Cover Image: Boyfriend Material

Boyfriend Material

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Member Reviews


He's the son of 1970 & 80'ies rock stars. He loves his mom - he never met his dad - who is now making a comeback.

Luc lives in London, works for a very weird charity and is looking for his romantic happily ever after. But he's not really finding the perfect guy. Mostly because he's a very complicated guy who is scared to find something serious because of that one bad relationship five years ago!

But now he really has to find someone, because his boss needs him to look good for the press.

Enter Oliver.

He's a lawyer. A vegetarian ... and kind of the total opposite of Luc.

They shouldn't fit perfectly. And they really don't. Which is okay, because it's all fake. But it's not staying fake for long ... because we all know ... opposites attract, right?

What will happen with Luc & Oliver?
Will there be a HEA?
Read the book to find out! ☺

First of all - the cover! Soo beautiful!

And then the story. I just adored reading this!

Luc is so hilariously over-the-top britishly melancholy-ish ... 'strange' - but we kind of totally get him and he's so very lovable. And Oliver is just über adorable!

Those two should SO not end up together, but we SO want them to.

This was such an amazingly funny and beautiful love story. I just wanted to jump into the book and hug Luc. And shake some sense into him too. ☺

How is this not on Netflix yet??? I would watch 25 seasons of this without getting tired of it.

All the friends and co-stars?! And can we please get an Alex spin-off??? That guy was almost the best part of this book. He made me fall off the couch laughing several times!

Ugh - I don't know what more to say. This was such a beautiful story. So full of British everything. And full of ... Fun, sadness, weather, friends, family, romance, kissing, cuddling, laughing, arguing, crying, falling in love .... and so much more. Basically .. this book is ... EVERYTHING!


BOYFRIEND MATERIAL was such an adorable & hilarious but also very melancholy & British love story! Run to your nearest amazon for your own Luc & Oliver - they'll be sold out in no time! ☺

#PreOrder this!
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I thoroughly enjoyed this book! So many great laugh out loud moments! This book is so swoon worthy and the characters are so charming and great! 
Definitely recommend this one if your looking for a RomCom!
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I can see why this is getting compared to Red, White and Royal Blue. A fake relationship made real. The problem with this book is that it isn't as smart as Red, White and Royal Blue. The banter much less. On it's own the book is good. A little bit too dramatic for my own tastes, but overall good. However, comparing it to Red, White and Royal Blue really damaged the book for me.
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Thanks to Sourcebooks Casablanca and NetGalley for this eARC.

Boyfriend Material was super fun - it is a gay romcom that feels like a cross between Bridget Jones' Diary and Notting Hill. Luc is sort of tangentially famous because of his parents (also, he is a bit of a mess) and Oliver is a hot, but slightly pedantic barrister. They've never liked each other much, despite having a friend, Bridget, in common, but then they both need FAKE BOYFRIENDS for REASONS! They start to date, but things start to feel pretty not-fake pretty quickly.

This book had it all - it was truly funny, mostly because of the constellation of friends and co-workers around the couple (especially Luc's dummy posh co-worker), and it had emotional stakes. This couple was just very cute, and incredibly easy to root for. The other characters were delightful (please give me a book about the James Royce-Royces). I think the pacing was off in the second half, but other than that, I loved this book.

Fans of Red, White, and Royal Blue might enjoy this book for the similar-feeling romance and laughs, and fans of Roan Parrish might enjoy the queer rep., minor angst, and character growth.
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This book stars Luc, the son of two rock stars from the eighties, and Oliver, a clean cut barrister who is a friend of a friend. Luc has been the star of bad publicity one too many times recently and needs to clean up his act so that it no longer affects the donations coming into the non profit he works for. In walks in Oliver, the perfect image of a fake boyfriend. 

This was a perfect hate-to-love type story and by the end of it, I was fully immersed and enjoying it. It did take me a bit to get into the story, however, because Luc has a coat of armor around his feelings and emotions that comes in the form of him being a high class jerk. It took me some time to warm to his character, but once he started getting comfortable with Oliver and revealing some of who he is at the core, he really grew on me. By the end I adored him and his sense of humor and was rooting for him and Oliver all the way. This book had me grinning multiple times throughout with a cast of some truly ridiculous characters that fill out this romcom well. So though it was a slow start for me, I ultimately really enjoyed it.
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A massive cheers to Netgalley for providing me with a free ARC of this book, which honestly could not have come at a better time.

