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Reviewed by Grant Leishman for Readers' Favorite
Monty’s Coming of Age: The Grand European Tour (The Saga of Monty) by Eustace Hope Langmore is a somewhat farcical look at what was known as the Grand European Tour during the Victorian era of Great Britain. Montague Finch-Morton (Monty) was born into privilege and wealth. When he is informed, as a student at Eton, that his father has been killed in battle and he is now the 8th Earl of Benfleet and responsible for the family fortunes, his plans for the future must change. Monty’s mother explains that his beloved father, the 7th Earl, was not only an inveterate gambler but a pretty poor one at that and the entire family fortune has been frittered away with the Finch-Mortons standing on the brink of bankruptcy. Monty’s mother and her sister, Monty’s Aunt Caroline, advise that the only way out of this disaster is for Monty to marry quickly and to marry wealth to preserve the family estates. It is decided that in order to attract a suitable wealthy wife, Monty must present as the perfect, young English gentleman. This transformation will only be achieved with a Grand European Tour accompanied by his delectable aunt, where Monty will come of age and return as the perfect catch for any wealthy young woman. Monty, Caroline, a maid, and a valet will tour the capitals of Europe, instilling everything a young gentleman needs to know into Monty.
Monty’s Coming of Age is very much a satirical look at a period of English history that espouses restraint, propriety, and chastity and yet in reality was as wild and wanton as any other time, especially for the privileged. Author Eustace Hope Langmore has done a fine job of relating Monty’s rise from a mere stripling of a schoolboy, who dreamed of far-off battles to be fought for Queen and country in the far-flung reaches of the Empire, into a man prepared to do whatever was necessary to restore his family’s fortunes. Monty’s introduction into the rather dark and seedier side of Victorian society was fun and well written. The sex scenes are torrid, titillating, and genuinely exciting to read. Monty’s time spent in Germany was perhaps stereotypical of the English view of Prussians at the time but nevertheless fitted the narrative well. I particularly enjoyed Monty’s relationship with Betsy, Lady Caroline’s maid and Johnathan, Monty’s temporary valet. Their relationships transcended the usual master / servant of normal Victorian society and this gave the tale a soft and almost sweet edge. I was thrilled to read that this story is just the beginning of Monty’s adventures, with two more books planned on his future exploits as he searches for a wife to forestall the bank’s foreclosure notices on the estates. I will definitely be looking forward to reading the next adventure in Monty’s life. This book is uncomplicated, titillating, and unapologetically pokes fun at what most of us would regard as stuffy Victorian society and morals. I can highly recommend this read for a sexy jaunt through Victorian high society.