Cover Image: Boyfriend Material

Boyfriend Material

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I went into Bᴏʏғʀɪᴇɴᴅ Mᴀᴛᴇʀɪᴀʟ with my eyes wide open. I had no expectations whatsoever, except what I’d read in the blurb. If I just looked at the cover, I’d think it was a sweet, fluffy romance between two very different guys.
And it was. But it also wasn’t. Sure, this is plenty sweet and lots fluffy, but it’s also emotional, with serious issues like self-esteem and self-worth. It broached subjects like abandonment, homophobia, "the wrong kind of gay", unhealthy expectations, broken trust and more.

Luc's a kind of broken man with serious trust issues, which is totally understandable considering him being the son of two former rock stars (one of whom walked out on him when he was three) and being featured in the gossip rags constantly as a slut and drug addict. Which isn't exactly accurate. Anyway, he's about to lose his job at the dung beetle charity because he's seen as the "wrong kind of gay" (which is so ridiculous I can't even, but when I think about it, it probably happens in real life?) and quickly needs to find someone who can make him look good. Presenting: Oliver, clean-cut, healthy barrister who's so adult, he even hangs his bananas on a special hook and so out of Luc's league it's not even funny. It's a bit rocky in the beginning, but soon they spend quite a lot of time together and perhaps there's more to people than it appears on the surface?

It’s also really fun and I loved being inside Luc’s head. I would have loved it even more if we’d get some insight to Oliver, as well - you know how I love dual points of view - but I think it worked out. The tension between them is marvelous at times. It’s a bit of a slow burn - there’s no real insta-love moment and their first (real) kiss happens at around 50% and that’s exactly how I like my romance. It also isn't explicit and that fits, because even if there's lots of innuendos and flirtation and Luc's been using hookups as a way to not get close to people, sex isn't the main thing here. Feelings are, obvs.

What could have been better? Well, there were some stereotypes I can't quite get behind and some people in this book were really, really stupid. Like, the unbelievable kind of stupid. It was fun at first, but then it got a bit old and felt mean. All the characters that had more than a few lines in the book had some sort of quirky personality, though.
Anyway, I just like it and would recommend it to people who liked Red, White and Royal Blue and The Flatshare. Mostly because I got the same feeling when reading them all.

4 of 5 dung beetles

/ Denise
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What can I say? Lucien may be one of the wittiest characters I have encountered in years. His life might be a train wreck but his humor and sarcasm are a work of art. Oliver may appear to be his complete opposite but they discover all the ways that their differences complement each other as their pretend relationship slowly becomes more and more real. The supporting cast of characters add to the fun and the charm of the entire book. This was my first Alexis Hall book but it won't be my last.

This book is very British and as an American I did find myself needing to look up several words and phrases along the way. I have always enjoyed British humor and I enjoy learning the new words and phrases and reading on my Kindle makes it pretty easy to get a quick definition of most terms.

I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
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This is very much of the air of Bridget Jones to me and I loved it! It's such a fun read and a fun addition to LGBTQ romance. The main character of Luc is hilarious. He's self-deprecating, fiery and just so funny. He's a hoot and so is his family. Oliver is very much the Mr. Darcy proper guy, but he's so much more than the pristine exterior. They're coming together in the fake relationship is hilarious and seeing their relationship go from fake to real was very easy to enjoy and want to continue reading.
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Hello from the other side. This is me, a person who has finished Boyfriend Material and I'm highkey emotional still.

Boyfriend Material took me to an emotional place I never saw coming. I related to so many aspects of the characters — Luc and Oliver. When you start you meet Luc and he isn't in a good place at the moment. His ex sold a story to the press about him for a lot of money, making it hard for Luc to trust anyone else except his mom and his group of friends. So this book is his journey to get to that place he thought he would never reach because he had in his head he was going to be /that/ way because that's just the way things are. And no, people can become a better version of themselves if they want to. It takes everything you have and it's clear in the way Luc goes through so many ups and downs in this novel.

I constantly put in my updates that this is a very adorable novel. This relationship starts as a fake relationship because reasons and they both need a fake date for different events. Done and done. They both think they're so different and they don't even like each other, but I loved seeing the moment this changes. And it changes really early on like Luc and Oliver texting that they miss each other, if they can have lunch together even though no cameras will see them. The moments where they supported each other, those were the moments that made this relationship so very real.

There is so much humor. I think there are a lot of things I didn't understand or like got... but there are so many scenes where everyone is just saying unreal stuff. Like full conversations where I have no clue what is happening and Luc also has no clue but he goes along. He has so many friends and coworkers who just like to say whatever they feel like saying and it creates wonderful and funny situations.
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Boyfriend Material by Alexis hall was an interesting read. Granted I always prefer my MlM not written by straight white women , I was intrigued by Boyfriend Material.

The setting felt very rom-com movie-ish when I read that it was about a two gay dudes , one with a man slut image and the other one a Barister .. I fell for it. I had to read this.

But the conclusion I came to in the first few chapters was , our MC Lucien looks down on stereotype English people . A lot. Which got ugly and old real fast.

