Audience: Contemporary Romance
Length: 336 pages
Author: Emily Wibberley & Austin Siegemund-Broka
Publisher: Berkley Books
Release Date: January 25th, 2022
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads
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 cowritten books 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 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.
Thank you to Berkley and Netgalley for the eARC.
HARD FOUGHT HEA.
I find myself having a hard time writing this review. Even though I really enjoyed this book. From the get-go I wanted to know what happened between Katrina and Nathan. The slow unveiling of their history and magnetism pulled me in.
This book isn’t ooey-gooey romantic. No fluff, no adorableness, nothing of the sort. Fair warning because I was expecting something with a bit more of any of those listed above. It’s deep and intricate. It felt very adult (not in an explicit sense, but the context). Things really played out very real world. I found that I was thinking often on these kinds of situations and how the nuances of life can create breaking points and new connections.
Nathan and Katrina could have definitely used a sit down, drag out conversation (which admittedly, would have severely shortened the book). The way they expressed themselves through writing was intense. And that pinnacle moment where things were at last said pulled at my soul. Two people who had to fight for themselves as individuals and together. The title is very apt and the story inside far exceeds the idea of the roughest draft.
A bit heavy, but a hard won happily ever after. I loved getting a chance to read this duo’s first adult romance and look forward to what they write next. I didn’t want to speed read this at all because every single word seemed to matter. Every paragraph played into the novel. The engrossing nature had me finishing it in a day.
Overall audience notes:
- Contemporary Romance
- Language: some strong
- Romance: one brief/vague open door
- Trigger/Content Warnings: gaslighting, brief cheating (an unreturned kiss), depictions of anxiety, divorce