Written in Alexis Hall's trademark style of sparkling wit, humour, heaps of banter, devastating emotional insight, and very casual adherence to the rules of lexical categories (we already have a word that means "confusing" and it is "confusing," so we don't really strictly need "confusingey," you might argue? Oh, but you're wrong and we do), this book is a delight of laughs and feels, and also frequent helpings of paincake. It riffs on the rom-com genre with a strong cast of supporting characters who somehow manage to be completely over the top and wonderfully human at the same time; it mocks at tropes that need mocking and leans into the ones most of us still love (fake relationship set-ups for flimsy reasons are my crack and I do not care for a cure.)

The main characters are both infuriating and completely relatable, in so many ways; they're both flawed and banged up by life and bad experiences, with completely different styles of coping, and in a lot of ways they really shouldn't work together, but it's a joy to watch them have a go at faking it and inevitably blurring the line between reality and pretend. Although the book's overall tone is frothy as champagne, bursting with pop cultural references and cheerfully nabbing aesthetics from everything from Bridget Jones to Notting Hill to the Nick Hornby oeuvre, the one thing it never really takes the piss out of is emotion. The result is a somewhat crazily but somehow well-balanced mix of hilarious fluff and perceptive deep dive into the beautiful mess of a fledgling relationship between two people with a lot of heartbreaking baggage. It deals with the slow grinding business of personal growth, of opening yourself up to another person despite your scars and fears, of learning to communicate and trust and being a little braver than you thought you could be, and it's so raw and real about it you could cry a little, if you weren't also too busy snorting with laughter at the cheerfully ridiculous bits.

There is a side plot about the dilemma of whether or not to bother reconnecting with estranged/toxic family, and I was a little wary about where it was going at first, but I really liked how it was dealt with in the end. As with the romance, it doesn't bother with simple solutions or platitudes; the story lets human connections be as painfully complicated as they are in real life, and that really made it more than a quick rom-com parody for the lulz.

So why no five stars? Well, because I do have issues with rom-coms that even this piss-taking sparklefest couldn't overcome, and I do have notes. I'll try to keep them brief but they'll probably be spoilery, so... spoilers.

1. I usually love all the ways in which Hall can flip a classic trope, but I do sometimes struggle with the bits where he leans into them, and the "break-up followed by a ludicrous car chase and grand public ~declaration~" is one of the ones I just cannot with (not a typo; I literally can't with them). While it just about made sense for Oliver to do what he did, I sort of wince-cringed my way through the car chase and while I could have put up with the speech on the doorstep in the rain, the truckful of friends listening and watching completely ruined that scene for me. Too much.

2. I genuinely loved both of the characters, but I also could not help a strong initial whiff of familiarity - they both share a lot of characteristics and behaviours with Arden and Caspian from the Billionaire series (irresistible but disastrous charmer vs. extremely buttoned-up tightly controlled bloke with too many rules and way too much grammatical diction). It's not helped by Luc acting younger than he is. I got over it eventually but the impression remained.

3. I loved most of the banter but occasionally things did go over the top a little more than necessary even for parody (thinking about some of the ludicrously posh/cluelessly privileged side characters here).

4. The sex scenes are few and fade to black, which is both rom-com-compatible and not a criticism as such, because what there is is intimate and emotional and lovely. Still, I was a wee smidge disappointed, because the UST was sizzling and I know Hall is excellent at smut and it just seemed like physical intimacy would be a big part of these two's journey. Call me shallow, but I wanted it on page.

Niggles aside, on the whole this was a delight and I'll definitely reread it at some point.
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I think this is somewhere between a 4 and a 5 star read for me...I was really loving it up until the last 50 or so pages where we really got some unnecessary romantic drama. The communication between these dorks could have been so much better and their problems were drawn out far too long imo. But otherwise, I absolutely adored this, one of the cutest, sweetest things I've read in a long while! Kudos to Alexis Hall for making me smile, and for also making me miss my sort of ex-boyfriend. Not that he was ever really my boyfriend. But it's easier to say ex-boyfriend than say ex-guy I dated for three weeks. Anyway, she made me feel things. Oops.

But honestly, not doing a full long review here, but in a nut-shell, this has really good writing (it made me laugh out loud!), wonderful characterization, and the best fake-dating plot I've read in a long time. It was cute, it was fun, it was really, really good. And it's not just a shall0w romance novel; there's so much more to it than that. 

Also it was so British. I'm sorry but that just made me so happy. 

