Long time no talk! I took last week (and a few days this week) off from blogging because I was very stressed and was preparing to travel to Nashville. I came back from the trip on Sunday and have just been trying to settle in and get back into a routine.

We'll get more into my updates at the end of the week because I really want to get right into the book review. "The Roughest Draft" was one of the books I was anticipating most in 2022. I pre-ordered it, read it immediately, and loved every moment of it. It was a near-perfect romance novel with a lot of great messaging woven throughout. Plus, I am a sucker for books about writers or books... it's my favorite type of setting and subplot.

Publisher's Summary

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 co-written 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 the 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.

My Thoughts

The writing in this book was near perfection. It was poetic, thoughtful, and creative. The writing style and context added so much to the storytelling and made it feel like a more literary version of a romance novel versus a romantic comedy. I truly don't think I've ever read anything like this before and it made me envious of Emily and Austin's ability to tell a story in such a unique way.

I loved both characters so much; both Nathan and Katrina had their own quirks, personalities, and feelings. They were so different and so alike and I feel like we got to really know them well throughout the novel. The development was really well done and it added so much to the book.

As I've been more involved in the 'book community', I've thought more about my favorite romantic tropes and I think this is one that I really enjoy. It was a unique mix of both enemies to lovers and friends to lovers. You're rooting for the characters to get together in some way with every page turn. At first, the romance isn't really there and you just want them to be friends again...until you realize what really happened between them.

It's a real slow burn but with so much friendship mixed in it, plus the additional career aspect of the entire thing. There is so much happening throughout, it keeps you on your toes. I loved the career part of the book too, as mentioned many times above, but I think it was really interesting to see a co-writing relationship. I've obviously heard so much about co-writers and always wondered how they wrote books together. "The Roughest Draft" did a great job at highlighting the successes and failures of writing with a partner.

It definitely added to the intensity of the book.

I cannot rave enough about this one; it was definitely one of my favorites of the year and I wish to re-read it over and over again!


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