Lucien isn't like that. None of his friend group is like that. But every single person who Lucien hasn't made aquaintance is. Like..? I honestly wondered if it was a joke played by an author from another country or something but Alexis is English.

I don't know why Alexis chose such a setting and stereotyped characters for his book. I have no idea. But it wasn't right . At all.

Lucien is more like an American MC starting with his appearance from his language. I swear I don't remember anyone else swearing as much though the book consists of similar under 30 characters thru and thru.
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I got a few chapters in and, as someone that doesn’t identify as LGBTQ, and not knowing how the author identifies, I found the way they used “wrong kind of gay” as a catalyst for Luc’s job asking him to get a fake boyfriend to clear his image very offensive. I had to reread the paragraphs like three times just to make sure I was seeing what I was seeing. And I was, there was no mistake.

So I don’t know how this story plays out or ends, maybe it’s great as the reviews seem to say, but I honestly can not suffer any further through this D-list version of what I assume is close to red, white, and royal blue
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This is how you do a romcom. Sure, it's a fake dating AU, but one with depth and charm. The characters were sweet and real and the story had the right amount of humor. I do feel the story could have been improved by reading some of the tale from Oliver's perspective. He was also struggling throughout the story and most of his issues didn't get brought to light until the end. I would have liked another 5-10 chapters to finish it out. I certainly wouldn't say no to a sequel.
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Definitely a quick and addicting read... Couldn’t put it down. Loved both the main characters. 4.5 stars!
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The fake dating trope is always a win for me, even when there isn't too much faking going on which seemed to be the case here. 
This was a sweet romance with two vulnerable MC's who slowly find their way. 

Luc is honestly a bit of a mess. He only ends up in the news when he does something bad because he's not actually famous so no one actually cares when he does good and he really isn't sure who he can trust. 
Oliver has his life together and becomes something solid for Luc to hold onto. 

There is a lot of great banter, some sweet moments and issues to overcome. An enjoyable way to pass a couple of hours. 

Thank you to NetGalley for providing this ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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This book was fun romp with a heart. The humor and references in "Boyfriend Material" felt very distinctly British which was a welcome treat. The central love story was ultimately delightful even though the awkwardness at the beginning  was rather cringe-inducing. The main characters felt real even if their motivations did not always make sense. However, the supporting characters seemed one-note and their narratives seemed repetitive. While the book requires a certain suspension of disbelief as a result of its premise (pretending to be in a fake relationship hardly happens to regular people), some of the story arcs seemed downright farcical which slightly took away from the emotional impact of the book. The story seemed to drag in parts but they brought it home in the end. I am certain this would make a great summer read. 

P.s. The book was ridden with typos but I'm sure they'll be fixed in the final manuscript.
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whity, fluffy, romantic, hot and heavy. I love this book, the dialog and the relationship between oliver and Luc. It was a bit predictable, but that didn't take away from the fun.
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Luc O'Donnell can’t seem to clean up his image, he always seems to be at the wrong place at the wrong time, in this case the gutter where the tabloids revel in finding him and splashing him across their pages. It’s not his fault his parents were famous in their day, making him fair game. When the bad press begins to threaten the only job he has manged to hold on to, he desperately decides to try to clean up his image by obtaining a fake, squeaky clean boyfriend, in this case, barrister Oliver Blackwood who is so out of league, he is off the planet. Oliver has his own reasons for agreeing to the deal, so they agree to help each other out. Oliver will accompany Luc to his work function and Luc will attend Oliver’s parents party. I really enjoyed this story reminiscent of Bridget Jones antics. Luc slowly wormed his way into my affections and I really was rooting for him as much as his band of mismatched friends.
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The trope and the plot of Boyfriend Material are top notch. A romance where the fake relationship is used to improve the appeal of one of the other characters, and then they end up falling for each other is basically candy for me. I even enjoyed both of the heroes and their reluctantly budding relationship. As up and down as it may have been. That being said the flow of the writing was what kept me peep sally, from fully investing. I even took some time after I initially finished reading to write this review.

What I did was go back in and read some scenes that I’d highlighted, and reading them as a piece and not as part of the whole made me enjoy them way more. So I think what I’m trying to say is that I enjoyed this read, it’s incredibly well written and entertaining and as it’s my first from this author it felt fresh and fun, but the writing style may just not be for me.

I think that anyone who loves fake dating trope and M/M will enjoy this romance read!
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I absolutely adored the growth of these emotionally messed up men. The humour in this book made me laugh out loud several times, and so many of the cultural references were like a hug - which is important in our current pandemic situation.
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There is plenty to enjoy in the tale of fake boyfriends Luc and Oliver. Author Alexis Hall has created warm characters who are well aware of their faults, and each other's! It took me awhile to get into the novel because I thought the start was kind of disastrous. Scenes among the friends or families of the main characters just did not work well. The chatter was often insufferable. A main theme is putting people down, and it became tiresome quite quickly. Yet the interaction between Luc and Oliver was mostly endearing and/or informative.
The novel had a challenge, and that was the reader was bound to find it predictable.  Why else detail a fake relationship? There was enough interest in the characters and their development to avoid the big question most of the time.
Thanks, NetGalley for the ARC.
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This fake dating romance was exactly what I needed to get through a quarantine slump. 

