5 star, YA

ARC Review: Hot British Boyfriend by Kristy Boyce

After a horrifying public rejection by her crush, Ellie Nichols does what any girl would do: she flees the country. To be more precise, she joins her high school’s study abroad trip to England. While most of her classmates are there to take honors courses and pad their college applications, Ellie is on a quest to rebuild her reputation and self-confidence. And nothing is more of a confidence booster than getting a hot British boyfriend.

When Ellie meets Will, a gorgeous and charming Brit, she vows to avoid making the same mistakes as she did with the last guy she liked. Which is why she strikes up a bargain with Dev, an overachieving classmate who she’s never clicked with, but who does seem to know a lot about the things Will is interested in—if he helps her win over her crush, then she’ll help him win over his.

But even as Ellie embarks on a whirlwind romance, one that takes her on adventures to some of England’s most beautiful places, she still needs to figure out if this is actually the answer to all her problems…and whether the perfect boyfriend is actually the perfect boy for her.

***Hot British Boyfriend comes out February 9, 2021***

Thank you Edelweiss and HarperCollins for this copy in exchange for an honest review

Hot British Boyfriend is everything you could want in the title. Rom-com with cute boys? Check. Abroad in England? Check. A fun guilty pleasure kind of read perfect for holing at home in the winter under a pandemic? CHECK.

While the writing may read a little immature at first (our protagonist ends up in quite a viral pickle when she wrongly assumes – in a VERY public manner – that a certain guy was asking her to be his girlfriend), it quickly redeems itself as our spunky Ellie runs away to England to get away from giant embarrassment back at home.

Note to self: running away to the other side of the world does not mean you can run away from a viral video. But okay there.

Once in her new study abroad home filled with the top kind of high school scholars who truly earned their place to be there, it gets down to business. Not only does our girl have to prove herself – she’s not the smartest cookie in the jar – but she needs to prove that she is indeed over the Embarrassing Incident We Shall Not Name.

In comes our lovely, drool-worthy, prince of a love interest! Will is everything you would be dying for in a British guy. Rich but not obnoxiously so. Adventurous and romantic. But most of all, he seems completely crazy for Elle (because Ellie was soooo last month).

What a fun romp this story was! I loved the pacing and the atmospheric environment the book takes us through as we explore iconic UK landmarks. And surprise, there may even be some sightseeing beyond Great Britain! This traveling aspect was perfect for taking me away to exotic places I can only go in my dreams at the moment.

Yet at the very heart of the story, under all the layers of cute stuff and city exploration, is Ellie’s journey to finding herself. Can she be everything that she is, all whimsically quirky and inelegant, and still be seen and loved by someone special?

I won’t give that answer away but I will squeal that the romance was such a slow burn and hit the perfect climax. It’s also predictable as ever (if you have ever read a story of the perfect guy versus maybe-the-not-so-perfect-guy-who-really-IS-perfect for you), but this book doesn’t pretend that it’s anything super original. What it does get right is how it executed this tale as old as time.

Hot British Boyfriend is the romantic comedy we need at such a time to remind us of who we are if we have lost our way. And maybe along the way, it doesn’t hurt that we can live vicariously through Ellie in her adventures through Europe.

Overall Recommendation:

Hot British Boyfriend is a load of romantic fun across the big pond in the UK. Packed with plenty of heart, we follow Ellie, a girl out of her league among brainiacs at a competitive boarding school, as she tries to get over a heartache by throwing herself at a cute British boy she meets. Along the way, she learns what it means to be resilient and what she’s really made of that is worthy of love, especially self-love. And the right guy would be able to see that in her too.


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