I love picking up novellas by new-to-me authors. They give me a little taste of the author’s writing style, and novella-length stories are tough to write. PLAYING HOUSE is the first story in a new Ruby Lang series, and while I enjoyed it, I think the pacing of the story was off as a whole.
The novella follows Fay, a recently divorced city planner, and Oliver, a long-time acquaintance and fellow city planner. I loved the quick sparks between Oliver and Fay. Their chemistry was sizzling but subtle, a delicate balance that Ms. Lang pulls off with aplomb. I, surprisingly, enjoyed all the house details packed into this short novella, which really served to highlight how much Oliver and Fay have in common. I also thought that Ms. Lang gave us a very realistic portrayal about two long-time friends (of sorts) might start a relationship. The growing pains and insecurities were endearingly relatable.
What I didn’t enjoy was how much of the page time Oliver and Fay spent apart. While they were not together, I was quickly losing interest and realizing this would be more of an HFN than an HEA. I think there were missed opportunities for Oliver and Fay to grow together as opposed to growing individually. I was expecting a whole other novel by the end of this novella or at least a substantial epilogue.
Overall, this was an okay start to a new series. I enjoyed Ms. Lang’s detailed writing style, and I can see myself continuing on with the series.
**I received an ARC of this book in order to provide an honest review**