Boyfriend Material by Alexis Hall

Luc O’Donnell is a mess. The son of a semi-famous rock star, he’s been involved in various messy scandals including problems with too much drinking and questionable partners.  When yet another scandalous photo of him in a compromising position appears in the tabloids, Luc’s employer, with it’s many respectable clients, insist that he clean up his act. Pronto.

Enter Oliver Blackwood, the friend of a friend who is in need of a date for an important family event. Oliver is a respected barrister from a prestigious family with a strong moral compass. It doesn’t hurt that he’s devastatingly good looking either. He and Luc have met briefly in the past and took an instant dislike to each other. However, desperate times.

And so, somewhat reluctantly and with many reservations, Luc and Oliver agree to fake date for a few weeks in Alexis Hall’s Boyfriend Material. At first they simply tolerate – barely – each other and view each other with a lot of suspicion. Luc is not used to a partner that looks out for him and is reliable and thoughtful and Oliver is surprised by Luc’s creativity and intelligence (which had never been on display before). Before long they become friends and then something more. But each thinks the other believes their relationship is fake and that it’ll end soon. Can they overcome the obstacles thrown in their path and see the truth?

This is a typical fake boyfriend trope that is common in romances. Boyfriend Material succeeds because of the likable characters, the devastatingly dry British wit and the funny situations they get themselves into. Hall pokes fun at the British upper class and makes several sly references to the film Notting Hill. And while this is an entertaining read, it has surprising depth too, about family and trust and acceptance. A lovely and charming book.

 

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