Cover Image: Boyfriend Material

Boyfriend Material

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Member Reviews

This book follows the trope of enemies to lovers. Iit was easy to stay interested in this story. The reader knows that Luc, emotionally damaged son of an aging rock star, and Oliver, an uptight lawyer, are destined to be together. There was a hilarious cast of friends, co-workers and relatives we meet along the way. If you are looking for a queer romance with a touch of feels, this is a good book for you.
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Thanks for e-arc.

I am not a fan of enemies to lover, but I enjoyed this one. The characters were easy to understand and seemed believable.
Writing was extremely good and captured my interest right from the beginning.

Such a great pick for this pride month.
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When I want my heart ripped out with a side of irony I go to Alexis Hall. His Billionaire trilogy and Spires novels are among my most treasured angst-comfort re-reads, because they are guaranteed to make me laugh, and then cry, and then cry-laugh. Boyfriend Material is both like that, and not like that. It has all the usual hallmarks of Hall's work - razor-sharp dialogue, big-heart feelings, and pop-culture references for days - but it's also different. The humour is ramped up and the angst (while still definitely there) is diluted by the sheer irrepressible silliness of it all.  Which is not to suggest it's a silly book - it categorically isn't - it's a serious-silly book, a distillation of the farce and parody that have always been bubbling away in AH's work. Imagine if the Fifty Shades of Grey subtext of the Billionaire books had been more overt, and then imagine that Bridget Jones' Diary is the source text. That's Boyfriend Material.  And it's adorable, lovely and so so funny; laugh-out-loud-and-annoy-your-family kind of funny. 

Luc is the son of C-list celebrities, an egotistical absentee 80s rock-star father and a beloved now-reclusive rock-star mother.  He's suffered as a result, because the British press will print anything even vaguely salacious about anyone even slightly, tangentially famous.  Which is how Luc ends up getting papped face down in a gutter, having tripped over while escaping a particularly disastrous party. The headlines imply he's a desperate drug-addicted disaster.  This doesn't go down well at the Dung Beetle charity (acronym = CRAPP) where Luc has washed up as a fundraiser. As his boss quite brazenly and offensively puts it, he's coming across as the 'wrong kind of homosexual' and their traditionalist conservative donors are getting antsy.  He needs to clean up his reputation and quickly.  A nice, middle class boyfriend would be just the thing.  If only he knew anyone like that. 

Enter Luc's posse of delightfully queer and energetic friends. A pub brainstorming session establishes that the only candidate is Oliver Blackwood, a very right-and-proper barrister who has already rejected Luc's awkward advances twice.  However his token straight friend Bridget (who works in publishing - did you see what Alexis did there?) assures him that Oliver will say yes and that they're perfect for each other and what could possibly go wrong?  Pretty much everything. Oliver lives a perfect, neat and ordered existence, organised by strict moral principles and a bruising work ethic. He went to Oxford, wears Cashmere jumpers and only has sex when it means something. He is the absolute antithesis of Luc who has to excavate the detritus in his flat to find a pair of clean socks and who, in extremis, buys new sheets rather than doing laundry.

You know the rest I imagine - Boyfriend Material loves and sticks close to the contours of a rom-com. It grabs you by the wrist on a joyful dash from beat to beat, from set-piece to set-piece. The dialogue fizzes with the intense hyper-real energy of a film or a play. Take out the descriptive writing and what you're left with is a script that Oscar Wilde could have written, if he was queer in the 21st century and steeped in 2000s pop-culture. Some of the secondary characters are unapologetically ridiculous: Alex Twaddle, a sweet upper-class nitwit who can barely remember he has a girlfriend; the James Royce-Royces', a married couple with the same name; and Bridget, who is always dashing off to tackle an unlikely publishing disaster.  There is a scene early on in the novel where Alex Twaddle takes Luc and Oliver to his gentleman's club, which is so daft and so hilarious you feel like you've dropped straight into a comedy sketch. There is a spotted dick joke for god's sake. (Which, incidentally, is one of the incredibly British jokes that I hope land as well with an international audience as they did with me). It would feel like mockery if Alexis Hall didn't have such an obvious and unswerving affection for everything that is ridiculous but well-meaning and harmless in this life. 

The book isn't without harmful things of course. Underneath all the capers is a whisper of hot anger about prejudice and unkindness; about the way that Luc is forced into his charade with Oliver through barely concealed homophobia; about the way people have betrayed and abandoned him all through his life; about why Oliver feels constrained to be the man he is. The full-frontal giggles of the story blast these ugly things with a lot of sunlight and warmth, but they emerge more fully as Luc and Oliver come to know each other better.  As it progresses the book switches into a more serious register that takes you unawares, because of how often it has made fun of itself, and then you find yourself ambushed by feelings that you didn't realise you were having all along.  

