Cover Image: The Dating Plan

The Dating Plan

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Member Reviews

I love a heroine with a really cool, badass job! Loved seeing that Daisy is a software engineer! I loved the fake fiancé, fake marriage aspect to the romance between Daisy and Liam. What didn't work was Daisy and this kind of annoying grudge that after all this time would make total sense if she were over it but she's not and Liam.. I think we were supposed to shrug Liam's jerkiness off as no big deal but it was hard to look past. I almost DNF'd it. He just kept putting down the things that Daisy enjoys. Low key tacky. I really loved Sara Desai's previous book though and while this was good, I hope what comes next is better.
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This book really had everything you want in a romance read — good sex, family drama, intrigue — and it even checks TWO of the common romance trope boxes (enemies to lovers and fake dating)! So what more could you want?!

I did kinda feel like it dragged in just a couple places and maybe was just a tad bit long but I think overall it was a lovely read. I thought both characters were realistic and I always enjoy a book that exposes me to cultures I'm not super familiar with.
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4 stars = Great! Might re-read.

This is a fun and funny story with great characters with lots of baggage. I enjoyed all of the family pieces of this, and Daisy's work was interesting as well. I would have like more from the "big" reveal at the end (which wasn't so much of a surprise to the reader, but was set up to be a big deal for the story), but overall I enjoyed this one! (Language, sex, TW: child abuse, domestic violence, abandonment)
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Such a cute story. I loved the characters and it was filled with many adorable funny moments and dialogue. I’ll be checking out other books by Sara Desai.
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This was a cute and fun read! Great palate cleanser and also a romcom where I was actually invested in the characters.

I think what I liked best was the diversity and cultural backgrounds provided on both families. This aspect made it stand out for me. I was also happy to have another lead female in the STEM field (similar to The Boyfriend Project). I appreciated how Daisy also didn't NEED a man in her life to survive and she was independent and capable on her own. Her love of The Marvel Universe made me laugh and was a nice touch as well.

This was my first Sara Desai book and I can't wait to read another! Many thanks to Berkley Books, Netgalley and the author for the widget in exchange for an honest review.

Review Date: 04/14/21
Publication Date: 03/16/21
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I totally loved this book. I loved the romance in this book it was sweet and adorable. Character of a Daisy is well crafted. I do recommend it.
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This book was cute. I won’t say I loved it, but it was definitely entertaining. I just didn’t connect with the characters the way I like to.
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Daisy Patel is single, happy and is sick of the “impromptu” arrangements that aunties make at family events to set her up with a boy. Liam is an old friend of Daisy’s brother. Liam too is sick of matchmaking. After meeting him in a party, they both plan to escape these aunties thereby becoming a fake-dating pair. But more they talk, faking is getting hard! 

The story was entertaining, especially the parts with aunties, it was authentic. If you’re an Indian woman in her 20s-30s you would’ve met such characters in your life. They are annoying and sometimes slightly funny! With the fake dating trope getting more popular, I think the story frame and telling are good. But it took me a while to get into the story which was a minus! Overall a good summer read if you like romance novels. 


This is my voluntary review for an eARC provided by Berkley & Netgalley.
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Unfortunately this book was not for me. While the characters had their quirky moments, I struggled to connect with them. They felt flat to me and the dialog somewhat forced. I think some would enjoy this, but this rom/com was just not for me. I would definitely give this author another try.
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Fluffy fake relationship rom com from an #ownvoices author. Overall a decent read, but not my usual choice of genre. Characters likeable for the most part, but lacked depth. Banter between protagonists and secondary characters well done. Thank you to NetGalley and Berkeley Publishing for the ARC!
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This was SUCH a wonderful romance! I loved the banter between Liam and Daisy, and their chemistry was totally fire! This book gave me such happy & fun vibes, and made me feel so warm and fuzzy. One of my favorite romances of the last year.
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After a bit of a slow start, waiting for the characters to grab me, I was getting worried. I wasn’t feeling the chemistry…. then suddenly everything changed. And the heat was on!🔥

Daisy Patel is doing her best to avoid all her Aunties. They keep ambushing her everywhere she goes with eligible young men in tow. What drastic measures will she need to take in order to stop the loving (yet meddling) aunties.

Liam Murphy is an old family friend. He was best friends with Daisy’s brother growing up. And Daisy always had the biggest crush on him. When he offered to escort he to her prom she was over the moon. That is until he stood her up, and was never heard from again.

