Cover Image: Something Fabulous

Something Fabulous

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

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!
Was this review helpful?
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.
Was this review helpful?
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!
Was this review helpful?
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.
Was this review helpful?
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!
Was this review helpful?
MY RATING 3,5-3,75/5 STARS

“You complete… arse. Wait, I like arses. You… you complete something I don’t like. Mustard. You complete jar of mustard.”

I really enjoyed this book, and it had some pretty great moments. However, it did take me a few chapters to actually get into the story, because of the historical setting.

I had a lot of things I really loved about the book such as, Bonny in general just being one of the greatest characters. It was super cute to see him flirting with Valentine in the beginning of the book and calling him “Flower”, and watch Valentine not really know what to make of those flirty exchanges. 

It also featured one of my favorite tropes of only having one bed, and it was a really cute to read about. Bonny and Valentine also had some pretty amazing banter going on, that was super funny to read. 

I absolutely loved all of the LGBTQ+ rep in the book! There were so many queer side characters on top of the two main characters being queer. It was really nice to see Valentine develop throughout the story and going from thinking he’d never find love, to find the one he wanted to spend his life with. Because he is demi he never really thought about the option of liking anyone who wasn’t a woman, so it was really cool to see him come into himself and starting to fall for Bonny.

Another thing I really loved was how it never really seemed to be a big deal to any of the other side characters, when someone turned out to be queer. It was just a thing they were, and it was never questioned or made into something bad.

Some of the things I sadly didn’t like that much about the book was how Valentine got pretty annoying and possessive in thinking he “owned” or was worth more than Belle. He never seemed to dwell to much on how his actions would affect others. Instead, his “solution” to most problems was almost always to tell everyone who would listen that he is a Duke. When people didn’t care to much about that fact, he got annoyed with them very quickly.

In general, I also feel like so much of the drama could have been solved if any of the characters actually talked to each other. It took way to long for Valentine and Belle to actually communicate with each other.

I think the ending helped with really tie everything together. We got to see all of the loose ends come together, and Valentine realized that his and everyone else’s happiness was important.
Was this review helpful?
3.5 / 5

It was surprising in parts, writing quite fabulous mostly. But it's the plot I felt was too dramatic. Belle was a really impossible character to like ever and I think she took away some of my joys of reading this book. I enjoyed the ride quite well, but not easily.
Was this review helpful?
If I could use one word to describe Something Fabulous, it would be "FUNTASTIC". This book was such a treat, and reading it was so freaking fun in an absolutely ridiculous and far-fetched sort of way.

The characters are over the top, dramatic, totally bizarre, and absolutely adorable. It's the most insane combination, and I've never read a book quite like it. Alexis Hall's writing is just the best, and if you love all of his other books, you will find that this one is just as amazing.

The only thing that took me out of the story was Annabelle's character. I was just so unimpressed with her actions and how unreasonable she is. I totally get that she was supposed to be over-dramatic and that's sort of the whole point, but I really could not relate to her point of view at all and just found it really frustrating how everyone seemed to be against Valentine. I adored Valentine's grumpiness and was just sad that he was so misunderstood! Still, regardless of that, I loved Bonny and Valentine together and absolutely loved their adventure.

A great read for anyone looking for something quick, unique, and super fun. Would definitely recommend being in the right mindset because if you're looking for a semi-serious fluffy read, you might be a bit confused. Don't take it seriously, just sit back, give in to the story, and enjoy the ride!
Was this review helpful?
If you’ve breathed in my general direction, you may know that Alexis Hall is one of my favorite authors. An autobuy author. I’ve impulse reread boyfriend material a worrying number of times and made my way through his backlist this year. One thing his books have in common: they’ve all brought me immeasurable joy.

Something Fabulous is no different.

Something Fabulous is a regency romp following Valentine, a reserved duke who unwillingly proposes to Arabella Tarleton, so horrifically that she flees. in a bid to find her, Arabella’s twin brother, Bonny, gathers Valentine on a cross-country chase but as they bond, Valentine starts to question what he thought he knew about himself and about love.

This was a whole queer party! The campest, wildest, silliest, most outrageously fun book. at multiple points my brain went “am i having…a fever dream?” but complimentary as I was literally in tears from cackling. I joke that Hall is single handedly saving 2021 but am i joking though? This was sunshine in a book. A breath of fresh air. A much needed reprieve.

As always, Hall excels at creating characters you’ll fall in love with. With Valentine - naive & profoundly lonely. watching him challenge what he’d internalized about the world, about attraction, and as he came to understand his own relationship with attraction made my chest ache. With Bonny - wholesome, charming. believing so fiercely in love and yet never judging valentine. I would give my left lung for him. And Arabella - a drama queen with violent tendencies.

This book is delightfully Hall. The wit, banter, feelings, and clever literary references - his voices radiates through. I love recognising it and knowing that there will always be this voice to return to for comfort and joy. What a wonderful voice to know.

✼ thank you to netgalley and montlake for an arc of something fabulous in exchange for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
This book was absurdly magical. There’s almost no other way to describe it. I would say it has a Princess Bride feel to it. Wonderfully magical, and definitely ridiculously fun. 

The author did not shy away from making the readers love and hate characters, and then later on, made them change their mind. Valentine had such a journey, he was completely in the dark about so many things. Bonny was an absolute ray of sunshine. He brightened every page he was on. 