I don't remember a great deal about farce as a genre from the long-gone past of my English Lit degree, except that it's deeply subversive, and that it makes fun for both the sake of fun but also to get at serious things. It can be deeply affectionate and fundamentally gracious. It seems to me that's the kind of book Boyfriend Material is: a farcical rom-com that loves its well-worn grooves but also loves jumping them, so that while you're literally hiccuping with laughter something heavier is building up inside you. 

What all of these words really mean is: I kind of think this is a book you need right now, and you should read it.
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Boyfriend Material follows the classic romance trope of enemies to lovers. However, the route from meet-cute (not) to happily-ever-after was so complicated, it was easy to stay interested in this story. The reader knows Luc, the emotionally damaged son of an aging rock star, and Oliver, an uptight lawyer, are destined to be together. The fun comes from the hilarious cast of friends, co-workers and relatives we meet along the way. If you are looking for a queer romance with a touch of P.G. Wodehouse, a bit of Bridget Jones, and a hint of Gerald Durrell, this is a good pick for you.
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A huge thanks to the publisher for granting my wish! Boyfriend Material is one of my most anticipated reads of 2020 and it didn't disappointed me! This book is absolutely great! Its hilarious, sweet,intense.

Luc is reluctantly famous since his father is a rockstar. He's never meet him and now that is making a comeback with his new show,Luc's life is again back in the public eye and being in the public eye never went well for him. 
To save his job, to have a respectable date for a big job event, to protect himself from the press and clean up his image, Luc has to find a normal relationship and when his friends recommend him Oliver Blackwood he reluctantly decides to accept it and go out with him. 
Oliver is a barrister, respectable, vegatarian and, apart from being gay and single they have nothing in common, but both of them need a fake boyfriend as a date for big events, so they decide to make a deal. They will be fake dating until they need it and then go their separate ways.
But slowly they begin to know one other and the fake dating starts to resembling a real one and then they aren't ready to let each other go.

Boyfriend Material is absolutely perfect! I love the tropes of fake dating, enemies to lovers and I found this book sweet, intense and hilarious! Luc and Oliver are amazingly and complex characters, very different from one other, but both of them are being hurt in the past, have issues and are trying to be better..

Luc's life is messed up, he's lonely, hurt and has difficulties in trusting people, but he's surrounded by supportive and hilarious friends and funny and stubborn mother and her best friend. Forced to fake a normal relationship,forced to deal with his father coming back, Luc finds in Oliver a friend and then a partner, ready to support, help and love him.

Oliver's life is apparently perfect. He's a barrister, he has a nice house, a perfect body and strong ethical convictions about basically everything, but deciding to make a deal with Luc turns his life upside down, forcing to deal with his own insecurities and vulnerabilities he's trying hard not to see and accept.

Boyfriend material is full of teasing, bickering, hilarious scenes, dirty jokes, fresh and brilliant characters. The main ones are Luc and Oliver and they are complex, well written and rounded. They were really relatable with their fears, issues, problems and insecurities and I love the way they slowly start to trust one other, how they see each other for what they really are and start to love one other, accepting their flaws and issues, ready to be loving and supportive.

They are surrounded by brilliant and well written side characters. I really love Luc's friends, family and coworkers, they are hilarious.
Bridget, always running and always dealing with a crisis, amazingly supportive and ready to do anything for,them,Alex, Luc's coworker, posh, rich and a bit dense (the conversations between Luc and Alex are incredibly funny), Odile, Luc's mother, supportive and ready to make dangerous curry, jokes at her own son's expense and innuendos, Priya with the truck and angry attitude, the James Royce-Royces with their jokes and support.

This book is everything I could hope for. It's sweet, intense, there are moments of angst and moments unbelievably cute and sweet, it's full of humour and so much love and friendships. I love everything. 

Luc and Oliver are amazing together. I loved the slow burn, the romance, the teasing, bickering, sweet moments, one shared bed and so much love and support. 
This book is truly perfect and right now one of my favourite of this year!
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While I love fake-dating trope, I had a hard time with this book at times. It's very British, and most of the humor didn't connect with me. So the chemistry between Luc and Oliver was a bit lost on me.
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If you enjoyed Red, White and Royal Blue you'll want to read Boyfriend Material by Alexis Hall.

