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Publisher's Summary

In this highly anticipated sequel to the New York Times best-selling The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue, 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 must-have for fans of Mackenzi Lee’s extraordinary and Stonewall Honor-winning novel.

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.

©2018 Mackenzie Van Engelenhoven (P)2018 HarperCollins Publishers

Critic Reviews

"Moira Quirk gives crisp, purposeful voice to Felicity Montague, a young Englishwoman in the 1700s with the single-minded ambition to become a doctor - a path that seems hopelessly closed to her.... Quirk makes the most of her portrayal of Johanna, whose high, girlish voice rises and falls with her emotions and belies her strength and ingenuity....listeners will be rooting all the way for these formidable women who are determined to carve out lives for themselves on their own terms." (AudioFile)

Featured Article: The Best YA Audiobooks for Listeners of All Ages


Young adult audiobooks offer some of the most affecting, original stories that, despite the genre’s name, make an excellent choice for all listeners. 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 exceptional genre. Our list features diverse characters and ensembles that will make it impossible to press pause.

What listeners say about The Lady's Guide to Petticoats and Piracy

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very fun listen

Wonderful story and a great sequel. I wasn't sure how much I'd enjoy it since I'd had lukewarm feelings about Felicity in the first book of this series but she has grown on me tremendously in this book. Reading about her struggles and seeing her grow because of them was wonderful She was a great pov character.

The reader also gave a wonderful performance. Great vocal work. I definitely recommend this book!

10 people found this helpful

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Quite the adventure and romp

I so enjoyed the first book...The Gentlemen’s Guide to Vice and Virtue, I was worried the sequel would disappoint, especially the narration, which was spectacular for the first book.

Well, this book has a different narrator, but one who is very much up to the task of telling this story, from the perspective of this protagonist....Felicity Montague. The tale starts off a bit slow, in a bakery in Scotland. It then picks up quite a bit once Felicity reunites with Monty and Percy in London. After that it’s all sort of perilous, pirate-y, a bit fantastical, and a real page turner.

The oppressive patriarchy of the time period is quite grim, but Felicity is grimly determined to overcome it. The author has a gift for creating very memorable scenes....like the description of Joanna in her Masquerade Ball costume, and the lights playing off of it.....that will stick with you. As will the incredible difficulties of the time period, especially for anyone who isn’t privileged, and most anyone who isn’t privileged and male.

I feel like the fantasy element that is introduced in both books is a bit distracting. Because they aren’t fantasy books. They are historical fiction books with a single fantasy element. But that aside, I love MacKenzie Lee’s style, and I hope there will be a third book in the series. And if there is, I hope all three principal characters Monty, Percy, and Felicity, will be in it, as they are their most interesting selves when they are in each other’s proximity.

8 people found this helpful

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Brothers Do It Better

though this was a sequel and we pretty much new what might happen, the first book in this series was waaaaaaay funnier. maybe it's because I'm a gay male and for that reason Monte had better linea I could relate to, or it could be that Ms. Monteque was too predicable. Nonetheless, it was a great entertaining book

6 people found this helpful

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Fun sequel and a great read

After finishing The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue I immediately wanted to read this next. It's a fun companion book and has much of the energy and humor that made its predecessor so good. The novel does a great job with strong, independent, smart women -- the development of their motivations, struggles, and relationships is wonderful. Topics like sexism and feminism (and femininity) blend well with the story and dynamic characters. It's a fun adventure in its own right, though it definitely perks up a bit more when Monty/Percy get involved. Overall I really liked it and the final chapters had me smiling.

4 people found this helpful

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Anti- Romance

Mackenzi Lee does it again. This novel was so much fun. Felicity is fierce, independent, driven and honest to a fault. Sometimes she isn't that likable, but she knows what she wants. Joanna is a joy, and Sim is a perfect contrast to the two English ladies. I appreciate that the protagonist recognizes that people are complicated and that she herself isn't as straightforward as what is considered "normal." Relatable and honest with a touch of fantasy. Oh! and Monty and Percy are a delight, as always.

4 people found this helpful

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Pirates and Dragons and Girl Power, oh my!

