Cover Image: The Nobleman's Guide to Scandal and Shipwrecks

The Nobleman's Guide to Scandal and Shipwrecks

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A lovely return to the world of the Montague siblings. Youngest sibling Adrian is reeling from the death of his mother and trying to make sense of it when he discovers that his family is much bigger than he knew. Adrian struggles with mental health and his anxious and obsessive thoughts feel appropriately unreliable and claustrophobic. Plot is thin but secondary anyway as we meet back up with Monty, Felicity, and other characters from the first two books. Fans of the series will be happy to find Monty and Felicity slightly more grown up and recognizably themselves and with their own challenges to face - all three have a tendency to run away from their problems. It deals with serious mental health issues and questions (including suicide), but although it's not as lighthearted as I had expected, it is a nice addition to the series and a very satisfying stopping point.
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CW: eating disorder, panic attacks, anxiety, intrusive thoughts, suicidal thoughts, character death by suicide off page, OCD aspects, self harm

The mental health aspects were very true to life--true enough I had to step away sometimes. So definitely be aware of that going into reading. 

I'm bereft this is the last one. The ending was PERFECT and so cute and so Montague, but now it's over. Sigh. 

I actaully really liked Adrian. I had no idea what to expect from the youngest sibling, who was just a baby in the other two books, but Adrian is a full-fleshed out character with his own flaws and goal. I might've liked his fiancee a tiny bit more, and I'd totally read a book just about her. 

There is woefully little of Percy in this book, but there is plenty of Felicity and Monty. I loved seeing all the siblings together and their awkwardness and then their banter as they became more comfortable with each other. 

A worthy conclusion for a fun series.
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I really felt for the Montague siblings, dealing with their trials and tribulations and their strained relationships. However I found the actual adventure story pretty lacking in interest.
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Ahh the long awaited third and final installment of the Montegue Siblings series is finally here and I was so damn excited for it. I just so desparatly needed another peek into the lives of Monty and Percy.

This book follows Adrien, the baby we know exists from the earlier titles, at 19. Yes, Guys, Gals, and nonbinary Pals, Monty, Percy, and Felicity are almost 40 by the time we, and Adrian, get to catch up with them. In fact, Adrian lived his entire life thinking he was an only child, and finds out quite by accident that he has a brother and a sister.

If you have the expectation that you are going to get another book with the same feels as the Monty book, Imma have to stop you right there. The tone is completly different. Adrian is his own man with his own issues to deal with. We do spend a good portion of the book with Adrian traveling with Monty, the brothers getting to know each other while trying to solve their mystery on their very own pirate adventure.

I didn't know going into this book that so much time was going to be spent inside the headspace of someone who is experiencing challenges due to mental health struggles. It's 464 pages of a young man trying to understand his mother's struggles and coming to terms that he has the same challenges. He's trying to deal with the death of his mother and the posibility that she might have killed herself , so of course he begins to fear the same thing will happen to him. Fortunatly, Adrian does have people who care for him, and can help him be strong when that's hard for him to do on his own.

As with the other two installments in this series, there is an author's note to give historical context to the story. She changes it up a little though. She admits to having been diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder somewhat recently, so Adrian is written from that perspective, allowing even more empathy for his character. We know this is what it feelslike from someone who has been there.
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4.5 stars. This book is more serious than the other two before it and has a different feel.  Adrian is basically a new character (unnamed baby from the first book) who struggles with anxiety and his mother's death. His anxiety is handled perfectly; it's relatable and realistic. As just Adrian's story, the book is pretty perfect just not quite what I expected after the other two. 
We do get to catch up with Monty and Felicity but what has happened for them is given in pieces and I didn't feel satisfied with their progress. I did enjoy the family interaction and dynamic but I wish there was a bit more information on what happened with them between the books.
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This is the third in the Montague siblings trilogy, and follows the point of view of Adrian, the youngest of the three, who was just a baby in previous installments. After his mother’s death, Adrian goes looking for answers, and finds, much to his shock, that he has both a brother and a sister whom he has never heard of. As with the previous books, Adrian’s quest leads to quite the fast-paced travel adventure tale, including peril on the high seas and run-ins with pirates. 

