Cover Image: Husband Material

Husband Material

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

A really good idea for a book and although I enjoyed parts of it, I found the main character hard to connect with.
Was this review helpful?
I loved the premise of this book and idea behind it but the main character was so annoying for me I found it so difficult to read. I didn’t connect with her or the story but some of the story was funny and I’m always a sucker for love stories. 
Thanks to Netgalley for an advanced ebook.
Was this review helpful?
What is husband material? The only person who can define the answer is the individual themselves. Charlotte Rosen definitely had a notion and/or an idea of what husband material was for her. She was married to a wonderful, vibrant and athletic, young man until fate had its way with their lives and changed the course it would follow. Char had a secret that none of her friends knew. She was married and her husband died suddenly. Five years had passed by her rearview window of this so-called life, and even though she was trying to jump back into the dating pool, a strange package changed everything.

With all her infinite wisdom and intelligence to fine tune algorithms on programs in which she was charged in overseeing, her dating app was well on its way to becoming a fast track for the millennium. The only problem was her husband’s urn was delivered at her doorstep. The man she once loved with all her being, was reduced to ash and bone fragments inside this metal contraption was now staring her in the face. What was Char supposed to do with his ashes? Why were they delivered to her five years later? Wasn’t his final resting place in the mausoleum? But try as she might to forget about her husband’s urn, it become a constant problem in her life. 

With so many questions swirling in her mind, Char had a problem and she needed to fix it. It was at this pivotal moment in her life when one of the most unlikeliest person entered with, not only an answer, but a viable solution to her problem. And that, readers is where the crux of our story continues.

As most of my readers know, I’m not one to read a romantic comedy of any kind, but I have to say, I truly enjoyed this one. I took a chance and stepped outside my comfort zone and I’m so glad I did. Books like this just prove why I so enjoy reading. You just never know what you’re going to find from any given author, and when you read a story so spot on, it truly makes me respect having the gift to read! I loved this story!

Watching Char evolve within the pages, was a pure delight. The author did an amazing job with the amount of conflict Char had to deal with. Her character went deep in answering complex questions and searching for answers. Char was as real as you can get. What happened to her and her husband was a tragedy, but fate had her back because what she ended up with was far more than the grief she endured. 

The Sexy Nerd gives Husband Material four checks on the honey do list. This was an engaging heartfelt story about love and loss and love again. Sometimes life throws us a curve ball and we have to learn to go with the current. If you’re looking for a nice contemporary romantic story.
Was this review helpful?
The premise of this was great, I liked the idea that a widow was going to be finally getting her husbands ashes. Charlotte wasn't my favorite person for a majority of the book, there were times where I felt that she was completely unlikable, However I really loved seeing all her memories with her husband and the emotions that they evoked. 
I enjoyed the different relationships in this book. Though I will say I went in looking for more romance, and while there is some, it is mostly in the memories. The journey that the characters went on was lovely to watch.

There is a lot of great potential here I just hope that in the finished copy that transitions between scenes are a little easier to digest. A lot of the time while reading this it felt stunted and really abrupt.
Was this review helpful?
Sometimes a book cover can be misleading. I totally get that cartoon covers are selling right now, but in the case I think this cover did a disservice to a wonderful book. A couple of other readers I chatted with felt mislead by this cutesy cover, and I totally get where they are coming from. Regardless of the cover, I loved Husband Material by Emily Belden. And I think other readers will to, if they go in knowing what to expect from this book. 

While there is a bit of a romance in this book, I would not categorize Husband Material as a romance. Charlotte Rosen has been hiding that she is widow for the last five years. When her late husband's ashes arrive unexpectedly on her doorstep, they send her on a journey of healing and forgiveness. I thought that this book dealt with the process of grief with candor and honesty. I would categorize this book as women's fiction with a side of romance. Check this one of if you enjoy following a character's path of self-discovery, healing, and personal growth. I learned a lot from this book about my own grief, without it being didactic and preachy. 

Solid read with a great cast of characters! I'll be checking out Emily Belden's previous works.

Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for the opportunity to read and review this book!
Was this review helpful?
This was a decent contemporary romance, but it didn't "wow" me. I didn't understand why the main character did half the things she did, and didn't really connect with her at all. The premise was interesting- disaster causes a cemetery to close and sends loved ones remains back to them, lost love, etc. But the telling was just meh for me.
Charlotte Rosen is a social media analyst. She creates buzz for big clients and markets them using algorithms and code. She loves her life, but has a big secret. She's a widow. No one in her circle knows this and that's the way she likes it. Everything comes crashing to the ground when a fire burns the cemetery containing her late husband's ashes to the ground and they return his ashes. As Charlotte deals (or doesn't deal with) this her world starts falling apart as secrets are uncovered, her former mother-in-law demands her son's ashes, and her late husband's best friend turns up.
Was this review helpful?
Husbad Material caught me completely by surprise! The cover and title lead me to believe this was going to be an enjoyable but shallow rom-com abut a woman dating to find that "husband material" kind of guy. But what I got, was a sweet and heartfelt story about a young woman mourning the loss of her husband. When the ashes of her dead husband show up on her doorstep 5 years after his death, Charlotte Rosen is faced with a new "unearthing" of past feelings, where she thought she'd be 5 years later, missing her husband, and how to move on in the dating world. 

I really enjoyed the raw nature Belden wrote about Charlotte grieving for her husband and the support group she attended for mourning widows. There were lots of sweet moments in this book and side stories that I thought really helped support the main story.

The title and cover is very misleading for this book because it carried way more weight and depth than the typical rom-com type of books. 

I would definitely suggest this book to my friends!
Thank you Netgalley and Harlequin Books for this free copy.
Was this review helpful?
Overall, this one was a little lukewarm. Not quite a romance, not quite drama. It was...middle of the road. 

The end was sort of weird with the tone of the narrator. I am, however, glad that Charlotte realized she was being a complete poop and the worst friend ever. 

This sort of reminded me of another book I read, The Right Swipe mixed with How to Hack a Heartbreak except Swipe was better and Heartbreak was worse.
-
-
-
-
Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for this free ebook in exchange for an honest review!
Was this review helpful?
My first comment to readers out there... this is NOT a romance novel despite being classified as one on Netgalley, where I received a complimentary copy.  Husband Material is definitely chick lit/women's fic.

I'm honestly not quite sure what the author was trying to accomplish with this book. Charlotte, our heroine, is very difficult to follow. She's neurotic, flighty and although I sympathized with the loss of her husband (I did cry a few times), I never really liked her or connected with her.  I also didn't care for the vapid, silly LA setting for a lot of the story. All of the social media references became extremely boring and I skimmed a lot of the book.

Our hero, Brian, is probably the best thing about the book. When he and Charlotte are together, it's at least intriguing and they have some good chemistry. Unfortunately, after the big secret about Charlotte's husband comes out, Brian isn't quite as likable.  

I am very disappointed as the synopsis of this book intrigued me and I was hoping for a little emotion and a few laughs along with a sweet romance.  What I got was a fairly annoying heroine, waaay too much social media referencing (due to Charlotte's job) and a fairly lackluster secret and romance.  I'm not familiar with this author's other books but I probably won't be reading them anytime soon.
Was this review helpful?
This was different, and not entirely what I expected. The publicity makes it look like a light, breezy rom-com, but it is definitely more serious and even a little depressing -- although very well written and a good story. The premise is great, but the execution is a little shaky in places, because the protagonist's decisions and explanations for those decisions seem like a stretch. I was shaking my head in places, and did want to actually reach into the book and shake her.
Was this review helpful?
While the premise of this book sounded very interesting, I didn't completely love the book. In a way I was expecting a fun and light romantic comedy, but this book deals with some heavier topics.

