Cover Image: Something Fabulous

Something Fabulous

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Member Reviews

•••Thanks to NetGalley / Montlake for the ARC for a review•••

My emoji review: 🎩 😠 🖤 🦄 ☀️ 💙 🌼 ☔️ 🕷 😂 🐝 😘 📚 ❤️

My written review:

I read most of this on a cross-country flight yesterday and was smiling and laughing the whole time, and was completely engrossed. It’s a fabulous, ridiculous romp and I loved it so much.

It’s about a Duke and a Dandy who go on a curricle chase across the countryside of England, on a dramatic mission after a promised fiancé, and everyone they encounter along the way. Valentine can’t even put on his great coat without his valet, and Bonny wears 7 rings and a pearl dangling from his ear. Valentine is a delightfully naive “grump” and Bonny is a self-assured and passionate “sunshine”, and they make a compelling pair on their journey to self-discovery and love.

The twins Bonny & Arabella are both romantic dreamers immersed in novels, to the help or hindrance of living in the real world which leads to some super funny moments. This is so relatable, as I constantly have my nose in a book and my head in the clouds and feel like characters are my friends. A love of reading acts as a theme throughout, and is almost like its own character in the story. It’s incredibly charming.

Of course, this book has all the classic HALLISMS you have grown to love: wit, banter, bickering, chemistry, eyelashes, high comedy moments and wild scenarios, kissing, feelings, talking, clever literary references, a love of language and queer rep galore.

I’m so excited for his series of Queer Regency novels because it’s a sub-genre I didn’t realize I needed in my life. Having read (and watched) many classic Regency novels and adaptations, including all of Austen and Bridgerton, this takes the style and modernizes it without sacrificing any of the language, words and culture of the time. If you’re a fan of the Regency period and of queer romance, you will adore this book.

I was also thrilled to meet Peggy who is the MC of the next book in the duology. I immediately fell in love with them and can’t wait to read more.

NOTE: I have about 100 quotes highlighted but will keep them hidden for now for fear of spoilers. Just know they are all fabulous!
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I’m sure that there will be an endless amount of reviews that start off this way, and I’m sorry for also doing it, but not sorry…this book was something FABULOUS. What a joy! This really was a lighthearted and fun read but it still had that Alexis Hall magic to it. 
Something Fabulous has become one of those ‘break in case of emergency’ books that I will go back to when I’m down in the dumps, feeling grumpy and/or not at my best because it’s able to pull me out and just make me feel happy things.
Bonny is the most precious and perfect character that I have ever encountered. I cannot imagine anybody reading this NOT falling a little in love with him. He’s simply the best. Valentine is also wonderful in his own way and I’m so happy that these two characters now exist. Gah, they are just wonderful.
I really enjoyed the over the top DRAMA in this book, too. It is so much fun to read about characters who just love to bring all the drama. It really just makes everything so entertaining. As always, Alexis Hall knows how to create a group of characters that you can’t help but love. 
I will never shut up about how much I love this book and I hope everyone else who reads it feels the same way.
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Very funny with some passages with lovely prose, and a definite HEA at the end.  The narrative and tonal shifts are interesting.  It's an M/M Grumpy/Sunshine pairing.  I found Bonny (obviously the Sunshine character both in his physical description and his personality) to be a delightful, adorable character.  Valentine was more frustrating.  In some ways I almost preferred this world-weary, rather caustic tongue at the beginning to how thick he seemed while he was making mistake after mistake up until almost the very end.  But it was realistic, how Valentine had to figure himself out, and politically it was nice to see the demisexual representation.   

The POV is technically third-person limited, from Valentine's perspective, but in an unusual way because it feels like the POV becomes less tethered to Valentine as the story progresses.  It's interesting being in Valentine's thoughts during this shift because he's by far the character who changes and grows the most.  Also, the humor of the story runs parallel to the growth of Valentine's understanding of himself and others.  The humor at the beginning of the book is witty, but a little cynical and even cruel, making fun of Bonny and the other characters for being dramatic and seemingly too much.  Witty, cynical, seemingly sophisticated and above it all is how Valentine is too, at the start.  But then as Valentine changes , the humor also shifts, becoming less sharp, gentler, making fun of everyone (or perhaps especially Valentine?) more equally.  

