Review: THE ROUGHEST DRAFT by Emily Wibberley & Austin Siegemund-Broka

Review:  THE ROUGHEST DRAFT by Emily Wibberley & Austin Siegemund-BrokaThe Roughest Draft by Emily Wibberley and Austin Siegemund-Broka
Also by this author: The Breakup Tour
Published by Berkley Books on January 25, 2022
Genres: Contemporary Fiction, Romance
Pages: 336
Source: Netgalley
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository

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.


About Emily Wibberley and Austin Siegemund-Broka

Emily Wibberley and Austin Siegemund-Broka met and fell in love in high school. Austin went on to graduate magna cum laude from Harvard, while Emily graduated magna cum laude from Princeton. Together, they are the authors of Always Never Yours, If I’m Being Honest, Time of Our Lives, What’s Not to Love, The Roughest Draft, and Do I Know You? Now married, they live in Los Angeles, where they continue to take daily inspiration from their own love story.

20 replies
  1. Angela
    Angela says:

    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!

  2. Sam@wlabb
    Sam@wlabb says:

    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.

    • Suzanne
      Suzanne says:

      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.

  3. Lark
    Lark says:

    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. 🙂

  4. Tanya @ Girl Plus Books
    Tanya @ Girl Plus Books says:

    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!

    • Suzanne
      Suzanne says:

      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.

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