By: Alexis Hall
Contemporary Romance / LGBTQ
Opening Line: “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.”
Overall: Luc O’Donnell is the son of two former rock star parents. He is always ending up in the tabloids, and it’s never for a good reason. He works for a charity, and after seeing photos of his latest scandal, some important donors tell his boss that they are going to stop their money and support of the charity because of Luc working there. Luc needs to get his reputation fixed fast before he gets fired. To help clean-up his image, he quickly needs to find a respectable, stable, scandal-free boyfriend to be photographed with and to bring to the next big work event. Luckily, Oliver Blackwood also needs a new boyfriend to bring to a big, upcoming family event. Because they are the only two gay men she is friends with, their mutual friend Bridget sets them up together to see if they can help eachother out. However, Luc and Oliver are total opposites. Not to mention that they both have a complete set of baggage that they are dragging along with them into this fake relationship. They don’t even have themselves figured-out yet, so of course they are going to have a hard time figuring eachother out and learning how to co-exist in this new, temporary relationship. But, as they spend more time together pretending to be boyfriends, they are finding that they really do like eachother, and they are both starting to wish their fake relationship was real. They are very good together and seem to be just what the other needs in a partner. But, neither of them wants to be the one to admit they are catching feelings because they don’t want their real hearts (that were NOT supposed to be involved in this arrangement at all) to get broken.
Ovations: This book is witty, romantic, charming, hilarious, sexy, sarcastic, messy, truthful, British, and overall just so damn delightful! The fast and funny, yet deep and though-provoking way the author has written this book is pure genius. The writing is perfection on the page. All of the brilliant dialogue in this book constantly crackles with humor and quick wit. There are lines on every single page that made me smile and laugh because they were either hilarious or just so smart, or both! The flawless banter in this book is second to none. The banter between Luc and Oliver is flirtatious and sexy. The banter between Luc and his dim-witted, clueless, co-workers is both absurd and wildly entertaining. The banter between Luc and his close group of friends is sarcastic and amusing. Even the banter between Luc and his mother is candid and sweet but also playful. The writing is so good that I was totally absorbed in Luc’s life throughout the whole book. I felt like I was actually living in England and really knew all these people in Luc’s life. The author did such a great job in describing people by their conversations that you really felt you understood all of them clearly. For example, Luc’s group of friends and Oliver’s group of friends are completely different types of people, and you really feel the vibes of exactly what each group of people would be like to hang-out and interact with. Every single character in the book is given a distinct and unique personality. You can really grasp the level of narcissism of Luc’s father, and the unwavering love and acceptance from his free-spirit mother. I really loved how by struggling through their fake relationship, both Luc and Oliver help eachother grow as people, and realize that the people they are becoming just might be perfect for eachother after all. I loved that this was not the typical fake-dating love story where the two people discover that they really do like eachother and fall in love at the end. In this book, they like eachother right from the start, but they help eachother learn to love themselves, and then let themselves love eachother at the end.
Oh Well: The only thing negative I have to say about this book (which is really just my fault for being American) is that there are a lot of British words in it. So, as I was reading it, I had to look up the meanings of a lot of British slang. But, I like learning new things, so that really was a bonus and not a negative. So, to sum-up, there are no negatives to this book at all.
Opinion: This is a hilarious, wonderful, awkward, romantic, sexy, emotional, sweet, LGBTQ love story. You do not need to be a part of the LGBTQ community, or even know anything about it to completely enjoy this book. It is the best romance book I have ever read. Period. Seriously. There are so many brilliant lines and compelling conversations all throughout this book. The dialogue between the all the characters is so funny, whip-smart, unexpected, messy, honest, quirky, and amusing. I found myself smiling and laughing the whole time I was reading the book. This book is charming and real and I seriously never wanted it to end. I loved living in this world of Luc and Oliver and I actually read the entire book again right after I finished it. I have never done that before! I really hope that Alexis Hall writes a sequel to this book. It deserves one, and we do too. Rating is 10 out of 10
Update on the sequel, there is one! It is called, Husband Material, and is coming out in August of 2022! I have already pre-ordered it!
If you are interested in these books and want to buy them now so you don’t forget, as I often do, you can click on these safe Amazon links that will bring you directly to the book pages where you can buy them. Click Here: Boyfriend Material, and Husband Material.