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ARC review: Boyfriend Material

Title: Boyfriend Material
Author: Alexis Hall
Rating: 4/5 stars
Summary: 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.

This was entertaining, funny, and light-hearted – exactly the kind of read I needed to get me out of my quarantine reading slump! I usually read really intense sci-fi/fantasy or mystery books, and I get bored with books (and TV shows) where there is not much plot besides “will they, won’t they”. It’s not that I think relationships aren’t important, I just usually want more plot to keep my attention.

Surprisingly, there is really not much plot in this book besides the “we must pretend to be each other’s boyfriends for convenience but oops we actually like each other” situation but I still really enjoyed it. The characters were pretty eccentric, messed up in a lot of ways, but endearing. I did think most of the characters were a bit too exaggerated and one-note (Bridget, the hyperactive straight best friend! Priya, the grumpy lesbian! Alex, the earnest but very awkward co-worker! Jon Fleming, the terrible father!), but the two main characters grew a lot over the course of the story and it made me smile. There was one aspect of the plot in the second half that really didn’t make sense to me, but I can’t discuss it in this review without spoiling things.

Despite dealing with some emotional baggage and some really toxic family relationships, this book was overall adorable and a lot of fun.

A free e-copy was provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review

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