Review: The Rom-Commers by Katherine Center

Posted June 10, 2024 by Lillian in Reviews / 2 Comments

I received this book via Netgalley. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of this review.

Review: The Rom-Commers by Katherine CenterThe Rom-Commers by Katherine Center
Published by St. Martin's Press on 2024-06-11
Length: 325 pages
Reviewing eARC from Netgalley
Reading Challenges: #NGEW2024, 2024 COYER Unwind

She’s rewriting his love story. But can she rewrite her own?

Emma Wheeler desperately longs to be a screenwriter. She’s spent her life studying, obsessing over, and writing romantic comedies—good ones! That win contests! But she’s also been the sole caretaker for her kind-hearted dad, who needs full-time care. Now, when she gets a chance to re-write a script for famous screenwriter Charlie Yates—The Charlie Yates! Her personal writing god!—it’s a break too big to pass up.

Emma’s younger sister steps in for caretaking duties, and Emma moves to L.A. for six weeks for the writing gig of a lifetime. But what is it they say? Don’t meet your heroes? Charlie Yates doesn’t want to write with anyone—much less “a failed, nobody screenwriter.” Worse, the romantic comedy he’s written is so terrible it might actually bring on the apocalypse. Plus! He doesn’t even care about the script—it’s just a means to get a different one green-lit. Oh, and he thinks love is an emotional Ponzi scheme.

It doesn’t get more perfect than this one! The Rom-Commers by Katherine Center is a romantic comedy about two writers writing a rom-com together where one doesn’t believe in love and the other is obsessed with all the nuances involved in making a good rom-com. Emma Wheeler is offered the chance of a lifetime to come to L.A. and work with her favorite screenwriter, Charlie Yates. With her family’s help, she sets off on what she thinks will be a dream for the next six weeks. Instead she finds a surly, blocked writer who wrote the worst rom-com screenplay she’s ever read. To top it all off, Charlie doesn’t know she’s coming, doesn’t want her help, and believes that all rom-coms are a cheap copout. So why is he writing one?

Emma is a great character to follow. She’s spent the last ten years as her father’s sole caretaker after a hiking accident left him a hemiplegic and with Meniere’s disease (an inner ear issue that affects balance and can cause sudden episodes of falling). Emma’s life didn’t pan out the way she thought it would and has since spent it in fear and with a lot of anxiety. Writing is her outlet, her dream, and she has dozens of original scripts to prove it. Her high school boyfriend and now friend is her agent, sending her random jobs she can do from the comforts of home, but this job, working with her favorite screenwriter is a pipe dream until her younger sister comes home and takes over caretaking duties sending Emma on her own adventure.

As the narrator of our story, Emma’s thoughts on what is happening and how she lays out her own life story in the midst of it all is hilarious. She even breaks the fourth wall talking directly to the reader at the serious moments or not-so-serious with inside information to make this rom-com follow the “rules of rom-coms” as she calls them. Charlie Yates is an enigma to her. He has everything she wanted. His screenplays have all become big blockbuster movies with the awards to prove it, and yet the screenplay she read and has been hired to fix is not the Yates she knows. He can do better and she is determined to make him do better.

The romance here sneaks up on you. For Emma, this is a job, even if it is with the cute screenwriter of her dreams, it is a job, one she plans to take very seriously. Charlie doesn’t even want her there, but after hearing what she has to say about his rom-com script and reading one of her scripts, he reluctantly agrees to hire her. After a few rocky sessions, their writing takes off. The banter between them and the sweet friendship that develops is like reading one of my favorite Nora Ephron movies.

Overall, I loved The Rom-Commers. Emma and Charlie’s banter, the meet-cute which I didn’t talk about above because it must be read and enjoyed not spoiled, and all their subsequent encounters will make you laugh, cry, and swoon. I loved that they are writers themselves and talking about romantic comedies. It’s an interesting insight into how they think and what we are reading. While this is my first Katherine Center book, it will definitely not be my last. If you are looking for your next summer read, look no further than The Rom-Commers.

About Katherine Center

BookPage calls Katherine Center “the reigning queen of comfort reads.” She’s the New York Times bestselling author of ten novels, including How to Walk AwayThings You Save in a Fire, and her newest, Hello Stranger. Her summer 2024 book is The Rom-Commers—a connected story to her blockbuster hit, The Bodyguard. Katherine writes laugh-and-cry books: deep romantic comedies about how life knocks us down—and how we get back up. She’s been compared to both Jane Austen and Nora Ephron, and the Dallas Morning News calls her stories, “satisfying in the most soul-nourishing way.” The Netflix movie adaptation of her novel Happiness for Beginners—starring Ellie Kemper and Luke Grimes—just hit the Global Top Ten in 81 countries, and the movie of her novel The Lost Husband was a suprise Netflix sensation in 2020, hitting number one and landing in their top 25 movies for the year. Her books have made countless Best-Of lists—at Audible, BookBub, and Book of the Month, as well as Goodreads’ Best Books of the Year, and Amazon’s yearly Top 100 books. Emily Henry calls The Bodyguard “my perfect 10 of a book,” and Jodi Picoult says of Things You Save in a Fire, “Just read it, and thank me later.” Katherine lives in her hometown of Houston, Texas, with her husband, two almost-grown teenagers, and their fluffy-but-fierce dog.

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2 responses to “Review: The Rom-Commers by Katherine Center

    • I agree! This is my first from her, but I’ve already picked up Hello Stranger (Kindle deal last week) and have a copy of The Bodyguard. I’ve got to get started on them 🙂

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