Cover Image: Something Fabulous

Something Fabulous

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Member Reviews

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] 

//ENGLISH REVIEW//
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.
-------------------
//SPANISH REVIEW// 
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
-close-proximity
-opposites attract
-grump/sunshine
-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.

Scrumptious.

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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Something Fabulous is, well, fabulous. Alexis Hall takes readers on a queer romp through the regency countryside and I enjoyed every minute of it. 

Valentine, Duke of Malvern, has decided he needs to honor his dead father’s wish and marry his neighbor Annabella Tarleton. She, however, thinks it is a terrible idea and runs away. At her twin brother Bonny’s demand, Valentine and Bonny follow her across the English countryside for the historical road trip you didn’t know you needed. While riding along in their curricle, Valentine begins to realize that instead of pining after Arabella, he has romantic feelings for a different twin entirely. 

Bonny is a delight. He is hilarious, and makes every scene he’s in more fun. But, he also manages to see below the surface of people, which is how he can find the good in Valentine. I found Valentine very hard to like at first, but it quickly becomes evident that he has no clue how to deal with people. 

This book is outright silly at points, which I mean as high praise. I don’t think it is meant to be taken seriously. The historical-like names are hilarious, and I couldn’t stop laughing through the scene that leads to the duel. Because every good historical romance should have a duel. 

I haven’t see this much queer representation in a historical in a while, and I’m here for it. If you are a fan of Cat Sebastian or KJ Charles, but want more humor and lighthearted characters in your story, Something Fabulous is the historical romance for you. 

I voluntarily read and reviewed an advance copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
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After finishing this book, I'm still a little torn on how I feel about it. On one hand, it's adorable. Hall's signature wit and memorable characters are here in spades, and I love me a good regency romance. I would die for Bonny.

On the other hand.... I don't know. Something just felt off about the book. There's a lot going on in this book. A lot. And sometimes, at least for me, it stretched my willing suspension of disbelief just a little too far. I don't want to go into too much because of spoilers, but, after a while, I was just done. I was ready for Bonny and Valentine to get their HEA (because we all knew it was coming) and was tired of random ass plot points jumping out of nowhere and preventing it from happening.

Honestly, it's a good, quick read. Don't go in expecting a normal regency romance and you'll probably end up liking it.
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Valentine feels it’s time to fulfill his father’s wishes and proposes to Belle, a childhood friend. He comes to find out that not only does he not really want that, but neither does she when she flees town. Valentine and Bonny, Belle’s twin brother, go searching for her but they go through a whole lot along the way. 

This book is hilarious! It was so over the top but in the absolute best way. It has love that will warm your heart and give you butterflies, and it can be so silly that it’ll have you laughing out loud. I loved Boyfriend Material so when I saw this by Alexis Hall I knew I had to get my hands on it, and it did not disappoint. 

If you’re looking for a queer romance and a good laugh, look no further! This book will take you on a journey that you won’t want to end.
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This was the first M/M historical romance that I've read and I was really excited to dive into it because it's by Alexis Hall!  This book featured some really smart dialogue.  I loved the witty and sarcastic banter between Bonny and Valentine.  The first chapter had me laughing out loud!  I liked how easily Valentine's heteronormative perspective changed when he realized that men could be in love with men.  It seemed to click for him, as soon as he made that realization.  And the sex scenes in this book were HOT!!!  

Some things that I didn't love about this book...
Belle was a little too obnoxious for me.  In the prologue, she had me laughing out loud and I thought "Oh I am going to love this girl because she's extra!"  But as the story progressed and she became very very very extra, I was a bit turned off by her.  The two men chasing her around got a little old and I was ready for them to move on to the next part of the storyline.  

Overall, an enjoyable book especially because it's a perspective in historical romance that isn't featured enough.  I am definitely interested in reading the next book in the series.   

Steam level: 🔥🔥🔥
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“You make me feel in ways I have never felt before. You are your own adventure and you are… beautiful. 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.”

This story… I honestly don’t know how to explain it. It reads like an over the top fairy tale. There is neuro divergence and inclusivity in *every* sense of the word, all wrapped up in the most delightful fairy tale of two men on an adventure. The humor is dry and surprising, I found myself laughing aloud again and again. 

This is my very first historical romance novel (I know, I know!) and in the beginning I struggled with the old fashioned language and also distinctly British dialect and tone that Author Alexis Hall is known for. I felt like I needed to look up words frequently, but the feeling calmed as the novel went on and I became completely immersed in this fantastical world. Having not read the genre before- I  couldn’t decide if “Something Fabulous” was more satire of historical romance or just an entirely unique and sarcastic romance in and of itself. It is rare that I struggle to set a book down for a proper bedtime, but this book kept me enthralled well beyond my normal hour. 

“Love is not supposed to be convenient, my flower. It is supposed to be transcendent.”

“All he wanted was for Bonny to smile. To smile forever. To smile for Him.”

The villainous Miss Tarleton was absolutely exhausting and over the top ridiculous, yet I enjoyed the fact that while expecting the conflict to be solely internal,  external circumstance also reared its head. 

I think my favorite little tidbits, aside from the sweet and swoony romance, was the unending ode to novels weaved throughout. Again and again- the necessity for books whether for escape or comfort or desire or what have you, was extolled and waxed poetic about and I just fell in love with these characters who love books. 

“If we lived life as though it were a novel, we’d spend all our time becoming embroiled in improbable adventures and spouting nonsense about filling our vast and empty souls with joyful aches.”

This story was unique. It was unlike anything I’ve read before, and I find myself very curious if the author is going to continue on in this direction. There are a couple side characters that I would be delighted to read about. I look forward to whatever comes next from Alexis Hall. 

Thank you to netgalley and Montlake for an early copy of Something Fabulous, all opinions are my own. Will post to amazon and Bookbub upon release.
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