Cover Image: Something Fabulous

Something Fabulous

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Member Reviews

Alexis Hall can do no wrong for me! This writing was over the top and dramatic, which might not be for everyone but I loved it. Hall's dry sense of humor shines!!
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This is described as a campy romp, which it is. It's HILARIOUS in parts. I can't remember the last time I busted out guffawing this much at a book. It's also so touching and tender and validating -- it contains multitudes. It is about exploring to find your true self, uncovering incorrect assumptions, and freeing yourself from external expectations. It's a literal journey across the countryside and also a journey of self discovery. And, it contains such queer joy that my heart is bursting with happiness. I hope you can tell I loved this.
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In Something Fabulous, Alexis Hall utilized their trademark wit, over the top storytelling, and a healthy dose of fun making this book a great weekend read.

I found myself being a bit... addicted to the book, which I didn't foresee. I seriously couldn't put it down! The plot is so much fun, and the writing so ridiculous which made for a unique reading experience. 

I did find the characters to be a bit annoying at times; Bonny is written kind of immaturely, which made it hard for me to like him. Valentine was my favorite character, but Bonny was honestly badgering him a lot, and I didn't love them together.
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Ok, I would be lying if I said that there was banter here that did not make me laugh out loud. I did laugh out loud quite a few times reading this. It is so ridiculous that it is hilarious at times. That said, while I was fairly amused, I did not quite connect with it. I think this may be because Bonny and Belle are fairly unlikable, and really I did not want Bonny to end up with Valentine because I thought Valentine deserved better.

I mean, the ending is incredibly sweet and I also would be lying if I said it did not bring a smile to my face but... Valentine deserved better. That is my stance and I am sticking with it. I mean, I am all for ridiculous characters and over-the-top situations, but not at the expense of treating a perfectly nice character poorly.

Thank you to Netgalley and Montlake for this read in exchange for an honest review. It was amusing if somewhat disappointing.
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A queer Regency romance that is both hilarious and heartfelt. A duke and his intended's brother chase the women's he's supposed to marry across the country but along the way find themselves very much attracted to one another despite the scandal such a relationship would cause among society. Recommended for fans of Cat Sebastian. Much thanks to NetGalley and Montlake for my advance review copy!
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This book was pure delight! I cannot recommend it enough.  It fully give it 5 stars out of five stars. I don’t usually reread books but I can see myself coming back to this one for a good comfort read.
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Do you like books that are absolutely bonkers and hilarious? That are improbable and fun? That take tropes and spin them until you don’t know which way is up?

Pick this one up for:
-Silly, fun chaos
-Regency romance
-Grumpy/sunshine to the max
-QUEER regency romance
-Aspec MC and a host of other queer characters
-Classic Alexis Hall witty banter

It’s trip, y’all. And I love that Alexis Hall just leans into the silliness of all of this, and manages to give us something that still feels sexy and fun in the midst of the hilarity that ensues.
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This book was the most wonderful fluff. Hilarious and silly and sweet and so joyfully queer, it's a book that never felt the least bit stressful to read, but still inspired lots of feels. I read it in a day because I was having so much fun with it. It's one of those books I just want to crawl inside and hide from real life in.

I loved both of the MCs so so much. I always love a grump, and Valentine was just the sort of grump I adore. And BONNY. Bonny is so completely, unabashedly himself in a way that won my whole heart. We should all be more like Bonny. And there's little I love more than a sunshine MC giving a grumpy MC an incredibly SOFT nickname.

All the scenes between the two of them were just perfect. There were so many scenes that had me grinning the biggest grin and that I couldn't wait for friends to read so we could gush about them together. And the BANTER. Ugh. So good. Just an outstanding comfort read and guaranteed good mood book. I can't wait to read Peggy's story in the next one!
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Thank you Montlake and NetGalley for the advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. 

