ARC Review – Husband Material by Emily Belden


Chick Lit, Romance | 304 pages | 12.30.2019 | Graydon House


6Another 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.

I would like to thank NetGalley, the publisher and the author for my advanced copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.

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