Still a very enjoyable read and a great love story. I would definitely check out more by this author.
Was this review helpful?
This is the 1st book I've read by Emily Belden and I'm not quite sure how I feel about it all. The story jist left an impact fraught with emotion that is touching. Excellent subject matter.
The presentation was disjointed for me, and I'm not sure if it was intended that way.
Charlotte was an emotional, self centered mess. Her life was numbers, obsessive about it really, she could control everything through using them.
When the urn shows up, her life, drastically for her anyway, changes with revelations. She is forced to deal with a reality that occurred 5 years ago.
I would have liked a hero here. While Brian was there for her and helped her, he played a big part in the whole keeping secrets from her.
Char goes to a grief counseling group. So this one time makes things fall into place in her mind? That's remarkable!
She also did a lot of mind talking I felt was unnecessary, and didn't add a thing to the story, except words.
This seemed quite realistic, as if it truly was someone's story, ramblings and all.
I think there's a happy ending, it seems there is.
If you think my review is kind of scattered, it is!
I received an advance reader's copy thru Netgalley and am giving my honest thoughts and opinions voluntarily
Was this review helpful?
Husband Material had a very interesting premise. When I finally got around to reading it, I had forgotten the summary. It was interesting getting to know Charlotte and the way her brain worked after her trauma. The love story felt real and was well constructed. I wasn't a fan of the whole algorithm aspect of the story, but I liked how things played out in the end. It was a great little book.
Was this review helpful?
The premise of this book sounded incredibly promising, however the execution fell short for me. Charlotte is clearly still dealing with her status as a widow by actively NOT dealing with it, but some of the twists and character development didn't feel terribly grounded or realistic. The mother in law in particular comes to mind, along with the multiple times Charlotte "confessed" her marital status, each time making me roll my eyes even more than the last. I wanted to like it, but there were just too many holes in the story.
Was this review helpful?
29-year old Charlotte thinks she has her life all figured out. That is, until her husband, Decker’s ashes show up on her doorstep unexpectedly. Charlotte’s spent nearly the last 5-years hiding that she’s a widow and now that her past is right before her eyes, she doesn’t know how to handle it. 

Charlotte wasn’t prepared to battle with Decker’s mom over who gets to keep his ashes. And she didn’t know that Decker’s best friend, Brian, would be apart of her life again. 

Although it’s been 5-years, Charlotte hasn’t truly tackled her grief from becoming a widow at such a young age. Even though at first Decker’s ashes reappearing in her life seemed like a sad reminder of his death, it turns out it helped Charlotte finally move on. And Brian helps Charlotte see that maybe love is still out there for her after all. 

Husband Material is Emily Belden’s latest contemporary standalone novel. This story started off of a terrific note—Charlotte has a terrible blind date and her best friend’s wedding. Such a relatable and humorous situation. But after that, the story strayed from the humor and turned out to be more serious. Except the issue was I never felt emotional connected to Charlotte and I didn’t like our hero, Brian. I’m sad to say this story was a hot mess. 2/5 stars. 

Thank you NetGalley, Graydon House and Emily Belden for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
I really liked the author’s writing style; she interwove comedy and sarcasm well and there were a few laugh out loud moments, despite the mostly sad content.

There were quite a few moments that made me tear up while reading. I could really feel that the author tried to capture the experience of a young widow - she did it well and respectfully. As an intuitive emotional blob though, I just wanted to force Charlotte to sit down and feel her feelings at certain points, especially when she was spiralling out of control with her numbers obsession. Charlotte’s interactions with those around her - particularly her mother in law were really cringey - I just wanted her to open up and feel able to talk to SOMEONE, but I also appreciated the magnitude of that when dealing with a situation like the death of a spouse.

I would have liked to have seen more of Charlotte and Decker’s relationship (perhaps in flashbacks) and also more development between her and Brian. I feel like the spark between her and Brian is only sensed because of something in the past, I wanted to feel it a bit more in the present too. Her relationship with him felt flimsy and though I wanted to ship them, I just couldn’t. And I really didn’t like the ending - when it came to her app.

I definitely wouldn’t classify this as “romance”. It was chicklit though, and if you like that then you will likely enjoy this book 😊 I will likely try another of her books in the future!
Was this review helpful?
The first couple sentences of Husband Material will get you. It has that immediate shock value and you're left thinking "excuse me?!". 