-Book Hugger
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This book lured me in with its fake dating trope and excellent characters and wonderful bantery dialogue and then when my guard was down made me feel so. many. feelings. about vulnerability and trust and what it means to love someone when you're afraid. I loved it! Was there perhaps a little plot bloat in the middle? Yes, but I barely even cared, I was having a great time.
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This book was adorable in its wit, and a lot of the bantering had me laughing out loud. Some authors have funny characters in their romance novels but then the banter gets to be unbearable. It starts to become funny for funny’s sake and not deepening the characters. But it works here. Lucien reminding everyone and anyone over and over what a trainwreck he was got tiring over time, though. Like, I truly get it--abandoned child of a narcissistic has-been rock star in the process of looking for a comeback, constantly scrutinized in public, everyone waiting for him to screw up, while he genuinely wants love and connection and not his personal life splashed in the tabloids when should the relationship end. “Pushing people away, rather than watch them leave.” as he says at one point. Some moments of contrivance throughout the book stomp the brakes on the momentum--not just a needle scratch on a record, but smashing the vinyl altogether. But it is still worth the read for the delight Lucien and Oliver bring to their story and to love in general.
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This book was a treat from start to finish.  Using one of my favorite tropes- fake relationship/marriage of convenience- the delightful story of Oliver and Luc will keep you turning those pages way past your bedtime.  

Is it tropey and cliched? Yup! Are the two main characters cringe-worthy disasters? Yup! Are the cast of friends, families, jobs, and situations beyond ridiculous? Absolutely...and you will love every second of it.   

This book is hilarious and over the top, while also being the sweetest little love story.  Singing its praises beyond “read this one!” would result in spoilers( yes, there are some very cute and creative twists, even in this rewrite of a classic Romance theme), so just add it to your TBR pile.
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*Book Received in Exchange for Honest Opinion/Review*

Hands down, one of the top 5 books I will read this year. Yes, it's only April, but I am already calling it. This book was pure male-male magic. Heartbreakingly beautiful, a truly captivating story about finding love and finding yourself. It's the kind of whimsical story that I want to read in one sitting but also slowly savor because I am not ready for it to end so fast.

First off, I should start with Luc and Oliver. Luc was such a wonderfully written character, complex, torn, and damaged; his character arc was inspiring. He found his voice, was able to get his footing, and really did a 180 over the course of the story. In contrast, Oliver's issues were buried deeper but he was the portrait of perfection. Where Luc was all sarcasm and jokes, Oliver was all sexy and serious. Together they balanced each other out in a seamless way that only two halves of one whole could.

While the premise starts with a fake relationship, Luc and Oliver are so much more than that. Each misunderstanding Luc and Oliver had literally made my heart ache. But let me tell you, when they finally get in sync and get rid of all the b*llsh*t, my heart was soaring. The first kiss, first touch, first time was so perfect. Honestly, it was everything. The characters raw emotions were palpable and in that moment, their pain and struggles felt like my own. I swear at one moment I just stopped reading and sighed longingly at just how wonderful each scene was. *chef's kiss*

Alexis Hall masterfully balances out the drama and tension with secondary characters who bring a layer of humor and charming banter. Luc's mum was the absolute best, she had tears running down my face from laughing so hard. From her quirky personality to her unique way to expressing love, she was lovely. Luc's best friend, Bridge was the cheerleader you could call at 3 a.m. to talk through life with and would always be there. Bridge was an adorable, determined fire-ball who was set on setting Oliver and Luc up.

If the effortless conversations weren't enough, I felt like I was transported into London. I adored all the references, such as taking the Tube, they left me with a cheesy grin on my face. And at the end of the book, I just sighed and hugged my Kindle because its the type of story that is going to linger long after it ends. Filled with charisma, charm, and enchanting scenes, this story is not one to be missed.
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This book was exactly what I wanted in a fluffy, tropey romance right now.  I had to force myself to go to sleep and not peek at the book while I was supposed to be working, and I still finished it way too quickly.  I loved the characters and the whole fake dating set up and pay out was perfect.
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The rom com I've been looking for, all boxes ticked for me. 
Fake Dating, laughter, tears and a happy ending. 

I liked the main character Luc and while at times it was frustrating to see him pushing away the people who care about him, I could understand where he was coming from. The side characters where hilarious, bordering on ridiculous sometimes but in a good way. I was laughing out loud several times and finished the book in a day. 

I can totally see this being made into a film as well. I'd actually really like that.

I highly recommend this book for people who just want a break from reality. Funny and light reading, perfect to read while on your summer holidays.
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Four and a half stars.

