Boyfriend Material

- Alexis Hall


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.



I’ve never seen the point of fancy dress parties. You have two choices: either you make a massive effort and wind up looking like a dick, or you make no effort and wind up looking like a dick. And my problem, as always, was not knowing what kind of dick I wanted to be.


almost perfect:
Boyfriend Material is a very fun read. The enemies to fake dating to true love arc is messy and chock full of chemistry, the side characters are vivid and hilarious, and there are some deeply emotional moments to keep it all grounded.

I doubt anyone reads Boyfriend Material and doesn’t immediately fall for Oliver – he has all the advantages in this relationship. It’s a bit unfair, really – Luc is such a mess he has to spend most of the book evolving and becoming a better person after each new breakdown and argument. Oliver is also much better when it comes to defending Luc and helping him find things to like about himself. He’s so articulate it’s like he’s always got a well-researched pep talk or a courtroom monologue ready to go. And Luc does his best, but he’s just not quite there – his defence of Oliver and his attempt to share his feelings are generally profanity-leaden, stumbling, and disconnected thoughts that might add up to something if you look really closely. I wanted to like Luc more – he’s trying so hard, and he’s been dealt a shit hand – but Oliver was easy to fall for.

There are a surprising number of side characters – from family members to friends to colleagues of both Luc and Oliver – but it’s easy to keep track of them because Hall does such a good job of making them memorable. They’ve got quirks and strong personalities, and they clearly play a role in the lives of our main characters. I usually struggle to keep track of a large cast of characters or find them an unnecessary distraction from the main story, but I found the narrative to be well-balanced between romance/chemistry development and side plots. It kept the relationship from feeling like it was moving too quickly and allowed it to develop naturally in different environments. I appreciated that the relationship was messy and complicated and was off and on even when it was fake – there may have been attraction early on, but it certainly wasn’t instalove.

I’m not sure what the next book in the series could be about, but I’m hoping for some Oliver POVs. I think my opinion of Luc would benefit from an outside perspective, and it would be nice to see how Oliver’s articulate but slightly anxious mind works.



Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

See All Reviews   |   Quotes   |   Sort Reviews By:    # of Pages   |   Author [ Name | Gender | Nationality ]   |   DNF   |   Genre   |   Rating   |   Series   |   Title   |   Year Published


Like this:

Like Loading...
Would love your thoughts, please comment!x
%d bloggers like this: