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Husband Material

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Member Reviews

Husband Material by Emily Belden was an interesting and charming read. Charlotte is a widow trying to hide her past with a fresh start by masking her loss and grief. But hiding from something never works for long. Now she is facing her past and trying to find her future. What follows is a story of second chances, healing and hope. This story takes us on a woman’s journey as she navigates her life. It was heartwarming, touching and emotional read.
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I mentioned this one last week but here's my overall feeling on this one. Charlotte is a successful business woman in Southern CA. She moved there, started a career and hasn't looked back. She spends her days building and reviewing analytics for an influencer marketing team. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
☕ She also uses these analytics to try and predict the right husband for her. She is beautiful, smart and totally available. That is until her past that she's hidden from everyone shows back up on her front door step. The husband she lost 5 years ago, a tragic surprise incident that took him away and years worth of guilt that she's carried.
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☕ Can Charlotte reconcile the pain she feels over the loss of her dead husband and the seemingly pivotal role she played in it all? Her late husband's best friend shows back up in her life to help her sort out some things and this is where Charlotte's life takes an even bigger turn.
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☕ I enjoyed this story premise and the characters felt real and believable, including Charlotte's previous mother-in-law who has some serious problems haha
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Husband Material was an enjoyable rom-com.  Twenty-nine-year-old Charlotte Rosen is a young widow that is trying to move past the pain and uncertainty of her future.  One day Charlotte gets an unexpected delivery that changes her life:  Her dead husband’s ashes.  Since no one in her current life knows about her past life, she must figure out what is going on even if that means dredging up past relationships and bringing up long-forgotten feelings.   Husband Material was a quick fun read, there were a few emotional parts and the grief that Charlotte felt was very realistic.  You don’t read too many books with a widow at such a young age.  It was an interesting concept, especially how dating has changed so much in modern times (for people at any age!)
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This one just didn't work for me because I went into it expecting romance and it was really more of a women's fiction book In my opinion. I ended up putting it down about halfway (because I was more in the mood for a romance) so I won't be providing a full review or highlighting it on my social media pages.
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DNF @20%

I've tried for a month to read this, but unfortunately I found it very slow and un-engaging. 

I received an advanced copy through Netgalley in return for an honest review.
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5 Stars
Synopsis according to Goodreads:

"Twenty-nine-year-old Charlotte Rosen has a secret: she’s a widow. Ever since the fateful day that leveled her world, Charlotte has worked hard to move forward. Great job at a hot social media analytics company? Check. Roommate with no knowledge of her past? Check. Adorable dog? Check. All the while, she’s faithfully data-crunched her way through life, calculating the probability of risk—so she can avoid it.
But soon a shocking secret surfaces, forcing Charlotte to answer questions she never knew to ask and to consider the possibility of forgiveness. And when a chance at new love arises, she’ll have to decide once and for all whether to follow the numbers or trust her heart."

Review
I legit have no complaints for this book. I did have low expectations because it was a rom-com and my first rom-com at that. I wasn’t sure what I was getting into. I found this book to be hilarious, weird, awkward and enlightening all at the same time. 
Why would I give such a silly book 5 stars? Because it was great for what it was supposed to be. A light read with ridiculous twists and unrealistic situations. I found that the fact that this woman was carrying around her husband’s urn to be hilarious. You have to read it to understand more of why she walked around with it, but she does. The love interest actually has a huge flaw in which our protagonists acknowledges over and over and as a reader you aren’t left liking him too much. Which is why I love the book even more. The guy she ended up with wasn’t the perfect guy and did some pretty sneaky stuff that would turn any one off. But as life would have it sometimes you don’t get to choose who you love you just do. The protagonist also has many flaws and overlooks important people in her life and I really appreciate the author showing us the ugly side of humanity. How often we are so caught into our own worlds that we overlook the little things people do for us that amount to a lot of things. Also the theme of grieving and that process. I don’t know what it’s like to lose someone close, but I can empathize with what that feeling must be like. It can’t be easy, and the author did a great job in incorporating that in this book without changing the mood of the novel. 

This is my first rom-com, so maybe in the future, I might change my stars once I get more familiar with the genre, but overall I enjoyed it!

