REVIEW: The Rom-Commers by Katherine Center

Posted April 3rd, 2024 by in Blog, Contemporary Romance, HJ Top Pick!, Review / 10 comments


In The Rom-Commers by Katherine Center, Emma Wheeler is a lover of romantic comedies in the way some people crave and obsess over sports. It is all consuming as well as an escape from the way her family’s life went so very wrong a decade ago. Not that she would never think of giving up taking care of her wonderful dad. Nor would she belabor the fact that her own writing career aspirations went by the wayside because of it. But in her heart of hearts, Emma hopes one day she’ll get to pursue her dreams.

Charlie Yates couldn’t write a bad screenplay if you threatened to take all his awards away.
“It’s terrible,” Logan said then.
“What?” It couldn’t be.
“It’s so terrible, even calling it terrible is an insult to the word terrible.”

When a friend in Hollywood hooks Emma up with the job of a lifetime, helping her idol–award-winning screenplay writer Charlie Yates–tweak his not-so-good romantic comedy script, how can she say no? It does mean moving her family’s life around for a couple of months. But her younger sister, fresh out of college, wholeheartedly agrees to watch their father while Emma moves to LA temporarily. Once she has her first meeting with Charlie, though, she’s not sure she’s got what it takes to turn his horrific screenplay into something remotely funny and romantic.

“Writing the screenplay will be fun,” I said–but then I stopped. “Or a nightmare. I’m not actually sure which.”
“How could writing a script with your favorite writer be a nightmare?” Sylvie asked.
“Well,” I said, “it’s looking like he’s one of those guys who doesn’t believe in love.”

Emma’s first big roadblock is being a “nobody” in Charlie’s world. So, getting his approval to work on the script is darn near impossible–then getting him to believe in the emotions behind a rom-com becomes the challenge. You’d figure a guy who’d been married once before would understand love. But nope. Emma has to somehow convince Charlie that the genre isn’t just about meet-cutes and happy accidents, it’s about the chance at being with the person you adore, day in and day out forever. So, when their own feelings start to get between them, Emma has to wonder if jaded, closed off Charlie will ever open his eyes and believe in the love that is shining in front of him.

‘I had a theory that we gravitate toward the stories we need in life. Whatever we’re longing for–adventure, excitement, emotion, connection–we turn to stories that help us find it.’

A romantic comedy about new chances, making sacrifices for those we love, and what it takes to chase after your dreams, THE ROM-COMMERS combined angst, quippy dialogue, endearing characters, and loads of attraction, giving readers a keeper-shelf-worthy story.

“I would write a hundred happy endings for us if I could.”

CW: View Spoiler »

I have yet to read a Katherine Center novel where I don’t fall immediately for her characters. And THE ROM-COMMERS might just be my favorite cast and storyline yet. Reading about Emma’s life being on hold while caregiving for her beloved father–I absolutely *adored* him–and seeing how Charlie was shut away from the world, it was so very relatable. And even though there was a fair bit of heaviness in both of their lives, Center focused mainly on Emma and Charlie’s growth, using the darker parts of their past in pivotal, poignant scenes instead of letting it overwhelm their journey.

While this was most definitely a love story (actually, *three* love stories!) THE ROM-COMMERS was also basically a love letter to those of us who are fascinated by the written word. Charlie and Emma enjoyed everything about the writing process. They loved figuring out the correct wording, punctuation, point of view, motivation, etc., and that joy leapt from the pages making this a fantastically fun book to read. Even better? Watching as Emma and Charlie not only sorted out their lives but also fell in love with each other one step at a time against the odds stacked in their way. It was nothing short of joyful to see it all play out–and sigh-worthy.

QOTD: Are you a fan of romantic comedy movies? If so, have any favorites?

Book Info:

Publication: Published: June 11th, 2024 | St. Martin’s Press |

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?



10 Responses to “REVIEW: The Rom-Commers by Katherine Center”

  1. Glenda M

    I am a fan. When Harry Met Sally is my all time favorite. Thanks so much for the review

  2. Kathleen O'Donnell

    I have not yest had the chance to read any of her books, but she is on my TBR list.

  3. Amy R

    Are you a fan of romantic comedy movies? Yes
    If so, have any favorites? Sweet Home Alabama

  4. psu1493

    QOTD: Are you a fan of romantic comedy movies? If so, have any favorites? They are okay. My favorite is When Harry met Sally.

  5. erahime

    I do watch rom-com movies, and I could name a few that I liked though not one stands out from the pile. But I enjoyed reading this lovely review, Team HJ.