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.
Sometimes, you can half believe you’ve been hurt so much you’ve basically been vaccinated. Rendered immune. And then someone says something like that to you.
Boyfriend Material is one of those books that I was just squeeing over while reading. I was heartbroken when it was over because I was not yet done enjoying the glory that is this book. It was everything I wanted, and I want more of this, pronto. I loved the characters, I loved their romance, I loved this book.
Most of all, though, I loved the main character, Luc. He was my type of person. By which I mean a complete and utter disaster zone. Luc grew up under the shadow of his famous father, who he has never met. Everyone he meets “knows” who he is. And, if they can, they try to use him for their own gains. He has constantly been in the tabloids because of his father, whether or not what they are saying is the truth. As a result, Luc is standoffish to everyone he meets until they can prove him right – and then he gets aggressive. Even if they’re being genuine, Luc will take it as if they’re about to betray him. Poor man is a mess. Depressed as hell and anxious over every scenario involving people he doesn’t know. I love him.
I’d finally proved beyond all reasonable objection that nobody in their right mind would date me. I was a cagey, grumpy, paranoid mess who would find a way to ruin even the most basic human interaction.
One day, coming out of a bar in an unfortunate costume, Luc trips and ends up on the floor. Where the picture of which was promptly sold to the tabloids, and a fake story was spun about it. Which jeopardizes the one job who would hire him due to the bad publicity his mere presence garners. His workmates and employer are bug nuts, though, and decide that the perfect solution for Luc to keep his job is to get a boyfriend, fake or real, they don’t care, to better his public image.
Here comes Oliver. He is a criminal barrister, who is ready to defend his position on why he is a barrister for criminals at a moments notice. He is also willing to defend all of his positions of morality, of which there are many. He is a friend of a friend, and the perfect fake partner for Luc. Middle class, going places, unlikely to ever cause anything resembling a PR disaster. The only problem? They have met before, and Oliver doesn’t think very highly of Luc. Surprisingly, he decides to go along with this plan, anyway. He is also somehow as much a mess on the inside as Luc is on the outside. I love him.
Boyfriend Material is a very classic fake romance story. Boy meets boy, they arrange their relationship, they try to keep feelings out of it, they fail. In the end they’re together and everyone is happy. It is just the journey from beginning to end that I just adored so very, very much. And the characters. We have the fun yet quirky friend group of Luc as well as his coworkers who include the most interesting character. And we have Oliver’s friends who are down to earth and his family who are, well, spoilers.
When it comes down to it, I very much enjoyed reading this book. There were things that were silly, yes. But there were things that were just so real. Luc’s depression and anxiety felt so familiar. Also really enjoy fake romance stories. At no point did I want to stop reading. Especially when the book ended on me. That was cruel. Whoever made it so that books end should have to reevaluate their life. I just want more.
“Yes, but you’ll slowly discover that you’re not as different as you initially assumed, and then he’ll surprise you with how thoughtful he is, and then you’ll come to his rescue in an unexpected moment of need, and you’ll fall madly in love with each other and live happily ever after.”
“That’s never going to happen. He doesn’t even like me.”