Husband Material

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 30 Jan 2020

Member Reviews

The first thing is that the title and cover are really nice. In this story, we meet Brian and Charlotte. For me, this wasn't a romance but a story of a woman coming in touch with her grief as a widow. A lot of the story is spent with her carrying his urn and spending time on the computer. However, when she got out of her own world, Charlotte was able to see genuine friends who care about her and find her way. There was no chemistry between the main characters but we got the feeling they would be good friends.
Thank you, #Netgalley.
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This was a fun story that got me crying, although it surely didn't start all that hilarious. And don't get fooled by the cute cover, this isn't lighthearted at all. 

Charlotte likes her numbers, they give you the certainty life doesn't. Especially for her who lost her husband within months of marriage. When you become a widow so soon and have been so for longer than a wife, were you really a wife? 

Although she's done her best to erase that marriage from her past as she comes up with the perfect algorithm to find the perfect date, it all comes back to hunt her when her late husband's ashes gets sent to her new apartment. Now she has to find him a new resting place but it's also a change to do over and get a real closure. 

One of the downsides was the romance for me. Yes, there is one, Charlotte does have a romantic interest and he's cute but the way it all develops along with a few revelations really made me wonder if I should be cheering for them. They do have cute moments together but in the end there was this "but" in my head. 

I also think that maybe the final quarter? The piece before it? A little bit after the middle section it lost steam but it does recover a bit. The rhythm isn't perfect. 

Still, Charlotte's journey to put herself together was very relatable even to me, who's never been married much less a widow. Also, her relationship, or lack-there-of, with her mother-in-law is quite a highlight. I loved all the bits the writer had planned for us as we find out more about Charlotte's marriage and she finds out more about it too. 

It's a book I ended up eating instead of just reading so much I was into this, but it does have a sad backstory that I don't recommend to anyone who's had losses in their family recently. I think the writer was very sensitive but it's still a hard theme and as I mentioned before, despite the cover, this story doesn't go light on it. 

I don't think I'll forget the lessons I learned from this book and would love to read more from Emily Belden.
 Honest review based on an ARC provided by the publisher via Netgalley. Many thanks to the publisher for this opportunity.
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Don’t let this cute cover fool you - this is not a cute sweet romance novel. At first I thought it was going to be more romance and sweet but i would say this hardly has romance in it. I struggled with this one a bit. I feel like this story was more sad than happy. I think it’s great Charlotte got a second chance at saying goodbye but there was a lot of baggage that was unloaded for her to be able to say goodbye. I feel that all the things in this story were a bit much. I think this was marketed incorrectly as a romance novel.
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This was a heartfelt story about a young woman who has allowed her life to stagnate quite a bit after the unexpected death of her young husband five years earlier. When his ashes are unceremoniously and suddenly returned to her, she's forced to deal with the people and emotions she's shut out over the previous years. I felt so much sympathy for Charlotte, even as she self-sabotaged and wasn't always gracious to those in her life, but I loved watching her find herself and finally start figuring out a new future.
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Husband Material by Emily Belden is an engaging novel of healing, forgiveness and love.

  Five years ago, twenty-nine year old Charlotte Rosen’s beloved husband, Decker, unexpectedly passed away. After completely falling apart, she now has a career she loves and she is ready to find a man to share her life with. On the heels of a disastrous blind date, Charlotte’s world is turned upside down when Decker’s urn is returned to her. Having believed she has made peace with her heartbreaking loss, Charlotte must face the grief she thought she had left behind.

  Charlotte initially comes across as shallow and self-centered. She has few meaningful interactions with her roommate of five years (!) and she has hidden an important part of her life from everyone she knows. Charlotte dreads telling her former mother-in-law about Decker’s ashes and her concerns prove to be valid.  When Charlotte refuses to give in, her mother-in-law enlists the aid of Decker’s best friend, Brian Jackson, in hopes that he can convince her to hand over her son’s ashes.

  Although their first meeting is little awkward, Charlotte begins to look forward to spending time with Brian. He is quite different from the man she used to know and she has a new appreciation for the changes he has made in his life.  Just as Charlotte is on the cusp of truly moving forward,  a shocking revelation alters everything she thought she knew about Decker. In the aftermath, can Charlotte forgive the betrayal from the people she believed she could trust?

  With a bit of a romance simmering in the background, Husband Material is an entertaining novel with a surprising amount of depth. Charlotte does not make the best first impression, but she fully redeems herself as the story progresses.  Forced to deal with her unresolved past, she is somewhat introspective as she works through her lingering grief and comes to terms with a stunning disclosure.  Emily Belden brings this charming novel to a winsome conclusion that is quite uplifting.  A surprisingly enjoyable novel that I recommend to readers of women’s fiction.
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I thought I was reading a romance novel and ended up with something way deeper. This was a story about Charlotte's journey of moving on and her grieving process. 

