Okay, so, full disclosure here… I have never read a regency romance before, so I have nothing to compare this to. But I thoroughly enjoyed it! Obviously, I just got the ARC yesterday afternoon and I’ve already finished it.
The characters were wonderful, I loved Bonny’s everything, I cringed at Valentine’s complete cluelessness, and all the other characters were special, too.
The language in this book was so perfect, and maybe all regency romances have this type of language, but I kind of suspect they don’t? I’ve come to expect these wonderfully obscure words from AJH’s other books, but this was on a whole other level, and I loved it.
There is just so much to love about this book. It’s romantic and ridiculous and sweet and funny and I cannot wait to read a physical copy of this book!
The book's title delivered: it was a fabulous read! In this book we follow the arrogant Duke of Malvern and his fiancé's twin brother, Bonaventure "Bonny" Tarleton, on a series of misadventures as they try to locate Bonny's runaway sister, Belle.
This book is so funny, sometimes toeing the line of absurd but in such a way that I was fully invested in it. The characters themselves is what kept me reading, which is what I hope to find in a romance novel - characters I wholeheartedly want to see have their Happy Ever After. The duke of our main pair, Valentine, is such a privileged prig at first who cannot help but put his foot in his mouth, even to his own detriment. He has a satisfying character arc though, and the lessons he learns were hard won but believable in how he processed and reacted to them considering the amount of privilege granted to by his status. On a personal note, Valentine is heavily implied to be either demi or greysexual. Obviously it is not explicitly stated since this kind of vocabulary did not exist in the book's time, but there our scenes where this is discussed by Valentine and Bonny and in such a sweet and respectful way. This kind of representation in a romance novel made me very, very happy to read.
Onto the more brighter and dazzling of our main pair: Bonny. Basically, Bonny is my precious sweet cinnamon roll, and I will burn a house down if any one hurts him. That is all.
While watching Valentine and Bonny fall in love was a delight in itself, truly the world of the book was better due to the many characters that inhabited it with their bright, authentic selves.
In the beginning, my one sentence summary of the book is very understated and doesn't do justice to the vibrancy found in this romance. But I don't think I can convey how fun this was to read. It's like trying to tell a friend a funny story that happened to you and then realizing the retelling isn't as funny, so you just shrug and claim, "ah you just have to had been there." That's my sentiment here, you just have to read it to find out what's fabulous.