The Dating Plan by Sara Desai
Published: July 14th 2022 by Dialogue Books / Berkley (USA)
Rating: ★★★ (3)
Genre: Adult // Romance, Contemporary
Quick Thoughts: A funny, yet cheesy novel with smart characters, and a fierce romance full of the stuff great rom-coms are made of.
About The Book:
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 fiance.
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.
I had been seeing Sara Desai’s novels in TikTok videos for over six months, and when a chance popped up on social media to read The Dating Plan, I jumped at it! I understood that you don’t need to read the books in order, so I definitely took that as a huge plus.
Main characters Daisy and Liam have a lot of history. When they were teenagers, Liam did the unthinkable, breaking Daisy’s heart and leaving her in the wreckage. She’s moved on, of course, but she’s never quite forgotten what it felt like. Now she’s a smart and savvy software engineer that knows her work better than men in general. But her family are on her back about marriage, and when she runs into grown Liam randomly at the beginning of the book, the cards sort of fall into place for him to take the spot of her faux fiancé, in a bid to get her family to leave the quest for marriage on the backburner. Liam has issues of his own, though. His inheritance, coincidentally, is depending on him being married.
So when the two of them come up with a plan—a marriage of convenience—to get their families off their backs and get what they’re wanting, it seems plain sailing. But her teenage heartbreak has never quite left Daisy. And though Liam shows he’s not the same person he was when they were young, it takes Daisy seeing how dedicated he is to new values to let down her guard. As she does, though, it’s clear they still have that firework-worthy spark, despite the relationship being fake. Soon, their fake romance turns very real, and that’s when their lives—and their hearts—get thrown into mayhem.
Overall, The Dating Plan was mostly what I expected it to be. I’m a huge fan of Berkley romances, and it definitely had that rom-com feel. There were certain things I loved—the characters, the world-building—and things I found issues with—the pacing and lack of relationship building between Daisy and Liam—so this was definitely more of a likeable read than loveable, for me. I think that it would be more suited to readers that didn’t mind those things. That being said, there were certainly things I enjoyed about it and it was an overall funny, yet cheesy novel with smart characters, and a fierce romance full of the stuff great rom-coms are made of.
Sara Desai has been a lawyer, radio DJ, marathon runner, historian, bouncer and librarian. She lives on Vancouver Island with her husband, kids and an assortment of forest creatures who think they are pets. Sara writes sexy romantic comedy and contemporary romance with a multicultural twist. When not laughing at her own jokes, Sara can be found eating nachos. Visit Sara at www.saradesai.com