Urban Planners, Architecture, and Fake Relationships // Book Review: Playing House by Ruby Lang

“But somehow this was different— maybe because he’d poured more hope into this brief moment they’d had— because hope meant more to him nowadays— and because she had seemed to do so, too.”

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Book Details

Title: Playing House

Author: Ruby Lang

Date Published: August 12, 2019

Number of Pages: 113 pages

Publisher: Carina Press

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📚 Series? Yes, first of a series.
📚 Genre? Adult Romance.
📚 POV? Dual.
📚 Cliffhanger? No.

⚠ Content Warnings:  Hot, hot scenes. Divorce. Social stigma.
⚠ Book Tags :  Urban planners. Fake dating. Established acquaintances. East Asian rep.
⚠ This Book In Emojis: 🏙🏚🏘👫🏻❤🥰

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Book Blurb from Goodreads

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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About the Author

Ruby Lang

Ruby Lang is pint-sized, prim, and bespectacled. Her alter ego, essayist Mindy Hung, has written for The New York Times, The Toast, and Salon, among others. She enjoys running (slowly), reading (quickly), and ice cream (at any speed). She lives in New York with a small child and a medium-sized husband.


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My Review

Much thanks to Netgalley and Carina Press for the complimentary copy. This review is voluntary and opinions are fully my own.

The book is about:
Playing House is about two Chinese-American urban planners that bumped into each other in one of the home tours in their neighborhood. Surprisingly, this bumping actually involved them locking lips so early in the story. This book, like many other romances, is the story of how these two, Fay and Oliver, fell in love.

What drew me in:
This book is a part of a series with 3 titles. I read the first two before this one and I could not resist going back because of how I enjoyed the other two. I also loved seeing more Asians in the romance genre, writing beautiful pieces highlighting Asians as well.

Characters & connections:
Unfortunately, this book is a very quick read, and at the onset, it felt like being pushed into the middle of the story when you feel a little lost. Because of this, I felt like it was hard for me to connect more with the two leads.

Everything I liked:
I liked that this book showed a good combination of sweet and steamy. Unfortunately, I felt like this book was a little too slow in the pacing but still lacking on the storytelling front.

Overall thoughts:
Playing House, overall, is a little lacking in the magic that the other two books in the series presented. It was cute learning about architecture and urban planning, but sometimes it showed more of that instead of the cute and sexy romances that readers expect when they are turning the pages.

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My Book Rating Breakdown

🌼 Blurb:⭐⭐⭐⭐☆
🌼 Main Character:⭐⭐⭐☆☆
🌼 Significant Other: ⭐⭐⭐☆☆
🌼 Support Characters:⭐⭐☆☆☆
🌼 Writing Style:⭐⭐⭐☆☆/b>
🌼 Character Development:⭐⭐⭐☆☆
🌼 Romance: ⭐⭐⭐⭐☆
🌼 Pacing: ⭐⭐☆☆☆
🌼 Ending: ⭐⭐⭐☆
🌼 Unputdownability: ⭐⭐☆☆☆
🌼 Book Cover:⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

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☁ FINAL VERDICT: 3.09/5 ☁

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♡ , Yna the Mood Reader

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2 thoughts on “Urban Planners, Architecture, and Fake Relationships // Book Review: Playing House by Ruby Lang

  1. So sorry it didn’t live up to the standard of the first two books! Sometimes that’s how it goes with series. Glad you enjoyed it though. Sometimes quick, short books like these are the most fun. Take care 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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