The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy (Montague Siblings #2) by Mackenzi Lee
Publication: October 2nd, 2018
Genre: YA Historical Fiction
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.
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I love this book so much. I missed the Montagues a lot and Felicity was so funny in her own book. Lady’s Guide takes place a year after Gentleman’s Guide. Felicity is still struggling to find a place that will accept her into a school or someone to study under so she can become a doctor. Every place she tries rejects her before she can get a word out simply because she is a woman. After she is proposed to by a baker boy, Felicity knows she has to get out and go make her dreams come true. She makes an unplanned trip to London to see Monty and Percy and to get an audience with the board to talk about her proposal to study with them. She is completely rejected but a strike of luck grants her an opportunity to possibly study with Dr. Platt, the man she has looked up to since she discovered him. Making a quick trip to meet with him wouldn’t be so bad if the woman he was marrying wasn’t Felicity’s ex-best friend. But another strike of luck hands her an opportunity a way to get to him and she knows he must take it before her dreams go up in smoke. She’s traveling with a girl who might be more dangerous than she is letting on but desperate times call for desperate measures. Everything seems to be going according to plan but this is a Montague sibling an unplanned adventure featuring broken things, pirates, gun, swords, maps, and people trying to kill them is bound to be in store. Everything is going right until it isn’t. Felicity and her band of kickass ladies must fight in a world that continues to undermine them to achieve their destiny. This plot doesn’t have any romance which I will discuss more under characters.
Felicity has a great character arc and growth. She is very judgemental to women who enjoy the finer things in life and she feels she can’t enjoy that because then men won’t take her seriously. She is hard on herself and just wants to prove she can be a damn good doctor. Throughout the book, we see a progression in her character as she realizes all women kick ass not just the ones who like books and less frilly dresses. She learns to accept that she deserves to take up space in this world without the approval of men and she can carve out her own destiny. She also learns some girls can like academics and makeup. There is little to no romance for her. The author gave really good representation for people who are asexual or aromantic. I say both because I am not actually sure which one Felicity is or if she is both. If you know please let me know 🙂 It was a nice rep. because I never read many books with characters who are either. Monty and Percy grace us with their presence and they are just as adorable and funny as they were in book one. Sim is a Muslim brown girl who is a part of a pirate crew. She is smart, resourceful, funny, and smitten on Felicity. I enjoyed her character a lot and I think the author handled her nicely. Johannah is Felicity’s ex-bestie who loves dresses, makeup, and academics. She is very smart and knows how to charm her way out of a situation. She is kind hearted as well. The men are men. Lol no but really I loved this cast just like I did in book one.
Miss Lee is a really great writer. I love how naturally funny her books are and how British as well. I continue to love the sibling dynamics she brings out because it reminds me of mine. They fight but they have a lot of love for one another and truly care for the other. I just enjoy her books and writing so much. She is quickly becoming an instant buy author for me. She describes things just enough without doing too much. Also, she handles representation really well and I love that she does interracial pairings.
A year of men telling me I am incapable of this work only gives my pride a more savage edge, and I feel, for the first time in so many long, cold, discouraging months, that I am as clever and capable and fit for the medical profession as any of the men who have denied me a place in it.
When Callum and I first met, I had been lonely enough to not only accept his employment, but also the companionship that came with it, which gave him the idea that men often get in their heads when a woman pays some kind of attention to them: that it was a sign I want him to smash his mouth—and possibly other body parts—against mine. Which I do not.
He reaches out, like he might pat my hand, but I pull it off the table, for I am not a dog and therefore need no patting.
Felicity, please, it’s six in the evening,” Monty says with great indignance, then adds, “We’ve been fornicating all day.”
“I’ve missed you. Both of you.” I can hear the soft smile in his voice when he replies, “I won’t tell Monty.”
“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.”
You deserve to be here. You deserve to exist. You deserve to take up space in this world of men.
“It’s not human anatomy that makes me queasy, it’s your anatomy.” “My anatomy is excellent,” he replies. “Yes, it is,” Percy adds, pressing his lips to Monty’s jawline, just below his earlobe.
“Girls like me are meant to have books instead of friends.” “Why can’t you have both?”
It’s remarkable how being around books, even those you’ve never read, can have a calming effect, like walking into a crowded party and finding it full of people you know.
“…I have spent my whole life fighting for what would be mine without question if I were a man, and to be better at it than my brothers, because women don’t have to be men’s equals to be considered contenders; they have to be better.”
Our best is all we can do, and all we can hold on to is each other.