Charlotte Rosen is a coder with a hot social media analytics company. She works hard and it shows an idea of what it might be like to be in a field that has a predominantly different gender. She has a roommate that has really no idea of her past. Within the first few sentences, you find out a lot about Charlotte and the biggest thing is that she was married, and that her husband had passed away. When her late husband's ashes show up at her front door five years after his passing, Charlotte's entire life gets uprooted, so you think. When a major secret comes out to Charlotte about her late husband, things really get crazy for her. While dealing with all of these things, will she find love along the way?

This book had a lot of promising qualities. The interest of what was going to happen was definitely there for me. I think that the premise was something that I had never read before and that had me interested. The synopsis was why I requested it in the first place. There were a lot of good things that had me excited for this publication, but as I read on, there were a lot of things that I couldn't really grasp either.

I think one problem that I had was that this novel was classified as a contemporary romance. I live for contemporary romances, so I was excited to see where the romance was going to be from this synopsis. In my opinion, the romance fell a little flat for me. I think there were sweet moments with angst mixed in which is one of my favorites. However, my heart felt as though things were a little rushed and crunched in towards the end. I am someone all for a slow burn, but this was extremely slow. I would've liked it more if things happened a little sooner. Also, I feel as though the romance was a little off. It felt a little stilted and made me question what was going on. There was zero steam, which I usually don't mind, but with the romance-o-meter off, it didn't make me feel my best about this novel. 

I also had a problem connecting with Charlotte. I understand that I have never been through such a situation, but I feel like I had a hard time understanding her actions. There were some things that Charlotte did that frustrates me, and in some circumstances this might be good, but I didn't find it giving me any positive, stimulating feelings. She was pretty unreliable with her actions. You definitely want to go through the pages and grab her by the shoulders to shake her.

Lastly, I will say that I found the author to be hilarious. There were some parts of this book that had me laughing out loud. It's rare that a romance novel would be so funny, but I'd definitely consider this as a romantic comedy with some drama!

If you are a clean comedy, chick-lit lover, I'd recommend this book to you! I'm definitely interested in more Emily Belden novels just from the laughs!
Was this review helpful?
Throughout this narrative, Emily Belden offers a case study in how compartmentalization is impossible. Loss and grief cannot be tucked away, controlled. When a young woman's memories resurface on her doorstep after 5 years in the dark, secrets, and a new love, come to light.
Was this review helpful?
I liked the overall premise of this story, as a young widow is reunited with the ashes of her dead husband.  Caught up in old memories and struggling to move forward with her life, she is forced to take personal time off from work to deal with the aftermath.

I liked the two main characters, on and off.  Charlotte Rosen is an incredibly intelligent woman, who is also a scatterbrain (these people exist).  Faced with the memories of her husband don't seem to help her focus.  As for Brian Jackson, for the most part, he seems like a saint, going above and beyond to help out Charlotte.  But he also has told some lies which test the blooming relationship these two could have.  
Note: there really isn't any romance in this book, so don't expect that.

While there is huge potential in the story, I couldn't get past the editing.  The scenes don't flow well, and part of that could be due to this being an ARC, where it wasn't always clear where a scene ended.  The transitions between scenes were too abrupt for me.  With a heavy hand in editing, this story has potential though.
Was this review helpful?
After the death of her husband less than a year into their marriage, Charlotte has never really recovered. We pick up with her 5 years later, and she is honestly still not well. She's buried in work, and this algorithm that she thinks will find her the next "perfect husband." She never grieved her husband, still has a poor relationship with his family, and none of her current friends or coworkers even knew she was once married. One inciting incident, followed by all its inevitable consequences, upends these careful walls that Charlotte has built around her grief and she finally is forced to deal with things, including some new devastating information about her husband that comes to life. 

As a story about grief and starting over, I thought it was pretty good. I thought as a contemporary romance, it wasn't as strong. While I liked the brief moments we got to see of Brian & Charlotte's relationship, it was not the central storyline. This is really Charlotte's story.
Was this review helpful?