New Release Review | Boyfriend Material by Alexis Hall

Boyfriend Material by Alexis Hall
Contemporary Romance
Sourcebooks Casablanca | July 7, 2020

About the Book:

Wanted:
One (fake) boyfriend
Practically perfect in every way

Luc O’Donnell is tangentially–and reluctantly–famous. His rock star parents split when he was young, and the father he’s never met spent the next twenty years cruising in and out of rehab. Now that his dad’s making a comeback, Luc’s back in the public eye, and one compromising photo is enough to ruin everything.

To clean up his image, Luc has to find a nice, normal relationship…and Oliver Blackwood is as nice and normal as they come. He’s a barrister, an ethical vegetarian, and he’s never inspired a moment of scandal in his life. In other words: perfect boyfriend material. Unfortunately apart from being gay, single, and really, really in need of a date for a big event, Luc and Oliver have nothing in common. So they strike a deal to be publicity-friendly (fake) boyfriends until the dust has settled. Then they can go their separate ways and pretend it never happened.

But the thing about fake-dating is that it can feel a lot like real-dating. And that’s when you get used to someone. Start falling for them. Don’t ever want to let them go.

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Boyfriend Material is my third book by Alexis Hall. That was a bonus surprise, because when I requested this book I didn’t even look at the author’s name. I saw the cover, read the synopsis, and thought to myself “Man, that looks cute!”

I was right, too. It’s adorable!

I’ve read other authors who base their stories in the UK, but none of them feel as realistic as a story written by Alexis Hall. Don’t get me wrong, I have no idea how accurate the descriptions and terminology were, but it feels legit. It was especially perfect with Oliver’s stuffiness, and Luc’s sarcasm. Their relationship dynamic was a refreshing departure from what’s “normal” in this genre. Usually one character is grumpy and gruff, where the other is a gentle soul. In this case neither Luc nor Oliver fit those descriptions. There was something sweet and vulnerable in both of them, and I loved it. He’s good at breaking the mold, though. It’s the author’s strength.

Alexis Hall took a few departures from his normal too.

For instance, this was the first Alexis Hall I read without sex scenes. Sex is hard to write, but I wouldn’t say Alexis Hall was bad at it. In fact, I distinctly remember loving the sexual relationship in For Real. I tried to go back to read my review, but alas, it is lost forever. What I can say is, I loved the romantic fade to black scenes between Oliver and Luc. We got just enough, and it was good, before the door closed on us peeping Tom’s, leaving Oliver and Luc to their own private moment. It was gloriously done.

In fact, the writing style reminded me a lot of TJ Klune.

It wasn’t only the “romance over sex” style, but it was also in the way the characters interacted. It was in the crazy groups of friends with the quick witty one liners flinging back and forth. Alexis Hall wrote with a whimsy I don’t remember in his previous books, and it worked.

Clearly it works for me, anyway.

Seeing as TJ is my fav.

If he keeps it up, I’ll likely read more of these newer books. And, since I lost my review, I’m going back to reread For Real too! Humph.


Thank you to Sourcebooks Casablanca and NetGalley, for providing an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

About Birdie

Don’t look for her in any bar, club, crazy raging party, or anywhere there may be a large gathering of strangers. She’s more likely to be found tucked into the corner of the couch watching one of her favorite shows, or preferably under a comforter with her current novel.

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