There are few authors working right now that are as prolific as Alexis Hall, best-selling author of urban fantasy, mystery, sci-fi, and romance. He has written over 30 books in the past 10 years alone, with many more books announced for the near future. Hall’s work has been nominated for multiple LAMBDA awards, and many credit his books for bringing queer stories to mainstream audiences.
But who is Alexis Hall? Actually, he’d rather you not know. In fact, Alexis Hall is a pen name the author uses to separate his writing career from his day job. Yes, somehow Alexis Hall has a day job on top of writing four books in 2022 alone. But in general, the author is very secretive about his personal life.
“I’m personally a strong believer that an author’s work should speak for itself,” Halls says on his FAQ page. “While I would never discourage other authors from positioning themselves differently (as long as they don’t use their platform to harm people), I actively don’t want to centre myself in my own work.”
Okay, so the books should speak for themselves. That’s all well and good, but when an author has this many books, where do you even begin? If you’re new to the world of Alexis Hall, here’s your reading pathway. These books are just the beginning of what this author has to offer, but they’re the essential must-reads.
Boyfriend Material is a contemporary romance novel that was published in 2020. Hall told Publishers Weekly that the novel was “very strongly inspired by the kinds of comedy that I remember being exposed to in late 1990s and early 2000s. The vibe I was always going for was inspired by Notting Hill, Four Weddings and a Funeral, and Love, Actually.” The novel was widely acclaimed upon its release. This is the book that really made Alexis Hall a well-known romance writer, and so it’s a great place to start.
Boyfriend Material follows Luc O’Donnell. Luc is…sort of famous but not really. His father is a rock star who’s recently found himself back in the spotlight, which means Luc is getting attention as well. After one photographer finds Luc in a compromising position, he’s desperate to rehab his public image. Enter Oliver Blackwood, a nice, normal guy who’s a barrister and a vegetarian and squeaky clean in every way. In other words, Oliver is the perfect person for Luc to fake date to get the press back on his side.
Boyfriend Material is the first book in Hall’s London Calling trilogy. The second book, Husband Material, was published in 2022. The final novel in the trilogy, Father Material, is expected to publish in October 2024.
If you’ve ever wished Bridgerton was more queer, then you should read Alexis Hall’s 2022 bestselling novel, A Lady for a Duke. This sweeping historical romance is set in the Regency era and features a trans heroine.
After Viola was presumed dead at Waterloo, she realized this was an opportunity to leave her old life behind and be the person she’s truly always been. At last, Viola feels free to be herself. But her new life came at a cost. Viola had to give up her wealth, her title, and worst of all, her best friend Justin de Vere, the Duke of Gracewood.
Years later, when Viola and Justin cross paths again, Viola is saddened to see how much her dear friend has changed in her absence. She knows it’s up to her to help him through his grief and bring him back to his old self. But the longer they spend time together, the more old feelings resurface.
Alexis Hall has written a lot of series, but if you’re looking for a good standalone romance from the author, this is the one to read.
Glitterland is one of Alexis Hall’s first published novels, and it’s the first novel in his Spires series. Now is the perfect time to read this one if you haven’t already because the book was recently rereleased with revisions and expansions, including new scenes, author annotations, a letter from the author about the writing the novel, and more.
Ash Winters used to have it all. He was the toast of the English literary scene. Now, he’s a washed-up writer of pulp crime fiction who’s clinically depressed and stifled by the heavy weight of others’ expectations. Then he meets Darian Taylor. Darian is Ash’s polar opposite in every way. He’s exuberant and joyful, and he reminds Ash of everything his life could be if he could just push through his feelings of anxiety. But can two people really fix each other? And how can Ash fight for his happiness when he doesn’t even believe he deserves it?
If you love this one, the next chapter in Ash and Darian’s story, Waiting for the Flood, will be out in February 2024. And Hall is planning two more books in the series — release dates to be confirmed.
Of course, Alexis Hall writes more than romance. So where should you start if you want to try a non-romance read from the author? It’s gotta be The Affair of the Mysterious Letter, a fantasy/mystery novel in which Hall plays homage to Sherlock Holmes (but with magic).
Captain John Wyndham has spent the last five years fighting a war in another universe. Now that he’s back in the city of Khelathra-Ven, his hunt to find a place to live leads him to 221b Martyrs Walk. His new roommate is a strange woman named Ms. Shaharazad Haas. Ms. Haas is a consulting sorceress who’s notorious for her moody demeanor and dark magic. Soon, Captain John becomes caught up in Ms. Haas’s world of magic and mystery. And on their journey, they come up against criminals, pirates, vampires, and even a shark.
If you’ve somehow managed to read all of Alexis Hall’s back catalogue and are looking for the latest and greatest, you’re in luck! Hall has two new novels out in 2023. Something Spectacular, the second book in the Something Fabulous series, came out this past April. And Mortal Follies, the first book in a new sapphic Regency romance/fantasy series, is out in June! Alexis Hall will not be stopped!
Looking for more recommended books from some of our favorite authors? Check out Book Riot’s whole Reading Pathways series. Enjoy these deep dives into writers we love and their best books.