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Publisher's Summary

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.

©2022 Alexis Hall. (P)2021 Brilliance Publishing, Inc., all rights reserved.

Critic Reviews

“[Nicholas] Boulton perfectly captures Valentine's tendency to become stiff and overly formal when he is distressed.… On the surface, Bonny seems flighty and flirty, but Boulton gives him unexpected depths of compassion and insight into Valentine and the workings of the world at large.... A delightful performance will leave listeners alternately cackling with glee and cringing in sympathy.”AudioFile Magazine, Earphones Award Winner

“Alexis Hall’s first queer historical, Something Fabulous pays homage to the classic Heyeresque Regency romp while subverting many of its problems…The whole duke archetype is deconstructed piece by piece in a series of comic mishaps unfurled with impeccable authorial control.”The New York Times

“[A] wonderfully queer mash-up/send-up of buddy movies, Austen novels, and classic rom-coms.”Publishers Weekly 

What listeners say about Something Fabulous

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DNF...returned.

Not even close to on par with the other Alexis Hall books I've read. None of the characters were likable and the story was dragging so much. I stopped a little over 1/3rd of the way through.

3 people found this helpful

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Fabulous

I have to agree with the title; this story is something fabulous. A young duke (Valentine) finally proposes to the daughter of a family friend (Arabella Tarleton). Their fathers had always wanted them to marry and now Valentine wants to do right by his deceased father. Arabella runs away because she doesn't want to marry him and Valentine goes after her along with Arabella's twin brother, Bonny. On the way, Valentine and Bonny fall in love. Crazy things happen, mostly because Arabella is a lying, impulsive drama queen who thinks she is living in a novel and wants to get away at any cost and Valentine is a bit obtuse. Arabella's actions are annoying and I wanted to throttle her and some of the other characters too. That is the point, though. The novel pokes fun at over-the-top dramatic characters and plot elements, the gothic genre of the 19th c. as well as ideas of respectability and decorum (hence the reference to Austen's Northanger Abbey). The characters and dialogues are hilariously funny but the novel is plot-driven; it hangs on the ridiculous plot elements and how they develop. The point of this novel is to entertain, first and foremost and it does exactly that without being realistic or profound. It's just fun! I've listened to and read a few of Alexis Hall's novels and while very different, all have been well-written and this one is no exception. The narrator also did an excellent job of portraying the different characters and the absurdity of situations. His performance was just right for this work. I'll probably listen to this again when I'm having a bad day and want something to cheer me up.

2 people found this helpful

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Fabulously Ridiculous

Very fun and such a delightful, sexy romp. Clever humor and a great listen.

2 people found this helpful

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Valentine deserves the word

I loved Valentine with all my heart and i did not understand why he had to apologize even for the things done to me! He deserved better.

1 person found this helpful

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delightful

this was a delightful romp with a fantastic cast of characters and all the Alexis Hall charm you could hope for.

1 person found this helpful

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A gem among gems

I haven't yet read a M/M romance from Alexis Hall that has been a waste of my time, and Something Fabulous is something the most fabulous so far. The characters are delightfully flawed and forever dramatic - even Valentine, the most staid of the bunch (except for Peggy), has his particular peculiarities. My favorite thing about this story was the deep development of an asexual character without ever resorting to labels or using the description in the synopsis, which is rare even among the few romances that feature asexual main characters. I always appreciate a thoughtfully developed representation!

1 person found this helpful

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Perfect story and narration

Nicholas Boulton is perfection. I had to keep reminding myself that I was listening to one person voice all of these characters. It was the biggest joy to listen to him read this story to me.

The story itself is also perfection. It's hilarious and touching and tender and adventurous -- it contains multitudes. It is about freeing yourself from external expectations, exploring to find your true self, uncovering incorrect assumptions. It's a literal journey across the countryside and also a journey of self discovery. And, it contains such queer joy that my heart is bursting with happiness.

1 person found this helpful

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MM Regency Gold

Regency romance usually isn’t my thing, but this story was so funny and charming and I’m so glad I picked it up.
If it hadn’t been free to listen to with my kindle unlimited I probably wouldn’t have given it a shot, so I loved that it was included.
I think my enjoyment was heavily due to the audiobook and narration. The narrator did such a great job keeping the voices separate and his accent really added to the experience.

Bonnie was the epitome of a ray of sunshine. I absolutely loved him and his over dramatic sister. Valentine couldn’t help but keep sticking his foot in his mouth and his conservativeness and innocence kept working against him, but bring these two together and it was magic. These characters get into so many antics while on the road.

