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  • Writer's pictureStuart Wakefield

Book Review: "Boyfriend Material" by Alexis Hall

"Boyfriend Material" by Alexis Hall is, without a doubt, the best gay romance novel I've had the pleasure of reading in a long, long time. Hall masterfully crafts a story that is not only deeply emotional and profoundly relatable but also hilariously funny and irresistibly charming.

The novel centres around Luc O'Donnell, who, being the son of rock stars, finds himself constantly caught in the paparazzi's lenses, often not in the most flattering light. When his public image takes yet another hit, Luc is forced to find a fake boyfriend to clean up his image. Enter Oliver Blackwood, the very picture of respectability and the complete opposite of Luc in every way. What starts as a simple arrangement, however, quickly evolves into something much deeper and more complicated as they navigate their fake relationship.

What sets "Boyfriend Material" apart is Hall's incredible ability to balance witty banter and comedic situations with moments of genuine emotion and vulnerability. The chemistry between Luc and Oliver is palpable, making their journey from strangers to lovers both believable and deeply satisfying. Hall has a unique voice that shines through in the dialogue and character development, ensuring that each character, no matter how minor, feels fully realised and contributes to the story's rich tapestry.

Moreover, the novel doesn't shy away from addressing serious themes such as the importance of honesty, the search for acceptance, and the struggle with personal demons. Yet, it does so with a light touch that respects the gravity of these issues while still maintaining the overall light-hearted tone of the book. This balance is a testament to Hall's skill as a writer and his understanding of life's complexities.

"Boyfriend Material" is more than just a romance novel; it's a celebration of love in all its forms, a testament to the power of vulnerability, and a reminder that sometimes, the most real things in life start off as pretend. Whether you're a fan of romance novels or simply in search of a story that will make you laugh, cry, and swoon, "Boyfriend Material" is a must-read. Alexis Hall has truly set a new standard for the genre, making this book not only the best gay romance I've read in a long time but also one of the best contemporary romances, period.



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