Cover Image: Something Fabulous

Something Fabulous

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Member Reviews

It’s Bridgerton but gay and on drugs.

Something Fabulous, or as I like to call it “Valentine discovers the LGBTQ+ community”, is about a rich duke (Valentine) who wants to make his father proud by marrying Miss Tarleton. However after his proposal, she suddenly disappears and Valentine is forced to team up with her twin brother (Bonny) to search for his fleeing fiancée.

Valentine could have easily been the world’s most irritating character on earth, yet somehow Alexis Hall made him into this three-dimensional character with layers. Sure, he could be incredibly annoying and entitled (as a rich Duke would be), but he grows to care for people and overall, always tries to do the right thing.

In a lot of “enemies” to lovers books, I always hate how the two characters are suddenly all lovey-dovey as if they hadn’t just been fighting for the last 150 pages. But in Something Fabulous, the teasing dynamic between Valentine and Bonny never disappeared even after their love confession, which I really appreciated. The constant bickering resulted in the most hilarious banter that at times had me laughing out loud.

It took me a longer time to get into this book than with Alexis Hall’s other books but I think that’s probably due to the language barrier. I am not a native English speaker and this is written in a kind of old English. Don’t worry! It’s perfectly understandable but it just took me a bit longer to read.

This book was hilarious, at times even absurd and maybe a bit weird. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to look at a flower the same way again.

Tropes: childhood best friends to strangers to lovers, one bed trope

TW: (internalised) homophobia, violence, sexual content

Thank you to Netgalley for providing me with a digital arc!
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Thank you, NetGalley and the publisher for the chance to read this book!

Absolutely fabulous! I loved pretty much everything about this ridiculous, dramatic little book. I laughed so much and had the best time, the queer rep was amazing (especially the demi rep, which was so lovely to read about in a queer historical romance). 

The grumpy vs sunshine trope is my absolute favourite and this book delivered! The sunshine one is also a chaotic, dramatic mess and I loved him. The grumpy one is a secret sofitie who is also a dramatic mess, I loved him too. 

The plot was wild and fun, the writing style exactly my sort of thing, the banter was exquisite, the characters fantastic. Overall I had a great time and I can't wait for the next book!
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Quick synopsis: Valentine Layton, the Duke of Malvern, has botched his proposal to his childhood friend Arabella Tarleton. Their fathers, now both deceased, thought it was a good idea for the children to marry, and Valentine, wanting to honor both his father and the marriage agreement, decides to finally follow through with the proposal. Valentine is unceremoniously ripped from sleep by Arabella's twin brother, Bonny, who painstakingly pulls the details of the disastrous proposal out of a disheveled Valentine. Then Bonny breaks the news that Arabella has run off into the night to try and catch a boat to American and escape the marriage to Valentine. Thus begins a whirlwind adventure into the countryside to find Arabella before it's too late.

The Things I Liked About Something Fabulous:
1. Almost every character in this book has a queer identity. This seems a bit unusual for historical romances - or many books for that matter - so I ATE. THAT. UP. 

2. Alexis Hall's sense of humor is FANTASTIC and you can tell he had a lot of fun writing this book and playing with the tropes of regency fiction. I do have to note that I've not read many regency novels, and feel like I may have enjoyed this book a little bit more if I had. At least pick up on some of the jokes that went over my head otherwise.

3. The thoughtful exploration of various topics such as gender, gender roles, sexuality, and class. However, I particularly appreciate how this book explores the courage it takes to live your truth. Valentine had a difficult time understanding and accepting that his need to be prefect, blend in, and not make waves was suffocating him. I loved seeing him discover that opening up, sharing your "ugly" - or the parts of yourself you'd rather keep hidden to avoid rejection and humiliation - and allowing yourself to be vulnerable with people will allow others to truly and fully love you for WHO YOU ARE, self-perceived warts and all, is one of the best feelings in the world.

4. "Purple looks good on you." That is all. Own-voice authors for the win.

Things I Found Challenging About Something Fabulous:
1. It took me a little while to get into this book because everyone seemed a bit mean. I think this may be down to me a bit needing to manage my expectations of this book. I don't know if I was quite prepared for the level of silliness here, but once I figured it out, the book was much easier to enjoy.

