to use fear to her advantage and yet, underneath it all, is a softness, a tenderness that has been tightly leashed. It’s clear she starts to feel something for Felicity and the lowering of those walls throughout the story is one my favourite parts of the book. I also think it took so much courage for her to stand up to her father in the way that she did. It may have been a small step, but it was a start and has hopefully paved the way for the three women to unfold their plan.

The exploration of sexuality in this book was brilliant. Obviously, we have Monty and Percy, seeing what it takes for them to be together. We also have Felicity discovering who she is. It was hinted at in Gentleman’s Guide but to see it full explored her is fantastic. Is it some men she isn’t attracted to or all of them? What about women? Is there anyone she is attracted to? Is it just being asexual or aromantic? It was just glorious watching this all be uncovered.

I for one am praying for a third book! Where Monty and Percy are looking after the estate and having their time of their lives, where Felicity, Johanna and Sim are investigating the dragons and maybe, just maybe, some of them or all of them heading on another journey across the land and seas that leads to more self-discovery.


Absolutely bloody brilliant! RTC!
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for The Girl Murdered by Her TBR.
389 reviews898 followers
Want to read
April 10, 2018
AAAAND WE HAVE A COVER PEOPLE!!! It’s super gorgeous!!! Felicity gon’ be badass in this one. That’s for sure

I can’t wait!!!
Profile Image for j.
17 reviews12 followers
Want to read
September 16, 2020
*taps mic*

*nervously shuffles cue cards*

ahem ladies and gentlemen

felicity montague is not straight

thank you for coming to my ted talk
Profile Image for TheYALibrarian.
295 reviews133 followers
October 18, 2018
ARC provided by Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review

Rating 5 Stars

Words cannot describe how much I love this series and all of it’s characters. I was completely in love with the first book with its adorable love story between Monty and Percy. Felicity was not the main star in that one but she shone nonetheless. Her courage and strive to become a doctor in a world ruled by men was already so admirable. Now that she got her own story I could not wait to dive in.

Felicity is a character that is after my own heart. She is snarky, sarcastic, and just overall badass. She is a woman I would want to be with her unwavering perseverance and insatiable desire to make a career out of a field she deeply respects and loves. It was unfair that in the age she is living in, women were pretty barred from everything. It didn’t matter how smart you were or if you had any other endearing trait, if you were just a women that was all it took. The impossibility of it all did get to Felicity but she still did not give up and settle for a life she would never be truly living since it would be devoid of any of her dreams. I can’t praise her enough every female MC should take example from how wonderfully this MC was crafted.

Johanna is also another female force to be reckoned with. She was able to disguise herself as a dipshit wife-to-be who only cared about dresses and social events. In reality she has a very sharp brain and wit that helped her in her goal of finding out more about her mother who went on several expeditions to places where not many humans have tread on. She was going to marry her mother’s former partner but once she found out his own agenda she fled, taking her mother’s work with her. Her dynamic with Felicity was a match made in heaven with its conflicts but they also had many similarities that really drew them together and mended their broken friendship.

Sim is another female protagonist and with her and her own badassery it made these three unstoppable. I could not get over the reveal that she is a commodore of a pirate ship and her father a notorious pirate captain. It added a awesome element for the story I wish there was more time spent on the pirate aspect of the book but eh that’s not a huge enough problem to lower my review.

Then there is our beloved Percy and Monty. They are the best big brothers anyone could wish for. Through all of Felicity’s journey they kept an eye on her and traveled across the world to save her when things got really sticky. If that is not pure devotion and loyalty to your family I don’t know what is.

I will have to end my review here it’s an ungodly hour and I’m pretty confidant the mote I write the less comprehensive this is. To be continued!
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Ayesha {Heir of Bookdom}.
235 reviews309 followers
April 16, 2020
My issue with this book was not with the writing or the plot. In fact, I quite enjoyed it and under different circumstances would've given it 3.5 stars. My issue was with the way Muslims were represented. Since I don't want to rant or spoil anyone, I'll keep it brief.

I want to start by saying that these opinions are completely my own, and if you disagree with them, you have every right to do so, respectfully.

I felt that a vast majority of the Muslim characters were made to seem like judgmental, misogynistic, pirate thieves. Their leader was a literal beard-twisting story book villain who paid his daughter no attention since she was a girl and thus worth "half her brothers". He also back stabbed our protagonists at the first opportunity he got.

