Thank you to Sourcebooks Casablanca and NetGalley for the e-ARC to read and review! Boyfriend Material by Alexis Hall is now available!
Genre: LGBTQIA+ Adult Contemporary Romance, M M Romance
Recommend to Others?: Yes
One (fake) boyfriend
Practically perfect in every way
Luc O’Donnell is tangentially—and reluctantly—famous. His rock star parents split when he was young, and the father he’s never met spent the next twenty years cruising in and out of rehab. Now that his dad’s making a comeback, Luc’s back in the public eye, and one compromising photo is enough to ruin everything.
To clean up his image, Luc has to find a nice, normal relationship…and Oliver Blackwood is as nice and normal as they come. He’s a barrister, an ethical vegetarian, and he’s never inspired a moment of scandal in his life. In other words: perfect boyfriend material. Unfortunately apart from being gay, single, and really, really in need of a date for a big event, Luc and Oliver have nothing in common. So they strike a deal to be publicity-friendly (fake) boyfriends until the dust has settled. Then they can go their separate ways and pretend it never happened.
But the thing about fake-dating is that it can feel a lot like real-dating. And that’s when you get used to someone. Start falling for them. Don’t ever want to let them go.
My Review: This is not your average fake dating story – Boyfriend Material is a sweet, slow burn contemporary romance of awesome that I was utterly captivated by. The hype is real!
The book is told solely through Luc’s self-deprecating POV. We get a front row seat to the psychological downfall of having celebrity parents. It’s a well balanced perspective of fiction versus reality.
Luc is pessimistic and stuck in a rut. He doesn’t know – doesn’t have the confidence – how to live, so he wallows in a barely there form of human existence. He undervalues himself time and time again, making it difficult to even form a working fake relationship. You want to root for him regardless because – even though Luc can’t see it – the reader quickly sees his value as a person, a friend, a son, and a partner. I like Luc and enjoyed following his well written, exponential character growth.
Oliver is eloquent, outwardly posh, and an incredibly good person. The total handsome and perfect package. He sounds like a walking dictionary but that’s a part of his charm I love so much. You can see in the little things he does the kind of person he is and sneak peeks into his personal struggles. He’s remarkable but I have bittersweet admiration for him because he can see the good in things – in Luc – for what they are even when he can’t see them in himself.
Luc and Oliver were meant to be!
I adore Luc’s friends. They are such an odd mix of wacky wonderfulness – the ultimate squad goals!
Luc’s co-workers are an interesting bunch but I didn’t care for the offhand “polite” homophobic comments and extremely disliked what led to Luc needing a fake boyfriend in the first place.
I think most people will be able to relate to Luc and Oliver in some small way. I definitely did and that’s why I was so invested in the story and characters, fervently wishing for some sort of HEA.
Boyfriend Material is the perfect summer read. It’s a delightful story but a sluggish journey that will make this book hard to put down. I would read more books by Alexis Hall. He is an inventive storyteller and creates such endearing characters.