This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Released on July 7, 2020
When he hit rock bottom, he faceplanted and has the tabloid picture to prove it. Desperation and the aid of friends has him grasping at a unique solution- a fake boyfriend. I have enjoyed Alexis Hall’s books in the past and thought this fake relationship romance between opposites sounded like just the thing.
Boyfriend Material opens with Luc O’Donnell discovering that a really crappy life can get worse. Tripping outside a club dressed in masquerade lands him in the tabloids and his job at the charity in jeopardy. He’s been in the tabloids before as the son of an aged rockstar after an ex splashed his personal life all over the gossip rags, but his rep is now hurting the charity and he’s been given an ultimatum. Find a way to save the fundraiser or lose his job. His friends decide that a solid relationship with a solid guy should do the trick. The only solid guy willing to give his snarky hot mess a chance is staid, boring Oliver Blackwood. At least Luc thought that until he spends time with Oliver who makes him uncomfortable and not because he’s a bore.
It’s not a new story between the fake mates and the opposites attract, but Alexis Hall has a gift for wry humor and characterization that makes it fresh, funny, and loaded with feels. Luc is not an easy guy to like or even want to root for in the beginning. He makes an Olympic sport of wallowing and self-destructing. He creates many of his own problems and is as prickly as they come. I found the early chapters a struggle as a result. That said, I pitied him and was curious to see what had caused him to be this way and the transformation that would pick him up again. His story comes out and it’s not easy and neither is what he has to do. First, he gets the job ultimatum and has to buck up and start fixing it as he pretends with Oliver and there is also the sucker punch of his absentee dad wanting back into his life. I enjoyed having the author bring me around when it came to Luc.
And, just when I thought Oliver was too perfect, the story takes a turn and suddenly Luc isn’t the only one who floundered. I like seeing this because then there is more balance in the relationship and I lost my doubts that these opposites would work out. In the end, I loved this pair together.
All through this story, I enjoyed seeing Luc figure his life out and fall in love for real, but the funniest parts were seeing him with his zany French mom and his friends who were an eclectic group who made every scene they are in dazzling.
All in all, it was another Alexis Hall winner. Those who enjoy m/m romcoms with a lot of character growth, emotion and a snarky amusing hero should give this a try.
My thanks to Sourcebooks Casablanca for providing this book in exchange for an honest review.
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