Review By Kayleigh

Under Construction is a sexy, banter-filled enemies to lover read that I couldn’t get enough of!

Favourite Quote:

I’d been so concerned about my own appearance just minutes ago, it never occurred to me that it was HIS appearance I had to worry about. Then the penny drops. I’m seated behind this tanned, muscled, deliciously inked man for the next sixty minutes through a hot Power Flow yoga class. I swallow hard. 

Goodreads Synopsis: 

Avery has had enough.

Two years into the rehabilitation of the historic Taylor Building—a project plagued by delays and cost overruns—she’d like nothing more than to see the back of the site trailer, and pesky Project Manager Kent Armstrong.

Avery is a no-frills team player who knows her way around a mortar shack and is determined to chip her way through the patriarchal barriers of heritage stone masonry.

Kent is a buttoned-up budget boy with a stony facade. Impossible to please, he’s a cost, scope, and schedule junkie who thinks he knows best and never seems to listen to his expert mason.

When Kent and Avery meet steel toe to steel toe on the scaffold, tempers flare and egos clash. Will she crack his hard exterior? Or will the fissures she hides beneath her carefully honed exterior undermine her own footings?

Sometimes there’s more to people—and projects—than meets the eye.

Kate hooked me in instantly with the set up of a workplace rivalry filled with tension. The banter is instantly funny and smart. Under Construction tackles misogyny, sexual harassment and uncomfortable workplace situations for both men and women with grace and humour. Although the topics sound heavy, this book is really sharp and not preachy. Isabella has a strong sense of self worth and is an incredible role model for women, in my opinion. She knows her worth, and won’t give in, but is also aware of her flaws and willing to work through her weaknesses to better herself. Also, as a weight lifter, I love seeing a woman who lifts in books. We aren’t all cardio bunnies! 

Speaking of working out, cough cough, Kate is a fabulous and descriptive writer who builds some serious tension filled scenes. There’s a couple of workout scenes that I highly enjoyed, including a jaunt through a hot yoga class. Isabella Avery and Kent Armstrong are my new favourite power couple. I love a good workplace romance and Under Construction tackles head on the complex power dynamics of a modern relationship in the workplace. Isabella is strong, both physically and mentally, and used to dealing with shit in a male-dominated workforce. Kent Armstrong is strong, smart, successful and has a total weakness for gorgeous and strong women. These two are relationship goals for me. They aren’t perfect, both of them need to work on themselves and put work into a relationship. Isabella has a strong support group of both a group of girlfriends (who all work in construction, fingers crossed there’s more stories to come) and her fabulous mom and dad who give advice but never judge. 

The book is told from Isabella’s perspective only, which I really enjoyed, actually. I liked learning about Kent from her perspective and from what he showed or told her. He’s a bit of a golden retriever with his love and it was really realistic to watch her struggle with him so openly showing his emotions and cards as a woman who’s used to guys playing games. I don’t think it would have been so impactful if we saw his side. 

This is a stellar debut, and I can’t wait to get my hands on more of her writing. Kate is now an autobuy for me!

Thank you to Kate Cole for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.