Luc O'Donnell, because of his absent famous asshole father, is routinely showing up in the tabloids. (Not least of all because Luc is a bit of a disaster.) After an innocent picture gets published with a scandalous twist, Luc is in danger of losing his job unless he cleans up his public image. Enter, Oliver Blackwood, well-dressed, but seemingly stuck up, defense lawyer. The two decide to pretend to date to help both of themselves out. 

Boyfriend Material is hilarious and charming and full of two very different people learning that they like that about each other… if only they could communicate it!
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I absolutely loved it. If it wasn't for Alex and Miffy, characters that I found a little too extreme in their being naive, I would've given this book a five stars. 
I would also consider it a New Adult rather than Young Adult, but it's okay. It's a story that moves the reader, where the characters are everything but perfect. They're relatable, their fears and efforts and thoughts are the same as common people out there in the real world. Their story is realistic and rather than showing how perfect everything is when you fall in love, it tells how much it hurts when you need to learn how to love yourself first, so that you can learn how to love the others. 
It was heartbreaking and still full of hope even in those bits where everything seemed lost. It taught how important sometimes is to let go of your pride, how not always the parents know what's good for you, how important friends can be in every moment, from the most important one to the most stupid. 
I didn't read a romance as I was expecting. I read a coming of age story, almost a memoir written to teach and not to make readers fall in love for the love story.
It was amazing, with the right pace and points that made me think deeply about myself and how I behave when it comes to create any form of relationship. I felt a lot like Lucien (come on, let's admit it: if you know me, I am Lucien, except for the life full of excess he lives at the beginning of the book. The way he thinks, the way he behaves it's just me. Defensive, reluctant to the possibility to be open with someone and get hurt, he's very cynic and too busy to preserve himself to let himself believe that someone out there might just love him for who he is and don't hurt him, nor take all the positivity in his life away). I understood Oliver and his need of being perfect to be accepted, I understood when he felt like he would never be enough for anyone, his desire to disappear and his need to stay where he was because at the end of the day all he needed was a bit of strength and to believe in himself. 
I loved their dynamics, far from perfect but somehow becoming perfect for each other and whatever they unconsciously wanted to build/they needed. I cried, won't lie. 
I felt hopeless at the end and then somehow relieved but still weary. I liked that the author chose to give a final twist and made the ending not the classic "happily ever after", but the realistic "happy because we have a starting point but a lot to work on" kind of epilogue to the story. I will never stop praising how good the whole novel was and how much I appreciated the realism the author put in every single element she added.
So yeah, four stars for this beauty and you'll find the full review on my blog on July, 7th 2020, aka on its release date. 
I will definitely purchase a physical copy of this because there's so much that needs to be highlighted and tabbed...!
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I have a love-hate relationship with this author's books. 

LOVEDDDDD Glitterland, The feelings. GAH the feelings!!!! The feelings and the tension and the chemistry it was such a perfect mix. 

I was hoping to get that from this book and yah it sort of missed its mark. 

I enjoyed aspects, I enjoyed the British, and the humour, I did laugh alot but the chemistry was.................. just.not.there. 

I need a certain amount of connection, and it was just.not,.there. 

Also I felt like we hit a climax 50% in and then again at 60% and then again at 80% and then again at 95%! 
Just too many climaxes that could have been avoided. 

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You can never, EVER go wrong with an Alexis Hall book. A QUEER romance made for the ages!!!! And oooohhhEMGEE how I have laughed and cried and laughed more!!!! Luc and Oliver were that couple I had NO IDEA I needed, and just arrived in my life AT THE EXACT moment. Oliver so proper, Luc such a dreamer. I loved this combination more than many of previous Hall's couples. I loved the London setting, I mean, come on! LONDON? and the british knowledge the author has makes this even more enjoyable. Fake dating rom-coms are usually hard to achieve but I give a full 5 star rating to Alexis Hall and the most fascinating and hilarious story I have honestly read in a long time. I honestly wished I was in London while reading this.
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This book is probably not for everyone (British humor and all too real insecurities) but it was definitely my kind of book. As soon as I saw the description of a romance set in England with fake relationships troupe and sarcastic humor I wanted to read it. These characters start out unlikely because of their many insecurities and issues, but I instantly connected to these completely real feelings and the vulnerabilities underneath. I enjoyed the awkward conversation, banter, teasing, and heartfelt realizations. I'm a sucker for great dialogue and the dialogue between these two characters was perfectly imperfect, smart, and sounded like people I wish I could be friends with. I read this book in one sitting because I needed to know what happened to these two characters I quickly loved and wanted to protect from all bad things so they could be happy. I also adored how British this book was from the setting to the dialogue to the humor. I could keep gushing about it, but really you should just read it for yourself if this British story about two struggling men finding themselves and each other speaks to you. It made me feel less alone and smile which is exactly what I needed right now.
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