Cover Image: Boyfriend Material

Boyfriend Material

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Member Reviews

Alexis Hall’s ‘Boyfriend Material’ is equal parts hilarious and heartfelt. 

Luc O’Donnell is kind of a mess. The product of two famous rock stars, he constantly finds himself on the wrong side of the paparazzi. In order to save his reputation and his job, he needs to find a fake boyfriend who is stable and… normal. Oliver Blackwood is all of those things, and, he inexplicably agrees to Luc’s plan. Though neither seem to have much in common beyond the fact that they’re both single, the longer they are in their fake relationship, the more real it becomes. Can they both overcome their insecurities to give it a real go? Or will they go their separate ways as initially planned? 

‘Boyfriend Material’ is one of the wittiest, funniest novels that I’ve read in a long time. Hall’s writing is razor sharp, and his dialogue is a joy to read. The development of Luc and Oliver’s relationship feels so authentic that you feel that you know the characters in real life. I thought the narrative decision to write in first person from Luc’s perspective was perfect for the story. I also enjoyed the friendships and other relationships that were depicted in the book. 

In all, I think 'Boyfriend Material' is one of the best romances of 2020 that I’ve read thus far. 


Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for providing me with this ARC in exchange for my honest review.
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I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It was like an LGBTQ+ modern romance that reminds a person of the movie Notting HIll. Oliver and Luc are likable characters and the plot is well paced. Love in the age of social media and consumer culture is well remarked upon in this novel but not in a preachy way. Besides the excellent love story the way that the author illustrated the ever frustrating and hurtful casual homophobia in current times is just so real it made me want to shout louder for the people in the back. Oliver and Luc are perfect for each other not because they complete each other or are yin and yang but because they accept the worst of each other, play up the good bits of one another and realize that all of this together makes the measure of the man no matter what people and parents say.
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Contains all of the things I love in a romcom - banter, drama, humor, chemistry, and lots of sweet, charming moments. This was very engaging and gave me lots of squealy feels.
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this was a cute, easy read with one my all-time favourite tropes - fake dating! the book follows our main man luc o'donnell, son of two semi-celebrities who has his image ruined by one poorly timed picture. to get his reputation back on track, luc pretends to date oliver blackwood, a friend of a friend and all-around Good Guy.

i enjoyed reading about luc and oliver and watching how their relationship developed, slowly moving from barely tolerating each other, to becoming friends, to developing feelings. their interactions were fun and the banter throughout the book was top-notch millennial material. though i have to say my biggest pet peeve (and i appreciate that this happens in 99% of romance books) is when two people just don't communicate properly. there wasn't a whole ton of angst in this one but the drama there was could have been avoided by having a conversation. that aside the book is humorous, witty and serious where it needs to be, and obviously very diverse.

the reason it only gets 3 stars is i just think it was too long. almost 400-odd pages could have probably been cut down by 50 pages if that one scene with luc and oliver and oliver's rich Super British friends didn't go on for half an hour. also i get the 'super posh' british thing is satirical and exactly the kind of thing we mock ourselves here but at times the hyperbole just felt like.. too much. i make fun of those people but even i wanted it to end. i enjoyed the book a lot and read it quickly but i think some of the tangential side-character conversations could have been cut for length.

that aside, would definitely recommend if you enjoyed red, white & royal blue in the past year as they have similar tones!
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This book was a soothing balm in weary times. The characters were flawed in a way that made them feel real, and family structures also felt real and believable.
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So charming. Really glad I decided to pick this up! I think readers will enjoy this lighthearted romance a lot.
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Have you ever read a book that sucked you in at page one and kept you going until you looked up when it was all over and suddenly it's been hours? This book was IT for me. 

In this time of covid19 and well, everything else, I needed something to cheer me up and this book took my mind off everything the whole time I was reading it. It's not just that Alexis Hall has such a way with words and comedic timing, it's that he writes such compelling characters. 

Our romantic leads are Luc and Oliver, Both of them are stuck in a rut and flawed in their own ways but they're also trying to live life as best as they know how. It's just, sometimes, the life you're living might not be what you want, and the thing stopping you from reaching for better are your fears and past hurts. And let's be honest, who among us haven't held back out of fear? 

