Cover Image: Something Fabulous

Something Fabulous

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Member Reviews

Okay, so I must confess- when I grabbed this book, I didn't realize it would be historical fiction. And they seem to be written a little fancier than my usual romances.  So it took me a couple chapters to adjust, and once I did I settled into the flow.

This was funny AND made me cry.  Bonny and his twin are so dramatic and over the top. Valentine is at times just unlikeable, straight up. But when he gives in, he's so loveable.  This was honestly filled with so many interesting characters and the whole story was an adventure. There was a chase, and a duel, and storms and so many fun things. It was a very entertaining love story.  While I still don't see myself reaching for a lot of historical romances in the future, this one did sweep me off my feet.
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What a delight this book was! I read another book by Alexis Hall in the past, Boyfriend Material, and totally loved it.
This one was also so good, but it's no surprise to me since I love historical romance books. This one has a very original spin, since the main character, Valentine, is promised to Arabella Tartleton in marriage, only to fall in love with her quirky twin brother, Bonny.

The premise was so interesting, and I'm so excited to read more LGBTQIA+ historical romance novels, and this totally slayed in my opinion. I also loved the representation and the characters very much. I have to admit at the beginning I was not the biggest fan of the humor, hence my four stars, it was a bit too much for my tastes, but going on with the book I found myself caring so much about the character and their lives.
Valentine and Bonny were definitely my favourite, and I think they had an amazing character development. Valentine was the one who certainly had the best growth out of all the characters, but Bonny was the one who stole my heart. He was so inclined to dream and put love above all, he really warmed my heart.

I liked Peggy just fine, and in the end I even begin to care a bit about Arabella, a character I could not stand for half of the book (almost the entirety of it, to be honest).
Also, Hall's writing style is one I really enjoy, I tend to really devour his books, and that certainly put him in my list of auto-read authors.

If you like adult historical romances you should definitely pick this one up!
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If you love banter heavy Alexis Hall with hilarious back and forth and swoony leads, you'll absolutely love this. I lol'd a lot and coudn't get enough!
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This read was a bit of a peaks and valleys situation for me. How I was feeling when this book started was not how I felt all throughout but definitely by the end I had come back around so many times that I ended on the same note I began. Which is to say.. it was fine.

“<i>You doubt my capacity? How infirm do you think I am?</i>“
“<b>I never said you were infirm. You’re very firm. Almost.. excessively firm, really.</b>“
“<i>I understand you’re trying to be reassuring, but stop it at once.</i>“

But there was so much greatness in and around the fine-ness.

What really ruined this for me was our male love interest’s sister, the one Valentine, our protagonist, is meant to be marrying. While we do — riiiight near the end — get some general insight as to what is driving her, beyond the obvious, to avoid this marriage, I’ll admit.. the damage had long been done. She was just too frustrating and ridiculous and dramatic and honestly I was glad we didn’t have more scenes with her than we did.

“<i>I’m relieved that one of you at least is blessed with some modicum of sense.</i>“
“<b>I mean, she could be captured by pirates or highwaymen or.. or vampires or anything.</b>”
“<i>Forgive me, I spoke prematurely.</i>”

Whereas Valentine, our Duke, for all that he was seemingly in the wrong.. I didn’t think he deserved half his bad rep? He broke my heart more often than not. Maybe that’s the benefit of having his perspective vs the others but honestly he didn’t deserve the half of it.

The twin, Bonny, well. He was a slowburn warm up, at least for me. I was tickled by his early interactions and then just mildly tolerant but overall I did enjoy him. He was definitely the right amount of outlandish sunshine-y silliness to Valentine’s.. well, Valentine.

“<i>I can’t believe you like me</i>.”
“<b>If it’s any consolation, neither can I.</b>“

I will warn you that this is a bit ridiculous, a lot of camp, even some satire. Hall deploys all the usual tropes with a twist while also making this historical incredibly and enthusiastically, and unabashedly, queer. But heavy emphasis on the silly and ridiculous. Just know that going in.

