Cover Image: Something Fabulous

Something Fabulous

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Hilarious, ridiculous, ostentatious, fabulous.

I adored this book. It had me laughing or grinning so much my face hurt the entire time. It's cheesy and trope-y and soft and witty and did queer historical romance with all the camp I could have ever wanted. The characters are all overdone and absolutely beyond lovable. There's a gorgeous sunshine/grumpy thing going on the entire time that's entirely too perfect and ONLY ONE BED oh no!

I also loved all the rep in the book. Our MCs are a gay man and a possibly demisexual/bisexual/pansexual man? The latter isn't really said but Valentine is just learning everything about himself and talks earnestly about never having sexual attraction in the past for people he hadn't gotten to know. I love ace rep in books and I think I'm seeing it more and more! We also have sapphic lovers who are almost married, a genderfluid/nonbinary character, a potentially bi/pan woman and so so many others along the way.

I think the best way to describe this book is as a romp and I adored it so much I can't stand it. I would recommend it to anyone who loves romcoms, tropes in their romance, queer romance, historical romance.

Thank you to NetGalley and Montlake for my ARC!

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Silliness and camptastic
A romp across the country
Irritation to more

Stow your serious side as you enter into Something Fabulous. It's silly but endearingly entertaining all the same. It had shades of the ridiculous but again, you tolerate it for the ride. These two characters, a lesson in rubbing one another up the wrong way were such polar opposites.

Valentine was the pompous Duke who seemed to have little insight into his own sexual preferences, desires and he had no idea how others perceived him. Self awareness was not his forte and was his early downfall in the marriage stakes. Bonny was all contrast, overtly aware of who he was, what he liked and he seemed to like Valentine.

Their banter seemed to multiply exponentially which sometimes proved a bit much for my tastes but overall, I had plenty of laughs along with these two. I did not have laughs with Belle, Bonny's sister however. Reading this I would go from snickers to annoyance in a few pages and that dragged my enjoyment down. It took me a while to read this one and I'm blaming Belle in the background and foreground!

Thank you to the publisher through netgalley for an early review copy.

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I really wasn't sure where this story would go. Regency stories are in a class by themselves and with something so "taboo" in those days, I wondered how Alexis Hall would handle it. I really enjoyed the story although at times almost cheesy, it had me grinning from the beginning with all the characters having wonderful quirks that made you just fall in love. Bonny is an absolute favorite. He is someone i would love to just spend time with in "my time" as well. But all the characters, even the PIA Arabelle had their charms and the book was an interesting, easy read. Alexis Hall has a great mastery over the language of the times and many of the interesting finds (bedroom drawer) gave me serious fits of giggles. A great story in an unusual time period.

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Review ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Something Fabulous by Alexis Hall

I never knew I needed these two in my life, but now I won't ever let them go. This one was truly a masterpiece of wittiness, passionate fornication and the signature humour and banter we've come to love from Alexis Hall.

When Valentine's arranged marriage proposal go haywire, the twin brother of his runaway-fiancé urges him on a road trip across the English countryside to retrieve her together. Chasing after one twin, while it's the other your heart beats for makes Valentine question everything he thought he knew about him self, about love and about the life he wants to lead.

Delightfully theatrical is how I would describe this book, it balances between boisterous banter and subtle political nudges at the Victorian times and its patriarchal heteronormativity. All done expertly through a very emotional and raw romantic comedy that cleverly makes you thirst for more with the same hunger as crunchy Cheetos on a Friday night. The enthralling romance between Bonnie and his flower was intoxicating. I loved how these two lovebirds contrasted each other, but also how much they were craving the same connection and closeness. We seldom are graced with demisexual representation in romance, and this one made my heart flutter. Valentine's discovery that he could actually feel those emotions for another, longing for this connection, but never able to find it before Bonny. It made my heart soar.

To this fabulous book I say Bravo!

Thank you to Montlake and Netgalley for the free digital ARC. As always, all thoughts and opinions are honest and my own.

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No one turns a phrase quite like Alexis Hall. In Something Fabulous, a queer romantic regency romp, Hall gets to manipulate language in a way only he does best, executing laugh out loud lines and swoony moments with the same dry wit that makes his books instantly recognizable no matter what romance genre they are.

This book was at its best during the moments between Bonny and Valentine where Valentine catches a case of the feelings and the two of them have the most delicious and adorable banter. Truly, find me a line more swoon inducing than “all of me is yours, books included.”