Liam needs to find a wife. His grandfather’s will states that he can inherit the family distillery if he is married before his next birthday and remains married for one year. Only problem is Liam doesn’t even have a girlfriend at the moment, and his birthday is only months away.

When Daisy and Liam collide at a work event. Maybe they can help each-other out with an “arrangement”.

The sparks between the two are still there. But can Daisy forgive Liam for leaving her on her prom night? Can they keep this as a business arrangement?

It was definitely worth the wait to see the chemistry build between these characters! I loved Daisy’s family and her well meaning yet obtrusive Aunties.

Looking Forward to reading more from this author.

Posted to: https://books-are-a-girls-best-friend...

Thank you to Berkley Publishing via NetGalley for an ARC to read and review.
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Loved this book. It was the perfect mix of quirky and funny. The character growth was a delight and the chemistry was off the charts.
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One dating trope I will never get bored of: fake dating. Give me give me more. I loved how sweet this one was.
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Daisy Patel and Liam Murphy already have a story and unfortunately, it’s not of the happily ever get after variety. So when they bump into each other years later, Daisy isn’t interested in writing a new chapter. She’s over Liam standing her up at the prom all those years ago. Totally. Sort of. 

Liam meanwhile has never really stopped thinking about Daisy, the one that got away. Circumstances beyond his control prevented him from being there that night.  It’s also circumstances he could never really explain, resulting in losing Daisy in the process.

In the present day, they are both successful, up and coming professionals. However, that doesn’t stop Daisy’s doting family from trying to find her the perfect love match. So when Liam sees an opportunity to right a wrong and help his own situation in the process, he offers to stand in as Daisy’s fake fiancé. But what happens when playing pretend starts to feel like the real thing?

This story does not waste any time. Just a few pages in Daisy and Liam are abruptly reunited. The stage is set for their tumultuous past and their will they/won’t they banter is firmly established. Soon there after we cut to the fake fiancé trope. One might say the fake relationship thing is overdone, but I’m ok with it when it’s done right.

What didn’t work for me was the rushed nature of it all. On page one, Daisy is in a bathroom avoiding an awkward confrontation with an ex. A few pages later the focus shifts to awkward confrontations with Liam. The fake fiancé bit is introduced far too quickly for me to feel invested.

The success of books like these is predicated on the buy in. I found the whole “stood me up at the prom” angle a bit flimsy to build such a strong grudge around. If nothing else, the explanation easily diffuses any angst. The rest of the story circles around Liam and Daisy wanting to be together with both of them hiding behind their physical desires and petty jealousies. The frustrating inner dialogues of stories like these are more the norm than the exception. It’s a personal preference, I just like more friction and build up than a lot of these stories deliver.

The Dating Plan is a decent read with some witty back and forth banter. I just found myself wanting a little bit more.
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Como vocês já sabem, essa resenha é em parceria com a Random House Internacional, de quem recebemos esse eARC (Advance reading copy: algo como “uma cópia de leitura avançada, ou seja, o livro ainda pode sofrer alterações antes de ser publicado). Também lembrando que essa resenha terá um formato diferente: por ser um ARC, não haverão quotes, já como os livros podem sofrer mudanças em seu texto antes de serem comercializados. Gostaríamos de agradecer profundamente a Editora pela oportunidade de parceria.

Imagine que você teve uma grande decepção amorosa anos atrás e depois disso nunca teve um relacionamento satisfatório e agora sua família que é sempre tão presente e que não te deixa em paz sobre isso, está tentando fazer de tudo para que você arrume um relacionamento e se case antes que “seja tarde”. Juntando isso também tem um ex-namorado e uma ex-chefe que se envolveram e estão lá na mesma conferência que você. É assim que começa a história de “The Dating Plan”.

Daisy Patel está tendo um dia infernal, tendo que apresentar o produto da startup que ela faz parte para conseguirem um empréstimo que vai tirar a empresa do vermelho, dando de cara com seu ex-namorado que a trocou pela sua ex-chefe, e ainda juntando a isso tem uma tia que foi até a conferência “por coincidência” para apresentar a ela um possível futuro namorado. E então que Daisy esbarra com ele. Liam Murphy. O cara que partiu seu coração anos atrás na noite do baile, aquele que ela amava profundamente e que simplesmente sumiu sem dar noticias.