Woven through the narrative of Luc and Oliver falling in love are other subplots like Luc's absent father and Oliver's family. Something I appreciated about this novel was the message that you don't have to fix everything. Sometimes, the best thing you can do for yourself is to come to terms with a bad situation and move on. Luc and Oliver don't magically fix everything about each other's lives, but they give each other the courage  and strength to face their own flaws and move past them. 

This review would not be complete without mentioning Luc's friends who are, frankly, fucking amazing. They will do things like drive Luc hours to another town (which is apparently a big deal in the UK???) to get him with his man. Bridget, his best friend, is some kind of publishing guru who always seem to be handling disasters at work, and honestly, I could read a whole book about her job. 

10/10 would read again.
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The Wedding Date meets Red, White, and Royal Blue. 

Fake-Dating, Oops-Theres-Only-One-Bed, Enemies(ish)-To-Lovers; Boyfriend Material is a tropes heaven. All romcoms should aspire to the standard of this book, regardless of what Luc tells you. I've seen some mixed reviews about it, and sure, it's not a perfect book, but it's highly enjoyable and I think that's what counts. Despite having a 'fake' plot, the story felt real and not at all overly cheesy.

(Quote)“Are we really bad at this?” I asked. 
“We’ve been fake dating for three days and we’ve already fake broken up once.” 
“Yes, but we fake resolved our difficulties and fake got back together, and I’m hoping it’s made us fake stronger.”(Quote)

Boyfriend Material is a story about two lonely complicated people, Luc and Oliver, who are just trying to get through each day the best they can. They attempt to fake a relationship to appease those around them but it quickly becomes chaotic and messy and confusing and maybe a little too real because of course it does. There's also lots of friendship, sarcasm, British slang, ridiculous coworkers, ridiculous family members, an a bug (not a typo) fundraiser to help with, y'know, all the complicatedness.

I laughed and smiled until my face hurt and then did it some more. I hope there's an audiobook release for Boyfriend Material because I absolutely need to hear this story again out loud. Boyfriend Material was the exact lighthearted comfort read I needed right now with the IRL current events. 


***Thank you to Sourcebooks Casablanca for providing me with a review copy.***
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Loved this book. A,great enemies to lovers romance. Oliver and Lucien are well crafted characters and their romance is well written. Such a fun read.
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It took me quite a while to really get into this and I couldn't be happier that I kept going: each direction the story took felt satisfying and the development of the characters, their relationships with each other and those around them were a delight to follow through their journey. Altogether a wonderful read.
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Lots of people will love this book! It just wasn't for me. I found it a bit exhausting how much Hall was trying to be funny and cute in terms of writing style, which is just a personal preference, so people who like really cutesy chick lit books will probably love that! I also really couldn't get over the fact that every supporting character was such a one dimensional character. And while I liked Oliver a lot as a character, he had a lot of issues (like a probable eating disorder) that weren't brought up at all until the very end and then only briefly, which felt like those issues were being treated too flippantly.
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This book was del;ightful, one of the best books Ive gotten from this site. It was funny, well written, heartfelt. The main couple was adorable and I enjoyed every minute of this.
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Luc is working for a charity who does not appreciate seeing his mistakes in the gossip rags. While he does try his best, his semi-famous father is trying to make a comeback that is putting him in the sort of spotlight. His friends and co-workers think he should try to date someone respectable and fix his good name.

Oliver has always been interested in Luc. This chance to get to know him, and play his significant other is not one he could pass up. Knowing it won't be easy they agree and get on with their lives. Then the hard part happens......

I liked that this story told the truth. Each characters felt real, open, dark, and rich at the same time. I also loved the friendships, and I cringed at the families who made them hurt. I also really liked the banter and sexy heat.