Mental illness is heavily explored in this book, more so than the others in the trilogy. Adrian suffers from crippling anxiety, intrusive thoughts, and probably an eating disorder as well. Monty is older, and maybe a bit wiser, but still haunted by many of the same demons as in years past. It’s a reminder of how trauma can continue to haunt you as the years go by – but also of how with help, we can heal and learn to cope. Living with mental illness is one of the major themes in the book – learning to manage a mind that betrays you, knowing that it will never be perfect, but doing the best you can. 

Monty and Percy are as adorable as ever, and I also really like Adrian and Louisa as a couple. They seem well matched. As always, Mackenzie Lee writes very colorful and interesting side characters. 

Representation: Mentally ill main POV character, bisexual characters, gay characters, asexual character 

CW: first-person depiction of mental illness, alcoholism, eating disorder, suicide
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Full disclosure. From the moment I found out The Nobleman's Guide to Scandal and Shipwrecks was a concept, I've been anticipating reading it. I loved The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue and The Lady's Guide to Petticoats and Piracy made more interested in Felicity. I'm really happy we get to see what Goblin has been up to all of these years. 

Adrian Montague is the main character of this story. He's set to take over his father's peerage,despite his protests, and still grieving over the sudden, and suspicious, death of his mother. Adrian's entire life has been shadowed by his anxiety and intrusive thoughts. When he comes into possession of his mother's spyglass, and object she never would have parted with, but was not found with her body, Adrian sets off to find out the truth of his mother's death. Only, he's going to find out a lot of things about his family and himself along the way, including that he has two older siblings that he never even knew about. 

Monty, Felicity, Percy and more of the cast of characters we met in the last two books are sprinkled throughout this story. It's exciting seeing where their endeavors in the past have led them. 

What I liked: 

Well, a lot. Mackenzie Lee's writing, as always, is funny and exciting. She really knows how to tell an adventure story that is still focused on character development. The pacing of Nobleman's Guide is just as swift and rip roaring as books one and two. 

Monty. What can I say? Something about Monty just makes you love him. He's selfish, sort of. He's irreverent. He makes bad decisions and says things so hateful that you want to punch him in the face. But he's also funny, really funny. He's open minded, perhaps due to his own experiences. At the end of the day, he's loyal to those he loves. And he's loving. Monty, to me is a really interesting character who's so flawed and real, I would read a ton more books about him. 

The sibling relationship. Adrian, Monty, and Felicity have just met as a group. They are weary of each other, but ultimately they care for each other. 

Adrian. Adrian is great. I want to give him a hug, though he doubtlessly would *hate* that. He's been navigating life as best as he could in a world that isn't even starting to begin how to deal with his illness. The stream of consciousness flow of writing when he spirals into himself is really well done by Lee.

The world. As always. It's wonderful, at times grotesque.

What I didn't like: 

This book has a criminal lack of Percy Newton. 

Resolutions. I know this is the end, but it doesn't feel like it. Characters came and went throughout the story in such a way that it felt like more of a world tour of the series rather than the final book. There's nothing wrong with this though. It's more how I read it and my opinions on how some of the characters developed that I have an issue with. 

Overall a solid 4/5
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After Mackenzi Lee’s Tulip Fever was cancelled in 2019 for multiple reasons, the author has returned to the familiar stomping ground of her Montague Siblings series. This third (and allegedly final) book in that triad focuses on the youngest brother, Adrian.  For those worried that the book would be unsatisfactory after the author took a rather long break from the series, they need not worry – Adrian is as memorable as his siblings, and as worth rooting for.  But those with spiraling thought processes and those who suffer from anxiety will likely struggle with the book, as I did.

Nineteen years have passed since the conclusion of The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy, Felicity’s book, and then-infant Adrian has now reached his majority. He has been raised far from the scandals which enveloped his adventuresome older twin siblings, and he seems to have it all – he’s rich thanks to being named his father’s sole heir, he’s young, he’s a budding political writer who works in secret with underground broadsheets writing in support of labor movements, he is engaged, and his friends love him.  But Adrian labors under the weight of anxiety – and is often given to panic attacks as he tries to operate under the tonnage of his father’s expectations. He also suffers from OCD. His anxiety is exacerbated by the sudden death of his beloved mother, whom he was extremely close to.  He is shocked to learn of the existence of his siblings thanks to a piece of a spyglass handed down from his mother.  It is missing several pieces which keep it from being operational, and in trying to make it whole once more he encounters a now thirtysomething  Monty.

