Playing House by Ruby Lang (Uptown #1)
Released: August 12, 2019
Playing House didn’t live up to my expectations. I think the biggest problem is that it’s a short novella. The book starts strong when we meet our protagonists, Oliver Huang and Fay Liu. They have been acquaintances for a decade, both working in the urban planning field. Quick note – an interesting profession! I would have loved to learn more about it! *cough cough – a longer book*.
On paper, Fay is successful and doing everything right. And she is content in life, but also, as her friend points out, in a holding pattern. She loves her work but her energy is lacking. Nothing has given her a big spark or something to look forward to recently. When she runs into Oliver one day, she feels like he could be the one to break her out of her dreary mold. But it’s a scary step to take.
Oliver is nearing forty and lives with his brother. They have a great relationship, but he feels like he should be more independent. He works from home as a consultant, and plans to interview at a job where Fay works. He likes Fay a lot – but isn’t sure he has enough to offer her. There is also that tricky thing about him possibly working at her firm…and she doesn’t know about that yet.
Right from the start, Oliver and Fay have cute chemistry. They play fake boyfriend/girlfriend in the first chapter and I was into it. But it all gets too rushed. There just wasn’t enough page time to let these two really fall in love. We go from watching them be cute and awkward to the second half of the book where we are told more about their relationship than we see.
I like Ruby Lang books, but this one needed more romance development.