***This ARC copy was given by Netgalley and its publisher, in exchange for an honest review only.
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I love Alexis Hall, so of course I was going to jump on this as soon as possible. Once again, one of my favorite romance novelists, knocks it out of the park with this hilarious and wonderful rom com. Hall knows how to build and develop big messy emotions and he does it well in this new novel. I loved Luc and Oliver so damn much I wanted more, even when their story came to a satisfying conclusion. I really hope this makes it big like you saw from last year's Red, White, and Royal Blue, because it's entirely worth becoming mainstream.
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Wow. This book completely exceeded any and all expectations I had going in. I expected romance with a little humor but I was blown away by how at-once adorable and hilarious this book was. It's not often you get the two best tropes (enemies to lovers and fake dating) in the same book and they're done this well but this book delivered. I also was pleasantly surprised by how relatable our two main characters were, especially considering Luc has famous parents and Oliver is a lawyer. I still felt such a kinship to the two of them and I was rooting for them the entire time. I hadn't read anything by Alexis Hall before this but I am a new fan and I can't wait to get my hands on something else.
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I had a really hard time getting into this book. After about 45% of the way through it, I had to put it down and not finish it, which is a real bummer because I was excited about it. Perhaps I will get back to it at another date.
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4.5/5 stars

Luc, the son of a Mick Jagger-like former rockstar, has a lot of baggage in his trunk. That baggage makes him do stupid things that end up being photographed and published in C-rate tabloids. Those tabloids land him in some trouble at his job (a fundraiser at a dung beetle conservation organization), where his boss tells him to spiffy up his image so that they don't lose any donors... aka get a nice, respectable boyfriend. And so Luc has to beg his friends to find a fake boyfriend for him to take to the big beetle dinner, and they do. Enter Oliver, an uptight criminal defense barrister. But while he may be controlling and uptight, Oliver is also really good at helping Luc put away all his dirty clothes and toiletries and further unpack his baggage. And maybe Luc is good for Oliver, too. Good enough to graduate them from fake to real boyfriends....

The two things I loved most about Boyfriend Material are (1) the banter! It's adorable and really makes you see that Luc and Oliver (and their friends) are real Millennials who like to joke and have fun and engage in some fun wordplay and (2) the voice! My god, it's incredible! It rings through so clearly and really makes Luc pop on the page. Initially, I was surprised --and slightly worried-- when I realized that the narration was all Luc all the time (most romances switch back and forth between the two love interests), but Boyfriend Material doesn't! And I'm glad it didn't because I fell in love with the voice of Luc and how its really, really feels like he's just telling everything to his BFF Bridget instead of narrating a book. THAT is how narration should be! 

The loss of a half star is because Luc is a VERY annoying character for the first 2/3 of the book. I get it: he's depressed and has been coping poorly with it the past five years. But like, he is just an awful person: selfish, mean, and self-centered to the extent that he can't think of anyone else's feelings, including his friends and his mother with whom he gets along well. I mean, yes, it then paves the way for a rather miraculous dynamic character growth, but still. If I wasn't so hyped about reading this M/M romance, I probably would have stopped reading it. 

LGBTQIA+ diverse:
- Luc, narrator and protagonist, is gay.
- He dates Oliver, a gay man.
- Several of Luc's friends (secondary characters) are LGBTQIA+, including Tom, bisexual dating a (straight) woman; James Royce-Royce married to James Royce-Royce (confusing? yes. unnecessary? yes. funny? yes, but not probably not as funny as Hall thinks it is.); Priya (South Asian) is a lesbian in a committed relationship with an older woman.
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This was one of my most anticipated books of 2020 and it did not disappoint! Boyfriend Material has all of Alexis Hall’s trademark humor, emotional depth, and gorgeous prose. The plot is delightfully tropey, the characters are lovely, and there’s really just so much here to love. Luc and Oliver charmed me completely — I’m confident this is one book that will be read and reread again. In Boyfriend material, Alexis Hall has set the new gold standard for romcoms.
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This book was an absolute delight of a read, and one that I had to tell people about right away.  I thought it was going to do me in on several occasions because I was laughing so hard.  The writing is just superb; it was intelligent, funny, and original.  I also really loved the main characters, Luc and Oliver, and the ways they were good for each other that they could never have anticipated.  I'm a fan of the whole fake dating trope to begin with, so this book started in my wheel house and then elevated things to a whole new level. The supporting cast could absolutely be in their own sitcom, though they always steered just to the right side of being over-the-top.  The humor is a wonderful bonus in this book, but the main duo really center it with a lot of heart.  You are rooting for them, especially as they start to slide into caring for each other in ways that trip them both up.  I'd definitely recommend this one!
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This is an adorable story with a neurotic, emotionally vulnerable main character who makes the fake-dating trope work in a way I've rarely seen. It's a truly charming book, read it!
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