Monty has been living in London with his beloved Percy for the past decade or so, and has established a shipping company which, in part, transports dangerous magical artifacts.  Monty is still bitter about his father’s behavior toward him, and is Adrian flummoxed by this new family he did not know he had, but they endeavor to get along and try to solve the mystery behind their mother’s death.  It’s a death which may have been a murder, or may have been related to her fascination with magical artifacts. They need the help of Felicity – who had happily settled far from England in the Azores during her own book – to fully solve the mystery and the two men team up to find their sister.

The Nobleman’s Guide to Scandal and Shipwrecks is a satisfying topper to the adventures of the Montague family.  Reading this third full-length instalment is to take a deep dive into Adrian’s psyche and come out feeling a trifle bit panicked yourself.  I suffer from agoraphobia and generalized anxiety, both of which I generally successfully control with therapy and mental exercises - to visit Adrian’s mind is to remember what it felt like to have a thousand panicked thoughts flying around in my mind like bats.

But this is an accurate representation, and I deeply liked Adrian, who, unlike his siblings, is no voyager, but instead someone who’s quieter and more introspective; gentler, with a much softer constitution.  While he believes he should be tougher and heartier as his father wishes he were, his siblings immediately note that they like him just as he is.  He must learn to accept who he is at heart, and his journey here is much more about that than anything else.

Monty, Adrian and Felicity all come together to form a proper sibling bond here, and Monty has shaped up into being quite the semi-respectable adult and tries his damndest to be a good big brother to Adrian.  Felicity gets less play in the book but is still a major presence with her own life, and the incomplete threads dangling from Lady’s Guide are solved.  Characters from the two previous books pop up and are used fairly well, like Sim and Joanna from Felicity’s book.

Romance-wise, Adrian is happily spoken for.  He’s in love with his fiancée, a lovely and intelligent woman named Louisa (nicknamed Lou) who doesn’t get enough page-time in the book, yet remains a convincing north star for Adrian to return to. I did wish that she were actually adventuring alongside her fiancé and his siblings during the book, but her understanding when it comes to his panic and how she helps him with it in an era where (as the book notes) panic and OCD such as his were a one-way ticket to bedlam is lovely to see.  Monty and Percy are still going great gangbusters, though Monty still has not surrendered to domesticity, and aspec-leaning Felicity continues to be devoted to her friends and medicine.  There is also at least one wedding in the book for one of our principal characters, which will delight those who have been following the series from the start.

The Nobleman’s Guide to Scandal and Shipwrecks didn’t floor me quite as thoroughly as Lady’s Guide, still what I consider to be the peak of the franchise, but it’s a wonderful and enrapturing sequel none the less, and comes with a high recommendation.

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As someone who thoroughly enjoyed the first two novels of the Montague Siblings, I had pretty decent expectations for this book, and I’m happy to say that these expectations were definitely exceeded.

I wasn’t sure how to feel about the fact that this novel takes place about 18 years after Gentleman’s Guide, but I loved getting to see each character as their future selves. Although the last novel was only released 3 years ago, I felt a weirdly strong sense of nostalgia while getting to re-meet these lovable characters, as if 18 years had really passed. Lee also does a great job at clearly filling in the blanks that took place over that time period.

In this novel, Adrian, our third Montague protagonist, struggles with an anxiety disorder as well as symptoms of OCD. He constantly suffers from intrusive thoughts that cause his mind to spiral in tangents of fear and worry. At the beginning of the novel, I almost felt that this aspect of his character was repetitive to the point of being excessive, but as I continued reading, I realized that the ‘excessiveness' is ultimately necessary to accurately portray the state of his mind. The strong mental-health theme also incorporates multiple characters throughout the novel and left behind a sad but ultimately hopeful and fulfilling message

One of my favorite elements of this series is the extensive amounts of character development in each novel. Lee continues this pattern in the 3rd book but also manages to expand many other characters (new & old) along the way.

Out of all of the books, I think the fantasy aspect of this novel was slightly less developed, which I really didn’t mind. Nobleman’s Guide is still packed with action and adventure; I was so invested I stayed up (longer than I probably should) on two separate nights.

