Narrator: Joe Jameson
Series: Boyfriend Material #1
Published by Dreamscape Media LLC on July 7, 2020
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, LGBT, Romance
Length: 13 hrs, 11 min
Source: Audible Purchase
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 20 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 someone who has never inspired a moment of scandal in his life. In other words, he’s 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 settles. 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.
Prepare yourselves. I’m about to gush. Per usual, I’m a little late to the party but Boyfriend Material is EVERYTHING. It wow’d me in a way I wasn’t prepared for. Not only are the characters utterly engaging – particularly Luc & Oliver – but the narrator was…well, epic!
So Luc is the son of a famous music duo and therefore is peripherally famous. Unfortunately for Luc, this “fame” typically lands in him tabloids in tragically unflattering situations. It’s gotten so bad that it’s affecting his job as a fundraiser. Solution? Clean up his act by being seen with a respectable boyfriend.
Enter Oliver. Oliver is a criminal defense barrister. He’s stuffy, stoic, and uptight. A perfectly respectable fake boyfriend. At least her appears that way. Oh, Oliver is uptight but he’s so much more once he allows Luc to take a peek under his bespoke suit.
Witnessing Luc and Oliver get better acquainted as they figure out how to fake date was hilarious at times but also rivetingly heartwarming. Neither trust easily, having had bad experiences in previous relationships. They learn that communication is key to any connection, even fake ones, and it was an absolute joy watching them open up to one another as their fake arrangement became of so very real.
It broke my heart how Luc felt so betrayed by both his father and his former beau. I could understand how he went off the rails for a bit after his world was upturned and how that translated into his aversion to sharing himself with someone again. Oliver, seemingly so put together and noble, had also been hurt in previous love affairs. However, his hurt also comes from a source so much closer and it took a lot of will to not scream in frustration. That Luc and Oliver eventually see each other and validate and appreciate what they see? Beautiful.
The secondary cast added so much richness to the story. From Luc’s mom, whom I adored, to Luc & Oliver’s friends – specifically Bridget, who was a common friend and set them up – they all illustrated the depth of character in our MCs. Friends and family this fantastic must equate to fabulous humans, right, and they showed the worthiness of Luc & Oliver in how they loved them. I couldn’t help but love them all as well. Luc and Oliver definitely had some ups and downs but were supported through each situation by those who loved them most.
Joe Jameson’s narration MADE this book for me. I don’t say this lightly as typically when I listen to a book first, I always want to read it a second time to experience the story more deeply. JJameson embodied every character, giving them distinct voices while keeping them all consistent. He IS Luc and Oliver. I wouldn’t have been able to conjure more perfect voices in my head so I’m happy I didn’t have to. JJameson also paced everything perfectly, timing the comedic breaks and the emotional moments exquisitely. I know a brilliant audiobook correlates to a brilliantly crafted story, and AHall clearly crafted a gem with Boyfriend Material. But JJameson made the book a standout for me. He brought all the feels. I’m so happy I listened and I’m beyond excited for the sequel, Husband Material, coming in August. Yes, I’ll be listening. 😉
Reading this book contributed to these challenges: