Get it at Amazonfrom our B+ review: Oliver Huang is going through a serious slump. He’s lost his job, which means he can’t afford an apartment and is forced to live with his far more successful younger brother. His mother implies he’s as shiftless as his father - who deserted them years ago - and family gatherings on Sunday afternoons seem to be held for the sole purpose of having everyone tell him “that his lack of ambition is a disappointment.” He can barely remember the last time he went on a date but he does remember that she dumped him. When he sees casual acquaintance Fay Liu on the historic Mount Morris home tour and winds up spending the afternoon playing her significant other, it's the best thing that’s happened to him in a long time. Fay can’t remember the last time she had fun. She’s been all work and no play since the very successful launch of her business and the subsequent crash and burn of her marriage. When she attracts a particularly pushy admirer while on the Mount Morris home tour, she exhausts all her usual arsenal of predatory pest deterrents and is desperately seeking help when she spots Oliver, who is willing to play her boyfriend in order to discourage her determined suitor. She’s known Oliver for years since they are both urban planners and they work in “such a small community”, but this is the first time Fay has spent real one on one time with him. She’s happy to get to know him better and maybe move their relationship from confrère to friend. But Oliver makes architectural details sound like foreplay and his good looks and gentlemanly demeanor work like an aphrodisiac on her too long denied libido; she laughs easily around him and feels genuinely happy and hopeful for the first time in a long time. By the end of the afternoon she’s moved him from potential friend to potential friend-with-benefits. When he fails to ask for her number when the tour is done, she gets his from a buddy and texts him, arranging to meet up again. Neither mentions the word date as they walk through Marcus Garvey Park and climb the stone staircase outside Mount Morris Fire Watchtower while playing “a game of building-nerd-I-spy where they tried to identify landmarks and streets.” But they both wonder if that’s what this is. When they’re done with the game at the watchtower they go inside a couple of open houses to get a closer look at the interior of the local architecture. Then meet again the next day to go through another open house. For some people, exploring homes for sale is a slog but for these two discovering hidden period details in homes and checking out the traffic patterns in neighborhoods is sheer bliss. They bond over crown molding and transom windows and delight in sharing the joy of finding the hidden potential in fixer uppers. But with their own lives in need of some major renovations, neither is sure this is the right time to take their relationship forward.
Grade: B+Check Review