No one is more bummed than I am to be writing this review, believe me. After absolutely adoring Boyfriend Material last year, I thought Something Fabulous was going to be a sure-fire favorite. Unfortunately, not even Alexis Hall’s brilliant sense of humor could save this book for me.
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.
I wanted to like this so much, I really did. As a huge fan of Boyfriend Material, this sounded like such a perfect pairing with Alexis’s witty writing style and the fun setting of a historical romance, but it was just…okay?
Parts of it were certainly funny. I mean, how could they not be? Alexis Hall is absolutely hilarious and so even at this, not his worst but his, at least in my opinion, mediocre, he is still hilarious. In fact, his sense of humor is what kept me on the hook until the end—I kept desperately hoping that the story would get better because of how dearly I love his writing.
While I enjoyed it enough (or felt hopeful enough) to at the very least want to see it through until the end, I found myself checking to see how much was left at multiple points. And that’s never a good sign.
A large part of what detracted from my enjoyment was the characters. All of the main characters were unlikeable at times, with Arabella being absolutely unbearable for most of the book. Decisions were made that were frustrating to say the least, and while I was generally rooting for Bonny and Valentine to get together, I also found myself not really caring at points. Again, this was a far cry from how I felt about Boyfriend Material, which I was just so completely, wholeheartedly invested in, that I was floored.
The plot was also ridiculous and the motivations of the characters and the reasoning behind their actions unclear. This again goes to the characters—I would have liked both Bonny and Valentine so much more had they not made the most ridiculous choices at several points.
Unfortunately, Alexis’s delightful voice and writing style wasn’t enough to save Something Fabulous, a book that managed to both be absurd and boring at the same time.
I received a review copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review. This has not impacted or influenced my opinions.
DISCLAIMER: This post contains affiliate links and I may receive a small commission if you make a purchase using the links, at no extra cost to you. You can find my full disclaimer here.