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Review ❤️ The Roughest Draft by Emily Wibberley

January 27, 2022


They were cowriting literary darlings until they hit a plot hole that turned their lives upside down.

Three years ago, Katrina Freeling and Nathan Van Huysen were the brightest literary stars on the horizon, their cowritten book topping bestseller lists. But on the heels of their greatest success, they ended their partnership on bad terms, for reasons neither would divulge to the public. They haven’t spoken since, and never planned to, except they have one final book due on contract.

Facing crossroads in their personal and professional lives, they’re forced to reunite. The last thing they ever thought they’d do again is hole up in the tiny Florida town where they wrote their previous book, trying to finish a new manuscript quickly and painlessly. Working through the reasons they’ve hated each other for the past three years isn’t easy, especially not while writing a romantic novel.

While passion and prose push them closer together in the Florida heat, Katrina and Nathan will learn that relationships, like writing, sometimes take a few rough drafts before they get it right.

Release Date:
Jan 25, 2022
Heat Level: Sensual
Publisher: Penguin Group
Imprint: Berkley
Price: $9.99

All the kicks in the feels in this one.

This is my first book by this duo and I imagine because this may be the first of their books to be categorized as an adult romance. It almost borderlines the romance edge, but since it meets the requirement (HEA/HFN) I’ll let it stand in the contemporary romance category. The main plot is the subsequent coming together of two authors whose co-writing experience produced the most amazing literary fiction, until they fell apart.

What I liked, all the feels. Main characters Katrina and Nathan put me through the ringer with their tumultuous past and present. From Katrina’s anxiety in regard to writing and achieving her dreams to Nathan’s frustration at not being able to be his best in his career without Katrina. These two spar repeatedly over and over, as they work through their frustrations and attraction towards another.

There is a lot of muck to unpack and relationships to mend in this story as well, which plays to the interesting parts of human nature. How sometimes we’ll cut ties with people and leave them wondering where they went wrong without ever having a conversation. Only to realize years later the possible slight may have been interpreted incorrectly or come from a place of good intention.

What held me back? The time jumps. This story constantly goes from present to past and back again. While it’s necessary for the story the authors are telling I found it to be a little too much for me. Only a few authors can get away with this back and forth and have me not getting tripped up by it. In this case, as we got past fifty percent and we’re still jumping, I noticed it would pull me out of the story. Made me almost want to skip those pieces and just get to the here and now. Again, this is all personal. For those of you who love a good back and forth, this is the perfect book for you.

Overall, the read was enough to ensnare me. I stayed up far too late into the wee hours desperate to know if Nathan and Katrina would ever forgive each other and embrace a future where they could both write books to popular acclaim and be together. If you enjoy Kate Clayborn this one might be the book for you.

~ Landra

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