I absolutely adored the Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue and was ridiculously thrilled when I saw there was going to be a sequel from Felicity's POV. I was a bit apprehensive about narrator choices because Christian Coulson was such an amazing narrator for the Gentleman's Guide but obviously it wouldn't really work to have a male narrator for the Lady's Guide. I was quite pleased with the choice of Moira Quirk. I have liked her work on other books and she does a good job here.
It is hard to not compare this with the Gentleman's Guide, and it is also difficult to compare them. The writing style that I loved in the Gentleman's Guide is the same between the two, and once again we find ourselves on an adventure traveling all over 1700s Europe and North Africa. Yet what I like about the two are different. I adore Monty and Percy's relationship in the Gentleman's Guide, and their search for the panacea was fascinating to me. Felicity is less charismatic than Monty, and while I enjoyed the plot, I was more interested in the panacea quest than Felicity's quest to find dragons and scientific acclaim. That being said, I could relate to Felicity's struggles against sexism so much, and I really liked the female friendships. I like both books, I just got different things out of them.

For those of you like me who couldn't get enough Monty and Percy in the first book, fear not for they make cameo appearances, though they aren't there as much as I'd like. (But let's be real, if they were around as much as I wanted it would be another Monty book).
I had an aunt that would always give me books with strong female characters when I was growing up and the whole time I was reading this I couldn't help but think this would have been one of her selections and it made me want to pass it along in the same tradition.
#Gender #1700s #clever #Tagsgiving #Sweepstakes

4 people found this helpful

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THIS was EVERYTHING I could have ever expected

I was obsessed... OBSESSED with the first book. i was obsessed with the confrontation of racial injustice, feminism, and homophobia. the world was so perfectly realistic and fantastical that I was almost dreading this book. How xould it POSSIBLY live up to Monty and his beau's romance, and the relationship between siblings, the defiant spirits and the beauty that is the story around it all?
Let me just say, above anything I am ASHAMED to have every doubted the magic that is this book. ASHAMED to have seen it as just "the second book".. this, was everything I imagined, and more. The story sunk it's teeth into me from the start, and it only got worse the further I listened. I mean, the relationship between SIM and Felicity, to start was just... SO GOOD. There was a slow climb of attachment, and a slow climb towards what I see as a partnership. Felicity was never perfect, she was challenged in her mindset, and I'm just going to stop now. this book was almost better than the first... almost is so loose because I literally can't decide what book I loved more!!!

4 people found this helpful

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A snooze

A little boring. Long lead up to every single major event, but no payoff. More complaining than acting on the main character's part. The piracy thing is straight up misleading considering the main character has maybe 5 pages overall of dealing with actual piracy. Overall couldn't wait to finish this book so I could just move on.

3 people found this helpful

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Okay sequel

The narrator did a really good job, I just didn't feel like the plot was super interesting. It was slow until halfway through, when we finally got to the pirates and dragons. The ending wasn't too bad and I'm glad we saw Percy and Monty again.

3 people found this helpful

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The Lady's Guide to Pettiness and Precociousness

Firstly, I do feel like Mackenzi Lee is a good writer, in general. And I'm pretty impressed that Felicity is asexual and that that doesn't change.

I will, however, agree with other reviews that suggest this book is quite slow paced and boring for the majority. Compared to the first book, and even the in-between story, this book does feel a lot more boring. I think a lot of that has to do with the lack of Monty and not so much the focus on Felicity. Monty's character gives way to natural comedy and antics, whereas Felicty's character is much more serious. With her as the lead you just get too much of it, and there is not enough humor with any of the other characters to balance her out. I quite enjoyed Felicity in the first book, but she is just too much on her own. But this view of her is going to depend highly on how much you enjoy that female power ballad regardless of the setting.

And that's where I really start to dislike Felicity's story. She comes off as a girl with 21st century morals, drives, and outlooks on the world, but set in 1701. Sure, if you want a girl power story, this is probably great. But if you are more looking at this as a historical romp....she comes off like an idiot. Sure, I can imagine a girl from the early 18th century being interested in medicine. I cannot imagine even the most stubborn of women would think they could convince the men of England or Scotland to let her study medicine. Her rampage is ridiculous and, again, makes her seem like a moron because of course they won't allow it. It wasn't until 1873 Elizabeth Garrett Anderson gained membership to the British Medical Association. And 5 years after that they were still trying to exclude women. If this book was set in 1801, or even 1850 Felicity would still be struggling just as much, but it would make more sense that she might be thinking this way and might actually have the smallest chance. 1701? Never.

