Category Archives: Emily Belden

Review: Husband Material by Emily Belden

Title: Husband Material by Emily Belden
Publisher: Graydon House
Genre: Contemporary, Women’s Fiction
Length: 304 pages
Book Rating: B

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley


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.


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 with whom to share her life . 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 thinks she knows 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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Filed under Contemporary, Emily Belden, Graydon House, Husband Material, Rated B, Review, Women's Fiction