Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Publication Date: July 7th, 2020
Pages: 472, trade paperback
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.
This was Fine, but it went on for too long — the novel could have been cut by about 50+ pages and it would have flowed so much better. This seems to be a thing with Hall’s novels, though, in that they’re very long when they don’t necessarily need to be.
Luc and Oliver’s relationship also didn’t move me that much, to be honest. I’m not sure what was leaving me cold about it, except that Oliver felt a little shallow at times. This isn’t helped by the fact that Hall waits until the last 100 pages or so to deal with Oliver’s issues, after focusing the entire novel on Luc’s. It really felt like it was just forced in at the end.
I do love Hall’s dialogue, though, and the friendships in Boyfriend Material are a lot of fun. I liked the repeating gag where Luc tries to tell his coworker a joke, and the coworker just doesn’t get it — very reminiscent of the same gag from The Vicar of Dibley, but one I enjoyed nonetheless.
I don’t really have much more to say than this, honestly. Like I said, Boyfriend Material left me a bit cold. I didn’t hate it, but I didn’t love it, either. I was whelmed, you could say. I might still glance at Husband Material but I won’t be rushing out to read it.