Book Review: The Gentleman's Guide to Getting Lucky by Mackenzi Lee

Updated: Oct 7, 2020

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?


Hello you lovely lot! After a rather lengthy - and slightly unintended - hiatus (Christmas is a hectic time in retail, okay!) I’m back and today’s blog post comes from the beautiful sunny shores of Agonda!

Now I don’t know about you but for me the most stressful part of holiday packing is deciding on which books to take: How many should I bring? What genre am I going to be in the mood for? Will hardbacks cripple my luggage allowance? And do I really want my favourite books to get crusted in sand and soaked with sea spray? There’s just so many things to consider!

I sort of forced my boyfriend into helping me recreate the cover art. He's a good egg.

But one book I knew I wanted to bring with me was Mackenzi Lee’s The Gentleman’s Guide to Getting Lucky. Somehow this little novella slipped completely under my radar and I almost squealed with excitement when I saw it miraculously appear on the shelves of the bookstore where I work just days before I was due to jet off to India! Perfect!

For those of you unfamiliar with the book, The Gentleman’s Guide to Getting Lucky bridges the gap between The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue and The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy and was originally published as an eBook short story as a pre-order incentive for Petticoats & Piracy. Thankfully it’s made its way into print format and provided me with a much needed dose of Monty and Percy goodness. (If you've not yet read Vice and Virtue stop what you're doing and go read it immediately. It's an 18th century m/m romance featuring pirates and highwaymen - do I really need to say any more?!)

As a short story, there’s not a whole lot happening in terms of action and plot. Getting Lucky is very much a filler story but that’s not exactly a bad thing. One of my favourite things about Mackenzi Lee’s writing is her character building and use of language; this book capitalises on both and serves as a reminder as to why she’s one of the best storytellers in YA right now. Vice and Virtue is, at its heart, a story of growth and maturity and in Getting Lucky we get to see how Monty navigates a serious relationship whilst battling with feelings of insignificance and self-doubt. It’s a side of Monty that cuts to the core of who he is beneath all the bravado and it’s these glimpses of vulnerability that make him such a real and relatable character.

That's not to say that the book is all doom and gloom of course. After all, it wouldn’t be a Monty and Percy story without some eyebrow-wiggling flirtiness and it’s safe to say that Mackenzi delivers on that front too:

“The only thing stronger than my love for Percy is my hatred of the goddamn ocean, which is dark and deep and much, much stronger than I am. He gives up, flicks his wet fingers in my face so I flinch with a laugh, then saunters away, back to the water. He makes the walk with such deliberate slowness that I’m almost sure he knows just how fantastic his ass looks in those wet breeches and is trying to use it as a siren song to lure me in after him.
Be strong! I command myself. Odysseus resisted the Sirens! Did he? I don’t remember. I slept through most of my literature lessons at Eton. But I am almost positive none of his Sirens had an ass that fantastic.”

I don't want to say much else about the book because it's so short I'll give it all away. Suffice to say, The Gentleman’s Guide to Getting Lucky is a delightful roguish romp and a welcome addition to the Montague siblings series. Set against the gorgeous backdrop of Santorini, it really is the perfect beach read... though I can’t help but agree with Monty on one thing: “as a lad raised beneath the dishwater-gray skies of England, I was not prepared for just how hot the weather can be, nor how quickly the bastard sun burns me.Preach.

And now it’s back to sun, cocktails and more reading… it really is a hard life.


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