I love how Charlotte buries herself in code as a coping strategy and I found it to be very relatable. She made some questionable choices throughout the book but well within character. 

I enjoyed this one and was able to quickly get through it in less than a day!
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This book was a lot of fun to read but it had a serious side as well. How do you move on from losing your husband so young and so suddenly? Charlotte thought she had moved on until his ashes showed up at her door. This opened up the floodgates of emotions and memories that she thought she had buried. 

There are some comedic parts of the novel that will have you laughing and then poignant ones where you will have your heart in throat.

Charlotte is a relatable character as she looks for solace and logic in code.
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Having been a young widow for the past five years, 29 year-old Charlotte has made every effort to move on by keeping this part of her life a secret. To people at work. To her roommate. Until one day, her late husband Deckers urn shows up in her apartment after the mausoleum caught fire, and she literally loses it. She reminisces, discovers new secrets, reconnects with Decker’s friend, all the while coding an app that follows an algorithm for finding the perfect match. In her journey of finding Decker’s urn a new home, she learns and accepts a new version of herself.

I thought I was picking up a romance (ok, there was a little), but the story revolved around Charlotte, her grieving process, and the journey she had to take to really move on. All because of fate (fate being the appearance of Decker’s urn). The dialogue was great, which made this such a fast-paced read! There were moments where I laughed and moments where I just really felt for Charlotte. And, there were a couple of curb balls I totally didn’t see coming. I recommend to my women’s fiction readers, as well as Netflix because I feel like this would make a good movie!
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I would like to thank NetGalley, the publisher and the author for my advanced copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.

Another book with great potential that just sort of falls flat. The premise is really cute - I like a good geeky plot - but the characters are overwhelmingly lacking in charm and the romance just seems completely off.

We meet Charlotte, a widow, who isn't truly over the death of her spouse, Decker, and who enters a weird personal spiral when she suddenly receives Decker's ashes and has to figure out how to proceed. Since his death, she revamped her life, started a geeky job as a coder, and re-entered the dating scene for which she developed a match-maker type algorithm. Brian, Decker's best friend, is also back on deck trying to help Charlotte navigate her way on what to do with her spouse's ashes.

This is where the book lost me. I am honestly utterly confused why Charlotte, a self-sufficient career girl at this point, falls back into the damsel in distress scheme asking Brian for every favor imaginable and making the decision process about Decker's ashes unnecessarily complicated. None of her distress seems genuine. Her internal turmoil appears more like an afterthought and zero of her actions drive the plot in a convincing way.

Furthermore, the budding romance between her and Brian is boring, completely lackluster, and just feels like an odd match. This is particularly off-putting when taking into consideration what she finds out at the end.

I am giving this novel 3 stars nonetheless because the writing was actually well done, some scenes were incredibly witty and funny, and despite me not being able to suspend disbelief for most of the time, the book did hold my attention. Overall, this is truly a fluff read and exactly what one might want to tackle over the holidays or on vacation.
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Charlotte is SO RELATABLE in this book!! I too am very analytical and numbers-oriented. I am really enjoying the trend of analytical/data driven women in romances. I also loved that there was a unique and real spin to the romance which sets it apart from other romances/rom-coms!

Thanks to NetGalley and Harlequin for an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.
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Charlotte's husband,Decker, died 5 years ago. She had moved on and has a great job and loves to crunch numbers. No one knows she is a widow and she keeps to herself. Even her roommate and her don't know much about each other. Then one day her Decker's ashes show up. She lets her mother in law know what has happened and is treated horribly and treated like a child. Demanding the ashes and Charlotte has no right to them. Then Decker's best friend,Brian, enters the picture as well.
A secret surfaces about Decker and she is determined to get to the truth.
Charlotte and Brian seem to be getting close until the secret comes out and then Charlotte doesn't know who to trust.
I received this ARC from Harlequin and NetGalley
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I really liked this book I think for the most part the book was a 4 star but then the ending fell short for me. It was rushed and I didn’t like it in comparison to the rest of the story line
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This book was an up and down ride for me.

It was quick and easy, didn’t take too much thought. But it was also not quite compelling enough that I could read it fast.

The premise and plot were both unique and interesting, and too unique and a little weird.

The main characters (a programmer/app developer named Charlotte, her stereotypically quirky roommate Casey, her dead husband’s BFF, Bryan…) were fine, all carefully in their lanes of slightly stereotyped and a bit predictable but interesting enough just the same.

The cover hasn’t got a darn thing to do with the plot, that I can tell you, so if you’re expecting one story based on the cover (like I was), you are in for a surprise. I’m not sure what the cover says, but it does not say what’s in the story.

What’s in the story is… a little weird. And yet a little endearing. Can it be both? Why not? It’s both.

The idea of husband ‘material’ has a lot of interpretations in Emily Belden’s story. Everything from dating apps searching for the perfect mate to what happens to our bodies after we die. In a way, and maybe it’s just me, that makes the title a pun which is very good… and weird.

