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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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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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🎧 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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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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  • Ari
  • 02-03-22

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.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Meredith
  • 07-02-22

Fabulously Ridiculous

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

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  • Wrtiersbloc
  • 27-01-22

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.

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 17-02-22

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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  • Kindle Customer
  • 13-02-22

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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  • indydoula
  • 13-02-22

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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  • Tracie R.
  • 06-02-22

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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  • AmazonReads
  • 06-02-22

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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  • Prolific reader
  • 26-06-22

A lighthearted and nearly perfect exploration of queerness

This book is a very unserious romp that explores a multitude of queer identities and scenarios in a most unexpected historical setting. I can envision it being one of the most educational and entertaining introductions a person could have to sexual identities. It’s frank and humorous and wrapped in romance. I’ve followed Alexis’ writing for years because he’s one of the most talented writers I’ve encountered and this is just one more outstanding example. It’s also very different from other books he’s written because it’s much more obviously tongue-in-cheek while staying true to his unique style. And the narrator is outstanding just as he was with Glitterland. I can’t offer enough praise for both talented artists!

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  • Penelope
  • 21-06-22

Fabulous narration on a joyous romp of a story

This is a prime example of how narration can elevate a story. I'm not sure I would have been anywhere near as enamored with this one without Boulton's deliciously deadpan narration. There were so many absurdly laugh-out-loud moments, but the best was when his voice would dip down into its lowest register and he sounded like a dead ringer for Matt Berry. And let's be honest, Matt Berry as the star of a gay Regency rom-com is the magic we all deserve in this tired world. I typically listen to books in fits and snatches, and mostly only on road trips or other special circumstances, but I found myself devouring this book while doing chores and trying to fall asleep and generally avoiding what needed doing. I got through it in record time, because it really is an un-pausable delight.