This book was in one word a RIOT. If you look up the word shenanigans in the dictionary it would have "Valentine & Bonaventure's Adventure to Recover Valentine's Sort of Fiancé" listed. And it would be the only listing, as these two couldn't go 10 feet without running into a shenanigan on this journey. A journey that included only one bed, a duke with no money, a case of mistaken identity and being tied to a chair, crashing into a stream, an accidental gun shot wound and so much more. Just misadventure, after misadventure with this discovery of feelings thrown in (and some steamy fun!). This was my first queer historical regency romance and it definitely won't be my last as Alexis Hall has delivered such fun with this one.
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I greatly enjoyed this book. Like many other readers who have left reviews here, I loved the unabashed fun and exuberant queerness of the world the author has created. Both of these make Something Fabulous an engaging read for those who otherwise might not enjoy regency romance, a subgenre that many publishers have not historically done enough to diversify. For that reason alone, this book is a welcome addition. 

For more avid readers of historicals (of which I consider myself one), this book still has a lot to offer, including a great deal to think about, for such a lighthearted romp. It's an ode to common tropes of the genre, but looks at each one of them with a fresh angle: sometimes funny, sometimes poignant, sometimes both. 

I get the sense that Belle might be a challenging character to many readers, and I can see why. However, I loved her. A lot. I think her presence in the book asks readers to take seriously the ramifications of forcing young women into marriages they don't want - a common regency romance plot device. Without ever seeming like she doesn't belong in the madcap universe of this story, Belle also read like a provocative invitation to take regency women's supposed "hysteria" seriously, and to see it for what it often was: a desperate and deeply understandable revolt against social disempowerment. Something Fabulous is a fun book, but it's a smart one too.
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Alexis Hall calls this book “ridiculous,” which is an absolutely 100% accurate description. It’s also a terrific read and loads of fun.

There’s lots to love about this book. It’s exuberantly queer, with gay, lesbian, nonbinary, and demisexual characters; cishet people might almost not exist in its world. As you might expect from a book described as ridiculous, the story is very funny, with comical scenes and witty banter. Just when it seems like complete fluff, however, the author will produce some wonderful prose to remind you what an excellent writer he is, like this bit when Valentine admits to Bonny that he’s never been kissed before: “The words first kiss hung a moment in the still air. Then broke like a flock of sparrows and were gone.”

The romance between Valentine and Bonny is lovely. For all the general silliness, Valentine’s journey to understanding his own demisexuality as he falls for Bonny has emotional depth. Already isolated by his rank, Valentine is also aware that he’s not quite like other men in terms of his feelings and desires, which has caused him to withdraw from the world in the belief that love and passion are not for him. Bonny is the catalyst who helps Valentine appreciate that while he may be different, he’s not broken. They share some extremely sweet moments as Bonny guides Valentine through experiencing love and lust for the first time. (Also, the way Bonny calls Valentine “flower” throughout the novel is simply adorable)

As much as I enjoyed the book, however, I did find myself longing for the story to be a little more real and a little less over the top in some respects. The most egregious example of excess involves Bonny’s sister Belle, who acts like Marianne Dashwood from Austen’s Sense and Sensibility on steroids. Belle finds her life boring, so she prefers dramatic pretense to humdrum reality. When Valentine asks her to marry him, Belle assumes the role of a Gothic heroine, with Valentine cast as the villain of the piece. Her insistence on treating Valentine as villainous quickly became more annoying than funny to me, especially when every other character indulges her in her histrionics even when she’s clearly going too far. I might have been able to empathize with Belle’s desire not to be forced into a marriage she didn’t want if she was written more like a real person than a melodramatic ninny. As it was, though, I just found her mostly intolerable.

I may have some quibbles with it, but I think readers who are in the mood for a historical romance that is often silly and occasionally absurd will probably love this novel.

A copy of this book was provided through NetGalley for review; all opinions expressed are my own.
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This is a book that has the humor you would expect from Alexis Hall, and a bit more. It's fun, silly, and filled with characters that will have dying of laughter. Though there was the whole mess surrounding the sister and I think that's where it detracts from the book. Or at least, the glaring one. 

