Genre | Contemporary Fiction
Page #s | 427
Publishing Date | July 2020
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 is probably the worst way to start a book review, but honestly, just go read Spotlight on Stories‘ review of Boyfriend Material instead! It was her review that inspired me to read the book, and after I finished, all I could think was, “Yup, Chelsea was right!”
Boyfriend Material is a thoroughly entertaining book, but I wouldn’t say it’s necessarily good. It revels in its own cleverness, and the quirks of the world and its characters strain credulity. Everyone here is dialed up to eleven, and it’s kind of exhausting.
But what everyone is here for is the romance, so let’s get into what truly matters: is the spark between Luc and Oliver believable? Well…I guess? Let’s be clear. We’re living in a glorious age of fake dating queer stories, and I am predisposed to adore any story with this trope. And this has a good set up, since the two men knew each other previously, were attracted to each other, but mistakenly assumed the other was not into them. However, there were so many points along the way when I couldn’t support them being together. Luc is a fun character, and I love him, but I do NOT understand why Oliver had a crush on him, and he probably shouldn’t have put up with Luc’s terrible behaviour.
In an effort to even the playing ground (I assume), Oliver becomes the terrible communicator and ridiculous drama llama for the last 50 pages. Although the cause is believable, it is totally out of character for him and felt like an excuse to throw a final obstacle into their path.
All of that is pretty bad, I guess, but I did read the 427-page book in two days, so I do kind of recommend it? It’s good frivolous fun, and if that’s what you’re looking for, I say give it a go!
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