Cover Image: Boyfriend Material

Boyfriend Material

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Member Reviews

My first Alexis Hall book was an overwhelming success! I listened to the audio version of this book and it was delightful. I probably looked like a fool grinning and giggling my face off while listening during my daily walks. I’m a sucker for a grumpy character — and even more so for TWO of them. I loved everything about this closed-door m/m romance.

“Fake it till you make it” romances are my catnip. I love them for so many reasons, but not the least of which is the fact the reader knows where things are headed far before the characters figure it out for themselves. It was impossible not to love Luc and Oliver. They were just so imperfectly perfect for each other. Opposites definitely attract — and gave a delightfully heartwarming slow burn romance — in Boyfriend Material. 

Not only was Boyfriend Material perfect and swoony AND live up to my sky-high expectations, but it was also utterly AMAZING on audio. Joe Jameson did a fantastic job bringing Luc and Oliver to life. And his voice. Whoa. I could legit listen to him read the dictionary.
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I wanted to love this book. I went in expecting to love it as much as I did Red, White, and Royal Blue and I think I was comparing them too much. It was a little slow and drawn out. It was cute but could have been better.
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Boyfriend Material is so thoroughly a Christina book, chock full of banter and people who are sweet and adorable and lovely but also know fuck all about dealing with their emotions.

At 432 pages in the paperback, Boyfriend Material runs long, and I'm not going to lie and say it couldn't have been edited down. Prepare to get many details about everyone that Luc interacts with at any time and to follow Luc down many mental rabbit holes. Expect no opportunity for bantering to be missed, even if it doesn't necessarily advance the plot. If you are a plot person and not a banter person, this book will probably strike you as tedious. However, I am a character arc and banter person, so I loved the voice and the commitment to constant banter.

Another thing you should know is that this book is very deeply British. I suspect this book is going to attract a lot of readers who loved Red, White, and Royal Blue, and, if they're not regular readers of romance or watchers of British television, I feel like they're going to be distinctly surprised. My book club read RWaRB, and all the people who usually don't read adult romance were talking about how graphic it was, and all the regular romance readers were like "pretty tame actually". Boyfriend Material doesn't get graphic in the sex scenes, but there are constant frank discussions about penises and stuff like that, so it could easily be a shock to some readers. In terms of Britishness, there are jokes about the English perspective of Welsh and Irish people and things like that, and an arseload of British slang. I didn't have an issue with at any point (loved it, actually), but if your only exposure to British culture is a couple episodes of Doctor Who, it might be rough.

From looking at reviews, I can see that some people didn't like this book because of the way Oliver and Luc, particularly Luc, go hot and cold. That's totally a fair take, and I see why some people feel that way. For me, though, this is one of those books where I didn't mind tropes I usually cannot stand (miscommunication, constant break ups to protect the other person from their undeservingsness), because everything felt so one hundred percent like what the character would do. Luc and Oliver are traumatized, messed up little beans, and they do not know what to do with their feels, so obviously I love and adore them and want to protect them.

The audiobook was super excellent as well. Joe Jameson's narration was perfect, particularly his super stern and deep voice for Oliver, because it totally captures the awkward Darcy-ness of Oliver, who gets more pompous the more nervous he is. Ugh so thoroughly precious I absolutely cannot okay. Anyway, Jameson did a nice job distinguishing the large cast, and I was able to remember everyone without a problem, which can be tricky in single narrator audiobooks with large casts.