I'd say this is still a book that will be enjoyable on that day you just need a wild ride of a book.
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There is something uniquely incredible about queer historical romance. Alexis Hall is my favourite romance author, and this absolutely stood up to their other work. Hall has an amazing capability to make my heart ache in fondness for tender and sensitive characters as well as make me laugh out loud at their antics. This book will be loved by all fans of romance, historical or not, and made me unbelievably happy,
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Saying this book was something fabolous sounds cheezy, but it's true! This book is phenomenal.

Me, who doesn't like historical romance, meets this book which is indeed, historical romance. Perfect match?! Yes. 

Loved everything about it, but the best thing is the Alexis Hall magic over this story. The snark and innocent hotness between the characters. Funny scenes with bees, fear of spiders, wearing a gardener's coat while you're a duke - come on! A duke! How dare, LOL.

Bonny was the pure sunshine of the story and I loved how positive and hilarious he was. Loved his obsession about being a twin and having a twin sister. Loved how adventorous he was and straightforward with everything. Let's be clear, Valentine hadn's stood a chance against him, it was a lost battle from the very beginning, haha.

Valentine. Oh sweet, sweet flower. I know that Bonny is the sunshiny unicorn of the story, but I fell hard for Valentine. Probably because I connected with him at the start. If that's not a hell yes answer to my demisexuality question, I don't know what is. So thank you Alexis for creating Valentine and writing him the way he is, becuase he is perfect. Perfectly imperfect and crazy and I love him.

This book is extraordinary. One of my favorite read (last year). I probably will buy it in paperback too, because I need it on my shelf.

Loved the book and HIGHLY RECOMMEND IT. I didn't know a book could be this perfect. 

Alexis Hall did it again. 

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I dnf’ed this pretty quickly because this writing style is reallllllly not my thing at all and made it difficult to enjoy the story. i’m still giving it a neutral 3 stars because I love Alexis Hall and will support anything they write but this one sadly didn’t work for me personally
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Thank you @montlake for a copy of this fun historical romance. This was a fun m/m romance between Bonny and Valentine. I loved the adventure of catching up to Arabella before she makes it to Dover to depart to America. 

Arabella’s disappearance got a bit repetitive and I got tired of her behaving so selfishly and not really talk things through. 

Overall, a fun read.
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If you’re looking for an historical romance with a complex plot, serious characters and a bucket-load of angst, then move right along, because Alexis Hall’s Something Fabulous isn’t it.  If, however, you’re up for a frivolous romp through Regency England bubbling with wit and brilliant comic timing that, for all its ridiculous trope-y-ness, contains an achingly tender story of self-discovery, then dive right in.

The book opens with a delightfully – although somewhat more barbed – Heyer-esque proposal-gone-wrong in which Valentine Layton, Duke of Malvern, has decided it’s time to honour his late father’s wishes and become formally betrothed to Miss Arabella Tarleton, who has been intended for him since birth.  Miss Tarleton, however, has no intention of accepting Valentine’s proposal and makes that clear in no uncertain terms:

“There is no fashion, Your Grace, in which you could propose that would render it anything other than profoundly repugnant to me.”

Valentine is both astonished and affronted.  A refusal is something he had never remotely considered – after all, what impoverished young woman wouldn’t want to secure her future and that of her family by marrying a wealthy, young and handsome duke?

Later that night – or rather, in the early hours of the morning – Valentine (having made liberal use of the brandy bottle) is awoken by Arabella’s twin brother, Bonaventure – Bonny for short – who informs him that Arabella has run away and that they should go after her so Valentine can save her from ruin and propose again.  And that he’d better make a good job of it this time.  Valentine is not keen; it’s not that he doesn’t want to retrieve his wayward intended, he just doesn’t want to go without due thought or preparation. Or his valet.  Bonny, however, is something of a force of nature, and won’t take no for an answer, so before long, Valentine is being hurried along and into a curricle wearing a coat borrowed from the assistant gardener and a hastily tied – courtesy of Bonny – cravat.