I wish I had loved this a little more but Belle honestly did too much damage to my sanity to rate this higher. But. The good times? Were great. As was most of the banter. I’m not at all mad about the time I spent with this one. I don’t quite know if it’s to be a series, not GR definitely lists a “one” next to the series, so I’m keen to see who we would read about next. But if it’s Belle’s story.. well. Maybe not.
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Gay. Regency. Romance. Say no more - 3 words that make me want to drop everything and read! I am a big fan of Alexis Hall, I read Boyfriend Material and loved it and Something Fabulous was nothing different. 

Alexis is such a fun and witty writer, I love how quickly the books go by. (I mean I guess I also kind of hate it because I want them to last longer, but you get the point.) I feel like the foray into regency makes a lot of sense, and I can’t wait to read more. 

Bonny and Valentine are such a fun pairing as well. I never get old of the grumpy sunshine pairing as well as the classic over the top-ness by the members of the tonne or peerage or whatever they called Dukes back then. I read the books for the steam, not the historical accuracy - forgive me. 

Thanks to Montlake for the ARC, and congratulations to Alexis on another fantastic book.
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Something Fabulous is utterly ridiculous in the best possible way. A gloriously queer regency romp for the ages.

love, sex, friendship, kindness, laughter: they were all stars to be strung in constellations of your own making

Something Fabulous follows Valentine, the reserved and uptight Duke of Malvern, who goes on a cross-country hunt for his fiancee, Arabella, who flees after his proposal. He’s joined by Arabella’s twin brother, Bonny Tarleton, who’s unabashedly himself in every way - cunning, flirtatious, a hopeless romantic. Everything that Valentine isn’t. Together, they get into insane situations that leave Valentine questioning who he has become…and who he wants to be.

Something Fabulous is truly a gem and I feel so lucky to have read it early (many thanks to Montlake and Netgalley for the arc). It's one of the easiest 5 stars I've given this year. It’s over the top ridiculous, full of fun cliches and an overabundance of heart. I found myself laughing aloud the entire time, while reveling in the complex emotions and thoughts carefully laid out. I rarely highlight or make notes while reading, but I couldn’t help myself from highlighting lines the entire book - just so I could go back in time and remember how I was feeling in that moment.

If you’ve been around me for any period of time, you know that the grumpy x sunshine trope is one of my absolute favorites and Hall executes it masterfully here. It’s truly one of the best interpretations I’ve seen. Bonny Tarleton quickly became one of my favorite characters of all time. He is a bouquet of sunflowers disguised as a man and I couldn’t love him more. I love how he’s unashamed to be himself, but he also encourages Valentine to come out of his shell - to be the man that he knows he can be. And Valentine…this grumpy, demisexual disaster. He’s so naive and unaware of the world around him…and unaware of just how lonely he’s become. With Bonny’s help, Valentine begins to blossom like the flower he is into such a complex and character. Their relationship is beautifully captured, giving us explorations of every facet of one’s identity and purpose, and it was truly lovely to experience.

I haven’t read many books with demisexual leads and I absolutely love how it was presented here. Valentine is also a virgin with absolutely no experience and I truly appreciate how that didn’t deter Bonny from loving him. The love scenes are written with so much compassion and heart (which is truly a testament to Hall’s ability), but they still maintain that sense of over-the-top joy that I adore about this book.

The side characters are also a lot of fun. Belle was…a handful…and I didn’t personally relate or like her as much, but I appreciated her perspective. Peggy, Sir Horley, Miss Fairfax, and Miss Evans were absolute joys to read about and fleshed out this world.

Also, let’s just say that there’s a scene where Valentine runs away away from Bonny because there’s a bee…that I may or may not relate to from past experience.

I loved this book from the very first page. So much so that I pre-ordered a physical copy less than 40% in. It quickly became one of my favorite reads of the year, which is impressive given that I completed it in late December.

In Something Fabulous, Alexis Hall further proves himself to be a powerhouse in the literary world. There are few people who could pull off a story like this and it’s a testament to his writing ability that Something Fabulous doesn’t come across as ingenuous. Alexis Hall is one of my favorite people on social media, full stop. His voice is so distinctive and comforting that you feel like you’re being wrapped in a blanket from the very first line. I cannot wait to add this book to my re-read repertoire and further dive into Hall’s backlist.