The book follows Bonny and Valentine in what is basically a buddy comedy, the two of them teaming up to find Bonny’s sister and Valentine’s sort of fiancé who has run off after Valentine’s proposal. What follows is funny and a tad bit ridiculous and while I’m able to suspend my disbelief for a good time there were points in the main plot that were rather cringe inducing. Belle is…a very annoying character whose antics run very stale as they escalate in scale. It is one thing for me to be on the side of a regency romance heroine on the run from her brutish fiancé but it is quite another for me to be ok with some of the things Belle does. While I understand this cast of characters is never going to stop and have some healthy communication, the characters also enable Belle in a way that made me uncomfortable enough to take me out of the story.

Apart from that, I loved Valentine so much. He is so grumpy and adorable and I loved so much watching him explore his feelings and sexuality.

Overall this was a very fun escape read and I will never cease to be impressed with Hall’s clever writing. I think it’s a worthwhile book to read for Valentine’s story but I just wish maybe Belle hadn’t taken things so far or had been appropriately apologetic for her actions which I don’t think are funny or cute or the result of reading too many novels.

Thank you so much to Montlake publishing and NetGalley for the opportunity to read an arc in exchange for an honest review.

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This book was a lot of fun and filled with witty dialogue and banter, but it was also really over the top and overly dramatic. I wanted so badly to love it, but I found the pacing to be inconsistent and at times it was a struggle to continue reading. I think all the hijinks and drama became too overwhelming (seriously, how many times can Belle run off/cause problems? spoiler alert - A LOT) and I just wanted the story to focus on the romance.

Bonny and Valentine were my favorite part of the novel and I loved how Valentine came into his sexuality. Their tender moments and declarations were so sincere and heartfelt. Plus, their intimate scenes were hot, hot, hot! Once things were semi settled with Belle, the book flowed much better and the last 30% or so saved the novel for me. I did feel that the ending wrapped up very quickly, but I was grinning ear to ear when I finished. I think Alexis Hall fans will enjoy this one, but sadly it was just OK for me.

CW: bees, guns & gunshot wound, kidnapping

*I voluntarily read an advance review copy of this book*

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This book was absolutely DELIGHTFUL and so overabundantly queer and magnificently campy and I adored it so freaking much. From our two leads, one absolutely radiant and magical gay, to our primary hero, a grumpy and incredibly repressed demi-sexual, to a sapphic couple and a sarcastic gender-fluid little dream, I absolutely loved these characters.

Somehow, Alexis Hall managed to take a hero like Valentine, who was rude and brash and selfish, and make you fall in love with him because while he was rude and brash and selfish, he wasn't truly rude and brash and selfish, he was just a Duke who didn't know he was allowed to be anything other than that and allowed to be himself while still also being a Duke. And he didn't know that his feelings were perfectly fine and normal and he didn't know that not everything is black and white and he didn't know any other way to be, until he met Bonny. And boy oh boy did Bonny light Valentine's perspective on life on fire and then throw it in the sky with about a million fireworks and a ticker tape parade.

This book was that absolutely hilarious dry kind of funny that had you giggling, but it was also very tender at moments, and from start to finish, I was smiling even if I was crying. And yes, I did cry. A few times. Something Fabulous was truly silly and over exaggerated, but that's what makes it so much fun. It laughed at itself, while also making you FEEL so many THINGS and then you realize it's ridiculous but you still love it and I'm rambling again but my goodness this book was so much fun. These characters just ARE and their sexuality just IS and there is no apologizing and nothing deeper than that and there didn't need to be. It was a beautiful example of why own voices authors are so important, and it was a beautiful example of how to live your best and happiest damn life by being unapologetically, and in Bonny's case, LOUDLY, you.

The ONLY thing that held me back in this entire book was Belle. I wanted to love her, truly I did, but some moments with her just hurt my heart and not in a good way because, while we understand towards the end the "why" of it all, the lengths she goes to in order to prevent any of everything from happening was borderline maddening and I grew increasingly frustrated with her. We didn't get enough time with her for her to be a bit more than 2-dimensional (unlike Bonny and Valentine who we spent immense time with and grew to love and know and care for), and with this book, primarily, being one POV, and seeing how desperately she was torturing Valentine along the way, it made it difficult to see her perspective on, well, anything.

This book was so much fun, though. I'm still laughing thinking about the bee and the pigeon and Periwinkle and the teasing and the frogspawn and I am absolutely in love with so many of these characters and I hope to everything that is good in this world that you do, too.

[Thank you to the publisher for my review copy!]

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I'll keep this short and sweet: it was a complete miss for me, but there's definitely an audience for it. I DNF'd because I was clearly not the right reader for it - it's more ridiculous and LGBTQ-centric than anticipated - so I won't be leaving a formal review.

