Tuesday, June 11, 2024

Review - The Rom-Commers

Title:   The Rom-Commers
Author:  Katherine Center
Publisher:  St. Martin’s Press
Genre:   Romance
Format:  Kindle ARC 
No. of Pages:   336
Date of Publication:  June 11, 2024
My Rating:   5 Stars


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.

But Emma’s not going down without a fight. She will stand up for herself, and for rom-coms, and for love itself. She will convince him that love stories matter—even if she has to kiss him senseless to do it. But . . . what if that kiss is accidentally amazing? What if real life turns out to be so much . . . more real than fiction? What if the love story they’re writing breaks all Emma’s rules—and comes true?


Whatever story you tell yourself about your life, that’s the one that’ll be true.

“Don’t like people who don’t like you.”

With a nod to It Happened One Night with Clark Gable, Claudette Colbert and Walter Connelly, the atmosphere is set in Katherine Center's latest novel. Emma Wheeler has spent the last ten years as the primary caretaker of her father, who has been very much disabled from an accident that cost her mother her life. One of the side effects of his injuries led him to having Ménière's disease so he needs to be closely watched. 

Thanks to her manager Logan, who happens to be Charlie Yates manager as well, Emma has a chance at an internship with a screenplay that is designed to be a retelling of It Happened One Night. However, this 91-year-old-movie is far superior to what the writer has written. Emma's favorite writer, Charlie Yates, has done a terrible job rewriting the movie. However, Charlie is a legend, with multiple Oscars and numerous other awards, yet this screenplay could have a chance to end his illustrious career. Thus begins Emma's involvement with Charlie.

Charlie has written award-winning movies. Of that there is no doubt. However, they have been mostly action movies, not rom-coms. If Emma can get her sister Sylvie to care for their father for six weeks, she will have a chance to help Charlie to rewrite the movie...and to spend time with the man she has loved from afar for years...Charlie the writer.

Six weeks could pass in an instant, or be a very long time, especially when Emma wonders if Sylvie is up to the task of properly taking care of their father. Plans are set in place, and Emma heads to Los Angeles to work with Charlie to rewrite his screenplay. Could this internship catapult Emma's career? While this is quite possible, she is just honored for unfettered time with Charlie.

One thing I noticed as I was reading this book is the quick-witted comments often uttered by Emma, especially as this story is written from the first-person perspective. I also loved how Katherine Center inserted other mentions in this book, like comparing the long queue in an airport line to an Escher drawing "fold(ing) endlessly in on itself". Or comparing a movie kiss style to Ji Chang-wook, a Korean actor and singer. Center also included cameo appearances of Jack Stapleton in this book. His story was from her book The Bodyguard

The Rom-Commers was a beautiful and heartwarming story. This compelling read has an edge of sadness due to factors in Emma's life, or the struggles that Charlie had experienced. However, this is balanced the sweetness of the story as a whole. It was very easy to enjoy both Emma and Charlie as protagonists. The epilogue was just fabulous and really pulled everything together in a satisfying way. Yes, a phenomenal story and one of my favorites for January, and this just might hit my top-ten favorite list for 2024.

Many thanks to St. Martin's Press and to NetGalley for this ARC for review. This is my honest opinion.


Bestselling Author Katherine Center wrote her first novel in the sixth grade (fan fiction about Duran Duran) and got hooked. From then on, she was doomed to want to be a writer—obsessively working on poems, essays, and stories, as well as memorizing lyrics, keeping countless journals, and reading constantly.

She won a creative writing scholarship in high school, and then went on to major in creative writing at Vassar College, where she won the Vassar College Fiction Prize. At 22, she won a fellowship to the University of Houston’s Creative Writing Program and moved home to Texas with plans to become Jane Austen ASAP.

Didn’t happen quite that way. Of course. Instead, she began a decade of struggling, agonizing, and questioning the meaning of life before finally finding a fairy-godmother-like agent and getting a dream-come-true book deal for her debut novel, The Bright Side of Disaster.
A total happy ending. And also, just the beginning. 

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