This is another one of these books that everyone is talking about that actually turns out to be worth the hype. Now I'm old enough to remember reading Bridget Jones's Diary when it was first published and this gave the same sort of vibe. It's fresh and funny and cute and totally different to all the other stuff out there - which BJD was at the time.

So our hero and narrator Lucien O'Donnell is what we'd call a z-list celebrity, famous only because he parents were famous back in the 1980s and his father is now a judge on a Saturday night talent show (think X-Factor or The Voice). After his ex sold him out to the tabloids Luc has mainly just been binge-watching series on Netflix and snuggling under the duvet in his pigsty of a flat, but drawn out by his friends to a party he overreacts to an overture from a guy and then gets papped falling over in the street, which the tabloids translate into drunk and out-of-control. Worse, Luc works for an unfashionable charity (I won't spoil the surprise) and some of its more conservative donors have pulled their funding because of his dubious lifestyle choices (its not the gay thing, oh no (eye-roll), its the drugs and the booze etc). In the fashion of all romantic comedies, Luc decides the only way to get the donors back is to be seen with a sensible, respectable boyfriend.

Enter Oliver Blackwood, handsome, clever, gainfully employed, obsessively tidy, and a friend-of-a-friend, pity he dislikes Luc intensely. But the guys come to a fake-relationship agreement, Oliver will rehabilitate Luc's image, and attend his upcoming charity dinner, if Luc will accompany Oliver to his parents' ruby wedding anniversary party.

What ensues is a funny, clever, charming romantic comedy - thoroughly enjoyed every second of this and loved Luc and Oliver, such a cute couple.

I received a free copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in return for an honest review.
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Lucien is the son of rock star parents. They split when he was very young. His father is now making a comeback and it is bringing undue attention to Luc's less than stellar love life and activities. His job is at risk and unless he cleans up his image, he's out. He's talked into finding a respectable boyfriend to turn his image around. Oliver is a barrister that is about as good as they come. He's a vegetarian, scandal free, and has impeccable manners. He also has absolutely nothing in common with Luc. He does, however, also need a boyfriend to attend social functions with, so they strike up a deal to be fake boyfriends until things settle down in their respective lives. The problem with being fake boyfriends is that the lines sometimes get blurred and real feelings have a tendency to sneak in. This book had alot of humor, angst, and tenderness. Oliver and Luc were delightful.
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"Boyfriend Material" has the potential to be a cute, enjoyable romance : both romantic leads are a little damaged, but they're clearly attracted to each other from the start, so the reader gets to enjoy the tension of "will they/won't they" while secure in the knowledge that this ends happily.  There's also nice, believable character growth on Luc's part, though it's definitely not reflected in his boyfriend, which is a shame. 

That said, the plot is contrived, and I say this having just finished Mhairi McFarlane's latest book, which uses the same "fame relationship" trope in a much more successful manner. The stakes aren't high enough in 'Boyfriend Material': allegedly, Luc wants to keep his job and thus need to look respectable, but he's nothing but negative about his work, his coworker, the goal of the charity and his boss throughout the book and he doesn't need the money - both his parents are rock stars (though only the one is a parent, so to speak). As to Oliver, he wants someone to accompany him to his parents' wedding anniversary, which could make sense , but once we get to the actual event, it' really doesn't. There are only three reasons why Oliver could bring a plus one to his parents' anniversary: he wants to impress them, he wants to finally show his family he's settled, or he needs someone to protect him...which Luc eventually does, but only after they become friends, which they weren't when they struck the deal And Luc's a hot mess that you definitely don't show off to your family to impress them. It could be that Oliver just wants a reason to date Luc, but...why? 

In the same vein, it's really difficult to sympathize with Luc and Oliver's brand of messy, because we literally get no details as to what happened to them to make them that way until well into the book. Luc's ex is made out to be a generic villain, but given how terrible a person Luc is at the beginning of the book, you're almost tempted to sympathize with his ex at times. 

I still enjoyed the story, but this book could be so much better if anything actually mattered in it.
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First things first:  I was thrilled to have my wish for this book granted on NetGalley.  Super awesome; I love that these are finally happening.  Or, finally happening for me.  Friends, pressing that "Wish For It" button actually works.  I had my doubts.

