by Ruby Lang
Publication: February 10, 2020
Series: Uptown #3
House Rule is a story of two people falling in love again. The premise was one I originally scoffed at–why would exes who ended on bad terms want to live together. Once I started reading, it made so much sense. With so much time having passed since their divorce, they’re different people now, and Lana makes sure to emphasize that they “knew” each other. The correction she makes when Simon explains that they know each is important because living together again not only allows an exploration of resurfacing feelings but encourages discovering the people they have become.
I was excited to find that Lana and Simon are older characters. They’re both around 40 years old, which isn’t necessarily old but is when compared to lead characters in books I normally encounter. One of my favorite lines is in the beginning when Lana mentions how she spends most of her time ensuring her body works right. A few years ago, I wouldn’t have batted an eyelash over this revelation but today I completely understand what she means. I still feel young, but my body does not always agree. Whether it’s their age or their time apart, there is a maturity in how they handle their new living arrangements, even if hurt still lingers. Their thoughts and even concern for the other person are indicative of experience and patience that could only have been acquired over time. It’s this patience and understanding that really colors the overall tone of the novel.
It is a slower-paced read with lots of contemplation, hesitation, and longing that quickly becomes apparent. I very much enjoyed listening in on Lana and Simon as they tried navigating the new dynamics of their relationship and the possibility of moving forward. It felt longer than 150 pages, but it was such a lovely book that explored a second chance romance between two people who may have never stopped loving each other.