Anyway, good book.  I don't think I liked it quite as much as Boyfriend Material (probably my favorite book of Alexis Hall's so far), but I enjoyed it and stayed up late to finish it in one sitting.
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“And suddenly, Valentine didn't care about rain or hunger or being tied to a chair. All he wanted was Bonny to smile. To smile forever. To smile for him.”

Thanks to NetGalley and the Publisher for the eARC in exchange of an honest review.

How can I even start saying how much I loved this? Everything was so beautiful, wholesome, hilarious, marvelous, ridiculous (in a good way). Maybe it was just something… fabulous.

•• What’s this about? ••

After the most pathetic marriage proposal, Valentine Malvern has to chase his new fiancée in a road trip with Arabella’s twin brother, Bonaventure Tarleton (Bonny).

This causes many problems to Valentine, because he has to deal with the most overdramatic, unreasonable and romance-lovers twins. 

During this chaotic trip, Valentine will know more about real life and how he is so wrong about what he thought he had to do in his life. And who knows, maybe he gets more interested in the Tarleton he is not pursuing.

•• What do I think about it? ••

I have so much to say about how beautiful this is, but it is so difficult to put it in words. 
I started reading with so many expectations. And the story, the characters, the scenes… everything really exceeded them.

The story… well it was completely absurd, ridiculous and hilarious. But in the most amazing way. Every crazy thing Bonny said, every ridiculous story he invented, every cute moment between Bonny and Valentine, every moment when Valentine got into troubles because of Arabella. 
E.V.E.R.Y.T.H.I.N.G. Was just perfect. I really loved every scene and every quote. I literally have more than 100 quotes highlighted. 

The characters… Oh God, these characters made the whole story even perfect.

Starting with Valentine. In the few days he spent with Bonny, we could see two Valentines. The Before-Bonny and the After-Bonny. And I loved both. 
The first was THE DUKE, the man who had to be perfect, the one who knew anything about the real world where women loved other women, men loved other men and some women enjoyed being men.
The second was a man who was able to laugh, make friends, love and do anything in order to be truly happy. I just loved how Valentine grew during the story.

Then my fav one… Bonaventure Tarleton (I really love his name). Bonny was so… agh, there are so many adjectives to describe him. I think the one that suits the most is, a dreamer. Bonny was a dreamer, always seeing the bright side of life. Always taking care of his sister. Never caring about what others could say about what he wanted for his life. Every scene where Bonny was, I was laughing, crying and loving him, all at the same time. He was so clever, always teasing Valentine.

What else…? Since the book isn’t out yet, I’m just going to say that you are gonna love the beautiful relationship between Valentine and Bonny. It’s not just love, it’s a really beautiful friendship. And a lot of love obviously.

And the most important, do I recommend it? Of course, I would re-read it a billion times. It’s one of those stories where everything is so perfect that you feel safe with it. You don’t want it to end. Every scene is going to make you laugh. And you are going to love all the characters, from Bonny and Valentine to Belle and Peggy.

After reading "Boyfriend Material" I knew that everything Alexis would write It’d be perfect. And I was right. This one goes straight to my top of the year, and to the top of those that I would read and read and read again.

Ps. When you read it, I know you are going to love the final scene. It was FABULOUS.
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What can I say? Alexis Hall has long been one of my favorite authors, and this hilarious regency romp did not disappoint. I've never really liked the few regency romances that I've read, so I had pretty much written off the whole genre. Leave it to Alexis Hall to give me exactly what I needed!

The characters in this story are engaging and uproariously funny. Valentine, the Duke of Malvern, is the grumpiest of grumpy heroes. Bonny is a little ball of sweet, goofy sunshine. Together they engage in a curricle chase across the countryside in pursuit of Bonny's twin sister, Arabella, who is very much NOT pleased to be forced into an engagement to Valentine (who is not exactly thrilled with the situation, either). Arabella is over-the-top dramatic, which makes for some entertaining situations. And there are several other side characters who only add to the hilarity.