Tropes: Fiancés Brother, MM Regency, One Bed, Road Trip
⭐️ 5/5
🌶2/5

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Very funny, very silly, very hot

Alexis Hall is some kind of genre fiction wizard—i love most everything they write, but they are the ruling monarch of the queer regency romance!!! Great narration too! Least embarrassing and hottest sex scenes ever (maybe other people don’t often feel embarrassed when listening to explicit sex scenes even when al

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Both prodigiously silly and lovely

I was not expecting a farce regency romance when I began, Something Fabulous, but that is most definitely my fault for not paying better attention to the summary. Once I realized what kind of story I was in for, I settled in for the ride. And what a ride it was! Valentine considers himself a reasonable man reasonable man and is suddenly thrust into a most unreasonable adventure wherein he discovers that the duty and responsibility he has clung to all his life are the very things that stand to ruin all his happiness. Also he's been a massive prick and if he doesn't open up to some humility soon, he really will lose everything that matters. I thought it was really refreshing to see eat varying forms of queer representation including demisexuality demisexuality. The characters for the most part absolutely refuse to be anything other than exactly who they are, and that is indeed, Something Fabulous.

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  • Deliabattie
  • 01-26-22

Utter nonsense

Completely silly and unrealistic. The characters are all ridiculous. This reads like a kids book peppered with unappealing, explicit sex scenes.

Such a shame as I loved Boyfriend Material, but if I had read this blind, I wouldn't have had a clue it was by the same author.

I don't understand why you would give a book an historical setting but have all the characters speak and have the social values of the 21st century. What is the point?

6 people found this helpful

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  • Mrs D
  • 02-26-22

🎧 Valentine and Bonny 🎧

Hilarious, heartwarming, inspiring, eloquent and educational.
zi never have the words to adequately describe how much I enjoy Alexis Hall's books, but this is one of my favourites!
Marvellous narration from Nicholas Boulton was the icing on the cake.

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  • BevS
  • 02-07-22

Nicholas Boulton/Alexis Hall...WINNING combo!!

Having read AND listened to nearly everything Alexis has written over the years [I would read one of his shopping lists...honest], I was chuffed to bits when I saw that Nicholas Boulton [Glitterland/Prosperity] was doing the audio for this, he is AMAZING!! The story I also sort of loved : Regency romp, plenty of laughs, beautiful words from Alexis...what's not to like? Unfortunately, I did find the middle of the story which was set around the Misses Fairfax and Evans' cottage irritating to the extreme, and coupled with that awful attention-seeker Arabella Tarleton [whom I absolutely detested 😠], I was completely thrown off for a while.

I was very happy at the end for the lonely 'Flower' and his beautiful but excitable man Bonny 🥰🥰. I loved most of the characters, especially Sir Horley Comewithers [I kid you not], Peggy [who was a girl some of the time...and I understand Peggy's story comes after this one] and the very droll but funny Periwinkle [Valentine's valet]. All in all though, a great listen and 4.25 stars from me.

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  • Wide Eyes, Big Ears!
  • 02-24-22

Surreal regency romance / comedy!

Never having had to care about anyone else but himself, Valentine Layton, the Duke of Malvern, is bewildered when his less-than-romantic proposal to Miss Arabella Tarleton is met with high dudgeon and an attempt to flee the country. Fearing for her safety, Arabella’s twin brother, Bonny, demands the Duke help him rescue her. Along the way, Valentine develops feelings for Bonny that he’s never had for anyone. This regency romp / comedy of manners amused and frustrated me in equal measure. It’s an ambitiously different historical romance: there are gloriously written passages - some witty, some beautiful - and the opening scenes are a triumph, but over time the farce moved from fun to surreal. It reminded me of Martin Scorsese’s nightmarish film After Hours where an ordinary character has an increasingly weird and distressing set of encounters. Similarly, Alexis Hall subjects the Duke to a series of embarrassing and humbling events as she breaks down his walls and carefully self-constructed image - I just felt so sorry for him and I hated Arabella’s lies, melodrama and bloodthirstiness, she really was a bit unhinged. I loved the scenes when Bonny and Valentine were on their own and Valentine could breath and appreciate Bonny, but there was never time to enjoy them before the next madcap episode - the romance really took a backseat. Audio narrator Nicholas Boulton really sparkles, it’s a flawless performance.

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  • Frankie
  • 02-10-22

Unlikable characters

I found all the characters unlikable, limited character development and a silly storyline.

The use of language and the performance were the only redeeming features.

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  • Dot
  • 01-27-22

Fabulous!

I listen to lots of audiobooks and rarely review. I have also listened to and loved many of Alexis Hall’s books. This was beautiful, ridiculous. laughoutloudable and unputdownable. Enjoy!

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  • Gehrminator
  • 01-27-22

Fabulous indeed

This was a thorough delight, completely ridiculous, yet utterly delectable. Peaches & pies, bread & butter & cheese, wild honey, tea with cake, and Bonny forever dazzling & smelling of strawberries.

If you are somewhat delicate in nature then the lovemaking may be too descriptive for your liking, be warned that it's thoroughly ravishing & entirely enjoyed by the boys. This is very much an adult romance. This ain't Boyfriend Material, although there's plenty of humour here too.

A 👌 narration by Nicholas Boulton, wonderful characteristics across the board.