Dreamspinner Press, Reviewed by Jackie, Xavier Mayne

Romance Meets Reality Television In Xavier Mayne’s “Husband Material”

“Maybe they’d turn every program on television into one of those reality shows.”

“That’s mostly done already, Harry.”

“Oh. Well. I’ve got to believe that the world is worth saving anyway.” ― Jim Butcher

Title: Husband Material

Author: Xavier Mayne

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Pages/Word Count: 350 Pages

Rating: 5 Stars

Blurb: Husband Material is a long-running reality show, where eighteen lucky guys compete for the hand of one lucky lady. Meet contestant number one, Riley. Since being left at the altar, he’s hit the gym to get into the best shape of his life. Now he’s in it to win it. Contestant number two, Asher, doesn’t really want the bachelorette; he needs the prize money for his sister’s cancer treatment. Asher’s upbeat personality brings Riley out of the funk he’s been in since his breakup. They make a formidable team, with one complication: Asher’s falling for Riley.

Producer Kaitlyn has her hands full when two bachelors are found in the shower soaping up inappropriately, then another live-tweets the entire debacle. If another scandal erupts, the network will cancel the show.

The two bachelors are on a collision course under the watchful eye of a producer torn between wanting them to find true love and trying to keep her show going. In the end, Riley must choose the bachelorette or the bachelor.


Review: Have you ever watched The Bachelor or The Bachelorette on TV? What about Big Brother or The Amazing Race? Now imagine we take all of these shows and throw them in a blender, hit puree, and out would come the fictional show Husband Material.

There is one woman looking for a husband, there are eighteen single guys wanting to win the game. Some want the bachelorette, some want the money, and some want the other bachelors! Instead of the boring old everyday contests, these men have to joust in silver body paint while wearing booty shorts, build a Trojan horse, do a survival-type course in the mountains and play some cards in Vegas.

Each week there is a winner and an audience choice winner who get to accompany the bachelorette on a date. After the first competition, our MC Riley meets our other MC Asher. These two teamed up to get rid of all the other competitors in the jousting challenge. They realized they could easily finish first and second place in the competition if they stick together.

What neither of them expected was to fall in love…with each other.

Asher entered the competition mostly to win some money to help his sick sister. Riley entered the competition as basically as an F-U to his ex-fiancé, who’d left him standing at the altar. No matter their motivation to play, the grand prize ended up being so much more.

I don’t want to go too far in depth with the story because it would be too easy to write my own book telling you how much I loved this story. Asher won my heart, hands down. He was one of the happiest, most giving people I have ever read about. He found wonder in everything he experienced.

Riley was a whole different story. Don’t get me wrong, he was a great person, but he seemed to be struggling with himself throughout the entire book. Understandably, he found himself feeling things that he had only felt once before in his life. He dug himself out of a paralyzing depression to rebuild himself, both inside and out. With a new attitude and a gym perfect body, he set out to give his ex a “see what you are missing out on?” He had no idea that he would instead find his soul mate.

Eventually Riley has to make the toughest decision of his life and decide if his goals are more important than doing what he knows is the right thing. He takes the risk of a lifetime, with no safety net, hoping that it will pay off.

This is a very slow burn romance. I think one thing I loved was the minimal angst factor in this one. Don’t get me wrong there is angst, but it isn’t over the top. The last part of the book could, hands down, be the most romantic thing I have read in a while.

All in all, I loved the book. It isn’t my usual read, but I am so glad I read it. I loved Frat House Troopers so I figured this one would be good as well. As with Xavier Mayne’s previous book, the supporting characters were amazing. The writing was well balanced and kept me on my toes. Highly recommend this title, another winner for Mr. Mayne.

You can buy Husband Material here:


5 thoughts on “Romance Meets Reality Television In Xavier Mayne’s “Husband Material”

  1. Carolyn says:

    Wonderful review, Jackie. I haven’t read anything by Xavier Mayne before, but the premise has grabbed me and your review makes it sound like one I’d definitely love. I’ve never watched The Bachelor (or ette), but I’ve watched enough of reality tv in my time, and it’s fun when an author puts in the craziness of those competitions while building a great romance.


  2. Pingback: The Novel Approach gives Husband Material 5 stars

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