This book was provided to my by HARLEQUIN- Graydon House books through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This review will be posted on Instagram @books_and_stilettos and my blog www.booksandstilettos.com on 1/17/2020.
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For the past five years Charlotte Rosen has been living her life, trying to develop a dating app and living with a roommate. When her dead husband's ashes show up on her front door step, she's not sure what to do with them or her life. As she tries to make decisions about the ashes as well as her life, secrets come to the surface that she would never expect. Did she know her husband as well as she thought she did? Will she be able to move on with her life with the ashes or will it bring everything to a screeching halt?

Thank you to NetGalley and Harlequin for the opportunity to read and review this book.

When I first started reading this book, I had though I knew where this story was going to go, but there were twists and turns all along the way that I wasn't expecting. Charlotte has been a widow for much longer than she was married to Decker. For the past five years, she's been living her life trying to best not to let her past intersect with her present. But when her husband's ashes show up after the mausoleum he was buried in burns down, her whole world gets turned upside down.

This was the first book I have read by Emily Belden, but I look forward to reading more of what she writes. I know she has one other book called Hot Mess and I have added it to my TBR.

If you like romance books with a little bit of suspense behind them, you will enjoy this book. The title can have many different meanings in this book which I discovered after I finished reading it. At first I thought it might be the name of the dating app Charlotte was developing, then her husband's ashes show up so it could be that too.

Overall this book was very enjoyable and highly recommended.
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DNF 
I just couldn’t get into this book. I had no interest in learning more about the MC. I did skim to see if maybe there was something that would make me want to keep trying but the things that I did read just turned me off more. This didn’t read much like a romance, which isn’t a problem because I like women’s fiction too but only if the story draws me in. It just felt like the author was trying to hard to make this a poignant novel about loss but fell short.

*I received an ARC from NetGalley for voluntary review
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This was one of those books you really want to read and have great hopes of enjoyment but about 30% in you are starting to question why!  I had an issue relating to Charlotte and the romance was just not strong enough for my liking.  I will be honest and say I could not finish it after skimming to just over halfway through.  The blurb gave the impression of a different kind of read than the one I had.
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This is inspiriting, joyful, motivational and humorous! Yes, this is just what I need and what I want after my long waltzes with thriller genre.

I just finished this inspirational, witty women’s fiction book. I have to emphasize this is not a romcom, even though we have too many funny, awkward situations and coincidences like we get used to see at romcoms but this book is a woman’s second chance to find herself and rebuild her life kind of fiction. Thankfully we have a creative, intelligent writer who could really bend the words, form them adroitly and presents us a heart-warming story which makes us smile too much that your cheeks could truly hurt after finishing it.

I may sense that not everyone could easily love or connect with  our heroine Charlotte because she is quirky, withdrawn character with some many laughable, entertaining inner monologues. But I love her journey to fight against the walls she’s build around herself. She starts to dive into dating pool to make some changings in her life. But she is also young widow and she doesn’t like to share this information with the others. 

She thinks algorithm will help her to make the right choice and help her to find the most convenient guy. But when she gets ashes of her deceased husband, she realizes that it was time to face her past and reveal all of her secrets she bottled up because if she doesn’t get the closure she needed and forgiveness about things happened long time ago, she cannot have her HEA!

So this story is about friendship, forgiveness, breaking the barriers, self-discovery, hope, joy, embracing the fullness of life. 

I also loved our ideal book boyfriend Brian who is one of the sweetest and kindest guys as a supporting character and I also entertained the differences between Charlotte and Casey. Their characters couldn’t be so opposite of each other but they also balanced each others’ lives so perfectly.

And of course ending gives you so much “aawww” and deep sigh moments. 

Overall: This is smartly written, riveting, enjoyable book with impeccably developed characters and heart-felting story gives me the hope, positive energy and relaxation I needed.

Special thanks to NetGalley and HARLEQUIN / Graydon House Books for sharing this joyful book’s ARC COPY with me in exchange my honest review.
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Charlotte shut off her emotions and replaced them with obsessive behaviors five years ago, and now with the return of her husband’s ashes, everything is coming full circle. From a carefully constructed life with a cute little Frenchie, a roommate who doesn’t ask too much of her emotionally and a job that she adores, things were moving along swimmingly. 