Read this book. Read it if you’re feeling down, or if you’re on top of the world. It’s genuinely so much fun and I can’t wait until the rest of the world can experience it.

There was something, he was beginning to think, a little terrifying about someone who could be at once so indomitable and so fragile.
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Something Fabulous was a delightful 18th century adventure around England filled with such wonderfully-described joy (and some heartbreak, naturally). I loved how simple plot was, giving every main and side character to really shine. I wish the ending wasn't so abrupt, but sequels would easily rectify that - I need more Valentine and Bonny in my life.
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3.5⭐ 
Thank you so much to Montlake and Netgalley for providing an e-arc copy! All thoughts and opinions are still my own.

I absolutely adore Alexis Hall and was so excited to see that they were writing a historical romance! This was such an adorable and laugh out loud funny addition to the genre and I really hope they write more in the future.

I have a few mixed feelings about this book so I'm going to break this into what I loved and what I didn't.

What I Loved

1. This book is hilarious. There were so many moments that had me laughing out loud. The banter was fantastic and there was just so much charm and wit to the dialogue and writing style. This book didn't take itself too seriously and it was just so much fun to read!

2. The way this book discussed gender and sexuality was perfection and honestly so refreshing for the genre. I loved this queer cast of characters and this discussions Alexis Hall had throughout this book.

3. The romance was everything I wanted. This has a fantastic opposites attract, grumpy/sunshine romance that you won't be able to help but fall for. These 2 have so much chemistry and I really loved them together. 

What I Didn't Love

1. It got to be a little repetitive. I could have done with a couple less scenes of them "catching" the sister. But part of that may be because....

2. I really couldn't stand Arabella... I'm sorry but she was unbearable. While I understood where she was coming from at times, she was too outrageous and unreasonable for me. I grew really frustrated with her character by the end because I just couldn't understand why she wouldn't just explain how she was feeling. Rather than acting like a petulant child (sorry...)

But despite that, I really enjoyed this historical romance! Alexis Hall always writes hilarious romances full of fantastic characters and timely themes. And this was no exception! If you want a refreshing, queer take on historical romance, full of duels, carriage chases, and laugh out loud banter, definitely pick this book up!
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Regency Romp…
Delightfully wry, entertaining Regency Romp with well drawn characters that leap nicely from the page and a galloping, pleasing storyline. An entertaining, lighthearted parody. Much fun to be had.
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This book was an absolute joy to read from start to finish. A hilarious regency romp with a beautiful, tender romance at its heart. I loved Valentine as a main character--I laughed at him, I hated him, I loved him. He broke my heart with how lonely and lost he was in the beginning, but it only made his journey with Bonny more satisfying. Does not get much better than this.
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**I was provided an electronic ARC from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for honest review.**

Actual rating: 4.5 

Alexis Hall returns with Something Fabulous, a Regency era romantic comedy that is unrepentantly ridiculous, hilarious, and utterly gay. Readers follow Valentine, a Duke who has come to make good on his arranged betrothal to Arabella Tarleton. Arabella has other plans in mind and when she flees into the countryside, her twin, Bonaventure called Bonny, alerts Valentine to the situation. Bonny and Valentine have no choice to pursue Arabella with the hope of stopping her before she leaves England, and if they fall in love with each other along the way then that just adds to the adventure.

Hall has such clever, witty writing in all of his works. I have found this to be especially true for this type of period writing. Not only does Hall manage to write in ways that are smart, but he also manages to make you care about the characters and is truly funny as well. Certainly, humor is subjective and often goes wrong, but this variety of humor was exactly what I needed. Hall employed so many tropes characteristic of historical romance and wrote them well. Despite how funny and entertaining the book was as a whole, Hall did not sacrifice chemistry between the characters or the connection between them for the sake of the humor. The open communication between Bonny and Valentine was lovely to read and clear when it counted. 