Ao mesmo passo que Daisy está passando por tudo isso, Liam descobre que seu avô deixou para ele em seu testamento a destilaria da família para que ele pudesse dar continuidade ao legado, porém, conhecendo o neto que tem, ele estipulou uma regra: para a destilaria pertencer a Liam, ele teria que estar casado no dia do aniversário dele já (que estava apenas alguns meses de distância) e também teria que continuar casado para provar que era um relacionamento real.

É aí que Liam vê a chance da vida dele: ele não quer um relacionamento verdadeiro, tudo que ele quer é apenas a chance de salvar o legado da família, então porque não pedir ajuda de Daisy, a única garota no mundo que ele tem certeza absoluta que o odeia o bastante para não querer se relacionar com ele e não exigir dele um amor que ele definitivamente não está disposto a dar?

Daisy, é claro, se vê encurralada, mas aí chega a chance dela mudar tudo: como Liam trabalha em uma empresa de investimentos, ela casando com ele pode não só tirar sua família de suas costas, para que parem de tentar casar ela com qualquer homem que cruzasse seu caminho, mas também tinha a oportunidade de tirar sua empresa do vermelho. E é assim que ela aceita entrar nesse falso namoro, com todo um plano de encontros para fazer parecer crível a relação deles, mas também com MUITAS regras. O que pode dar errado, não é mesmo?

Eu já falei várias vezes que clichês são coisas que não me incomodam, pelo contrário. Apesar de preferir suspense e terror, eu gosto de às vezes ter aquele quentinho no coração de uma boa comédia romântica e é exatamente isso que “The Dating Plan” entrega. Recheado de uma boa dose de “childhood friends” para “enemies-to-lovers” e “fake dating”, os melhores e maiores quadros do clichê, se você me perguntar, tudo que esse livro faz você sentir é amor e vontade de ler ainda mais.

Daisy é uma personagem tão boa de acompanhar. A forma com a qual ela pensa e ela se apresenta o livro todo, é muito difícil não entender porque ela carrega tanta mágoa de Liam mesmo anos depois (porque claro que muita gente pode imaginar que ser abandonada na noite do baile é algo que não tem tanta importância, ainda mais considerando que aqui no Brasil não existe exatamente esse costume de bailes escolares), vendo tudo que ela já passou até ali e os motivos que levam ela a pensar que não é boa o bastante, você consegue compreender bem o que se passa na cabeça dela.

Liam, no início, eu estava confusa porque não queria acreditar que ele tinha simplesmente sido um imbecil que tinha abandonado ela no passado, mas é óbvio que tudo sempre tem um motivo e o dele só me fez gostar dele ainda mais. Ele é bem aquele tipo de cretino que todos nós amamos enquanto lemos, cheio de gracinhas e de vontade de quebrar regras e tira Daisy total de sua bolha de segurança.

O relacionamento dos dois vai se desenvolvendo enquanto o livro passa e você simplesmente não consegue não torcer para que eles se entendam e fiquem juntos. Você deseja que eles simplesmente CONVERSEM e coloquem em palavras os sentimentos e confusões que sentem e a conclusão é muito maravilhosa.

Se você tem apreço por uma boa dose de todos os tipos de clichês, de piadas inteligentes e um romance de aquecer o coração, esse com toda a certeza do mundo é o livro certo pra você!

Thanks for the free book, Penguin Random House International.
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The Dating Plan is a cute romance that I was just in the mood for! What first drew me into this book was its beautiful cover, but the inside ended up being just as good! I really love the fake boyfriend/fiancé/marriage trope so The Dating Plan checked all the boxes. The writing and the story kept me intrigued the entire time. The characters came alive on the page and I couldn’t get enough of them. They were so adorable together! The is a first time author to me, but I can’t wait to read her first book, The Marriage Plan.
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“The world is a lonely place full of lonely people. If you find someone you can connect with, someone who can take you out of yourself and bring you joy, you can’t let it go.”

Are you a fan of the fake dating trope? Hate to love romance? Well then Sara Desai’s new novel The Dating Plan is the right book for you! After publishing The Marriage Game in 2020, Sara Desai is back with a new light-hearted novel set in the same world but with new characters as the main focus of the story. Even though the characters from one book can also be found in the other, each is independent and can be read without having read the other.

