Cover Image: Boyfriend Material

Boyfriend Material

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If you are a fan of quirky British fellas, this book is for you. Both Luc and Oliver are quirky in their own ways and the fake boyfriend relationship is full of humor. There is also a lot of humor in the supporting characters as well. Thank you @netgalley for a copy of the book. This comes out on July 7th. ⁣
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Luc O’Donnell is one of the tabloids favorite targets. He is the seemingly aimless son of a couple of aging British rock stars. Some investors in the charity he works for are concerned about his public image and his employers encourage him to stage a stable, respectable relationship, Enter Oliver Blackwood, an undeniably sexy (but super stuffy) criminal barrister that a friend of Luc’s has been trying to set him up with forever. Luc & Oliver agree to pose as boyfriends for both Luc’s work events & Oliver’s parents’ anniversary party. At first glance it may seem like Luc is really the one who needs help but a series of life events shows that even the most put together looking people are not always as they appear. I really enjoyed this book - not a typical romance - so much deeper than you might be led to believe. I definitely recommend it!!
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Boyfriend Material by Alexis Hall is a sweet funny story. Luc O'Donnell needs a reputation pick me up. His washed up rock star father is making a come back and even though it has been 25 years since Luc saw him the paparazzi is making it difficult for him to do his job as a fundraiser for a non-profit trying to save dung beetles. Oliver Blackwood is barrister with a lot of morals. He is also the definition of respectable. Luc and Oliver have meet before but things didn't go well. Their first date set up by a mutual friend doesn't go well either, but at the end Oliver agrees to be Luc's fake boyfriend. Once the pressure is off and they don't have to have a real relationship they both find reasons to spend time with each other in the name of improving Luc's reputation of course.

This book was full of humor. I was laughing out loud many times particularly when Luc's mom was involved. I really enjoy stories that include humor and this one did that in a way that was natural. Luc and Oliver were both great characters and getting to know their quirks was fun. Yes, they had quirks. There were so many things to like about this novel: the characters, the humor, the slow love story, and the supporting characters. This is just the novel I needed to read. It isn't saccharine sweet but real and that was just perfect.

***Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for providing me with a copy in exchange for my honest opinion, which in case you didn't get that is that this book is amazing and you should read it.***
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Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for granting me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

This is already a strong contender for my book of the year! I'm a sucker for the fake relationship trope so I had high hopes for this and it absolutely did not disappoint. Full of snark, bickering and moments of softness, I really came to love the characters (especially Alex!) and I was rooting for the main characters to get their happy ever after. The pacing works perfectly for the slow burn romance and the angst is believable too. Highly recommended!
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This was such an enjoyable rom-com. Both Luc and Oliver were such perfectly flawed characters. The banter was funny and the struggles in this book felt real.
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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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