Monday, August 5, 2019

Melinda's Review: Playing House

Playing House by Ruby Lang
Publisher: Carina Press (August 12, 2019)
Series: Uptown, 1
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Romance blossoms between two city planners posing as newlyweds in this first in a bright new series by acclaimed author Ruby Lang

The last thing Oliver Huang expects to see on the historic Mount Morris home tour is longtime acquaintance Fay Liu bustling up and kissing him hello. He’s happy to playact being a couple to save her from a pushy admirer. Fay’s beautiful, successful and smart, and if he’s being honest, Oliver has always had a bit of a thing for her.

Maybe more than a bit.

Geeking out over architectural details is Oliver and Fay’s shared love language, and soon they’re touring pricey real estate across Upper Manhattan as the terribly faux but terribly charming couple Darling and Olly.

For the first time since being laid off from the job he loved, Oliver has something to look forward to. And for the first time since her divorce, Fay’s having fun.

Somewhere between the light-filled living rooms and spacious closets they’ve explored, this faux relationship just may have sparked some very real feelings. For Oliver and Fay, home truly is where their hearts are.

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Melinda's Review:

I really enjoyed the setup and plot of Playing House and who knew that the very idea of City Planners was something that could make me sit up and pay very close attention? Apparently Ruby Lang knew! But while I didn’t know what to expect with a ‘city planners’ romance, what I actually got felt more to me as a ‘House Hunters’ romance…which ok, I’m not mad at. I love HH.

We follow MCs Fay and Oliver as they tour various houses, and since I don’t really know anything about city planners, I did get a bit confused as to the point of these tours – but I did love them. The real estate porn was intense and I really enjoyed that part. The tours do establish a reason for a fake relationship between the two, which as tropes go, is a classic I can get behind.

This is relatively low angst but there is some conflict as Oliver has applied for a position with Fay’s small company. I need low angst books in my life but I could have used a bit more development of the relationship as well as the conflict resolution as it was just tied up neatly (which obviously I needed!) but I wanted a little more out of the ending. Particularly because the book is pretty short and I felt like it could have been a little longer.

I’m looking forward to other books in this series and to how Lang develops this neighborhood and this world. I’ve seen the tropes for the next book as enemies to lovers, which I love, and seduction by dumpling and I already have it pre-ordered because I can’t resist that!

3 1/2 STARS! 

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Source: eARC, publisher

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Thanks for the review, Melinda! 


Until Next Time,

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