This book wants to have all the evils and supremacy of men (which, I get that), but wants Felicity, a 16 year old girl, to be such a force of nature than these men will basically faint at her outbursts. It wants the world that would beat down the dreams of a woman, while also wanting to have a women so brave, and strong willed, and powerful in her conviction that she can take on and overcome this evil world she was born into. And that, inevitably makes no sense. You can't, really, have both. Not realistically. And if one had any idea on how radical women's rights movements actually failed miserably, one would also be aware that the movements that did work did so while following many expectations place upon women. They dressed the fashions expected of them, but they protested. They wore the fashions, but in the colors of their causes. And yes, they spoke out. The first women's society in England to discuss women's involvement in public affairs was created in 1865. Eighteen-sixty-five. If you really want to write a smart woman, a woman that wants to really go against the grain...have her be smart about it. Hell, she gets there eventually, but traveling East to study alternative medicine and utilize her own studies in her practice would have been more intelligent. Working as a nurse or midwife for several years would have also been a lot smarter than having screaming matches with boards of doctors. She's 16. If she's so impatient that she'll turn up her nose at actual practical, hands on learning, of any nature....she's too impatient to be a doctor. In this, Felicity does not come off as intelligent. She comes off as an arrogant teenager from the 2000s who ain't gonna take no lip from no man. It was painful. Johanna is probably actually the best mix of "girl boss" and "sort of time appropriate". Sim is also pretty awesome and only has minor eye-roll moments.

Felicity also has a bit of a "not like other girls" mentality, and looks down on the other young women that are behaving and striving to exist in the world they were born into, as such women would. Oh my goodness, all they seem to care about is dresses, and finding men, and wasting their lives and potential! Firstly, no. If a woman wishes to do that in any time period, all the power to her. Her right to live her life is what feminism actually is. And this looking down on other women because they weren't written like a 21st century heroine is irksome. We also get some of that odd-one-out, "no one likes me", "feel sorry for poor Felicity" nonsense when she is the one staying apart from everyone, actually judging everyone silently, and belittling them in her mind. And frankly, I don't think she ever actually changes her mind, really. If Johanna hadn't actually demonstrated she too "was not like other girls", even though she also liked her dresses and parties as well, I completely believe Felicity would have written her off completely. The whole concept, that also came up, with all the other girls being slim was weird. Since fashion of that time was much, much more about the shape of the silhouette and not about the size of the woman. In fact, the more ideal shape in the late 1600s and early 1700s was a curvier shape. And this would also have been accentuated with the use of stays, petticoats, panniers, and the overskirt of the mantua drawn over the hips. I honesty kept getting confused on whether or not Ms. Lee did extensive research on the period or not, as some facets fit and others seemed to not at all. I really questioned how anyone could think that Johanna would have gotten period blood on her gown petticoat when, (1) women in 1701 had much lighter periods in general than today, and (2) that lighter period, that had just started, would have to get through a chemise, an under petticoat, a petticoat, and then also a gown petticoat. Especially when it was only the chemise that was washed frequently and that some women simply bled into their chemise during their period.

Yes, I am aware most people don't go off on research binges when listening to books, but as someone who actually has historical fiction in the works and is obsessed with a fair number of historical dress youtubers....this book made me do a lot of research. However, moving away from the research side of things, I also really don't understand the whole dragon sub-plot. These books are set in such a strange world, where apparently alchemy is real, but never really tested because they destroy the super magical alchemical heart in the first book. So... it doesn't really seem magical. It just seems like something weird happened with a bunch of chemicals. And then in this book everything is like super mundane and normal, and then there are dragons with scales that basically seem to act like speed. And no one ever questions for a second that there are beautifully scaled sea dragons that can take out boats, that are real, that Sim even says the English draw on their maps "just as decorations". Like, why does everyone just accept this without even a real exclamation of surprise when everything else in these books goes out of their way to come across as mundane? If there is magic in your world, I would have really loved to seem more small hints of it in the writing. I mean, this is England. The United Kingdom has so, so much lore and mythos around magic and the fae. It just feels so disjointed with these two very, very different facets, and the characters not seeming to act appropriately to them at all.

TL;DR

If you really like a girl boss barreling through the world of men with no real care given to the reality of women in the chosen time period, you probably will enjoy the book, though could find some of the lead ups pretty boring.