But the stars of this show are Valentine and Bonny. Watching their relationship develop just made my heart melt. Valentine is stuffy and reserved and can't even manage to put on his shoes or his coat without the aid of his valet, and he believes all of that love nonsense is, well, nonsense. He believes he is doing his duty by marrying Arabella, honoring the wishes of both their fathers, and that is all. Bonny is out and proud and just so lovely, and he pulls Valentine out of his lonely ducal existence and shows him how wonderful love and relationships can be. And a big shout-out for demisexual representation!

I see this book is listed as #1 in a series, and I am so excited to see what other regency shenanigans Hall will bring us!
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This was fun, glorious, laugh-out-loud funny, full of silliness as well as big-hearted, deep emotions. 
At times it was also a bit over the top, but it was endearing throughout and such a feel-good-read. I'd highly recommend this. It'll be a comfort re-read for years to come. 

I already cannot wait for the second one of the series. 
The world needs more fabulous gay regency romance by Alexis Hall.
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Something Fabulous is, well, fabulous. Alexis Hall takes readers on a queer romp through the regency countryside, and I enjoyed every minute of it.
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A hilarious queer Regency romance from Alexis Hall, the author of Boyfriend Material (and more).  Silly and winking, yet full of heart, I laughed out loud many times.

Valentine, the Duke of Malvern, a single man in possession of a good fortune, wants to carry out his father's last wish by marrying Arabella, the daughter of a family friend, a young lady of good breeding and no fortune, to join the family's lands together. After Valentine's bungled proposal doesn't live up to Bella's romantic ideals, she absconds in the middle of the night. Bella's twin brother, Bonny, begs Valentine to go after her and set things right.. Mishaps, of course, ensue, and Bonny (who is overdramatic and funny), begins to make Valentine question everything about his life so far. Maybe Valentine isn't pursuing the right twin...

I loved Valentine and Bonny, and this book was filled with fantastic supporting characters. This book is a perfect read for someone who has a soft spot for Regency romances yet has modern sensibilities. It is like fanfiction in the best possible way. I loved it and devoured it in two days.
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When the Duke of Malvern visits Surrey to finally propose to his long-promised fiancee, Arabella, he finds that she is not as welcoming as he had presumed. She is incredibly dramatic, expects all Dukes to behave as if they were in romance novels, and solves her problem by running away from home. The Duke, Valentine, is put out, but also fine with pushing things off a little longer, as he is in no hurry to be married, either. However, Arabella's twin brother, Bonny, has other ideas and forces the Duke to go on a cross-England adventure to find Arabella and make a better effort at the proposal. While on this romp, Valentine finds that he is more and more annoyed by Arabella's behavior but inexplicably drawn to Bonny, a larger than life character on his own. 

While Something Fabulous by Alexis Hall is light on plot (truly, there really isn't much of one at all), it is incredibly funny. That said, I thought it was going to be a traditional historical with funny moments, but it is really more of a farce. Some of the silly was great, some of it really didn't work for me. I think going into it knowing a bit more what it was going to be would increase the enjoyment factor. Malvern was charming in the fact that, even thought he lived in London, he had clearly led an incredibly sheltered existence and didn't know much of the ways of the world. Bonny was a lot but I really liked him and loved how wonderful he knew himself to be (even if all of that sometimes hides some self-doubt). The best part of the book was that it showed a world where, even in historicals, it wasn't a big deal or huge secret to be gay/demi/etc. Wouldn't that be nice? Thanks to Netgalley and Montlake for the eARC in exchange for an honest review. Something Fabulous is available on Jan. 25, 2022.
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I wanted to love this book - I really did.  The characters are larger than life and the dramatics are definitely amped up to farcical levels.  But here's the thing - it was a little too much through the looking glass for me.  Much more so that other M/M historicals.  I embrace the alternate world that the author created - not unlike Bella and Bonny did with their own stories.  For me - this book as an allegory.  While it was about Valentine finding his passion and opening his heart - it was also about showing people there is a better way to be (even if it means dragging them kicking and screaming, or tying them to a chair (as it were)).  