Anyway, to summarize… HUSBAND MATERIAL is not the story I was expecting, given the cover art and the title. But it is not a bad story, not at all.

It’s fine.

(I received a copy of HUSBAND MATERIAL through NetGalley and Graydon House in exchange for an honest and original review. All thoughts are my own.)
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Husband Material is a story about a widow but no one in her life except her parents, inlaws and husband's best friend know this crucial fact. 

This was an easy quick read for me. I enjoyed it but didn't feel there was anything really special about the book. Some of the scenes felt to me too unbelievable. The resolution of one of the conflicted relationships felt fake. 

If you are looking for an easy read or a palate cleanser after a very heavy book, this would fit the bill.
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It's been five years since her husband died. Charlotte believes she's moved on until wildfires burn down the mausoleum where her husband's ashes were kept. He's back and she must figure out what to do next. 



Between her meddlesome former mother-in-law who desperately wants the ashes, the sudden reappearance of her husband's best friend, and a work situation that leads to forced time off, Charlotte needs to step back while she makes one of the hardest decisions of her life.



Husband Material is a good read. It's fast and light-hearted. I didn't always connect with the characters. Yet, I didn't want to stop reading either. There are aspects of the story that had me wondering if they were really pertinent to the storyline. There were also aspects that I loved and that kept me involved in finding out exactly what would become of Charlotte and her grief.



If you're looking for something that isn't too heavy, this is an ideal choice. It's the perfect book for those moments between holiday parties, chores, and work.
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This was a surprising read for me. I was expecting a light-hearted romantic comedy, but it definitely had more depth and heartbreak than I was expecting. It deals with the loss of Charlotte's husband and her grieving process. Once I got past the fact that I wouldn't be reading a fun, rom-com, I was able to enjoy this book for what it is. I enjoyed seeing Charlotte's growth and watching her develop by the end of the book.
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**I voluntarily read an early copy of this title courtesy of NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review**

Husband Material is the first Emily Belden novel that I've read. I was very drawn to the blurb for this book, so I decided to take a chance on a new-to-me author.

Charlotte Rosen is an extremely intelligent young woman who makes a living as a coder for an analytics company. She's twenty-nine, lives with a roommate and hasn't been totally honest with her roommate about the fact that she was in fact married at one time. When her husband's ashes show up on their doorstep, not only is Charlotte shocked, but it sends her into a bit of a tailspin. Couple that with the fact that she learns another secret about her husband that she is stunned to learn was kept from her. 

As she tries to come to terms with everything that is going on in her life, she also finds herself in a position where she may be able to let love back into her life. But with everything that is going on, and everything she's been through, will she be able to do that?

I enjoyed this book, but I would have loved for there to have been more development of the romance. It felt rushed to me, but it had so much potential, especially because of where the relationship was born from. I did enjoy the aspects of self discovery, growth and healing that took place in the book. The characters were enjoyable as well.
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I was provided with an eARC of this book in exchange for a fair review.

This book started off really well for me - I loved the premise and the second-change-romance aspect. Charlotte was a very real character and her anxiety and stress came across the page so well. Brian was swoon-worthy and had me rooting for him from the moment he appeared on the page.

And then, at about the 3/4 mark, we got the weirdest most random plot twist, which just got weirder and more confusing and then revealed some big betrayals that made my feels for everyone do a complete 180. But the thing is...it was so totally unnecessary. The plot already had just the right amount of ups and downs and conflict to more than adequately fill out the book, but this big twist was crammed in so last minute and somehow resolved before the end. It left me completely unsure of if I even liked the book anymore.

Since I'm still not settled with this one, I am going with a three star rating. I did really enjoy the book up until the 3/4 mark, and just wish it had resolved itself from that moment and not felt the need to go soap-opera weird on us.
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I've seriously been reading some truly wonderfully fun and exciting books lately. Books that keep me wanting to read, stories that I just can't stop reading, stories that are heartfelt and just plain GOOD!!
So, a HUGE thank you goes to Harlequin, Emily Belden, NetGalley and Graydon House Books. Thank y'all immensely for the advanced readers copy! And make sure you grab this gem on DECEMBER 30th, a definite must read!
Are you like most people and only think of widows as older women and men? Then you don't know Charlotte, Decker left her as a widow 5 years ago and she's still dealing with the after affects of his death. Somehow his urn comes back to her due to a fire where it was being kept and that's when all hell breaks loose in her life but, it's also a turning point for her. 
Grab it when it comes out and treat yourself to an overall great read!
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
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This book is just not for me. I've read about 30% and I'm not connecting with the heroine. At all.  Based on the cover and the publisher, I assumed this was a romance novel...so I'm disappointed that a romance hasn't developed yet. My sense is that Brian will play that role but he is not a likeable hero either. The characters are flat, the plot is not compelling and I can't keep reading. Thanks for the opportunity.
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