Book Review, Chick Lit, NetGalley, Women's Fiction

Husband Material by Emily Belden


A young widow must face the grief she’s always set aside when an unexpected delivery throws her life into disarray.

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.

Yet Charlotte’s algorithms could never have predicted that her late husband’s ashes would land squarely on her doorstep five years later. Stunned but determined, Charlotte sets out to find meaning in this sudden twist of fate, even if that includes facing her perfectly coiffed, and perfectly difficult, ex-mother-in-law—and her husband’s best friend, who seems to become a fixture at her side whether she likes it or not.

But when her quest reveals a shocking secret, Charlotte is forced to answer questions she never knew to ask and to consider the possibility of forgiveness. And when a chance at a new life arises, she’ll have to decide once and for all whether to follow the numbers or trust her heart.


When a young widow receives her husband’s ashes through the mail after 5 years, all the memories and grief come rushing back causing her to rethink her closed-off life and make drastic changes.

I’ve caused a defect in every relationship that could possibly offer me support or solutions in this situation.

Charlotte is the Numbers Queen. She researches everything by running numbers. When her husband, Decker’s ashes show up at her door after 5 years, she goes into a tailspin and finally has to confront her grief. To make things worse, she learns a shocking secret about Decker that doesn’t compute, and with some confessions from Brian, Decker’s best friend, her life has gone from bad to worse.

Charlotte is not a likable character to me, but she does grow more mature by the end. I felt I needed more background on Brian to make a sound judgment on his personality and connection with Charlotte. There supposedly is a romance within the book, but I just didn’t feel the chemistry and the relationship felt forced. I did like Charlotte’s quirky roommate Casey who needs her own book.

Even though the book is funny in some parts, it is a serious story about grief and loss and I thought there were unnecessary added storylines that took away from Charlotte’s dealings with her grief.

Overall, this was an interesting women’s fiction story that lost focus somewhere in the middle.

Thank you to Ms. Belden for giving me the opportunity to read this book with no expectation of a positive review.


Husband Material Cover

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Emily BeldenEmily Belden is an author with powerhouse publisher, HARLEQUIN/HARPERCOLLINS. She inked a two-book deal with them in 2016, and her debut novel HOT MESS came out March 20, 2018 via their edgy imprint Graydon House.

In 2019, her sophomore novel HUSBAND MATERIAL will be released.

She is represented by famed literary agency, Browne & Miller, along with 44 Blue Productions in Burbank. The SoCal studio is adapting her memoir into a comedic series.

Follow Emily on her website, Instagram and Twitter.