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DRC provided by Montlake via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Representation: queer demisexual demiromantic white protagonist, gay white deuteragonist, queer white tertiary characters, queer non-binary tertiary character, lesbian white tertiary character.

Content Warning: mentions of parental death, violence, anxiety.

Something Fabulous by Alexis Hall is a charming, hilarious, historical novel, the romantic and comedic alternative to a high-speed chase, full of adventures, heart-warming and introspective moments and hysterical hijinks.

Valentine Layton wants to do right by his father and the friendship his family maintained with the Tarletons by marrying Arabella. After years of no seeing each other, Valentine finally decides to formalise their engagement and asks for her hand in matrimony in the most nefarious of ways and this is what sends Arabella running up the hills to escape Valentine and his absurd proposal. Together with Arabella’s charming twin, Bonaventure, Valentine will begin a chase for the woman that will help him discover a lot about himself.

This was only my second time reading Alexis Hall’s writing, but I can tell without any doubt that he is going to become one of my favourites very soon. I want to read Boyfriend Material before inducting him (officially) into my personal literary Hall of Fame though.

Something Fabulous was exactly what the title anticipated: something fabulous and an uproarious (and all the other synonyms for hilarious) romance which caught my heart and pressed it until all the juicy feelings flowed out and converged into the puddle I became when I finished this book. Because, while definitely comedic, the novel did not lack all the emotions one (or at least I) could expect from a romance novel, that thrilling roller-coaster of sensations and the beautiful resolution (plus all the fun steamy scenes).

Probably predictable, but Bonny was the shiniest star in the firmament that this novel represented. He exuded so much queer joy, I managed to get happy by osmosis. While Bonaventure was definitely my favourite, I loved each and every character Alexis created. Furthermore, I was especially delighted by Alexis’ inclusion of demisexuality and demiromanticism in the text.

Something Fabulous is undoubtedly a book I whole-heartedly recommend, particularly if you are looking for a very joyous reading experience set in rural England (Regency era).

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Valentine is supposed to marry Arabella. It's what their fathers wanted. So when he proposes, he can't really fathom why she's so against the idea. Yet she doesn't refuse, exactly, so he considers them engaged. Until the next morning, when Arabella's twin brother, Bonny, tells him she's run away. Presumably to America. So Valentine and Bonny try to catch up with her before she can board a ship. On the road, a friendship develops between them. Will Valentine realize in time that Bonny is the one he belongs with, and convince Arabella she has nothing to fear from him?

This adventure romance is a hilariously funny romp. There's a lot of physical humor and misunderstandings, but mostly Valentine, a pampered duke, is just clueless about how things work in the real world. His people skills are not the best. His logical approach to life contrasts sharply with the romantic outlooks of Bonny and Arabella, who are just as clueless about the real world but in a different way. Be prepared, this is a long book, but worth the time.

Thanks, NetGalley, for the ARC I received. This is my honest and voluntary review.

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Something fabulous is an over the top trope-tastic screwball comedy that romps along with great banter and a relatable hero in Valentine.

While putatively a Regency I found the language and attitudes relatively modern which will no doubt make it more accessible to the Bridgerton generation. If you are happy to throw away disbelief and just jump in and enjoy the ride it’s a fun trip with no real villains to ruin the day before the characters reach their happy ending. After the upheaval of the last few years Something Fabulous provides a great low angst escape from reality. Light and sweet this is a proper meringue of a story, possibly not for everyone however very entertaining and rather fabulous.

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It’s a big ole gay romp. There’s not much more to say than it’s an absolute delight. Something Fabulous tells the story of Valentine who is betrothed to Arabella who doesn’t want to marry him so she runs away. Arabella’s twin brother Bonny insists that Valentine join him on the search for Arabella and the pair develop feelings for one another. That’s it. That’s the entire book. It’s low stakes, low angst, and just a wonderful read.

Alexis’s writing style is so filled with humor that reading his books are just fun. The sarcasm and general humor in this book had me snorting with laughter. I absolutely loved both Valentine and Bonny and didn’t want their story to end. I loved that pretty much everyone the pair ran into on their chase was also queer. I was pleased to find that this was not a closed door romance. I didn’t want the book to end. I can see myself rereading this one.
Thank you to NetGalley and Montlake for the ARC.