The first twenty percent of the book was a little difficult because the main character Luc is so fixated on self-destructive behavior it's hard to become invested in him. However once he meet's Oliver the book quickly becomes an emotional roller coaster, filled with character growth that you won't want to stop reading.

I received an eARC from NetGalley for a review, however the paperback I preordered will make a nice addition to my bookshelf.
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Wowowow. I loved this one! This rom-com is super witty, wildly sarcastic, and laugh-out-loud funny and hosts one of my favorite romance tropes: fake dating!

It's very gay and very British. Overall, its low on the steam scale, but definitely still a romance book.
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A fun take on the fake relationship trope! As the estranged son of rock royalty Luc’s back on the paparazzi radar only because his dad is making a comeback. Unfortunately, caught off guard at a low moment he now needs to clean up his “image” in a nice normal relationship. Oliver on the other hand is a straight-laced barrister with seemingly everything except a date to a grand family party. They have nothing in common but something about the relationship starts to feel pretty real. This is a fun and very funny fake relationship story with two bruised but improving young men.
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I really want to give this book fie stars. I would give it 4.5 if I could. The main characters--Oliver and Lucien--are lovely. They are deeply flawed, caring, funny, and intelligent. They tease each other. They have fantastic chemistry. You definitely root for them as you read this. Those two are the best parts of this book. The other characters and storyline? Eh, I'm less keen on them. Oliver and Lucien's friends seem peripheral at best, and two of Luc's friends--Alex and his Clara--are downright ridiculous. I ended up skipping the seconds that weren't the two main characters together. And Luc's father was wholly unlikeable. Not a moment of redemption. Still, somehow, I ended up really enjoying the book overall because there was enough of the two main characters to pull me along. They will pull you along too.
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Lucien is in need of a respectable fake boyfriend to counter some tabloid drama. Enter Oliver, a straight laced lawyer who needs a fake boyfriend of his own. As they spend more time together, the line between real and fake starts to blur. LOVED THIS BOOK! It's well-written and engaging, with characters you can't help but root for. Lucien was unlikable at times, but he was supposed to be. His personal growth throughout the book felt natural, as did the romance between him and Oliver. One of the things that bothers me about some romance novels is that they don't spend enough time showing the actual romantic development. But Boyfriend Material shows how and why their feelings changed. There are some heavy moments, but it ultimately left me with that giddy feeling you get after a good romantic comedy.
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With a cast of entertaining characters and a clashing of personalities, this book keeps the reader entertained and rooting for Luc and Oliver.
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Boyfriend Material intrigued me for the reason that I enjoy fake relationships that turn into real ones. It's utterly cute! Luc's parents are rock stars, or former ones in many ways, and his dad walked out when Luc was a kid. Now the dad has a supposed cancer and want to bond wit Luc. Luc himself is about to lose his job, because media is after him like predators and thus the guy decides to get a fake boyfriend to look better and salvage the situation. Enter Oliver. Oliver is a stuck-up barrister who needs the fake relationship just as much and soon they open up and fake becomes more real. The story evolves steadily and has humor in it and well, heart. The characters are likable and funny, but the setting lacks realism somewhat. The whole beetle thing is odd and out of place and how media is following Luc, who just happens to mess everything up, but never gravely. 

The language flow is nice and even though the story doesn't offer anything new, it works. For me the problem was that the book centers around just Luc and Oliver was a slight letdown, since the story doesn't grow enough and repeats itself. Still, Boyfriend Material is cute and fun and soaked in feelings, which is always great.
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Boyfriend Material

I can always appreciate when an author takes oft-used tropes and makes them feel original again. The fake-dating trope is always a popular one and this one plays out beautifully. 
The novel is also very British, with more than one quip going over my head, but it remains absolutely hilarious. It also finds that sweet spot of romance that doesn’t shy away from the steamy stuff but also doesn’t turn into erotica. 
This will definitely be a re-read next time I feel like turning into mush over two British guys.
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I have a hard time with romcoms a lot of the time because I honestly don't really like funny books.. at least not the kind that feel like they're actively trying to break beyond the occasional appreciative smirk into full-on sustained laughter. So when a funny book does get me, it feels like the exception to the rule, and if any author is an exception to just about every rule I've got, it's Alexis Hall. 

The reason his brand of funny works for me is that the main characters and the way they relate to each other never feel like the punchline. There may be ridiculous conversations or side characters or what have you, but the things that actually matter are solid. The emotions are all real. 