What didn't work for me was taking a character who would have existed very well in the actual regency, throwing him into Bonny's world, and then taking him to task for not fitting in.  At one point Valentine talks about something being "not right" about himself and that it was coming to the surface.  I think Alexis Hall wanted us to understand that the "not right" bit coming to the surface was Valentine being himself and being open to love.  But in that moment, it felt awful.  His feelings were really intensified because Bonny was telling him what an awful person he was.  A few pages later, Valentine points out that he is sorry he isn't the person Bonny wants him to be.  This was perhaps the most sad moment of the book for me - Valentine is arrogant and a product of his position in the world, but he isn't a bad person.  He is truly ignorant of their being another way.    In the end, I'm not sure that telling someone - hey you are an awful person is an effective way to help them grow and change.  .  Plus things really devolve from there.  

All in all - I love Alexis Hall - and I really liked her vision of a queer friendly world, I just didn't love the way the characters in this book treated each other and the dramatics were too much for me. 

I received this as an ARC from NetGalley, and my opinions on this book will probably be very unpopular.
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I'm terribly sorry in advance, for I'm not the best at writing reviews and feel I have no words to describe my happiness in having received this book and finally reading it.
When I got an e-mail from NetGalley saying that Something Fabulous was available to me, I could think of nothing else but to get home and download the book. It took me a few days to start reading it, because I'm unfortunately busy lately.  But oh, it was worth the wait!
Of course, Alexis Hall did not disappoint. This book is delightful. Valentine is so precious and awkward I want to shelter him from anything that might harm this poor baby. Bonny is so carefree, funny and sweet and deserve nothing but to be loved completely, Their relationship is so adorable it makes my heart ache.
Although I thought the adventure started a bit too early in the book when I started reading, I later found it didn't have any negative impacts on the story, and that it was actually quite fun. 
The book is not as funny as Boyfriend Material, but it is very funny. I laughed out loud quite a few times. 
I cannot wait for Something Fabulous to be released in audiobook, so I can be with Vali and Bonny again.
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Something Fabulous is, as it says on the tin, something truly fabulous. I wasn’t sure this book would fit my reading tastes, as I’d never read a historical romance novel before, but Boyfriend Material by Alexis Hall has become one of my absolute favorite books after I listened to it multiple times this year, so I figured I might as well give his new historical romance a try. It’s safe to say I didn’t regret that decision.

This book follows Valentine Layton, also known as the Duke of Malvern, whose father always wished he’d marry Arabella Tarleton. When he finally finds the courage to propose to her, it doesn’t quite go how he’d expected it to, and Arabella runs away. This, in turn, upsets Arabella’s twin brother Bonny, who essentially demands Valentine to come with him to chase Arabella down and keep her from running away to America with her friend Peggy.

Valentine is, I suppose, a product of his time. He’s somewhat stuck in his conservative ways, which means he sort of frowns upon Bonny’s homosexuality and is confused by Peggy’s genderfluidity and her friends-with-benefits relationship with Arabella. When he starts to feel some form of attraction towards Bonny, he’s even more confused, as he’s never really felt that towards anyone before. Valentine’s arc surrounding his (internalized) homophobia and coming to terms with his (what in modern times would be known as) demisexuality was one that I found surprisingly relatable. In general, Valentine’s grumpy loner tendencies were ones that I found a little bit too recognizable, but I loved the way he was slowly drawn out of his shell by the people around him.

The central romance between Bonny and Valentine was genuinely a delight to read and had a hilarious grumpy/sunshine-type dynamic. It takes some time for them to truly get to know each other, but once they do their interactions are so much fun. Seeing a queer relationship like this one in a historical context makes me feel emotional in a way that contemporary romance just can’t quite do, and this made me realize I should go looking for more queer historical romance. The sequel, Something Spectacular, will follow Peggy, which means we’re getting historical romance with a nonbinary protagonist? Sign me up.

