by Alexis Hall
5 out of 5
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.
Luc is sorta famous, and that means he's fair game to the media. When his newest "indiscretion" threatens to ruin what is left of his life, he has to show the media that he can have a normal relationship with a respectable guy.
I received a free copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
Luc is the son of two rock stars - his mother Odile, who stopped music to live off the royalties and raise her son; and his "father" is the infamous Jon Fleming who abandoned his family for the rock n roll life.
Interest in the rockstar hasbeen has increased now that he's joined a reality tv series - which means Luc is under renewed pressure from the media, who already have him pegged as a junkie and sex addict.
The media's coverage of Luc is threatening his job, as he is coming across as "the wrong type of gay". As this is the only place that would even hire him, Luc will do anything to keep his job, including recruiting a fake boyfriend, preferably one that suits the heteronormative ideals that his clients imagine is a "good gay".
Luckily, his friend Bridget has just the guy. Oliver is perfect. He's a middle-class lawyer who charms everyone he meets. He's good-looking, perfectly-respectable, and willing to go ahead with the deal as he needs a fake boyfriend to take to a family event.
OMG this book was hilarious. Perfect British humour - I just wanted to give it a hug.
I completely love Luc's mum, Odile - she is so embarrassing, I loved all of her scenes and was full-on laughing when she got to meet Oliver. (Luckily I was in the house alone, so didn't have to explain what was so funny)
I definitely got vibes of Bridget Jones' Diary, especially with Luc's very loud, very sweary, but would-drive-to-the-ends-of-the-Earth-for-you friends.
With all the group messaging that went on, they did sometimes blur together as background friends, but they all still had their individual character traits.
They all deserve a medal for sticking beside Luc, who has increasingly become a prick over the last five years. But they remember what good-Luc is like, and they are waiting for that version to come back.
It seems like, after the world turned on Luc, he no longer makes any effort to be civil to friends and strangers alike.
I loved that Oliver called him out on his mean-streak, and other little jabs that Luc makes without even thinking about it.
I did feel that the book's climax came mid-way through the book, as Luc's story seems complete. I did keep checking how far through the ebook I was, and I was surprised to see how much was left.
I thought that Oliver's story was tacked on at the end, to mirror Luc's journey.
Don't get me wrong, it was very moving and very well-done, as you realise that Oliver is a product of his family's expectations, and... well, I don't want to say anymore, because it's all worth reading first-hand.
It did change the flow of the book, and was a little slower.
The ending did pick up the pace again, and I really enjoyed Luc's big expression of love, even if it didn't all go to plan.
This book was funny, cute and had emotional depth to boot. I will definitely be looking forward to more of this author's work.