I'm an Alexis Hall fan.  I don't think I've ever disliked one of his books, and I didn't dislike this one either.  Unfortunately, I like the alternate version better.  Which one was that you ask?  <b>[book:How to Bang a Billionaire|31423483].</b>  I loved it (<a href="">Em's Super Naive and Awkwardly Oblivious Review of How to Bang a Billionaire</a>), but by the time we got to [book:How to Belong with a Billionaire|31933327], I was burnt out on Arden.  It was a disappointment. 

Okay, okay, I hear you!  You're right, it can't possibly be the same book!  Tell us about this one.  Look, Luc feels so familiar - so much like Ardie (<b><i>Arden St. Ives</i></b>), I kept confusing the two.  And Oliver, well he isn't living out D/s fantasies in his free time, but he also feels very, very familiar.  He has lots of rules - rules he lives by and rules for the people he allows in his life - but despite that, he's still inexplicably drawn to his complete opposite, a man who sweetly/blindly stumbles and bumbles through life after a challenging upbringing after his dad turns out to be a total dick.  And even though he's a positioned as a grouchy/buttoned-up nerd, he also sounds a lot like this guy:  <blockquote><i>It's impossible not to be captivated by someone like that. But Caspian Hart makes his own rules. And he has a lot of them. About when I can be with him. What I can do with him. And when he'll be through with me.</i></blockquote>  Anyway, aside from the principal characters sort-of appearing in an earlier book, I didn't connect with the story either.  Honestly,  I think this is largely in part to my inability to separate Luc from Ardie, but aside from that, I simply couldn't go along with him working at this bizarre organization that seems like one big inside joke that never seemed funny.  The people who run the organization are odd (I think it's meant to come across as quirky), or ridiculous, and the office interactions grew tedious after a while.  How does a place like this stay in business?

The family dynamics - on both sides - feature such absolute extremes of good/bad, there's absolutely nothing to even 'take a side on,' even if I wanted to.  Luc/Ardie's mom is a funny french angel who has a special friendship with another 'unique' character, and Luc loves her lots because she understands him in her own way.  His dad is a jerk, but since that's established right from the get-go, I kept thinking that storyline was going somewhere...and it kind of doesn't?  Oliver/Caspian has a tense relationship with his own family that causes him to have meltdowns whenever he's required to spend time with them (sound familiar?), and turn into a total dick with his partner (ahem), and...oh gosh.  WE'VE SEEN THIS ALL BEFORE.

Luc/Ardie's friends are amazing and supportive and funny and helpful and big drinkers and quirky and interesting...and, well, IT'S ALL BEEN DONE ALREADY.  I liked them, they're super awesome to Luc - and by extension, Oliver, and that's all well and good.

What's not well and good?  <B>Boyfriend Material</b>.  Bummer.

Anyway, aside from the characters appearing in an earlier book, I just didn't connect with this story.  I think this is largely in part to my inability to separate Luc from Ardie, and to imagine him in this bizarre job that seems like a big joke.  The people who run the organization are odd (I think it's meant to come across as quirky), or ridiculous, and come on!  How does this place even stay in business?

<B>Boyfriend Material</b> doesn't feel fresh or new, and it's a surprising misfire from this wonderful author.  A bummer for sure.
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I was almost halfway through yet have no connection to the characters or feel the need to keep reading. The dialogue is a bit hard to read at times, and the characterizations are too well established (like, I get it. He’s stuck up!!), so that got annoying.

This was my personal preference! You might like it (m/m fake dating), so please don’t let my opinion stop you from reading this.
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With a light and funny humor, this book takes us to a romance you won't forget. With characters that will captivate you from the first pages. Luc with his dramatic soul, but resistance of steel; and Oliver with his perfectionism that makes him imperfect. A romance that makes you laugh and scream with an amazing ending.

The best part was discovering the complexities of each characters and understanding their emotional dramas and how the love that flourishes between them becomes a medicine for two very broken hearts. Absolutely wonderfull.

The relationship between these two flows naturally and it's impossible not to grind your teeth hoping that this dumb boys realize the love they have for each other. It's a fun, fresh book with secondary characters that are just as charming as the protagonists. 

I loved the awkwardness between Luc and Oliver and the misunderstanding and obviously the bad jokes. My stomach hurt from laughing so much

Totally recommended and I hope to read more from the author.
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This book is utterly charming, funny, and appealing! Luc and Oliver are endearingly human and each is messed up in his own way. They both are in need of a fake boyfriend, but of course one thing leads to another and they soon find everything becoming only too real. I laughed out loud and had tears in my eyes, and really, what else do you want from a romantic comedy? Author Alexis Hall is someone to watch! Highly recommended.
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