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’ve read a few of Alexis Hall’s books. Gritty, angsty, well written stories. So when this came up, it definitely seemed out of the norm, but hey- branch out, right?
Oh boy. Nope. Go back. Go back to gritty and angsty.
We have Luc. Son of two 80’s rock stars, although his father walked out when Luc was 3 and he hasn’t seen him since. This has turned Luc into a bitter person. And apparently a giant jerk and something happened in his young adulthood that led to him being black listed and the only job he could get was as a fundraiser for an obscure charity to save dung beetles. I don’t know how a disgraced, blacklisted person gets a job leading a fundraising charge. But whatever.
Because of whatever happened in the past, he is plagued by paparazzi catching him at inopportune times and making it look way worse than it is. The latest shot caught him tripping outside of a club, but made it out that he was wasted and passed out in the gutter. People start pulling their donations because he is unsavory. So to try to save his reputation, and the donations to the charity, he decides to get a fake boyfriend to last just through the big fundraising ball.
Enter Oliver. Friend of a friend whom he has met previously. The mutual friend had been trying to get them together because “you are the only 2 gay men I know!”. Ya, not the type of friend I would want to have. In fact, all of Luc’s friends kind of seemed like jerks. They basically tell Luc all the time what a loser and jerk HE is, but they are still friends with him. And he is all “oh, thank you for still being friends with me even though I am a jerk and loser.”
So the fake boyfriend thing is set up. And even though of course no one is supposed to know they are fake boyfriends, so many people do. The two complete idiots that Luc works for. No seriously, IDIOTS. And who talks that way? “Right so old girl”. Really? The way he spoke (and his fiance, who may or may not be his fiance because they are TOO STUPID to remember if they are engaged or not) was a stereotypical mockery of uptight British people.
OH! And Luc’s father shows up out of the blue because he has cancer. And Luc’s mother encourages him to get to know his father so he tries. But then it turns out his father is the same wanker he always was. And Luc’s mother was all “Ya, I figured. So sorry” (My eyes were bugging out at this point)
Oliver’s friends were EVEN WORSE than Luc’s friends. He is obviously the “token gay” because it is good to have a gay in your circle. They were horrid!
Oliver’s parents and brother were equally horrid! No wonder the man feels unlovable.
Now onto the fake relationship that of course turns real. It was pretty cute. I liked how there was no kissing, but touching, etc were negotiated. They were obviously both crushing on each other but didn’t say anything because of their own personal demons. And it seems that Oliver’s demons were worse because he instigated the inevitable break up.
Cue a scene so OBVIOUSLY taken from Notting Hill it was embarrassing. Luc and all of his friends pile into the ONE vehicle owned among them all to drive 5 hours (FIVE HOURS!?) to where Oliver is supposed to be. With them telling Luc how stupid he was the whole time. And then the scene with the front desk clerk at a hotel not giving them any information. And come on!
Can you tell I did not like this book? I seriously did not like this book. Everyone says Luc is a jerk, but really he isn’t and everyone around him is. Oliver thinks he is unlovable because of who he is, but really it is because of the way he is treated. The only side character that didn’t piss me off was Luc’s mother’s best friend Judy.
I’ve read other reviews. I know I am the complete opposite of most of them. Guess what? Don’t care.
2 pieces of eye candy