Until they weren’t, and her husband’s best friend, the one who she shared a night of ‘grief-passion’ with all those years ago has returned to her life, along with her former mother-in-law, someone she never got on with.  Add to that a need to find a new place for her husband’s ashes to rest after all these years, and the pesky emotions that have her feeling off-kilter rather than in control and command.  

A wonderfully complex story of finding new footing and acknowledging emotions and grief, while sorting through a ton of unanswered questions, discovering more than a few secrets, and finally finding a way to reframe her life and friendships, Belden takes us through the frustrating, the funny and the heartbreaking moments when retreat isn’t as comfortable as it once was for Charlotte.  Sure to speak to everyone who has lost someone unexpectedly, or even when you “knew” it was coming,  the unique experience of grief and the conflicting emotions and struggles as you navigate one very different day from another are clearly and gently defined and presented.  An interesting read that isn’t truly a ‘normal light’ read – but one that provided an interesting perspective with an engaging (as much as she tried NOT to be) character who finds her way in the end to move forward. 

I received an eArc copy of the title from the publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility. 

Review first appeared at   I am, Indeed 
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Romance isn't my usual go-to genre however I do like it as a palette cleanser from time to time and find it a really fun read around the holidays.  When the publisher offered me a chance to read and review The Husband Material, I didn't put much thought into it and took a chance.  Well, I can firmly say it was a chance that paid off.

Charlotte Rosen is nearing 30 and her career is really taking off.  She loves numbers and analyzing things and just happens to have a job at one of the biggest social media firms in California.  However, she also has a big secret - she has been a widow for the past five years.  Charlotte is trying to find the perfect man using her pilot dating app when her husband's ashes show up on her doorstep. This new development sends Char reeling and she finds herself turning to people she shut out of her life years ago.  But who knows what she will discover along the way.

I really loved the fact that this book was not all about insta-love.  In fact, Char has been celibate since her husband's death.  Yet she is still looking for her happily ever after.  The Husband Material has a wonderful cast of side characters.  Char's Gothic roommate is a treat and forces Char to do things outside of her comfort zone.  Her boss Zareen is a typical boss with a soft side and Brian,  Char's husband's best friend and new doctor, is cute and complicated.

So basically The Husband Material contained a lot more plot than I anticipated when I began.  Char shows some great character development and I never found the plot predictable.  It also contains the cutest flashback marriage proposal ever!  Hint, it involves an adorable dog named Leno.  If you are looking for a romance with more, then give The Husband Material a go!

I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
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Husband Material by Emily Belden will be a well loved book for anyone that is a fan of the rom-com genre! Charolette is living a great life in LA, she has a great job, a roommate who doesn't bother her, and uses her numbers-driven brain to develop the ultimate dating app to find her perfect match. However, Charolette has been hiding a very big secret; she has been a widow for 5 years. Suddenly, when the ashes of her husband show up at her front door along with her husband's best friend, Brian, she has to bring her past into the present.

This book was really cute. I thought Emily Belden did a great job of not making this your bread and butter rom-com. She really focused on the difficulties Charolette was going through and brought to light difficult topics such as mental health, grieving, and finding love/connections in the present time while still making it a humorous and fun read. This was a great read to start the year. I highly recommended for anyone who needs a quick, fun read (it is the perfect beach read)!

Thank you NetGalley for this ARC.
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Husband Material wasn't a bad read, but a book that should have been finished in one sitting has been lingering for two weeks. There was nothing that compelled me to pick it up and continue, when I was reading I was easily pulled away. I came across a spoiler in another review and while I'm curious to see how THAT all plays out, I'm not curious enough to continue the book.
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Charlotte thinks she's moving on with her life after her husband's sudden death, but she finds out that in reality, there's a whole lot she doesn't know and her journey isn't quite over.

That's the story in a nutshell.

I did enjoy this book very much. More women's fiction than romance (although there are elements of romance), I was captured by this story and couldn't put it down. Inhaled it. I have to give Emily Belden kudos for a story that could have been a very tear-y read. She kept things positive and enlightening for Charlotte. I really liked that about it.

I'll be looking for more titles from this author in the future.

A complimentary copy was provided for review.
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Emily Belden's first novel, Hot Mess,  appealed to me because it was set in the restaurant world, and my husband and I owned a restaurant at one time. Her interesting characters and sharp writing style (which had lots of clever lines that made me laugh out loud) hooked me right away.



