One (fake) boyfriend
Practically perfect in every wayLuc 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 am so behind on everything blog wise that I’ll go for a slightly shorter review.
First: the hype is deserved! That one is in the Goodreads finalists and totally deserves to be selected.
The narrator was a pure delight and alternated between posh accent and rather Cockney or at least, less refined. Deep smooth and steady voice for Oliver more hesitant and self-deprecating voice for Luc. Plus, all the Welsh accent or extremely snobby ones depending of that amazing cast of side characters.
I simply had a blast listening to it and was laughing aloud on the street, making a fool of myself once more. But it was so worth it!
This story gravitates around two main characters: Luc and Oliver but is told from Luc’s POV. You’ll also have a big band of friends and parents as side characters and they were all “delish”! Every single one of them had a distinctive signature and feel and added such a fun layer to the story!
His coping mechanism is to reject people, being a little bit of a prick, a hedgehog because it’s better to leave people, to rebuke them than to be left. He suffers from a deep wound from her dad’s abandon. We also guess that he had a bad experience with his last boyfriend but we won’t know more before a long time.
Honestly, he seems a bit of a loser at the beginning of the story. A wanker. Not believing he could achieve great things in life. Not believing he was worth it. He has a really low self-esteem. But like a chrysalid by the end of the story he will unfurl his wings and will have lost his prickly side, embracing life.
His pessimism got to me at the beginning of the book and I didn’t know if I really loved him.
But the more I got to know him, the more I followed him on his absurd quest to restore his image with a perfect model boyfriend, the more I felt protective of him. Like a duck mom, I wanted to nudge him to go swim in the pond with the other ducklings.
His mother is French, very “Gallic” and perfect mix of hippie yet down to earth. Their interaction gave us some irresistible banter and Luc was all “Moom! Don’t shame me” LOL
Now meet Oliver.
Oliver who was so contained and polished but who gave me a very savage and delightfully HOT surprise at one point. Oliver the protector. Oliver the barrister. Oliver able to mingle in every situation and charm even the most feared and ice-cold boss. He truly was the guy you want to introduce to your mom! The perfect prince charming.
Yet Oliver hid a secret that had Luc jumping into boiling water at some point because he too, wanted to have Oliver’s back.
Their interaction began on a rocky start and they fake dated and then fake broke up and that made me smile all their fake dates. Because you could quickly feel that they both genuinely enjoyed the company of the other! You have lots of swoon moments in that one.
So different yet they made perfect sense together.
But you also have lots of serious topics: about parents hurting or neglecting their children, homophobia, social media shaming etc.
Last words now for the amazing friendships! I want the same friends who would band up to find me a perfect fake boyfriend (I know I know I am already married. That’s hypothetical), help me clean up my very very messy and filthy apartment, drive me five hours in a mini van to help me get my lover back and so many more things.
Every one of these characters was kind of caricatural but in the best way! All their quirks perfectly described and all their voices unique and not just because they were tall or thin or …but because their flaws, little quirks were perfectly honed and I could just see them!
All the slang, the bad jokes, the dick pics the… That book had a presence, a charm a “cachet”. I was in London again and I loved every minute of it!
Certainly not my last by that author.
Have you read it?
Thanks for reading!
YAAAAY!! So glad you enjoyed this one. I thought it was really sweet!!
This book looks fabulous and Luc sounds like someone I would want to reach into the book and hug♥. Fabulous review, Sophie!
This is another one my bookclub insisted I read. It’s in my TBR, but I haven’t gotten to it yet.
So funny. I commented on your early Best LGBT post, and mentioned how it was the audiobook that won me over. The narrator was wonderful!
Yet another book I still haven’t read but have been wanting to. It sounds so good!!