The Roughest Draft

Penguin Random House Audio. Jan. 2022. 9:56 hrs. ISBN 9780593457634. $20. CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE
Three years ago, Katrina Freeling and Nathan Van Huys wrote a best-selling novel together. They haven’t spoken since. Reunited to write their contracted next book, their story unfolds in flashbacks. Back then, Nathan was married and the two began to fall in love. Both remained professional but it is clear Nathan is expressing his feelings for Katrina in the pages he writes for their book. When Katrina and Nathan head back to the same beach house and begin to write their new novel, they must confront the unresolved issues from their past as they continue to communicate through their daily pages. Both characters stay entrenched in their emotionally tortuous positions until the very end, with an unsatisfying resolution that seems to come out of a desire to give the reader a happy ending, rather than giving these characters what they really need: couples therapy. Imani Jade Powers has a beautiful voice that glides over the words and lifts the material to a different level. Dan Bittner has a pleasant “everyman” voice that would fit well with any genre.
VERDICT Well written, but excruciating in terms of human behavior. Better to read than to listen.
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