I want to add that I'm grateful Muslims are being incorporated into YA fantasy books, but there is simply not enough representation yet to show one of the few Muslim characters being portrayed as a villain, without it coming off as offensive. Its a real shame though, because this really ruined an otherwise very enjoyable book for me.
Profile Image for Trina (Between Chapters).
858 reviews3,759 followers
January 22, 2019
I liked this story more than I expected to! I don't read much historical fiction any more and this did seem run of the mill in terms of how it addressed sexism and having a 'not like other girls' MC (she gets that idea checked really well by her more "girly" friend). But it was a fun adventure with an interesting dynamic between the women and an added fantastical element. My enjoyment was equal if not greater than my feelings on the first book and there were MANY quotes about sexism and femininity that I really loved and wanted to shout "PREACH!" when I'd come across them in the audiobook.

I question the portrayal of Sim, who is a Black Muslim sapphic woman. Our white main character, Felicity, voices some racist opinions often and loudly and I'm not sure if this was challenged enough. Especially considering that Felicity is constantly challenging the negative ideas about sexism and romance that society had forced her to internalize. Additionally, Sim makes a comment like "you'll change your mind when you meet the right person" about Felicity's asexuality and this didn't come across as being challenged very well. The book obviously tries to be a positive representation but I wonder if it fumbles? Please know that I'm a white, allosexual reviewer so do not take my thoughts as a final judgement on the representation. I would love to discuss and learn more.

Audio review: The narrator was really good and I liked that her voicing of male characters didn't sound like a caricature. The only gripe I have is that she often shouted in shrill tones even when it didn't seem called for in the story, so I had to constantly be on top of my volume buttons, haha. Would recommend if you can handle volume fluctuation.

Representation: MC is asexual. SC is Black, Muslim, wears a head covering, and is sapphic. There is a one-sided f/f attraction. Multiple Black and dark skinned SCs. Gay SCs and m/m romantic partners. SC has a disability (epilepsy).

tw: injury and detailed surgery. Addiction. Mentions of slavery/servitude and European colonization. (I believe there are more but I'm struggling to remember at the moment, please let me know if I missed something.)
Profile Image for Liz.
2,028 reviews2,540 followers
April 30, 2019

Mackenzi Lee’s The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue was a fun listen for me. So, there was no way I wasn’t going to listen to the second book in the series. Felicity was definitely born in the wrong century. She wants nothing more than to be a doctor. And she’ll stop at nothing to get a chance. First off, I totally understood Felicity. I’ve often offered up thanks I was born in an era when I could do whatever I wanted. She’s not capable of playing the part of a cultured lady. Joanna is another well defined character and the two play off against each other perfectly. Add Sim to the mix and you have a perfect trifecta.

This is just a fun book to listen to. It moves at a brisk pace, with plenty of action. I never felt bored or that it dragged. There are chuckles, but it also manages to make its points. All three women grow and find new ways to express their strengths, moving beyond the bonds of a male dominated world.

The narrator does a superb job here. She does a wonderful job of adding the proper emotion and differentiating the voices.

Fun, fun, fun.

Profile Image for paige.
594 reviews682 followers
May 21, 2022
"I'm learning there is no one way for life to be lived, no one way to be strong or brave or kind or good. Rather there are many people doing the best they can with the heart they are given and the hand they are dealt. Our best is all we can do, and all we can hold on to is each other."


I think it's so very cool that Mackenzi Lee didn't simply force Felicity into a relationship to say that she had. To finish her story. That she didn't define her sexuality at all, that she put representation out there for a group of people that don't have very much representation, if any, in media. I love it. I love it so much that I couldn't focus on practically anything else. I love learning about a community that so many of my friends and people I love are a part of.

The female power in this story was extraordinary. Especially because it takes place in the 1700's. Somehow, it's historically accurate while also giving us a glimpse into the women who wouldn't stand for being less than a man. Who fought for their equality when there wasn't anyone to lean on. If these women can make their way in the world: we can too.

I really enjoyed this and can't wait to finish out this sweet family trilogy with the next book. Plus, the Monty and Percy cameos were absolutely everything. I think by the end of this I might just be completely in love with them (as if I'm not already).

- Paige
Profile Image for Kat.
Author 8 books353 followers
November 4, 2018
I have been so looking forward to Felicity’s story! All my favorite qualities of Felicity are here… her sass, her independence, her refusal to bend to the whims and expectations of men, despite the damning social norms of the time period. Mackenzi Lee really shines as a historical writer. You can tell this is her field. Felicity fights to practice medicine when no one will let her and takes the world by the nether regions.

I will confess that I liked “The Gentleman’s Guide…” a teensy bit more simply because of the delightful humor. But Felicity has sass and I love that about her, along with some terribly cute puppy scenes, and all the girl power.

Please excuse typos/name misspellings. Entered on screen reader.
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