Review: Boyfriend Material by Alexis Hall

cover182052-medium Wanted:
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.For better or for worse, I really love the fake dating trope.  Which is why I was so excited when the publisher granted my wish for Boyfriend Material on Netgalley.

Luc and Oliver each need a man to pose as their boyfriends.  One for an image rehabilitation, the other for a family event.  What could possibly go wrong?  Oh, how about everything?  Right up to and including faling in love for real.  Which is exactly why I loved this book so darn much.  Because everything that could go wrong, did, and yet, they still managed to not jump ship and flee the country.

At first, Luc is a right jerk and not even in an endearing way.  Just a bitter, heartbroken idiot.  He’s extremely unlikable, even though you know he’s hurting from a previous breakup, but he’s awful to his friends, awful to Oliver, really just awful for the first quarter of the book or so.  But, there was something in Luc that let you know he was redeemable, that he wasn’t going to be like this forever, and that’s what kept me reading.  Because honestly, he was really funny and self-deprecating.

Oliver is your stereotypical British barrister from the get go.  Uptight, inflexible, and a little stuffy.  It was so much fun to watch Luc chip away at that exterior and get to the real Oliver inside.  Those bits of wry humor that really let you know that he’s burying a wicked sense of humor were some of my favorite parts.

When they’re together, Luc and Oliver are as adorable as it gets.  Someone told me that this book was basically a rom-com and they were right on the money.  It’s funny, it’s heartbreaking, and it’s utterly ridiculous in the best possible way.  Because Luc is so prone to using humor to deflect his feelings, it makes that much more of an impact when he truly starts to feel things, really pulling at my so easily played heartstrings.  This was exactly what I needed after a long and difficult first half of the year.


*Thanks to Netgalley, the author, and the publisher for granting my wish for this book.

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