by Alexis Hall
Published by Sourcebooks
Release Date: July 7th, 2020
Genres: Contemporary Romance, LGBTQ+, M/M
Format Read: ARC, eBook
Buy on Amazon
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.
I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
When I first read the synopsis, I immediately requested this one to review. Male on male, fake boyfriends and British humor – sign me up. But to be honest, I didn’t like it all that much. If I hadn’t had to review it and I’d believe in DNF’s, I probably would have put the book away halfway through.
I had a tough time finding into the story and an even harder time connecting with the characters. While Lucien is an interesting character and very different from everything I’ve ever read before, at times, I was thinking, “oh boy – here we go again.” I simply didn’t click with him at all. His counterpart and fake boyfriend Oliver is a very straightforward and somewhat cool character. He has a clear idea about everything, and that’s also sort of his problem. The weird thing is that I really liked them as a couple, and I can totally see why they’re good for each other, but I felt so detached from the whole thing I couldn’t even enjoy it. I feel like I hardly know them, and when you follow characters through an entire book, that’s generally bad.
About halfway through, it seemed like it was getting better, but then it didn’t. It was like watching a movie without audio – you see, but you don’t connect to the characters or the story at all. I kept hoping for the sparks they were supposedly feeling to reach me, but there were only a few selected scenes where that was the case. My ratings are rarely this low, but I honestly wasn’t feeling this one at all. That has never happened to me before with a fake boyfriend romance kind of thing because usually, I’m total trash for this. But I felt like I was crawling through the second half of the book.
To my surprise, I liked the ending a lot better than I expected, given my feelings throughout the book. Suddenly the missing emotions were there. There’s a bit more character development on Lucien’s side, but they both eventually acknowledge their respective issues, paving the way for a better future. So, plot-wise, it was very traditional and exactly what you expect, picking up this sort of story.
Long story short, this one didn’t really work for me. When I read romance, I need to connect to the characters, and I need to feel the love, and for whatever reason, that didn’t happen. And I’m super bummed that I didn’t enjoy it as much as I hoped I would. It’s exam season, so maybe I wasn’t able to relax into it enough?
I’m sure that a lot of you will love this book. If it sounds good to you, don’t be discouraged because I didn’t like it. If you do end up reading it, definitely let me know what you think.
Hi! I’m Lisa. I’m twenty-three, a college student and a book lover. I spend every free minute, and most of my lectures, reading all kinds of books, which is how I ended up here. While I particularly enjoy books of the young and new adult variety, I also love historical fiction, sci-fi, fantasy, paranormal, all things romance, and one or the other classic as well. If I’m not reading, I’m either working, sleeping, binge-watching my newest obsession on Netflix, or on my way to Starbucks, to satisfy my slight caffeine addiction.