Overall, I greatly enjoyed Something Fabulous and am very grateful for the opportunity to read and review it early. Alexis Hall definitely wrote another one of my favorite 2021 reads. I would absolutely recommend checking this out if you like campy queer Regency romance, asexual spectrum representation in a historical context, and/or grumpy/sunshine dynamics.
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Something Fabulous was a mixed reading experience for me. On its surface, the story is relatively light and fun with some truly hilarious banter. This meant I was completely blindsided by Valentine's internal emotional conflict. He has a lot of internalized aphobia and arophobia that drives how he views himself as well as how he connects, or fails to connect, with others. Seeing things that I've thought about myself -- and am still working to unlearn -- on the page over and over again was really, really hard for me to read. Valentine's internal conflict to unlearn his aphobia and arophobia is a main storyline that occupies a lot of the story, which I was completely unprepared for based on the marketing around this book. The internalized aphobia and arophobia were also both left off of the content warnings provided by the author.

To focus briefly on the things that I enjoyed, there are so many queer characters in Something Fabulous all largely living life on their terms, which was beyond lovely to see in a historical romance. The satirical elements of Something Fabulous are also incredibly well done. It's clear that Hall is deeply familiar with historical romance as he played with tropes so wonderfully in ways that were a delight to read.

My overall impression about Something Fabulous is how strongly I wish that the internalized aphobia and arophobia had been signaled in either the synopsis or the author's content warnings. The presence of these themes in the story were triggering and made it impossible for me to enjoy the HEA/HFN.
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[Thanks Netgalley for the ebook. This review is my honest opinion but just another opinion, you should read this book and judge it by yourself] 

I love Alexis Hall writing and this book is no exception, witty, charming and a little bit too much to my poor English, but I enjoyed nevertheless.
I love the MC, Valentine and Bonny are so lovely together... Valentine lives in a grey world and Bonny invite him into a multicolored world where everything is possible. They both awakened my simpathy and their moments together are fantastic, funny and sweet. I enjoyed the most the moments where you can feel Valentine cuestioning his beliefs, his disconcert and his need of being protected and also when Bonny felt that need of protect Valentine.
But the weakest point in the book to me is Belle. I must say I couldn't stand her the whole book, she's the responsable of the low rating. The book could be so much better without her.
Vaya por delante que me encanta cómo escribe Alexis Hall y que, en ese aspecto, este libro es igual de brillante. Ese vocabulario, esas expresiones, ese humor... Fantástico.
Dicho esto, el motivo de una puntuación tan normalita es un personaje y su parte de la trama, que me han parecido insoportables (y, según avanzaba el libro, cada vez un poco más). Por desgracia, ese personaje es el motivo por el cual Bonny y Valentine emprenden juntos su odisea personal, o sea, que es un personaje importante. Es algo puramente personal, creo que si ese personaje no te molesta, te lo puedes pasar muy bien leyendo este libro. Es una cosa loca, un mundo de fantasía multicolor que se abre ante los ojos de Valentine, el duque estirado protagonista que vive en un mundo gris. Bonny le abre la puerta un mundo lleno de sensaciones, en el que puedes ser lo que quieras y vivir feliz con eso. Los momentos de ambos juntos son estupendos, muy divertidos, románticos, hot cuando tienen que serlo... Una fantasía enagüil por completo donde, además, Alexis Hall mete con mucho tino diferentes representaciones LGTBIQA+. No es un libro para tomártelo en serio en cuanto a exactitud histórica, etc., sino para divertirte y no juzgar. Una pena que, para mí, se haya visto latrado por ese personaje y por su constante afán protagonista.
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Alexis Hall is a master of hilarious banter. Okay his book is so funny and heartfelt. You can so easily imagine this on the big screen with Valentine and Bonny bantering their way through all of their various mishaps on the way to falling in love.
Loved this book
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I really wanted to like this book but I ended up DNFing it. I really enjoyed Hall's Boyfriend Material that while I had issues with it, it still made a laugh like no other book has. Sadly the humour didn't work for me in this book and instead made it an unpleasant read for me. This is such a shame because I thought a regency Alex Hall book would be a dream come true but the characters were annoying due to the flat humour.
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Another Hall masterpiece. 

Something fabulous is a fabulously written book filled with Queer representation where all of them aren't doomed and miserable and a lot of British things that are beyond my understanding (thank god for google) Bonny and Valentine are on a somewhat wild goose chase to find Valentine's runaway fiance who is also Bonny's Twin sister. 

Valentine is a demisexual duke and has not a clue what romance is supposed to be, while Bonny is an openly gay man who knows what he likes and isn't afraid to get it. I loved how Valentine grew throughout this book and how he understood himself and sexuality while Bonny let him do that without judgment and encouraged him throughout the way. Both of them work so well together and are excessively cute. 

I would also happily die for Peggy who I believe is the main lead for the next book, they were hands down my favorite side character in this book and I enjoyed getting to them. 

This book is unputdownable, the side characters have as much personality as the main leads. Queer people in regency romcoms are usually miserable or live in secrecy or they live a very sad, this book is a big flip-off to the narrative by having such a positive outlook on these relationships and the number of happy queers that absolutely warmed my heart.

It's the perfect read when you want something lighthearted and fun and very queer to read. 

Another Hall masterpiece. 

Something fabulous is a fabulously written book filled with Queer representation where all of them aren't doomed and miserable and a lot of British things that are beyond my understanding (thank god for google) Bonny and Valentine are on a somewhat wild goose chase to find Valentine's runaway fiance who is also Bonny's Twin sister. 

Valentine is a demisexual duke and has not a clue what romance is supposed to be, while Bonny is an openly gay man who knows what he likes and isn't afraid to get it. I loved how Valentine grew throughout this book and how he understood himself and sexuality while Bonny let him do that without judgment and encouraged him throughout the way. Both of them work so well together and are excessively cute. 

I would also happily die for Peggy who I believe is the main lead for the next book, they were hands down my favorite side character in this book and I enjoyed getting to them. 

This book is unputdownable, the side characters have as much personality as the main leads. Queer people in regency romcoms are usually miserable or live in secrecy or they live a very sad, this book is a big flip-off to the narrative by having such a positive outlook on these relationships and the number of happy queers that absolutely warmed my heart.

It's the perfect read when you want something lighthearted and fun and very queer to read.
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Regency road trip romp with Alexis Hall's signature wit and cleverness? I'm in, obviously.

Go in knowing it's going to be delightfully ridiculous and over the top. I don't think I was prepared for HOW over the top some of the characters were (looking at you, Tartleton twins)--Bella was a LOT, possibly too much, and while I admired that she didn't want to be caged, her actions often didn't make sense.

Valentine's demisexuality and his awakening to his desires is beautifully revealed over the course of the story as he falls in love with Bonny. I do wish we knew a bit more about his life before and just how sheltered he was, even being in London, and why his duty to his father's wishes was so important to him.

Thanks to Montlake and NetGalley for the ARC.
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Thank you to NetGalley and Montlake for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

I would recommend if you're looking for (SPOILERS)

-m/m historical romance
-frenemies to lovers
-amazing banter
-opposites attract
-only one bed
-ace representation
-I hate everyone but you (and my valet)
-everyone is queer
-a small bit of kidnapping

You know those books you can just tell the author had so much fun and joy and writing.  THIS IS THAT BOOK.  And that joy and fun transferred to my reading experience.  I laughed so hard, awed in all the sweet moments, and just enjoyed this.  This was so tropey and fun.  Everything I needed and more.

Valentine was so starchy so grumpy and just perfect as he figured himself out on this journey.  Sweet, sweet, Bonny I just want to wrap him in a blanket and protect his soft soul from the world.  A hopeless romantic, a bit rakish, and just so lovely and soft on Valentine.  How these two accidentally fell in love and bumbled around each other was just wonderful.  All of the side characters just added to the story.  I now want to go play the dictionary game.  

Just read this book.  Fall in love with these two idiots as they try to figure out their feelings all while chasing Bonny's adventurous sister around the English countryside without *gasp* a valet.


Steam: 3
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"Something fabulous" is not just the title - this entire novel is something fabulous. It took me a chapter or two to get used to the rather old language, but once you are entirely in the setting it's just so much fun to read. You can't help but fall in love with the both powerful and strangely naive duke and his lively companion.  Watching them get to know each other - and themselves for that matter - was just amazing and I wish there would have been more pages for it - or maybe a sequel. Just like Valentine I got a bit annoyed by Belle once in a while, but that is just a tiny complaint. 
I loved the book and I hope it will be translated into german, so I can share it with a lot more people!
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