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Book Review: The Roughest Draft by Emily Wibberley and Austin Siegemund-Broka

This post contains affiliate links. In addition, I was provided with a free copy of the book in exchange for my review. Austin and Emily and I are all Twitter mutuals. All opinions are my own.

Authors: Emily Wibberley and Austin Siegemund-Broka

Sub-genre: Contemporary

Release Date: January 25, 2022


You know those books where from the very first page, it becomes immediately clear that you are reading something special? Yeah, that was definitely the case here. I have two kinds of reading modes when I find myself loving a book: can’t put it down or read it slowly so I can savor it. This was a savor book, and one I know I will be coming back to again and again.

Katrina and Nathan are writing partners with really bad timing. Their connection is undeniable, but it seems like any time they might have a chance to act on their romantic feelings, one of them is involved with someone else. After a rough falling out while they were on a retreat penning their second book, the two spend four years avoiding each other and avoiding writing together–all while said second book is absolutely blowing up and making them literary superstars. Technically they owe their editors another book, but thanks to the success of their preceding title, no one is pushing them to write it. Nathan has continued to write on his own, without Katrina, but he is having trouble selling his solo titles. And Katrina has abandoned writing altogether, and only considers picking it up again because her agent/fiance gets into a bit of financial trouble. Katrina and Nathan agree to reconcile for two short months–just enough time to put together a rough draft and then head their separate ways. But as the two hole up together in the same beach house where they once created literary magic, they’re forced to confront their past, and determine their future.

I don’t even know where to start with this book because the whole thing is brilliant from cover to cover. All I wrote in my reading notes is “This book is unfairly good.” I’ve read some of Austin and Emily’s YA books and so I think I went into this one expecting a lighter tone, but it became clear very early on that this is not a traditional rom com (though it certainly has some funny moments). It’s a reach down in your guts and then rip out your heart and stitch it all back together kind of romance. I felt things, guys. And even though this is definitely a very slow burn, the pacing never dragged, and the tension was on point the entire time. Like I was definitely screaming at my iPad for them to just kiss already. I always love books about writers (for obvious egotistical reasons), but Roughest Draft takes it to a whole other level. I can’t even describe it (yay writing!) but it’s like you the reader are just as wrapped up in the words as the characters are. There were multiple times when I just had to set the book down because a sentence was so perfect it kinda pissed me off a little bit (that’s a compliment). Honestly, it was basically perfect and I can’t wait to read it again and I really can’t wait to see what these two have in store for us next.

Overall Rating: 5 stars. Duh.

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