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.
Review: Oh. My. Ever-Loving. Gosh. I've been reading a lot of good, entertaining romance novels lately, but it's been a long time since a book has just totally blown me out of the water like Boyfriend Material. And it's a romantic comedy to boot! Everyone knows I'm notoriously difficult to please with romcoms because I hate being led to laughter. When someone tells me I'm supposed to find something funny I'm instantly turned off it.
Boyfriend Material is funny in the most unexpected ways. It's not forcing jokes or having the characters fall into funny, totally unrealistic situations. It's the kind of humor that sneaks up on you and then jumps on you from behind making you roll with laughter while your friend watches you from the opposite end of the couch like you've lost your damn mind. Okay, maybe that was just how I handled it. I laughed out loud, y'all. That has happened in maybe 10 books ever. So, consider that the very highest praise that I could give a romance novel.
And, this shit is fade to black. Fade to black, people. Everyone knows I prefer the dirtiest of the dirtiest sex scenes in my books and this book gave me a handful of kisses and a couple fade-to-blacks and I'm still ranking it as one of my top ten romance novels ever. So... yes. High praise, indeed.
As far as the characters go. They're amazing. From our main Hero Luc to our love interest Oliver to the secondary cast (James Royce-Royce and his husband James RoyceRoyce, Alex the ditsy coworker, Bridget the tolkien straight friend, and all the rest) the book was wall-to-wall dynamic characters and I related to each one in different ways. I would get down on my knees right now and beg for stories about these secondary characters because I love them so.
And can we talk about the writing style? I felt like Hall just plopped me down into Luc's mind with little more than a good luck. And I couldn't have been happier about it. Hall's writing is like being given the opportunity to live a story rather than just read it. I felt everything. And I wanted for nothing. He made the characters come alive. I couldn't tell you a single thing that I would want from his writing that she didn't provide me ten times over. The whole book was like having a best friend sitting with me and tell me their story.
Luc is a wonderful hero. He's tragically damaged, perpetually negative, and he's more likely to insult you than compliment you, but he just needs a little love. Or a lot of love. Oliver is an accomplished lawyer and only a little neurotic with his strict diet and desperate need for organization and reason. I think I identified with Oliver a little more than Luc, but both characters had their moments. Everything about them--from their anxiety about relationships, to their self-doubt, to their sarcastic banter--was so relatable and honest. There's no fluff to their relationship, just truth.
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