Review: THE ROUGHEST DRAFT by Emily Wibberley & Austin Siegemund-Broka
Published by Berkley Books on January 25, 2022
Genres: Contemporary Fiction, Romance
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FTC Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley. All opinions are my own.
The Roughest Draft is a slow-burn contemporary romance from co-authors Emily Wibberley and Austin Siegemund-Broka. It follows another pair of cowriters, Katrina and Nathan, who, after penning a best-selling novel together, had a major falling out and haven’t spoken to each other in three years.
Neither Katrina nor Nathan have any desire to work together again, but unfortunately for them, their book deal was for two books so unless they want to pay back the advance, they need to make peace and write together one more time. Reluctantly, the pair agrees to move in together for a few months and get this second book written. They actually move into the same house they used the last time they wrote together so they are both surrounded by memories, both good and bad, and it’s all fireworks from there!
I will say up front that it does take a few chapters to really get a feel for just how much bad blood and hurt feelings there are between Katrina and Nathan. At first I was just sitting there like “OMG, why are they feeling so hostile toward one another? What could have possibly been so bad?” As the story begins to unfold, I became completely engrossed in learning the details about what happened and in seeing if they would be able to move forward and write together again without killing one another. Both characters are immensely likeable and their chemistry is undeniable, even when they’re sniping at one another. Think Emily Henry’s Beach Read but way angstier and that should give you a pretty good feel for this book.
The Roughest Draft was such a wonderful read for me. It just checked so many boxes. It’s filled with romance tropes I love like enemies to lovers (actually more like friends to enemies to lovers), second chance romance, and forced proximity. The story is presented to us from both Nathan and Katrina’s perspectives and through the use of dual timelines, which I always love when they’re used well. In this case, they are used to perfection: the present-day cowriting experience is presented parallel to the cowriting journey that went so wrong. I loved watching Nathan and Katrina trying to navigate in the present while simultaneously learning what happened in their past to create the present-day angst and awkwardness.
I also tend to really enjoy books that give us an inside look at writers and their process, and The Roughest Draft gives us that sneak peek at Nathan and Katrina’s cowriting process because while the two of them are unable to really talk about what happened between them, everything they’re feeling comes pouring out onto the pages as they write together. There’s so much passion and emotion flying between them I’m surprised they didn’t melt their keyboards!
If you’re in the mood for a slow-burn, angsty contemporary romance, you’re definitely going to want to add The Roughest Draft to your must-read list.
Wow, this does sound good, and I’ll bet it would make a great movie!
Tammy @ Books, Bones & Buffy recently posted…THE VIOLENCE by Delilah S. Dawson – Review
I thought the same thing while I was reading. Either a movie or a streaming series.
I think it’s so cool that this pair of authors is writing about another pair of authors, and I love that it gives sneak peeks into the co-writing process. Great review, Suzanne!
I really loved that too.
This sounds super cute. It’s already on my TBR. Looking forward to getting my hands on it soon.
Hena Tayeb recently posted…December Reads
Hope you enjoy it. 🙂
Fantastic review! I worry a bit about angsty. I don’t know if I’m up for that at the moment.
Anne – Books of My Heart recently posted… The Family You Make by Jill Shalvis
It definitely had a lot of angst, especially in the early chapters.
This is another one I would really like to read, and I am glad you enjoyed this one! It sounds like it has a lot going for it.
Literary Feline recently posted…Weekly Mews: High Winds, Good Books, and More Hot Cocoa
If you read it, I hope you enjoy it. 🙂
Definitely angsty, but also a bit depressing? I love this duo, so I was patient, and it paid off, but this was not what I was expecting.
Sam@wlabb recently posted…Sundays with Sam – The Sunday Post
I personally wish it had a different cover. I think it’s going to lead people to expect something light and fluffy when it’s totally not.
I don’t know why but it reminds me of Beach read!
Sophie recently posted…Gilded by Marissa Meyer. Enthralling! Review #2022AudiobookChallenge
The actual writing part reminded me so much of Beach Read. It’s similar but with a lot more angst.
I love reading books about authors and their writing processes, too. And this romance sounds like a lot of fun. I hope my library gets a copy of it soon. 🙂
Lark recently posted…Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line by Deepa Anappara
It’s a bumpy ride for this couple but I loved how it ended for them.
This has been such a highly anticipated read, so I’m happy to hear you loved it! I love that we’re getting insights in the co-writing process, I’m definitely already intrigued.
I hope you love it!
First, my heart is just melting that the authors are married high school sweethearts. So sweet!
While I’m not the biggest fan of enemies to lovers, I adore forced proximity and second chance romance so this one is definitely checking some boxes for me, too. I love the slow burn, angsty sound of this one!
Tanya @ Girl Plus Books recently posted…Top Ten Tuesday: Pleased to Meet You | New-to-Me Authors I Read in 2021
Isn’t that adorable? I didn’t realize it until after I finished and it made the co-writing portion of the book that much more interesting to me since it made me curious about how they write.