Overall, I loved every moment of this novel and think it’s a perfectly satisfying end to the series.
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After being a bit disappointed with Lady's Guide, I found this third book in the loosely related trilogy a joyful surprise. At the start I feared that the think I disliked the most about about Lady's Guide--that the point that Felicity deserves her place in academia and science despite being a woman was repeated ad nauseam, to the point that it began to feel insulting to me as a reader--was beginning to show its face in Nobleman's Guide, but in the case of this story, the repetition revolved around Adrian's many worries and irrational fears  and if you have anxiety and intrusive thoughts... well, that's a pretty accurate way to represent them in text and it makes sense in the context of the story. 

In Gentleman's Guide, I had a real suspension of disbelief problem with the whole beating heart plot-line. When Lady's Guide came along I was expecting something supernatural, and was not disappointed. I found the sea monsters from LG both more believable and more entertaining than GG's departure from reality, so although it still felt a little out of left field plot-wise, the supernatural element took me out of the story less. In Nobleman's Guide the supernatural element is woven in masterfully and even though it is a wholly unbelievable occurrence, it felt believable within the story because it was so well done. It fit thematically and emotionally and was very satisfying. I think in many ways this book shows that Lee has matured as a writer and it was nowhere more apparent than in the way the realistic and unrealistic plot elements were brought together so seamlessly and effectively

I surprised myself by how much I ended up liking Adrian. I was so attached to the original cast of characters that I admit I, like Monty, was a bit skeptical of this young upstart, but he really was a charming and delightful character who I felt attached to quite quickly. And it was a wonderful surprise that Monty was a big part of this story. It wouldn't have been the same without him, and I loved having his acerbic wit and generally poor outlook on life along for the ride.
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The Nobleman's Guide to Scandal and Shipwrecks is the last story of the Montague siblings. It takes place long after Felicity's story ends, which is a nice touch. We get to see how Felicity and Monty have managed their lives in the intervening years. In addition to catching up with familiar characters, we meet some interesting new personalities. There are a number of surprises and the plot moves along nicely. Monty continues to be a scene stealer and this reader would welcome any and all Monty content the author wishes to create. An interesting end to a thoughtful series of books.
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My favorite of the set! After Mackenzi Lee's previous installments, I expected clever dialogue, lovable characters, and a riotously fun adventure. Nobleman's Guide delivered on that and more. This big-hearted story follows Adrian Montague (aka "the goblin"), and everything from his deep-seated anxieties to the curious hold that his late mother's trinkets have on him make him a disappointing heir to his father's fortune and title. When Adrian stumbles upon a few familial connections that he never knew existed, he embarks upon a quest with them to uncover what he believes to be the mystery of his mother's death. I adored Adrian, and his struggles with anxiety and desire for acceptance in his family touched me deeply. This book is an all-immersive joy to read, and I look forward to revisiting it.
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The Nobleman's Guide to Scandal and Shipwrecks is a wonderful continuation of this series by Mackenzie Lee. It has all the heart and humor of the first two installments, and tackles a different type of experience than was touched on in the others, but is no less important and likely relatable to the type of readers who enjoyed the first two (I'm sorry, LGBTQ+ community, we are an anxious lot). It also hit on the familial relationships with siblings, even ones you haven't gotten to know until you hit adulthood; this was something I loved, because it's not something that comes up often in fiction, and it hits close to home, having a strained parental relationship but having rich, loving, supportive sibling ones. 

I loved getting to know the youngest Montague sibling and join in on another adventure. I didn't expect this continuation of this world but am so thrilled to have gotten to see it. Like the other two installments, I will probably read it more than once. :)
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I loved, loved, loved THE GENTLEMAN'S GUIDE TO VICE AND VIRTUE and THE LADY'S GUIDE TO PETTICOATS AND PIRACY so I had high hopes for THE NOBLEMAN'S GUIDE TO SCANDAL AND SHIPWRECKS. 

I am entirely too pleased to report that Mackenzi Lee has done it again! These books are also clearly so well-researched and surround such an inclusive cast. Definitely reads that I recommend to others.

Lee had me hooked from the first sentence of THE NOBLEMAN'S GUIDE TO SCANDAL AND SHIPWRECKS. I knew Lee would take us on yet another adventure and she did not disappoint. I really love how distinctly different Adrian's voice was--especially compared to Monty and Felicity's. His anxiety also came across authentically to me. The character development is fantastic.