And that's true here as it always is. You've got two people who are messed up and neurotic in their own ways figuring out how to be together gradually under the guise of a fake boyfriend situation, and it just worked for me. I was invested in these people, I was IN IT. I couldn't put this freaking book down, which is saying a lot these days.

And yes, I laughed, because Hall does situational social comedy with the best of them (even though one character in particular reminded me a little too much of the too stupid to live beefcake secretary, Kevin, from the 2016 Ghostbusters movie) But what keeps me coming back to Hall's books is his ability to portray emotionally vulnerability and intimacy like few other authors can. 

While this won't overtake For Real or Waiting For The Flood for the top spots in my heart, it was still super enjoyable and compulsively readable!
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What better way to settle into a nice three-day weekend than with Alexis Hall's <i>Boyfriend Material</i>. I want to thank the publisher for allowing me to read the galleys of this book prior to publication. Although I am thankful to the publisher for this opportunity, the review is completely my own. 

First, I was no familiar with Alexis Hall or any of her writing prior to this book, so it was nice to be introduced to a new author. 

Second, I really found the book enjoyable and easy to read. In fact, the book is a pretty fast read.

Third, let's look at the plot. The book centers on Lucian (Luc) and his estranged relationship with his deadbeat rockstar father. Luc is photographed by paparazzi which ends up threatening his job. To make himself look more respectable, he seeks out a "fake" boyfriend. Enter Oliver. Oliver is a barrister (lawyer for those use readers), and he's about as square as square can get, so he's about perfect in the respectability department. Luc and Oliver establish their fake relationship and start getting seen in public together. Will their "fake" relationship be found out by the press? Will the two fall in love and turn this fake relationship into a real one? These are some of the basic questions that keep the plot moving forward in this book. 

Lastly, I found this book highly enjoyable. Whether you're reading a book on the beach or in your bed social distancing, I think it's a great summer book.
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I adore Alexis Hall and their MM romances are often incredibly sexy and romantic. Hall often uses the opposites attract trope and it always works for me. Luc and Oliver couldn’t be more different in their lifestyles and this is often my catnip, I just love to read it! This book also encompasses one of my other favorite tropes, fake dating. “It’s just for show! I don’t even like them! Maybe I do like them omg I love them!”

The build up between our heroes was wonderful and I love a slow burn and this was a really slow burn. Hall is able to make a sweet kiss incredibly moving and the love scenes were soooo freaking good! 

Highly recommend this lovely and sexy romance.
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I end up enjoying this book a lot more than I expected when I started reading it. And the thing is, that during the first, I don’t know, 10 or 15% I found the book really weird. The humor was… weird (very British I suppose) and the side characters were really, really stupid. However, I learned to love them and end up having a lot of fun, so it made me really happy every time I read. I think the humor and the characters keep being weird till the end but I loved it anyway, and Luc’s squad made me laugh out loud every time they appeared. And I just love his mom.

I think the main character evolves a lot during the book, he learns how to be a better person, or at least he tries to be. Yes, it's one of those “love helps me do it” thing but as it’s a romance book it worked for me. 😅
As from Oliver he changes too but as we don’t get to see his POV it’s not so evidence. I would have loved to read what he’s thinking or how he deals with his own shit (because they both full of issues).

Now, the plot fake dating and there’s only one bed. Is there anything better? I say no. It’s a little basic, but we all need a little basic and cliché thing sometimes.

So, summing up, did I like it? Yes. Do I recommend it? Also yes.
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This book was exactly what I needed, right when I needed it.  A super sweet and adorable m/m romance with the most charming characters and just the sweetest love interests ever!  Honestly, this is the book that I want to read whenever I'm having a bad and need a good smile.
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Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for my copy in exchange for my honest review. I couldn’t believe I got my wish granted to read this book from Netgalley. I was so excited when I got it. Thank you for granting my wish!

I adored this book!! I’m thinking a movie or Netflix option in the near future pretty please! This is a book of love, sadness, friendship, family and being true to oneself. Luc and Oliver are totally adorable. They are complete opposites. Luc works for a charity and hasn’t found the one he can trust. Oliver is a lawyer and a perfectionist.  Due to Luc’s past behavior he needs to find a respectable date to a work function. Which leads him to asking Oliver to be a fake boyfriend.  What starts off as being fake turns into something real and beautiful. I couldn’t help rooting for them. The scenes with Luc and his co workers were hilarious. Especially Alex. My tummy hurt so much from laughing at those scenes with them. I loved the humor throughout the book. I would have liked a better ending. It was too quick and sudden for me.
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