If you are more drawn to the historical aspect of the story then you're probably going to be disappointed. And I cannot roll my eyes hard enough at a pirate lord being told to shut up by a 16 year old girl and her not being thrown out or losing her tongue. Pure plot armor on that one.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Kell Cowley
  • 10-06-18

Girls too Wild for the World

Felicity Montague is a fabulous narrator and a perfectly imperfect role model for stubbornly ambitious girls living in any century. It was great to see her leave the boys behind and go on her own voyage with two strikingly different yet equally admirable female accomplices (though minimal Monty was still marvelous Monty and I was delighted whenever he and Percy appeared) Once again, Lee's 18th century setting is lush and vivid and made accessible to 21st century readers with lashings of quirky humor. I got this on audiobook and am sure I was smiling giddily or getting sentimentally tearful whenever I was listening to it. I loved it. I have to pray Mackenzie Lee is not yet bored of writing about the Montague Siblings because I'm still craving more of their adventures.

4 people found this helpful

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  • S
  • 09-14-19

Felicity was my favourite character from Book 1

This book was quite different to Gentleman's Guide and I enjoyed it more. Felicity was my favourite character from The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue which is why I wanted to read this sequel. It was great to have a whole book dedicated to her.
Great narration as the main character though a couple of the side characters' accents were a bit suspect.

1 person found this helpful

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  • superstevie
  • 03-13-19

Not as good as first book but still enjoyable

I absolutely loved the Gentleman's guide to vice and virtue, so I was rather happy when I found out there was a second book.

I wished there was a little more humour in this book like there was in the first one. I liked the story, and I love Felicity, but it didn't gel as well as the first one.

The narrator did a great job for the most part, expect for Monty's voice. It sounded too cockney for my liking, and not different enough from Platt's.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Zoey
  • 03-16-21

Great story, great narration, terrible accents!

I had a lovely time listening to this light feminist adventure, and the narrator did a pretty good job a part from her terrible impression at a North African accent which as a Tunisian got me out of the story a bit as it's... really bad.
but apart from this minor detail which won't be nearly as annoying if you haven't grown up around North African folks, I embarked on this tale and sailed at full speed, enjoying myself immensely

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  • Sam Cortinhas
  • 02-18-21

Strong women.

Beautiful, platonic relationships that have filled my heart with a sense of purpose. Independence and strength in their purest forms.

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  • Alison
  • 04-05-20

Ridiculously Good!

Fantastic sequel to GGTVV! Great to hear about Felicity's travels whilst still getting little updates about Monty and Percy. It's so rare to find a book which has female and LGBT characters written so wonderfully!
Would definitely recommend!

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 01-26-19

amazing

a wonderfull story filled with humer and joy with plenty twist and turns to keep you guessing on how it's going to go a grate read

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  • Michael Humphrey
  • 01-20-19

So glad for a second book

I stumbled on the first book as a recommendation via Audible and it was brilliant.

as soon as it ended I was left wanting more. Once I saw this was released I stated it straight away and was not disappointed. I loved the new new characters and story, beautifully performed and utterly addictive.

here is hoping for another instalment

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  • krish
  • 12-31-18

A fun romp

I definitely enjoyed this more than the first which... I wasn't sure could be topped

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  • Katrina Hoey
  • 12-06-18

Even better than GGVV

New favourite word - romp! You are Felicity Montagu and you deserve to be here.

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  • Renee Marchin
  • 05-01-19

Headstrong and independent Felicity

I do enjoy when Felicity Montague goes on a rant! For such a smart, witty lady, she does make some unrelatable choices... but the story was exciting and made me laugh out loud on several occasions.

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  • Katie
  • 01-05-19

4.5 stars!

Oh my, this book makes me want to take to the streets and declare a war on the patriarchy and start burning stuff. Strong women, an awesome dog, Monty and Percy, crazy adventures, pirates and dragons... this book has it all.

The only reason for not giving it the full 5 stars is that l just didn't quite love it as much as The Gentleman's Guide. The adventures were still fantastic, the writing was brilliant and I did love Felicity, Sim and Johanna; they just weren't at Monty levels.

At the beginning I did dislike the narrator's voice for Monty, but only because the first books narration was so unbelievably perfect. And given that this was Felicitys book and the narrator is female, she did still do a really good job and I got used to it pretty quickly.

I wholeheartedly recommend this book! 💜

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 10-21-18

a fun romp with a heap of heart

fun historical fiction with all the representation. ace rep among them! and those friendships were so good. it was also very sweet to see Monty and Percy from the outside

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  • Anonymous User
  • 03-27-19

A good story but irritating main character

The story and message behind it is great but the main character is overly irritating, she's selfish, self-centered and judgemental, which made it quite hard to listen to for too long. Not sure she's meant to come off so unlikeable but the storyline is all that kept me interested. Would not be in a hurry to listen to another one.