Title – Charlotte’s Bed
Author – S.J. Stava
Publication Date – November 27, 2014
At thirty, Charlotte is sick of the single life. Sick of online matchmaking, sick of bad first (AND second) dates, and sick of the dreaded “I can’t believe you’re not married yet!” pitying stares. So when her boyfriend proposes – who just happens to be a Dean at the university where she works – she’s thrilled to bid her singledom adieu. At the start of the new semester, she seems to have it all: a great job, great friends, and now. . . a great fiancé.
So what’s the catch? An annoyingly handsome new teaching assistant and the opportunity to direct the school’s fall production. Still can’t see the downside? Neither can Charlotte until suddenly, what she thought she wanted, might not be enough anymore.
Charlotte’s Bed asks the hard question: how do you choose between the life you’ve always imagined and the love you’ve suddenly discovered?
Charlotte’s Bed is a sweet and charming debut novel from SJ Stava. This is not so much a love story as it is a story about self-discovery and self-acceptance. Charlotte is struggling between the life she’s always wanted with the man she should be with and the life she didn’t know was possible with the man she wants more than anything. The stark contrast between her older, serious fiancé and the younger, full of life teaching assistant really make this a story of push and pull. The juxtaposition of these two distinct personalities really helped sell the war that was waging between Charlotte’s heart and head. Despite the drama, SJ Stava made sure that Charlotte’s struggle to understand her feelings was witty and entertaining.
“How refreshing! Chivalrous and sarcastic – what a lovely combination!”
So much of this story was happening inside Charlotte’s head. Her inner monologue and struggle with morality served as major voices during this story. SJ Stava gave Charlotte a quirky and unique voice laced with humor and hints of sarcasm that reinforced her sense of uncertainty. There were times when I felt as if too much of the story was happening in her head and it created a bit of an emotional disconnect from the story. So much of what constitutes a character and my ability to relate to them is the way their personality fills out over the course of the story, not just in words, but in their actions, quirks, and perceived lifestyle. Charlotte definitely kept me on my toes, keeping me guessing as to how things would eventually turn out.
“Mason is different. Mason is the dream you don’t want to wake up from.”
I loved Mason from the start. SJ Stava gave him a vibrancy and personality that was addictive. His carefree nature was a great balance to Charlotte’s excessive worrying. He played such a major role in this story and I only wish we could know more of his personal story. How he came to be the person he is after everything he had experienced. I adored the rock solid friendships SJ has created, especially Charlotte’s relationship with Jessica. That sense of stability and support that only a best friend can give really shined through and gave Charlotte’s character more authenticity. Overall, Charlotte’s Bed was smart, incredibly well written, humorous, and socially relevant. It is clear that this is only the beginning for SJ Stava. I look forward to seeing what this talented author serves up next!
Charlotte’s Bed by S.J. Stava is a cute, quick read that is most definitely a romance, but also a journey of self-exploration. I can’t say that I expected that aspect so it was a great surprise to get added to the book. It also provided for content and a story line, in a book that so easily could have left that part out.
“Suddenly, I didn’t care who saw or what I looked like, only that every bone in my body wanted to feel him against me.”
Charlotte is a college professor who is living a prim and proper life with her boyfriend, Richard. She ended up telling a lie by omission which resulted in Charlotte re-examining many of the aspects of her life. While the idea of someone who cheats would be a hot button topic for some readers, it wasn’t to me. Furthermore, I actually appreciated her honesty and confliction. It didn’t make the cheating okay, but I really did feel like she was confused and just looking for her own path. It was something that made me really liken to Charlotte’s character. She wasn’t cheating for the attention or because she was bored. She stumbled into these feelings, despite attempting to fight them, and ended up feeling an innate need to explore them, as well as what that meant on a deeper level.
“Well, do you want to be content? Comfortable? Or do you want to feel awake?”
I think that the male leads were also written so drastically different that it made you understand Charlotte’s plight. They both had their ups and downs and it really just depended on what Charlotte truly wanted to spend her life with. Charlotte’s Bed was a shining example of having to know and learn about yourself (which was especially highlighted in her therapy sessions) before you can choose a partner and love someone else.
“You don’t marry someone because you like the future you think you’ll have with them. You marry someone because of how you feel when you’re with them. How they make you feel today. Not how they might make you feel.”
I have to say that I am quite happy I took a chance on Charlotte’s Bed by S.J. Stava. It was light and fun, while still exploring some deeper content. There was also some great witty banter that had me chuckling at times, and also some moments that had me wanting to throw my Kindle out the window. There was an overall personal feel to the whole book which made the characters and story feel genuine and honest, but also gave it an almost journalistic/conversationalist style. Overall, there was some great character development through Charlotte, but very little in the others. I often found myself wishing I could hear what was going through Mason’s head – seeing as how central to her quest he became. I am definitely intrigued and can’t wait to see what will be next for Stava!
Add to Goodreads
Sophie’s loved to read for as long as she can remember. Most childhood summers were spent shleping to and from the local library with shopping bags full of books. Her passion for books led her to study literature at UCSB, where she graduated with her B.A. in English.
After working in a plethora of different careers – from wedding planning to market research to fundraising – Sophie’s never stopped reading, or writing.
After dallying in ghostwriting, she got bit by the bug and decided to publish her very own book, Charlotte’s Bed, under her very own name.