That’s the set up for the fluffiest, silliest and most outrageously charming road-trip / grumpy-sunshine romance I’ve read in quite some time. (Or ever.) It doesn’t take itself seriously – even though it does have some serious points to make – and focuses entirely on the relationship between Valentine and Bonny, and on Valentine’s journey towards reaching a deeper self-awareness, understanding  how attraction works for him and that being seen and loved for who he is as a person is not impossible.

The writing is deft and insightful with plenty of clever nods to the genre, the dialogue sparkles and the two leads are superbly characterised.  Valentine, the repressed, dutiful duke has no idea of his own privilege but is somehow endearing in his cluelessness;  he’s deeply lonely but doesn’t realise it, and he has very little experience of sexual attraction until Bonny, and the sudden wealth of feelings that assail him when Bonny is around completely blindside him. Watching Valentine slowly learn that he is allowed to have feelings, that he can feel attraction and affection – and the way Bonny accepts him exactly as he is and without question – is simply lovely.  As for Bonny, well, he’s just adorable; free-spirited,  vibrant, charming and kind, he’s not ashamed of who he is and what he wants, and isn’t willing to settle for anything less than to be loved in the way he loves – with his whole heart and soul.

There’s a small, but well-drawn secondary cast. I particularly liked Peggy, Arabella’s best friend and some-time lover who is a welcome voice of reason in contrast to Arabella’s frequent and overblown histrionics, and Sir Horley, the rakish older gentleman with an eye on Bonny and a heart of gold.  As one would expect from an Alexis Hall book, the queer rep is varied and excellent;  Peggy is genderfluid, Sir Horley is gay,  I got the impression Arabella is aromantic, and there are two delightful ladies who are married in all but name.

Sadly, the book’s biggest flaw is Arabella.  I understood her frustration and where she was coming from – no legal rights, no right to an opinion, no rights over her own body, even – but rather than making the attempt to explain herself or just talk to Valentine, she screams and throws tantrums and melodramatic fits, she makes ridiculous and unfounded accusations and generally behaves like a spoilt brat.  If she’d been the heroine of a book, it would have hit the wall before the end of the first chapter!  It’s rare for me to have such a visceral reaction to a character in a book, but I honestly couldn’t stand her and felt sorry for Bonny having to put up with her all his life.  And this leads to my other issue with the story, which is that the catch-up-with-her/she’s-run-away-again is a bit repetitive – although I fully accept this may be because I so disliked Arabella that I just wanted her to run away and stay gone!

Other than that, however, Something Fabulous certainly lives up to its name.  It’s funny, sexy, daft and just a bit over the top, but it’s all done with obvious love and affection and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Grade: B+ /4.5 stars
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I’m a relatively new fan of Alexis Hall’s, having read and loved two of his most recent novels, Boyfriend Material and Rosaline Palmer Takes the Cake.  He has such a knack for creating lovable characters and putting them in hilarious predicaments that I couldn’t wait to get my hands on his latest book, Something Fabulous. Something Fabulous is a Regency romance but it’s not like any Regency romance I’ve ever read.  I honestly don’t know that I’ve ever laughed so hard while reading a book. On Goodreads, Hall describes the book as such: “It’s a big gay regency romp about an overly dramatic beautiful rainbow sunshine unicorn and an overly dramatic demisexual grumpy duke, going on a cross-country chase.”  That description is spot-on and I can’t improve upon it.

I’m all about a good grumpy-sunshine romance so I was enamored with the two main characters as soon as they were introduced. Valentine Layton is an ultra-reserved Duke who is intent on doing his duty at all costs, even if it means marrying Arabella Tarleton, a woman he really has no romantic interest in, just to carry out his father’s wishes.  Valentine comes across as a stuffed shirt who could really use a good roll in the hay, and it becomes obvious early on that it’s not Arabella who gets under Valentine’s skin, it’s her twin brother, Bonaventure or “Bonny,” who is just as much of a ray of sunshine as his nickname makes him sound and who pretty obviously has a massive crush on Valentine.  Valentine initially thinks Bonny is a pain in the rear but the two of them are forced to work together to find Arabella, who is so repulsed by the idea of a marriage of convenience with a man she doesn’t love, she runs away in the middle of the night.

