The Roughest Draft


Katrina Freeling and Nathan Van Huysen haven’t spoken in four years, since they put the finishing touches on their bestselling novel. Now, to fulfill their contract, they’ve been thrown back together to write one final book. What could go wrong?

Is it just me or does anyone get major Beach Read by Emily Henry vibes? Isn’t it weird how books and movies that are similar tend to come out around the same time? Think Friends with Benefits and No Strings Attached. Regardless, I really enjoyed Beach Read and after reading two are three books in a row that weren’t great, I was excited to pick up something light and romancey. Which spoiler, this one isn’t as light and fluffy as I thought it would be. It’s way more of a contemporary fiction read centered around a romance, than an actual romance read.

Honestly, I liked the way this was setup especially since the story was much more about them overcoming their own fears, growing as individuals, and grasping their internal motivations rather than being just about their budding romance. Though this is a story of two people coming together, it’s way more about how we protect ourselves from pain while at the same time not letting fear rule our decisions and lives.

I really enjoyed the dual perspectives we get as we get both Katrina and Nathan’s POVs throughout the entire book. We also see not just their present, but the ‘bad thing’ that tore them apart four years ago is presented in flashbacks, from both of their perspectives. It adds an extra level of depth when you can seamlessly transition between these and for me really added to the story.

Our authors Emily and Austin are married, which I actually didn’t know until writing this review, but you can really feel the love and attraction between the main characters. I’m going to credit the fact they were writing from personal experience (ie writing romances with your partner) with truly giving this story such a realistic feeling.

While Katrina did get on my nerve at times, like girl loosen up and just let your heart decide for once, both characters were flawed enough to be relatable and likeable.

Even though this is being categorized as a Romance, I’d put it more into the Contemporary Fiction genre. It has wonderfully lyrical prose, it’s real, it’s raw, and I’d read another from this duo.


The Roughest Draft comes out January 18, 2022.  Huge thank you to Berkley Books for my advanced copy in exchange for my honest opinion.  If you liked this review please let me know either by commenting below or by visiting my instagram @speakingof_books.


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