Popsugar Reading Challenge category: A book with a queer lead
Boyfriend Material, by Alexis Hall
This is a fun romance, the classic fake-dating trope with a gay twist. Luc is the estranged son of a notorious rock star, so the tabloids are eager to make a "scandal" out of anything Luc does. When warned that he's in danger of losing his job (at an obscure nonprofit for dung beetles), Luc needs a fake boyfriend to make himself look stable. A friend fixes him up with Oliver, a respectable barrister who needs a fake boyfriend for his parents' anniversary party. (I was suspicious of that last detail, long before Luc was.)
The book is very funny, with a large cast of quirky characters. The romance is a slow burn; it takes quite a while to get to the kissing, much less anything else. There's more than one scene of one or the other of them pleading not to "fake break up."
Luc has a disaster of a flat, zero impulse control, and massive daddy issues coming up when his father abruptly reappears in his life. Oliver has a job that he believes in, an exacting set of ethical standards for himself, and more parental issues than even Luc does. There's a lot of Luc putting himself down, but I see why it had to be there: loving Oliver teaches Luc to love himself. They're both slow to realize that it works the other way around as well.
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