I don’t want to spoil what happens when Bonny and Valentine embark on this cross-country chase, but let me just tell you, hilarity ensues. Basically, they’re one step behind Arabella throughout the chase and she plants outrageous lies about Valentine everywhere she has been, so that trouble is waiting for him every time he stops somewhere she stopped and inquires about her. There were a couple of times I laughed so hard I had tears in my eyes.

There are also some tender moments and some super steamy ones as Bonny and Valentine finally start to acknowledge their feelings for one another.  I loved watching the two of them grow closer.  The banter is still there so most of these scenes are still quite funny, but they’re also pretty touching as well. There are also a few more serious moments as Valentine reflects on his own sexuality, what is socially expected of a man in his position versus what he realizes he actually wants for his life.

Something Fabulous is not exactly what I was expecting going in, but I still thought it was a very entertaining read.  The humor is silly and over the top at times, think Monty Python or The Princess Bride when you start reading and you’ll have a pretty good feel for the overall tone of the book. If you’re looking for a read that is pure escapism in its silliest form, grab yourself a copy of Something Fabulous.
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This might be the most wonderfully ridiculous book I have ever read.  I love that Alexis Hall, an already favorite author of mine, has written what he has called a "gay regency romp".  Y'all...this book is a ride.  It is the epitome of grumpy sunshine featuring a very serious duke and the most sunshiney, glittery twin of the women that said duke is meant to marry.  When Valentine's betrothed, Arabelle, runs away, he finds himself on an epic road trip with Arabelle's twin brother, Bonny.  There are carriage chases, kidnappings (of a sort), skinny dipping sessions, only one bed, duels and parlor games.  The wit and banter is perfection.  I absolutely could not stop laughing at any point.  And yet, the love story between Valentine and Bonny is so achingly beautiful as Valentine learns what it is to be himself and that the person he truly is is lovable.  The romance between these two is hot and steamy and the acceptance found within these pages is immensely heartwarming.  I just loved so much about this one.   It is a sure slump buster and a book that can't help but cheer you up.
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This is so gloriously queer and ridiculous that it's an absolute joy to read / listen to. I found myself laughing out loud and multiple times in the audio is incredibly well done.

So this one is about to Valentine who is a Duke and he is supposed to marry Arabella. Except he doesn't really want to marry her and he doesn't think that he wants to marry anyone. He's never been attracted to people and doesn't see marriage or romance in his future. When his less than enthusiastic proposal to Arabella goes awry and she takes off and runs away, Valentine and arabella's twin brother Bonny, set off after her. What follows is a regency romp. It's campy and hilarious and full of a lot of Valentine not knowing what's going on. I adored it.

About the queer rep, Valentine is demiromantic and demisexual, Bonny is gay, Arabella is queer in some form, I am fully convinced that she is somewhere on the aromantic spectrum. Arabella's best friend Peggy is also queer and potentially bigender or genderqueer or gender fluid. Obviously since this is a historical romance no labels are actually used on page so this is all going off of all of the hints in the wording that they use. There are also secondary gay and queer characters and a secondary lesbian couple. It is gloriously queer like I said at the beginning.

I really felt for Valentine in this book. He has had no exposure to any sort of alternative types of romance. He is convinced that he has to marry Arabella to make his father proud and even though he doesn't understand why and that he doesn't want to, he is willing to do it for his reputation or whatever. Really getting to know Bonny better and Bonny in all of his unapologetic gayness, really opens Valentine's eyes to the fact that there are other types of relationships out there. He doesn't understand what's happening when he starts to develop some feelings and he has a couple emotional breakdowns that absolutely gave this book life and made me sappy.

I can't recommend this book enough.
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