It’s Wednesday, and time to share what I’ve been reading lately! This week, I’m here to share Sara Desai’s The Dating Plan, which was a fun, easy read, perfect for escaping into on the weekend!
I received an advanced copy of the book from Berkeley Publishing Group via NetGalley; all opinions are my own. This post contains some affiliate links that may earn me a commission if you purchase through them.
The Dating Plan by Sara Desai
Synopsis of The Dating Plan
Published by Penguin Publishing Group on March 16, 2021
Genres: Chick-lit, Contemporary, Contemporary Women, Romance, Romantic Comedy
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Buy from your local independent bookstore via Bookshop.org
Even with a step-by-step plan, these fake fiancés might accidentally fall for each other in this hilarious, heartfelt romantic comedy from the author of The Marriage Game.
Daisy Patel is a software engineer who understands lists and logic better than bosses and boyfriends. With her life all planned out, and no interest in love, the one thing she can't give her family is the marriage they expect. Left with few options, she asks her childhood crush to be her decoy fiancé.
Liam Murphy is a venture capitalist with something to prove. When he learns that his inheritance is contingent on being married, he realizes his best friend's little sister has the perfect solution to his problem. A marriage of convenience will get Daisy's matchmaking relatives off her back and fulfill the terms of his late grandfather's will. If only he hadn't broken her tender teenage heart nine years ago...
Sparks fly when Daisy and Liam go on a series of dates to legitimize their fake relationship. Too late, they realize that very little is convenient about their arrangement. History and chemistry aren't about to follow the rules of this engagement.
The Dating Plan was a fun, fast, and easy read. There was so much to like about this story!
First of all, I love a fake engagement trope, because you know it’s going to be chaotic. Daisy Patel has an over involved family who keep pushing suitors at her; Luke Murphy has to get married to gain his inheritance (a trope I am less fond of). They both think they’ve found the solution to their problems, except for the fact of some awkward past history on Luke’s part.
They set up a dating plan to get reacquainted with each other that will allow them to convince each others families that their relationship is real, but along the way, they discover they have a lot more in common.
Other things I loved in The Dating Plan:
- Daisy’s character: she is quirky, smart, outspoken, and geeky, but also holds a lot of self-esteem issues and because of it, hasn’t really had a decent relationship. Yes, she still lives at home with her dad, but I understood why.
- Her large, loud Desi family – despite the pushiness and boldness, the love they have for each other is such a lovely thing. The aunties, in particular, were both hilarious and frustrating.
- The “Frenemies to Lovers” trope: mixed with a whole lack of communication, I was just shouting at them all to set things straight.
- Personal growth – both Liam and Daisy have suffered a bit of childhood trauma which has resulted in issues of self-worth. They both see a lot of growth and healing (although one takes a bit longer to get there)
The story also has more than a few steamy scenes, which were fun, not TOO much, and unexpected.
Liam and Daisy pay a visit to Daisy’s family in their seats at “halftime” – but hockey has three periods, not two. I would have liked a LITTLE more build-up leading to their fake relationship in the beginning, simply because of Daisy’s history with Liam, particularly since Daisy has serious trust issues. Finally, Liam’s storyline at the end went a little sideways and took a turn that felt a little forced.
Was it a little cheesey at times and slightly predictable? YES.
But did I care? NOPE, not one bit.
Overall, this was a fun, sexy, AND heartwarming story that was all about finding love and finding forgiveness and discovering self-worth. The Dating Plan was a fun weekend read and a great escape! I’m giving it a solid four stars.
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If you think The Dating Plan sounds like your cup of tea and you want an own-voices read, check out my review of Madi Sinha’s The White Coat Diaries on Goodreads.
Another book suggestion is Grown-Up Pose by Sonja Lalli! It’s a wonderful story of one woman’s journey of self-discovery.