Fans of KJ Charles and Cat Sebastian are likely to love Something Fabulous as well. I already came into Something Fabulous as a fan of Hall's and it was such a joy to have the opportunity to read his newest work early. I will, of course, be looking forward to whatever Hall puts out next.
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Oh this was such a delightful romp! A Regency road-trip for the ages. Historical romance is the perfect vehicle to deploy Alexis Hall's comedic voice. It's bonkers, at times absurd, over the top in the very best way, and just the right amount of haughty. There is such great queer representation and conversation during a time where so much of the vocabulary we have today was not available. Valentine is the perfect grump to Bonny's sunshine. I love Hall's focus on privilege and heteronormativity and how it related so much to Valentine's initial confusion and eventual self discovery. There were so many fantastic, colorful side characters to love too. Something fabulous is tender and chaotic and meaningful and swoony and wonderful and I absolutely loved it.
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I wanted to like this book a lot more, but I unfortunately did not. I loved the fact that it is a historical romance that features lots of LGBTQIA+ characters, it was definitely an aspect that I very much appreciated. What didn't work for me where some of the characters, especially Belle, who I could not stand for the life of me. But the thing that really didn't get me was the humor, it was a bit silly for my taste and it's not the kind of humor I enjoy, unfortunately it did influence negatively my reading experience.
I would surely read more by Alexis Hall in the future, this just wasn't the book I was expecting it to be.
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THIS BOOK 😭😭😭😭😭😭 ohhh how it lives up to its nameeeee. SOMETHING FABULOUS is an unabashedly bonkers, hilarious, tender, chaotic, queer regency romp and I loved every page. Language so rich and flowery it’s it’s own garden. No-feelings-Valentine, a starchy, clueless duke, gets drawn in by a chaotic sunshine (Bonny) to race across the countryside and track down his runaway fiancé (who happens to be Bonny’s twin). Not a single thing goes right in Valentine and Bonny’s madcap journey, and it’s a splendid, laugh out loud adventure that will have you wheezing one minute, getting misty-eyed at the tenderness the next, then blushing in public as Bonny gives disaster Valentine the gentle and caring dicking down he deserves. We all win with this masterpiece.
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4.5 stars

2021 for me has been the year of discovering how much I love (queer) historical romance, so I was delighted to see Alexis Hall had written this. I know it's not appropriate to call it a romcom since it's histrom, but...it's a romcom in historical romance form.

The key to reading this book is not taking any of it seriously, because the book doesn't take itself seriously either. Once you let yourself just vibe with it you'll be on the most delightful roll.

I loved Valentine and how he came to understand his own relationship with attraction, and how Bonny was, in contrast, so in touch with his own, but never judged Valentine for the way he experiences his feelings. I also loved every side characters, from Belle and her genderfluid friend, to the sapphic ladies, to Sir Horley with his, um, hunting lodge. Basically everyone was queer and there was no negativity about being queer (aside from some internalized aphobia and queerphobia from Valentine himself).

Basically I can only recommend this book whether you're a histrom veteran or have never read historical romance, because you're guaranteed to have lots of fun.

TWs: some internalized aphobia from a demi character, captivity, guns, gun injury
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Something Fabulous is my third book by Alexis Hall and my latest binge-read. I love Hall’s writing style and unique character banter that always leaves me cracking up. This is a genuine romantic comedy with phenomenal chemistry between the love interests. The hilarious premise of this book is that Valentine has proposed to Arabella but she runs away. So, her twin brother, Bonny, enlists Valentine’s help to get her back. Bonny is flamboyant, loyal and an absolute dreamer. Valentine is reserved at best and cold at worst with an unwavering practicality. As these two chase Arabella across the country they have numerous adventures and slowly but surely fall in love. I seriously adored this book and I can’t wait to read more by Alexis Hall soon!
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4.5 stars. 

I will read anything Alexis Hall writes, whether it be contemporary, erotic, mystery, or the side of a cereal box. This was my first historical romance of his, and I wondered if the wry humor would come through. 