In The Dating Plan we follow the relationship between Daisy and Liam. Daisy Patel is a software engineer and she has her routines and always follows logic. She analyses everything and doesn’t allow herself to get too involved—whether it’s with a partner or with work colleagues— as it’s better that way in case they leave, or in case she does. On the other hand, Liam works as an investor and is still affected by old wounds. Coming from an abusive household, Liam used to spend his time at Daisy’s house when he was a kid. He was Daisy’s  brother’s best friend and was treated like family. That’s why when Liam stood Daisy up on her prom night, things changed completely. Liam disappeared and Daisy’s heart was crushed.

Years later, Daisy’s family is pressuring her to get married and are preparing an arranged marriage for her. Meanwhile, Liam needs to get married to inherit his grandfather’s distillery. That’s why when Daisy and Liam bump into each other at her office, they decide to come up with a plan to get both of their families off their backs by pretending to be engaged. Even though 10 years have passed since prom night, Daisy still hates Liam with a passion and Liam still secretly likes her. Daisy loves a good plan and schedule so she comes up with the dating plan. They will go on a series of dates to make the relationship seem genuine in the eyes of other people and they establish a set of rules to not steer off the plan: no feelings attached, no sex, and things they each of them wants from this arrangement. But, when do things go according to plan? This couple is in for a ride…

Even though the plot is nothing groundbreaking and it’s a very typical one, it’s the themes it discusses and the interesting characters that set it apart. Both Daisy and Liam have some trauma issues as Daisy’s mother left their family and she’s always thought it was because of her as she was weird for the things she liked. On the other hand, Liam is quite lost and struggles with self worth, his dad was abusive and repeatedly told him he was worthless. The reactions and habits from each character were realistic for someone with trauma. Their flaws are one of the main focuses of the stories and so is their personal development. Both Daisy and Liam went through a big change throughout the story, and it’s great to see them grow confident by the end of the book. Their relationship is nice and cute and they balance each other out. Speaking of balance, the author did a great job balancing the more serious topics with the light-hearted and romantic moments. The tragic and deep topics are not explored in great lengths though, just enough to understand why each character is the way they are and chose the paths that they did.

The book is also very family-oriented as The Patels are such a big family, very close with one another. Daisy’s aunties can be a bit annoying when trying to set her up with men she doesn’t want anything to do with, but it’s understandable since it’s something that exists in some cultures; however, they obviously mean no harm and their heart is always in the right place. On the other side, Liam’s family is more complicated and they are also a big family, but they’re dealing with old problems as well as grief and inheritance issues, which is never easy. But throughout the book, we see how the relationships change and progress for the better.

All in all, The Dating Plan is a cute and fun read that will distract you from reality for a little while. Predictable at times but perfect for those who may be looking for something light to read!
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Daisy Patel works as a software engineer at a startup company. When she’s at a tech conference to find funding, she runs into her old boss (who is now dating Daisy’s ex) and her aunt (who has brought an eligible bachelor to introduce to Daisy). Daisy runs right into a childhood friend, Liam, who she hates. Liam was Daisy’s brother’s best friend, but after he stood her up for her prom, she never heard from him again. In the spur of the moment, she kisses him to get away from her former boss and her aunt. When Liam realizes he needs a fiancé to get his inheritance from his grandfather, he asks Daisy to be his fake fiancé in exchange for helping her company. Daisy puts together a dating plan so they can convince their families that they are really engaged before they get married. It will take a lot for Daisy to forgive Liam for what he did to her when they were teens but they both need their fake engagement to work out.

The fake dating trope is one of my favourites. The characters have to keep many secrets from others and from each other. Some of these secrets were kept until the end, such as the real story behind why Liam didn’t go to the prom with Daisy.

I loved the families in this story. Both Daisy and Liam had large extended families who were involved in their relationship. Neither of their families believed they are actually getting married so quickly because it doesn’t seem like something they would do. Liam’s family was visiting following the death of his grandfather. They were a loud, funny, boisterous family. Daisy’s family was very big. She had relatives that worked all over the city, at every place she visited with Liam. It was so funny to see how she had connections everywhere. I really enjoyed seeing their large, entertaining families.

This was a fun rom com!

Thank you Berkley Books for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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The concise opening chapter was so perfectly done—tone, character introduction, getting the ball rolling structure-wise—that I went out yesterday and bought the physical book. Brava.
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