Boyfriend Material by Alexis Hall fulfilled
the category “Book Set
in a Place I Want to Visit in 2021” for the PopSugar 2021 Reading Challenge.
The novel is set in London. I won’t get there anytime soon, but the dream is
This title was recommended to me by the ML of Albany
NaNoWriMo, Shannon. I can’t
thank her enough. It’s the best book I’ve read this year. A slow burn male/male,
sexy but sweet, and the perfect story for all those out there who struggle in
their late twenties-early thirties.
Our hero, Luc O’Donnell, is down on his luck. He’s the son of a rock star whose
fame only makes life more difficult ala Corman Strike, Robert Galbraith’s, aka
JK Rowling, grisly detective. Like Strike, Luc has difficulty just living his
life because everyone is watching him. It doesn’t help that Luc likes to party
and have one-night stands. But his bad behavior has gotten him in trouble at
his non-profit job. How can the fundraiser of CRAPP (yes, that’s the acronym,
lol) raise money if he’s in the papers for being a drug-using, alcoholic loser?
Against better HR policies, his uptight boss orders him to get a respectable
partner and get some good press. Luc doesn’t push the HR issues because he
needs the job.
Enter Oliver Blackwood. A quiet, prissy lawyer whom Luc
was rejected by months ago. The two come up with a bargain to fake-date until
they achieve their respective goals. Luc must raise money for his dung beetle
charity, and Oliver must go to his parents’ anniversary party with a date. I love that no one ever
forces either man to pretend he’s not gay. It was so refreshing.
What we have next is a wild, weird relationship
between two men who refuse to admit they actually have feelings for each other.
Because of the bargain, they are forced to deal with issues that would normally
have broken them up over and over. This book is a true romance. Boy gets boy,
boy loses boy, boy gets boy back. I loved the first-person point of view and
how in-depth the feelings are. The sexual tension is out of control, and I
literally cried the first time they kissed. Cried. Hard.
A little critical analysis as a writer. As I
mentioned earlier, Luc is the rejected son of a rock star who must deal with
the paparazzi but never his father (until later in the book). I thought Alexis
Hall tapped on a great marketing idea with that character. Agents, editors,
other writers tell us to make our stories “uniquely familiar.” In other words, write something that
people will already relate to, connect to, or understand, but make it yours.
Using a character with a similar backstory to Corman Strike caught my interest
immediately. I’ve read most of the series and like Corman. Here is a man with a
similar background, but very different. But I think I connected to Luc easier
because I already “knew” Corman. Well done, Author!
If you love romance, read this book. If you’re a millennial,
read this book. If you’re curious about male/male romances but are unsure if
they are for you, read this book.
I give Boyfriend
Material by Alexis Hall Five Huge Dung Beetles.