Of course it does. I shouldn’t have worried. The Duke of Malvern, or Valentine to just friends (he has none), has just proposed to Arabella Tarleton  to fulfill a wish of his dead father’s as the book begins. It’s not a particularly successful proposal, to understate matters. She flees, and her twin, Bonaventure (Bonny to his friends and admirers, of which he has many) comes to Valentine (as Bonny persists on calling him) and begs for assistance in tracking down Belle and proposing better. Valentine goes, against his ducal judgment. Hijinx ensue including hay bales, kidnappings, cellar escapes, duels, and gunshots. 
The book focuses on Valentine, which is difficult because he is so fucking stupid and priggish and oblivious.  To Belle, he is a villain, and even though we empathize with Valentine, you totally see why he’s taken on that role to her.  And even when he starts to open up, he remains all of these things to a degree.  

If I could change one thing about the book, it would be to get to know Bonny better. More Bonny!  And more Peggy! (I don’t know what happens to her but I want to find out). 

I loved it. It’s getting 4.5 stars not because of any failing if it but just to leave a sliver of distinction  between it and Boyfriend Material, which is my favorite Hall book (until Husband Material comes out?)

***I received an arc from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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This was an absolutely delightful, completely mad-cap romp across the regency English countryside, and I am totally here for it!

Valentine and Bonny are the consummate embodiment of the grump and sunshine trope, but with lots of heart! I couldn't help but feel for Valentine, even when he was being absolutely churlish, but Bonny helps him out in the end.

Bonny's twin sister was so very annoying, though, which was by design, but still! 

As always, Alexis Hall has a knack for witty, intelligent dialogue, and I absolutely loved the banter between Valentine and Bonny. 

