Something Fabulous By Alexis Hall
Book/Novel Author: Alexis Hall
Book/Novel Title: Something Fabulous
From the acclaimed author of Boyfriend Material comes a delightfully witty romance featuring a reserved duke who’s betrothed to one twin and hopelessly enamoured of the other.Valentine Layton, the Duke of Malvern, has twin problems: literally.It was always his father’s hope that Valentine would marry Miss Arabella Tarleton. But, unfortunately, too many novels at an impressionable age have caused her to grow up…romantic. So romantic that a marriage of convenience will not do and after Valentine’s proposal she flees into the night determined never to set eyes on him again.Arabella’s twin brother, Mr. Bonaventure “Bonny” Tarleton, has also grown up…romantic. And fully expects Valentine to ride out after Arabella and prove to her that he’s not the cold-hearted cad he seems to be.Despite copious misgivings, Valentine finds himself on a pell-mell chase to Dover with Bonny by his side. Bonny is unreasonable, overdramatic, annoying, and…beautiful? And being with him makes Valentine question everything he thought he knew. About himself. About love. Even about which Tarleton he should be pursuing.
Valentine & Bonny are off.looking for Bonny’s twin sister Belle,. who is to be Valentine’s fiancee. Belle is on the run with her best friend, Peggy who likes to dress as a man. The dialogue is well-thought & witty. I found myself reading paragraphs out loud to my husband. This book was made to be read aloud with distinct voices for each character. Love you Flower Love you too Bonny.
I loved this book. Alexis Hall has a way with words. If you’re a fan of Jane Austen and M/M romance, this book is for you.
I usually love Alexis Hall books, and this book also had some really great lines and good parts. But the lighthearted plot became suddenly heavy about halfway through, and I couldn’t feel the same way about the book or the characters afterwards. It feels like the duke in this book is being punished for the failings of all the other dukes in romance novels that this one is supposed to parody. And meanwhile he’s not actually ill-intentioned, he’s just socially clueless and trying his best to follow what he’s been taught is the honorable thing to do while being perfectly miserable himself about it. He does say some nasty things and throws his power around carelessly and he absolutely needs to be put to rights, but the way it’s done felt so out of proportion that instead of being glad for the fix I just felt really sad for him. And I say that as someone who hates controlling/domineering men in traditional romances. His love interest Bonny gave me chills. He has a vengeful and controlling streak that comes out at times, with a veneer of joyful sparkliness on top. On balance he’s not a bad person but I also wouldn’t want him anywhere near me. Same goes for his sister and some of the new “friends” who get introduced. Just thinking of them makes me want to run away and be a social hermit like the duke used to be. I get overall why it’s important for this book to exist, and that it’s trying to parody and fix a lot of things that are wrong with these kinds of romances. And Bonny is no worse than a lot of female heroines in similar books, and if fictional imperfect women get to have their dukes then fictional men should too. But in the end when I read a book I’m there for that particular book and for the characters in that book, and on that account this one fell short for me.
I’m a fan of Hall and will buy anything with their name on it. I was not a fan of this book. The stilted language and downright unlikable Malverne made it hard to read for me. And I found both Bonny and Arabella annoying if occasionally amusing. The supporting cast was lovely. But the setting was rich and the narrative, if pompous, had its moments. I’ll still buy Hall and hope this was just a character story they had to write.
Valentine the Duke is treated horribly. Even shot. The twins are atrocious. Agreed with another reviewer, the Duke should have gone to the Prince Regent and had the twins sent to the penal colony of Australia, especially Belle. Not one iota of sense to this. It could have been fun, without the sister, and if Bonny had been less under her thumb. How much more fun had the sister run off to America because she was in love with an American, and Bonnie was sent to the Duke to break the news, and they fall for each other. None of the melodrama, the violence. Just a gay version of an old Georgette Heyerdahl novel of the 30s. Really don’t like to write reviews like this, but no choice.
I adored this book! I heard about it on the Bonkers Romance podcast and rushed to buy a copy. What a sparkling bonbon of romance delight! Tons of humor, the most adorable LI ever, and the pleasure of watching an uptight, arrogant, duty-bound duke blossom in the sunshine of Bonny’s love. Pure joy. Highly recommend.