“So beautiful that my throat clenches and my stomach flips when I as much as glance at you, and I wonder how the world turns when such wanting exists within it.”

Many of the side characters in this book were absolutely charming, and do hope we see HEAs for them.
Was this review helpful?
This book is absolutely amazing! I devoured this in a 4 hour flight and could not stop laughing throughout the entire book. I adored Valentine and Bonny's relationship. The entire book was an adventure taking us through the English countryside 

I cannot state enough how much I adored this book - I cannot wait for it to come out in January so I can get the physical copy for my shelves. 

Read this if you like:

- Historical Romance
-Witty Banter
-Chases across the English countryside
Was this review helpful?
This is a lovely, light-hearted and fun, more full-on silly at times, Regency m/m romance and I enjoyed every minute of it. It's an opposites attract kind of romance, where the MCs go on a wild chase and have the most ridiculous adventures and in the mean time fall in love. 

Valentine, the Duke of Malvern, has my whole heart. He spends most of the story in a state of profound confusion, physically uncomfortable and in deep emotional turmoil. It's not just that his life is completely overturned, his worldview is shaken to its core, his understanding of who he is and what he wants/can have in life is dramatically changed. And it's not an easy journey for him. I wanted to give him the biggest hug and tell him that everything will be all right, that happiness and love is very much in the cards for him. He is demisexual and I loved how that was represented in the story and found it very relatable on a personal level. His whole story touched me deeply.

And then we got Bonny who all light and bright colours and joy. The way he treated Valentine, the way he loved him, it was glorious and sexy and tender and so, so affirming. 

This is truly a warm hug of a book full of queer people in Regency times living fulfilling, happy lives, on their own or with a partner.

I tend to go for high drama, high conflict romance and this was exactly the opposite and it worked brilliantly for me. It's the perfect escape read for stressful times that made me very happy and contend.
Was this review helpful?
Thank you to NetGalley and Montlake for the advance review copy. All opinions are my own!

Alexis Hall has such a gift. SOMETHING FABULOUS sparkles with comedic timing, dry wit, and romping ridiculousness, yet within its depths is profound emotionality. Weaving in clever, Wildean satire, it was also an achingly tender, vulnerable personal journey for Valentine into deeper understanding of himself, and toward his ability to be seen and loved for who he really was.

Often when authors write historical romance, they shy away from facing head-on the deep privilege enjoyed by white men, the aristocracy, and those participating in heteronormativity, but not Alexis. He slipped in by turns hilarious and poignant commentary on those subjects, and absolutely made me cry with Valentine's grand gesture proposal at the end.

This was a touching delight to read, and I'm beyond thrilled that Alexis is writing historical romance. Also, let it be known when the duel turned into an impromptu pigeon murdering, I laughed so hard I cried.

I can't wait for the world to have this book! Thank you again to the publisher for the chance to early read it.
Was this review helpful?
This book is a joy. It’s witty, and cute, and feels contemporary (which is something I personally need in order to connect with a  regency book, but that’s something specific just to me:D). Um, yea, that’s it. Read the book.
Was this review helpful?
I positively cannot stop gushing about this book. It is the most delightful, most extra, gayest, campiest romp I've ever read and I need more like this from Alexis Hall immediately! I was sucked into Valentine & Bonny's relationship from the jump. I ate up the way they talked, argued, and loved. This is such a fun slow burn because it's not torturous...meaning, even when Valentine is denying and not coming to terms with his feelings for Bonny, it's so fun to watch him slowly get there. I really can't say enough about how much I loved this book!
Was this review helpful?
This book is fabulous! I was laughing out loud at the charm and whit on each page and fell in love with these characters! I'm not a big reader of historical romance, but being a fan of Alexis Hall made this book a no brainer! Reading this book just made me so happy and I couldn't put it down! Everything about this book came to life for me and will be one I reread for many years to come!
Was this review helpful?
Delightfully witty and charming, "Something Fabulous" is a fresh take on the well-loved Regency romance genre. Alexis Hall has quickly established himself as one of my favorite authors, and this novel does not disappoint. "Something Fabulous" takes the be reader (and the novel's characters) on a journey both geographical and emotional, with excellent results. Highly recommended. 

I received an ARC of this book in exchange for a review.
Was this review helpful?
'Something Fabulous': 4⭐

(Unpaid Review: thank you to @netgalley, @alexishall and the publishers for allowing me to read this eArc copy in exchange for a review.)

I'll admit it. This one I loved way more than Boyfriend Material. You can see a HUGE improvement in writing style and the regency era IS. HER. THING! ALEXIS, THIS IS YOUR THING, GET IT WOMAN!

Loved the ridiculousness in this book, the different sexuality reps and the characters were just hilarious and so lovable! Absolutely recommend!
Was this review helpful?
Regency romance in the style of Alexis Hall: hilarious, over the top, hot, and ridiculously heartwarming. Grumpy/sunshine trope with great demisexual rep taking place in a kinder regency era world, on a road trip. It was such a fun time reading this and meeting all these lovably absurd characters. Really looking forward to their next adventure.
Was this review helpful?
I wanted to love this. I adored Boyfriend Material and am looking forward to the sequel. But, this one was sort of tedious. There were some cute parts, some funny parts, some sweet parts. I did enjoy Valentine's evolution. But, I found that I just didn't really care that much about the characters in general and was skimming parts of the story. 

Thank you to Montake and NetGalley for this digital ARC in return for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?