What a wonderful finale to an incredible series!
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A wonderful wrap-up to the Montague Siblings series that I didn’t know I needed (but fortunately, Mackenzi Lee knew).
19-year-old Adrian Montague is dealing with the recent death of his mother. When his father hints that it was something other than an accidental fall off of a cliff, and shares a box of her personal effects, including the fragment of a spy glass that she always carried around, Adrian knows he must learn more. His search or information leads him to a brother and sister he never knew of, the (now 30-something) Monty and Felicity. 
Getting the answers he is so desperate for will require dangerous sea journeys and deals with even more dangerous pirates. These things are challenging enough on their own— add in Adrian’s crippling anxiety and an older brother who does not bother to hide his lack of enthusiasm about Adrian’s presence, and things do not look promising for our hero.

My favorite thing about this installment? Lee’s sensitive and knowledgeable portrayal of a protagonist who struggles with mental illness. And who slowly learns that he is so much more than his anxiety.

Thank you to Katherine Tegen Books and NetGalley for the electronic arc.
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More Montagues running amuck! Well, not completely. 
This third book skips ahead to see all three Montagues grown. 
The book handles loss and anxiety. with no lack of of humor and adventure.
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As the third book in the Montague Family series, I was expecting adventurous historical fiction with strong mental health and social justice themes. This book delivered on those expectations, However, the mental health theme took center stage, with social justice as a secondary thread. The mental health issues also took up more space on the page than in the previous books, to the extent that I sometimes found it challenging to read, depending on my own mental health in the moment. It's absolutely still worth the read, but isn't quite as much of a fun romp as the other two books.
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What a lovely conclusion to the series. I fully expected it would only be a duology, so this was a nice surprise. I was taking a little out by the length of time spent on the Dutchman story, but overall I can see its point as an allegory. It was a little weird though. I really liked the character of Adrian and I feel like she handled his mental illness very delicately while not ignoring the lack of knowledge and science of the time. People with mental illness (like yours truly) still do not receive the respect of the medical world that they deserve, but at that time they would’ve been pushed to the side as lunatics or hysterics. Watching his family support him at a time when that was not common mirrors how she deals with the rights of the LGBTQIA community in this Regency time period: with an anachronistic “what if?” that I find very pleasing to imagine.  I also was happy to see the other two Montague siblings again, and to finally have a conclusion to their stories as well. The best part of the book is the epilogue, hands-down. I laughed out loud several times and found Adrian’s letter to be very touching. It spoke to me and my own struggles with mental illness. It will never be easy, but keep breathing. Just. Keep. Breathing.
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5/5. For context, I had previously read only the first of the series, “The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue,” and had thoroughly enjoyed it, rating it a 4.5/5.

In reading “Nobleman’s Guide,” the first thing I noticed was the distinct difference in narrative voice between Adrian and Monty. While I did enjoy reading “Gentleman’s Guide” from Monty’s perspective, I actually preferred Adrian as a narrator because I found his inner monologue to be more relatable. As a character with severe anxiety, he learns to cope with his mental health struggles and grows in confidence throughout the course of the novel, which I very much appreciated. The characterization in this book is very well-written and each of the characters’ personalities really shine through in their actions and dialogue, which I also appreciated as someone who grew to love the characters in the first book and wanted to see more of them.

Though the pacing is slow— potentially even more so than in the first book— the plot of the story is also quite engaging. It follows the reunion of the Montague siblings (along with some other characters from the previous books in the series) as they travel in search of the Flying Dutchman, fueled by Adrian’s desire to find out what happened to his recently-deceased mother to cause her mental health to decline so rapidly. Like in the previous books, it takes place on a journey across the Atlantic, and has a very sweet and satisfying resolution.

The only critique I have is of the typos, though I am sure those will be fixed before the book’s release.

Thank you so much to NetGalley and HarperCollins for allowing me to read the ARC!
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There's been a bit of a timeskip since the second in the series and Adrian Montague is all grown up.

Like his older brother and sister (who he initially knows nothing about) he's not quite what his father hoped he be.  He suffers from we'd now called anxiety to a severe degree.

The discovery of a personal effect his mother left behind before her death leads him to discover first Monty and later Felicity.  Together the three adventure together to discover the truth about their mother's supposed curse.

The characters are funny, sweet, frustrating.  It's a fun read that isn't just all fluff.
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