You know that feeling when you’ve met someone that you know you like? That racing-heart, sweaty-palms, I-think-I-might-be-in-love feeling? I think I just…fell in love with a book? Boyfriend Material by Alexis Hall is quite possibly my favourite book that I’ve read this month. The two main characters, Oliver and Lucien are sizzlingly sharp-witted and sexy.
Can we talk about the dialogue for a minute? Because it’s what grabbed me right from the first few sentences. Of course I loved the premise and the characters are obviously lovable. But the dialogue! The banter feels natural, but also reads so smoothly that you suddenly find you’ve just devoured three more chapters and now you’ve got to read a fourth one because oh my god WHAT did he just say? It’s really, really that good. And you really, really will not be able to stop reading.
Whenever I read a rom-com, my main concern is whether or not the two romantic leads have good enough repel (the thing that keeps pushing them away) and adhesive (what forces them to be together). Too much adhesive and your characters just end up going out to dinner and kissing a whole lot. Boyfriend Material absolutely has the perfect will-they-won’t-they repel/adhesive down pat. The fake relationship trope is a favourite of mine, but I really liked that both Oliver and Lucien had deep emotional issues at the heart of their repels that felt true to their characters. It makes for a read with really great emotional resonance.
A truly great rom-com always breaks my heart when it ends. Not because there isn’t a delightfully romantic (and funny) HEA (Happily Ever After) at the end of this one. There is, and I love it, and I’m going to go back and read it all over again and wish that I was reading it again for the first time, because…have I not mentioned that I am now in love with this book? Because… I am. And… shit. This is harder to say out loud than I thought, so I’m just going to come out and say… it was… great. Really great.
If you’re craving a delicious rom-com featuring LGBTQ+ characters, then you’ve most definitely met your match with Boyfriend Material. And if you are heartbroken (like me) that you devoured the first book in two days and are now longing for more Charlie and Lucien, it looks like there’s a sequel coming this August!