The Build Up
by Tati Richardson
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Pub Date 28 Mar 2023 | Archive Date 27 Apr 2023
Carina Press & Carina Adores (Harlequin), Carina Press
Rumpled and ragged was not how architect Ari James envisioned kicking off her first day at a new firm. And few things can top the horror of her new—and extremely hot—colleague walking in on her at the worst moment ever. Learning that she’ll be working with him on the project that’s supposed to get her career back on top makes it harder than ever to focus on her big comeback.
With a partnership at his firm on the line, nothing is going to stand in the way of Porter Harrison absolutely killing it on his new project: not his obnoxious rival, not his unpredictable brother and definitely not his new coworker whose gorgeous curves he accidentally saw and now can’t get out of his head.
Though neither of them is looking for love, once their creative juices get flowing, Ari and Porter’s connection is obvious. But when their shared goal has always been winning at work, building a solid foundation for a relationship might end up costing them everything…
“Tati Richardson delivers a timely and modern debut with The Build Up that is not to be missed! Forty-something year old architects Ari and Porter’s chemistry make each page a simmering delight.” —USA TODAY bestselling author Kwana Jackson
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 106 members
The Build Up by Tati Richardson contained every element I love in a romance story: a slow burn, two protagonists falling for one another with the odds stacked against them, a focus on family and community, and a great cast of strong supporting characters as friends. What a stellar, powerhouse of a debut!
First of all, Porter is gentlemanly in every way. When Ari is hired at the firm to help him build the city's new stadium he does his best to not stare but he cannot deny his attraction. He conducts himself with dignity every step along the way of trying to convince her that he is the one for her. Then there is Ari. My girl, Ari! Ari is a high-achieving Black woman who is great at what she does and she knows it. Like many Black and Brown women in our professional fields, she has had to earn everything accolade she has and has overcome some pretty harrowing situations in the workplace that would make most of us want to minimize our gifts and hide. But not her. Ari is serious about her career and as a result serious about giving this project her all. She's attracted to Porter, too, and surprised when he makes the first move. I enjoyed the back and forth tension between Ari and Porter as they navigated the risks associated with their office romance. There was such great witty banter in this story and so many laugh out loud moments especially between Ari and Porter and especially when one highly unlikeable co-worker, Greer, gets what's coming to him!
The ending was a pleasant twist and revealed so much about who Porter is as a man and who he wanted to be for Ari. In the end, I'm so glad she allowed it. A truly fun-loving, sexy, and tantalizing story about falling in love and making a commitment in life to go after the things we say we want!
Thank you so much to the author and publisher for the e-arc copy!
Fun and sweet! I loved this book from beginning to end. The chemistry of Porter and Ari felt so real. I felt the tension between them two and I thought it was hilarious that they thought they were keeping their wants for each other hidden, but everyone around them saw it.
Porter knew what he wanted and went for it and I love that this book portrayed a full sized woman confident in herself.
Thank you Netgalley for my ARC
The radical joy that this book brought me has been unmatched thus far, a great read alike for fans of Alexa Martin & Jasmine Guillory
A big thank you to Tati Richardson, Carina Press & Carina Adores, and NetGalley for an eARC in exchange for an honest review. The Build Up comes out March 28, 2023!
When Ari moves back home to Atlanta to start at a new architect firm, she is ready for a new start after leaving Chicago due to a bad situation at her old job. Too bad her first day isn't shaping up to be her best, including her car breaking down and a large cup of coffee spilled on her white blouse. She can't decide if a good or bad thing that her new project partner is hot as hell and extremely nice to boot. While working on their stadium design the two start to connect over food, music and humor. They will have to decide if dating coworkers and working towards a beautiful future is worth the possible consequences.
The Build Up was such an enjoyable read, it was full of romance, humor and so mush warmth. Ari was plus-sized, confident and knew her worth, even though she went through a tough time in Chicago she always knew that she was talented. The only thing she was unsure of at the start was if it was okay not only to be in a relationship but also a relationship with a coworker. You can tell that she went through a lot of personal and emotional growth. Porter honestly was such a cinnamon roll of a MMC, he was sweet when he was perusing Ari without it being creepy. I was expecting a version of the ending that happened, but I still felt like there was enough of a twist that it was interesting. I loved that growth that it took for Porter to get to the ending. Honestly I felt like this was such a heartwarming romance that I highly recommend The Build Up.