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**Received review copy**
This book is a fucking delight. It is part romp, part soul searching, part road trip & forced proximity.
Bonny is the absolute most. I adored him from the moment he saunters onto the page. His life has been rather confined but he has found a way to thrive. He is smart and funny and very sure if who he is. He is not ashamed of anything he wants or who he is.
Valentine is a Duke. He’ll tell you so at every event. He believes in duty and expectations and how things are meant to be done. There is only black and white. He has never heard of grey. He’s not particularly attracted to anyone but knows society expects a marriage. He is a Duke after all.
Watching Bonny unravel Mr Darcy, I mean Valentine was just a delight. I have read a more uptight hero who is so unaware. He has no idea what attraction is or how it works. He never comes across as uptight as much as he is just completely unaware. It is a depiction of an ace character that I’m not sure I've seen before.
I must admit that I do not like Belle at all. She is the worst kind of drama queen and I hope that Peggy finds happiness elsewhere. Belle is a brat who only cares about what she wants and runs roughshod over everyone else. I was sort of hoping she would accidentally get shot or just disappear.
Although I hope there will be more stories involving theses characters, I am not hoping that Belle gets an HEA. I’d rather she get a swift kick in her flower.

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I loved the journey for these characters but the journey did verge on the ridiculous in some parts. I loved Valentine and Bonny and was so happy with the conclusion. But for how long it took for the characters to get there, the conclusion wrapped up rapidly and it left me wanting a bit more.

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this was very cute and very enjoyable! I read 80% of this book in one sitting, it was very addicting. there's basically no plot, nothing major was going on, but that didn't really matter because the characters were amazing. I laughed out loud so many times. I adored Bonny as a character, he's so incredibly funny oh my god. and our main character, Valentine, ohmygods. he's demisexual 🥺🥺. I loved to see that representation!! while I thought the novel was enjoyable and funny, it wasn't anything really special and I think it could have been a lot shorter. but overall I really liked it!

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4 stars

Something Fabulous is many things - over-the-top, fluffy, quirky, sexy, fun - and I loved it for every single one of those reasons.

This was my first Alexis Hall book and LET ME TELL YOU, it will not be my last. I was just absolutely enamored by his incredibly humorous voice throughout this book and I am kicking myself that I haven't prioritized some of his backlist books that I have been sitting on my TBR. The fact that he is planning on writing quite a few more queer historical romances makes my heart very, very happy indeed!

Did I occasionally think that the plot got a tad repetitive during the road trip portion? Yes. Did I wish that the third-act conflict had been moved up so we could have gotten a longer ending with Bonny and Valentine? Yes. However, in the end, that didn't matter to me because I was enjoying the ride through this sunshine-filled world that Hall created. If you're looking for a romance to chase those winter blues away, I think Something Fabulous should definitely be on that list.

Thank you to NetGalley and Montlake for an ARC of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review!

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QOTD: What is the last book that had you laughing?!
SOMETHING FABULOUS is one of those books that I picked up and finished in one day. It was hilarious and well written. Alexis Hall writes a character driven novel that has you caring about every single person. Hall allows readers to journey into the countryside and witness fights and meadow side love stories. This novel drops TUESDAY and is one I will recommend for many.

Duke Valentine has come to marry Arabella, as both families wished years ago. The issue? Arabella has refused and run away with her best friend.
Her brother, Bonny, has refused to let her be captured by pirates or run away to America! The option? Persuade Valentine to travel and find Arabella, setting her mind straight.
So becomes the journey between Duke and Bonny, racing across countryside. Valentine NEEDS to find her for his reputation. But what he realizes is that maybe he isn't truly meant to be with her.... maybe he's meant to he with someone... more fabulous.
Thank you Montlake publishing and @netgalley for this arc in exchange for my opinion! All thoughts are my own.

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This was a very fun regency romp - Hall's voice and humor came through so well in this style of book.

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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

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Readers looking for romance, mad cap adventure and boundless misunderstandings set in Regency England will enjoy Something Fabulous by Alexis Hall. Valentine is the stuffy, reserved Duke of Malvern who sets out to "do his duty" by proposing to Miss Arabella Tarleton who has been living in Surrey with her beloved twin brother Bonaventure aka Bonny. It was the dying wish of his father that they marry so he can merge the two families. This will also provide Arabella and her brother financial security as they have been orphans since they were children. However, it has been years since he has seen either sibling and things do not go well. When Arabella runs away in the night, Bonny and Valentine set out to bring her home. Adventures ensue, mostly at the expense of the Duke. I really enjoyed the development of Valentine's character throughout the book as he learns what it means to be more than a Duke but a human. While I can sympathize with the frustrations of Arabella's character, her antics became increasingly annoying and I don't really feel like she ever redeemed herself. I loved Bonny and his strong belief in himself, his honesty about his sexuality and his determination to find love and unwillingness to bend on what he wanted. This was a delightful romp! Thanks to NetGalley for the book.

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