Title: Boyfriend Material
Author: Alexis Hall
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Genre: Contemporary Romance
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 wasn’t sure where to start this review because while I enjoyed Boyfriend Material and found most of the book funny, I just felt it was missing that spark.
As Boyfriend Material is a romance, I need to find myself rooting for both of the main characters from the first page, and sadly in Boyfriend Material, I couldn’t. The book follows Luc, who I did like as a main character, and while I found myself getting annoyed at his decisions in the beginning, he did start to redeem himself. However, when it comes to Luc’s love interest Oliver, I feel that I didn’t know him well enough to make a judgement on him for most of the book. All of Oliver’s character development happens in the last 15% of the book, and by that point, I had lost interest in him. When it comes to the side characters, I don’t think that enough development went into most of them for me to have any interest in them. I would have loved to have seen them interact more with the main characters, so they felt more necessary to the plot.
Because I wasn’t invested in the main character’s as much as I wanted, the romance felt quite dull to me. It felt as if we were going around in circles most of the time, without any developments in the situation. When I thought that developments had been made, it actually turned out they hadn’t, which did start to annoy me. I think they could have been cute together if it had been developed more throughout the book.
When it comes to the conflict which most romance books have, I didn’t like the one in Boyfriend Material. The majority of the conflict occurs within the last 10% of the book, and it is resolved within the last 1%. This annoyed me as it didn’t feel like we got the complete resolution of the events and how they impacted the characters. I also didn’t like how the conflict started because of events that I felt were only included to be a bit of a plot twist, rather than adding more substance. Because this plot twist only occurred at the end of the book rather than earlier, it lost quite a bit of its meaning and the ability to have been developed further and made more impactful.
I will probably still look at some of Alexis Hall’s other works to see if any of them interest me, as I enjoyed my time reading Boyfriend Material. If you are in the mood for a funny romantic comedy, I would give Boyfriend Material a go, but be prepared to get a little bit annoyed and want to throw the book across the room.