Think Bridget Jones meets Coupling meets awkward Darcy, and you've got something sorta like Boyfriend Material. If you love precious fuck ups who mask their discomfort and inability to handle emotions with a fuckton of banter, this is the book for you.
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This book took me a hot minute to get into but I ended up really loving it. Luc is a little awful for the first half or so of the book but I was really satisfied by how he owned up to his issues and the growth we see from both him and Oliver as the story progresses. A lot of these contemporary romances shift perspectives between the two love interests and I found I really missed that in this one. I loved Oliver and I would have loved to read from his pov. But, I recognize that the way it was written makes sense for how the storyline evolves, so it wasn't a huge disappointment to not have that. This book also features some really great side characters who added to the humor and tons of emotional support for the two main characters. Overall, very cute, very funny, a little steamy. I would definitely recommend this to patrons
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There’s something about a book set in London that makes me unable to stop reading. I’ll be honest the first few chapters of this one almost lost me, the set up was a bit cringe worthy BUT I think that was the point? HOWEVER! Once I got past the set up I was able to forget it and enjoy a really cute story. There is nothing heavy here. The stakes were super low.. It was just an easy, cute read. Cute boys kissing and being hopeless disasters. Be aware this is NOT YA. I would consider this an Adult Romance, it didn’t have any graphic content but it was definitely about adults in adult situations. There were also several sections I genuinely had no clue what was happening because they kept dropping really Welsh and English words/phrases. Most people would have hated that, but as someone who wants to live in the UK so desperately, I reveled in it.
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This was a highly anticipated romance read for me! I thought it was really good, the fake boyfriend trope is always a favorite of mine. There was definitely a lot of humor. There was a lot of chemistry and angst between Luc and Oliver, which I loved. This book definitely lived up to the hype.
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This book was so fun to read! I did go into this book kind of comparing it to Red, White and Royal blue because that was my favorite M/M romance last year so I had very high expectations for this one. I learn now I shouldn't do that cause it can kind of ruin an experience for you. While I did enjoy the characters and the overall story, the second half of the book kind of drug for me a bit. I do love having a happy go luckey main as well as a more grumpy main but their relationship felt just a little bit forced. Overall, I did enjoy this series and would recommend it to romance readers. 3.75/5 stars.
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I love all of Alexis Hall's books! They all have so much heart in them and the angst and the feelings (good and bad) are all hyper realistic. These characters just need a big hug for pretty much the whole book. Ugh I just love them and I'm sad the book ended.
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I really enjoyed this one. It was a very fast read, For fans of Casey McQuiston or Joe Keenan. Very fun narrative voice with almost a Wodehouse-ian humor. Pacing slowed down a bit in the second half.
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Absolutely loved this story.  I was not expecting this to be so funny.  At the beginning I wasn't so sure about the Luc character.  He wasn't exactly likable.   However, when he met Oliver and they decided to fake date I really got into their story and started liking Luc a lot better.  Once I got past those first few chapters of Luc,  the story gets really fun.
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I enjoyed this immensely.  Usually I don't care for the fake relationship trope, because so much of the book is often spent on angst about "but I can't TELL him I actually have feelings for him!" but this book entirely avoided that in favor of genuine issues that emerged organically, were appropriate for the characters, and absolutely made sense and are difficult to solve.  It's funny, sweet, just the right amount of angsty - I'll recommend it widely.
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Thank you NetGalley for the arc! 

I really loved the voice of the main character. He was sometimes funny and even when the situation wasn't, but it played well with the other characters. 

Sometimes I think the inhead dialogue lasted a bit too long and would go off topic and not really make sense. But it was a good story.
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While I wanted to like this book, hoping it was in the same vein as "Red, White, and Royal Blue," however this was not the case.  I think the main problem can be traced to the book being too long.  Pacing is key in a romance novel, and this one missed the mark.  The characters were also too old to be acting the way they did.  I could see people in their early adulthood (18-22) acting the way they did, but not people in their late 20s.
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This book was everything I wanted and more. The BANTER. Ugh i loved the boys so much and it was a perfect ending to such a fun fake boyfriend book!
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4/5 stars. 

TW: barrister, possible eating disorder, self depreciation etc.

Amazing. This. Was. Absolutely. Amazing. Honestly Lucien annoyed the shit out of me every now and then but he grew phenomenally from start to finish. Lucien hasn’t had a boyfriend in five years, since his ex sold him out for money. Lucien needs a “fake” boyfriend for good publicity and surprisingly, Oliver agreed. Oliver is a barrister. He has many opinions ethics and beliefs. As Lucien and Oliver spend more and more time together, it becomes blatantly obvious that someone will get hurt.

Lucien and Oliver made an amazing team. I did not expect for them to work at all in the way they did, but I guess opposites attract, right? Oliver opened up something in Lucien that Lucien had believed he’d never feel see or even want ever again. While Oliver opened Lucien up, Lucien also opened Oliver up when they were together.
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This book made me make good book noises. Sighing to myself after each chapter, just loving two people trying to be good to one another. A 2020 essential comfort read.
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I went into this story expecting to love it. The fake dating trope is probably one of my favorites! And I definitely think this novel will be loved by many people, just unfortunately not by me. I enjoyed the story and the romance, but I really had to push myself to get through the humor, Something about it just didn’t click with me, and i’m disappointment I didn’t love this more.
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A character-driven book should have at least some characters who are likable.

Oh, this was really disappointing. 
Didn’t like the deep insecurities of the two main characters, even if it’s what drove the story.
Didn’t care for any of the parents except perhaps Luc’s mom, although she seemed very cavalier concerning his feelings.
Didn’t like how “smart” (precious) so much of the conversation was. Perhaps it’s because it’s British, or maybe it’s just pretentious. Either way, I needed a dictionary for so much of it.
I especially didn’t like all the gay-bashing. The only people who weren’t homophobic were his group of friends. I also found it problematic that Oliver had no gay friends.
I wish it were more steamy. After enduring the boredom of the slow-build romance, the least Hall could have done was reward readers with some sexy talk and action.
Finally, what was the deal with Luc’s co-workers’ cluelessness, especially Alex’s nitwittedness, which supports the argument that British nobility suffer from centuries of inbreeding?

Overall, this was a big fail for me. I only reason I didn’t give it 1* was because I finished it.
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A fun, sexy rom-com! I admit it took me a while to get into this one, mainly because I kept (unfairly) comparing it to "Red, White, and Royal Blue." Once I got past that and into the story, I was able to enjoy it.
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I loved this story from the beginning! I loved the humor, character growth and steamy tension! Both of these characters took a minute to love because of their particular issues, but they quickly won me over.  I highly recommend this to anyone who likes witty banter and appreciates a good character arc!
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