I was pleased to see that she has a new novel, Husband Material. Her new protagonist Charlotte, who works in analytics for a social media influencers company, is hiding something from her roommate and coworkers: Charlotte lost her husband five years ago when he died of a sudden stroke.



Charlotte is working on a new dating app that analyzes a person's social media posts and history to predict if the person is the perfect match. It gives her stats on how likely a second date would be, how likely they would be to marry, and how likely they would be to divorce. She has been trying it out on herself, but to no avail. Her Tinder dates haven't gone any better.



She brings a disastrous first date to her best friend's wedding, a setup by her best friend. He looks like a contestant from The Bachelor, and unfortunately he acts like one too, or as she puts it "he reminds me of a guy who gets sent home on night one of The Bachelor." Charlotte is so appalled by his comments and behavior, she asks him to leave before dinner is served.



When she returns home from the wedding, a package is waiting for her. The mausoleum where her husband Decker's ashes resided burned during a wildfire, and now the urn with his ashes are in her apartment. A letter accompanying the urn states that the company is no longer in business and she may do what she wishes with them.



This throws Charlotte for a loop, and brings back people into her life she hasn't seen since her husband died. Charlotte goes to the home of her former mother-in-law, a wealthy woman who has no love lost for Charlotte since she blames Charlotte for her son's death.



Charlotte also reconnects with her husband's best friend Brian, now a pediatrician. Brian offers to help her find another resting place for Decker's ashes, and then asks her if she'd like to go to a baseball game with him.



Husband Material contains the interesting characters and sharp wit seen in Hot Mess. (I wonder if her next novel's title will be two words beginning with H and M?) Brian's fancy car has air vents that can be customized to release scents like "freshly baked waffles", and Charlotte lamenting that her "aerobic capability caps at power walking to my Ubers before I get charged the late fee" are two examples of her wit.



While it would have been easy to make the mother-in-law strictly a Wicked Witch of the West character, a plot twist near the end shows a different shade. The plot twist is one I didn't see coming, and it certainly throws a interesting curveball.



Emily Belden's second novel Husband Material is even better than her first. I liked that it's not strictly a romance, it's more a story about Charlotte facing her future by dealing with her past. I highly recommend it.
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This was a sweet, thought provoking story that I really wanted to love more than I did. Following the aftermath of her husband's death, the story focuses on Charlotte and how she is dealing with life after becoming a widow at such a young age. We pick up 5 years after her husband's passing, when his urn appears on her doorstep out of the blue and all the progress she felt she has made in processing it all suddenly starts to crumple.
We are introduced to a wide array of characters from her quirky roommate, the mother in law that she clashes with, and her husbands best friend, Brian. I felt the story started out pretty strong but sort've lost steam as the storyline progressed. I really wanted to be on board with the whole relationship between Charlotte and Brian but I just didn't feel that spark between the two. There were dashes of humor sprinkled throughout this otherwise quite serious read. It was not a terrible story, in fact I was intrigued the whole way through it just fell flat for me once I was all finished with it. I really liked Charlotte and thought she was such a strong, snarky main character who had to go through such a terrible thing and came out the other end stronger. I'm giving it 3 out of 5 stars.
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This was such a cute rom-com and I enjoyed it. This was great for beach reading and and I was quickly taken in by the story. It was a quick, light read and the characters captured me. 
Many thanks to Harlequin-Graydon Books and to NetGalley for providing me with a galley in exchange for my honest opinion.
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Sometimes the past can come back to haunt you unexpectedly, which is undoubtedly the case for Charlotte. Faced with both the choices she made in the past and new decisions that arise, she handles it….okay. I thought the author kept the plot moving at a decent pace while allowing Charlotte to grow and come to terms with events both past, and present. A little twist of mystery adds some intrigue. All in all, it was an interesting story of personal growth with a bit of romance thrown in. For more thoughts, please visit my blog at Fireflies and Free Kicks Fiction Reviews.  This review was written based on a pre-release, digital ARC of the book.
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3.5
I think book had a lot of potential to be an amazing emotional book. It just feel short for me. I thought it was ok but I didn’t love it. There was a plot twist in the book and it just didn’t work for me. There was some romance in it but I felt like it wasn’t needed. I feel like all the pieces of the book just didn’t click for me. However, I liked how she took a chance and was able to have a lot character development throughout the book.
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