In BOYFRIEND MATERIAL, Luc and Oliver met, pretended to fall in love, fell in love for real, dealt with heartbreak and disappointment and family and friends…and somehow figured out a way to make it work. Now it seems like everyone around them is getting married, and Luc’s feeling the social pressure to propose. But it’ll take more than four weddings, a funeral, and a hotly contested rainbow balloon arch to get these two from “I don’t know what I’m doing” to “I do”.
Good thing Oliver is such perfect HUSBAND MATERIAL.
This book picks up two years after the events of Boyfriend Material, and readers really need to read the first book in the series in order to understand and appreciate the dynamic between Luc and Oliver, as well as the (many) quirks and foibles of the secondary characters.
As the description alludes to, there are four weddings and a funeral spread out over the course of the book. The four weddings are vastly different, but perfectly tailored to each of the four couples. Not to get too lit crit on main, but the differences serve as commentary on societal expectations and the acceptance or rejection of heteronormativity.
That definitely sounds really serious, and while there is a fair amount of genuine meditation on what it means to be a member of the modern queer community, there is also plenty of the same silliness that made the first book so fun: Luc’s coworkers are still absurdly clueless (but lovely!) and Luc’s mum is still getting up to no good with her sidekick Judy.
But what really sets this book apart from other “rom coms” is that Alexis Hall takes everything you think you know about the genre and turns it on its head. Obviously, I can’t go into details because I don’t want to spoil the book, but I promise that there is no cheating and there is still a happy ending. No, not THAT kind of happy ending.
Speaking of which, the romance is relatively low heat, but it works because the emphasis is on Luc and Oliver’s emotional connection and we don’t necessarily need sex scenes in order to show that the two men care for each other.
On that note, the narrative unfolds solely from Luc’s perspective. This means that the reader is only privy to the thoughts that Oliver tells Luc, and therefore the reader doesn’t have any sort of advantage over Luc in terms of knowing things that he doesn’t know. And frankly, knowing all of Oliver’s thoughts would be a spoiler of sorts.
The audiobook is excellent. Joe Jameson returns to narrate, and this is going to sound so cliché, but he really does bring the book to life. He does unique voices for all of the characters, and that is quite the versatile feat, considering how many secondary characters there are.
I would absolutely recommend Husband Material. This worthy sequel builds upon the premise of its predecessor and answers the question, “Where do we go from here?” Hall’s prose is exquisite, and the last fourth or so had me riveted. I didn’t want to do anything but sit on my couch and listen, avoiding all distractions to find out what was going to happen next. Alexis Hall is probably my favorite author, and am already looking forward to his next book.
I received a digital ARC of the audiobook from Dreamscape Media/NetGalley