This book was just so much fun, and I absolutely loved it!
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If only classics were written as engaging and unputdownable as Hall’s Something Fabulous, then I wouldn’t have had to bullshit my way through so many essays in my Classic Lit uni seminars. Alas, while you won’t need to consult sparksnotes when picking up this book, you’ll need some dedicated reading time because Something Fabulous is a read-in-one-sitting-story if there ever was one.
Something Fabulous follows Valentine Layton, the reserved Duke of Malvern who’s betrothed to one twin and finds himself falling in love with the other. It was always his father’s hope that Valentine would marry Miss Arabella Tarleton. But unfortunately, that hope is squashed when Valentine realizes that Arabella has no interest in a marriage of convenience and instead wants something Valentine shudders at: real romance. Desperate to get out of the impending nuptials, Arabella flees into the night. Arabella’s twin brother, Bonny Tarleton, unfortunately, has also grown up as quite the romantic. And fully expects Valentine to get up on that high horse of his to ride after Arabella and prove to her that he’s not as cold-hearted as he pretended to be during his horrid attempt at a proposal. 
So suddenly, Valentine finds himself on a chase to Dover with Bonny as his companion. Bonny is unreasonable, aggravating, overdramatic and…well, quite beautiful. What starts as a chase after his betrothed turns into Valentine questioning everything he thought he knew about love and obligation – and might just end with him pursuing another Tarleton altogether.
The drama Hall delivers in this novel, oh my. You need to suspend your disbelief before starting this book but once you do, you’re good to go. All the crazy twists, the ‘shaking-your-head-because-oh-my-god-how-is-this-happening’ are literally the best part of Something Fabulous, next to the romance, of course. The amount of times I had to put this book down because I was tearing up from laughing when Bonny would say something that got Valentine’s knickers in a twist or someone ‘detained’ Valentine so he wouldn’t marry Belle which he didn’t even want to do is unreasonably high. Something Fabulous is so ridiculous but in the best possible way. Valentine really seems to stumble from one disaster into the next and a lot of that can be attributed to the way his foot just always lands in his mouth in the most inopportune of times. Yet you can’t really feel angry with him for long because just like Bonny, you kind of do see why Valentine has such a hard time expressing himself and it’s as endearing as it is infuriatingly frustrating. Reading this book, you kind of want to roll up a newspaper and thwack Valentine over the head with it but you also see why he is the way he is and suddenly you want to wrap him in a blanket and that might not sound like the perfect comfort character to you, but to me he certainly was.
Also, the romance. THE ROMANCE (Yes, this needed all caps, I’m sorry). I loved all the discussions around sexuality and society’s expectations. While Bonny is very open and honest about being attracted to men, he also shows his vulnerable side to Valentine and doesn’t shy away from pointing out how hard it can be to find like-minded people. While I like to think that we’ve made some strides concerning this topic in today’s society, I’m also well aware as a part of the LGBTQIAP+ community that there is still a lot of prejudice and danger around when it comes to trusting someone with this part of your identity. While Valentine doesn’t just put one foot in his mouth (honestly, there aren’t enough feet in the world when it comes to that) when he discusses Bonny’s and even his own sexuality, there’s also this underlying sense of yearning to be and do better, to be supportive in the right way and my heart went out to him for that. It’s not about getting it right the first time so much as listening and learning, and most of all becoming better. And Hall definitely showed this progression in Something Fabulous, which I adored. 
Speaking of things I adored, Bonny and Valentine’s banter will forever live in my head rent free. Bonny is adorable, incredibly witty and honestly a cinnamon roll. There are no other words for it. Imagine the most wholesome person you can and double that, and you still wouldn’t even be close to Bonny. And then you get to see Bonny literally charm the pants off of grumpy Valentine who’s so set in his ways and thinks he has this duty to his father’s legacy and it’s just the most fun you can have watching him realize that none of that matters when it comes to having Bonny in his life – and at his side for the rest of it. 
Also, can I get a hallelujah for some lovely demisexual rep? I loved how Valentine grappled with his sexuality, even before realizing that he had feelings for Bonny. Societal pressures really do a number on Valentine and I loved how supportive Bonny was when it came to Valentine opening up about his fears of not being “enough” for anyone. My heart melted watching these two find their way to each other, especially considering all the misunderstandings, the bee incident (you’re not ready for it, believe me), and the hurdles they have to jump. Honestly, this is the top tier of grumpy meets sunshine trope.
We also get incredible side-characters like Belle, who, yes, I wanted to strangle sometimes but like, with love, and her snarky genderfluid friend, not to mention sapphic ladies (to whom Valentine is so incredibly oblivious that I was the embodiment of the cry-laughing emoji) and a man with a…very interesting hunting lodge. Honestly, there didn’t seem to be a character that wasn’t slightly queer and yet there was never any negativity about it, despite the time this story was set in. Of course, Valentine grapples with some internalized queerphobia, but other than that, everyone seemed to be “in on the joke” that really, no one is as straight as they have to pretend to be and I was living for it. 
Also, if all of that didn’t convince you, let me just say that it’s impossible to read this book without having a huge grin plastered to your face the entire time, so keep that in mind when adding this to your TBR.
Whether you’re a long-time fan of historical romance or a total newbie, Something Fabulous is guaranteed to leave you in stitches and clutching your chest dramatically as you follow reserved duke Valentine trying to honor his obligation to marry a suitable woman – while falling in love with her twin brother. Hilarious, gloriously overdramatic and unputdownable, Something Fabulous needs to be on anyone’s shelf who’s looking for a comfort read that’s one hell of a good time.
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Alexis Hall is back again with another FABULOUS book (see what I did there!?). If you liked Boyfriend Material and Red, White & Royal Blue you’re going to love this!

Our main characters are HYSTERICAL! Definitely a grumpy / sunshine trope and man are those characteristics highlighted well!

Valentine is…not the most sensitive of men. He has to team up with Bonny-the twin brother of his arranged fiancee- who is a literal ray of sunshine to traverse the countryside searching for his betrothed who ran away from him. 

The journey not only brings Valentine and Bonny closer, but also forces Valentine to confront ~feelings~ for the first time. Who will he decide he truly loves?

Such an amazing book. I was laughing the entire time. This is a regency era book but I liked that it didn’t feel stuffy or hard to understand! Alexis is an auto buy author for me and I will definitely be purchasing a physical copy when it comes out!
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