2. Arabella was a HUGE CHALLENGE. I'm all for over-the-top drama, but I had a very difficult time with her. Particularly during a couple scenes when she flat out lies about Valentine to garner sympathy from others. Perhaps this has a bit to do with the fact that we don't get to spend a whole lot of time in her head, but most of the time I was wondering why the hell any of the other characters put up with her. 

And, I guess, that said, she is a woman being forced to marry during a time when women were considered property in a lot of ways, so who am I to judge, really? However, she was still a bit much for me. 

Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for a copy of this book.
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Ok. This was super cute and hilarious… for the most part.

Valentinian Gervase Lancaster Layton, Duke of Malvern, Marquess of Ashbrook, Viscount Summersby, Viscount Cheverell aka Valentine is betrothed to Arabella Tarleton since childhood. But he’s never forced the issue, indeed he doesn’t see himself getting married to any woman and treats the betrothal to defend against any other eligible women from approaching him. However, he needs to get married, he’s a Duke after all. It is his duty. And considering the marriage to Arabella a forgone conclusion, intimates her that they are getting married. Ofcourse, that leaves Arabella, a spirited, imaginative with only one option- flee.

Now Valentine and Arabella’s fabulously gay twin brother, Bonny must chase Arabella all across the countryside and bring her back. Bonny would take his pleasures wherever he can. And Valentine is shocked to find out, there are other ways of life! (Frankly, I think he’d be clutching his pearls of he has any on) And why does he feel irritated by Bonny’s dalliances and flirtation with others?

This was so cute. I was constantly shaking my head at the Duke and laughing uproariously at Bonny’s antics. The banter is fluid. And the characters are endearing and well fleshed out. The only character I probably didn’t love was Arabella. She’s too flighty, dramatic and selfish. But she provides ample opportunities for conflict and hilarious situations. So I am inclined to forgive her. I was engrossed reading the whole book, except somewhere towards the end. I can’t put my finger on why but it felt a little dragged on. However, the ending recovers the story well.

And the way they keep arguing about fictional characters, I’d have picked this book up based on those excerpts alone.❤️
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ALEXIS HALL WRITES DELIGHTFUL BOOKS. But in case you're wanting more information, read this book for its:

- demisexual hero
- sunshiney love interest
- road trip vibes (in curricles and carriages)
- one and only bed
- sexual awakening moments
- honey bees
- valet named Periwinkle

If you don't mind ridiculous, over the top antics, this book will definitely make you smile so much your cheeks ache. I flew through it in less than 24 hours because I loved Valentine and Bonny so much.
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This book was a fun escape.  I LOVED Valentine and Bonny - they were such great, endearing main characters.  The story was unique but predictable.  However, I found myself getting pretty bored throughout.  There was so much potential here with what the author calls a "big gay regency romp about a overly dramatic beautiful rainbow sunshine unicorn + a overly dramatic demisexual grumpy duke, going on a cross-country chase." I love regency romances and the grumpy duke is one of my favorite tropes but I just found myself not that eager to get back to it, but I did LOVE the characters. 

*Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for an advanced copy.
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Erin’s Take
Heat Factor: I don’t think I’ve ever read (highly enthusiastic) rimming as the first interlude, and it was a refreshing change of pace 

Character Chemistry: In its essentials, the grumpy one is soft for the sunshine one. Or, rather, the rigid one is soft for the free spirited one. 

Plot: A very bad proposal of marriage leads to a road trip of personal discovery

Overall: I laughed, I cried, I laughed some more, and then I sighed with happiness

Holly’s Take
Heat Factor: Unexpectedly explicit about arseholes

Character Chemistry: Utterly irritating, utterly captivated

Plot: Valentine finds himself the villain in a gothic novel

Overall: I found the silly first half a slog, but my heart went pitter-pat in the end


I voluntarily read and reviewed a complimentary copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own. We disclose this in accordance with 16 CFR §255.
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I had a good time reading but the writing was a little bit too much for me. If you wanna funny and cute romance, this one is for you!
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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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