Cover Image: The Dating Plan

The Dating Plan

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Member Reviews

Cw: conversations about domestic violence and child abuse and abandonment 

Synopsis: Daisy was left stranded at prom night ten years ago by her brothers best friend (& love of her high school life), Liam. Fast forward to present time - Daisy is at a convention when she runs into Liam. Different life events all happening at once force them to make a dating plan for a fake engagement. I feel like this is three tropes combined into a book. A little enemies to lovers, a little second chance romance, with a lot of fake dating! 

This was my first Sara Desai book and it was lovely! Y’all this book was so fun! A realistic romance? Not necessarily, but the drama made it so fun. I love a book that makes me yelp and laugh out loud. The Steam level on this was just right for me. Definitely an open door romance and it was sizzling hot! Like they broke her bed if that tells you anything. I honestly think this would make a great romcom on screen. I love the way Indian customs and culture were intertwined in these pages. 

Also, the food!! Y’all know I love description of food in books. I just tried Indian food for the first time the other day and it was soooo good. Did I take notes while reading so I can make sure I order certain dishes next time? Absolutely. Hold the extra spicy though!
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This book! I adored it so much. I felt so seen. These characters were perfect and quirky and funny. This whole book was the perfect balance of everything good. The snack references ( Kurkure for the win!), the Survivor reference, the love of Marvel, it was all so wonderful. Seriously. Read this book.
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I couldn't put The Dating Plan down! It was so much fun to go a little outside the conventional rom com read and experience some diversity of characters (I'm getting so tired of the same ol' type of leading lady), with Daisy's over-involved Indian-American family bringing some much needed levity to the story of two broken people finding happiness. A cast of wonderful, quirky side characters has me hoping there will be more books in this series to follow (and you better believe I'll be picking up the first in the series, The Wedding Plan, as soon as possible),

I'm not sure of Sara Desai's ethnic background but she did a great job immersing the story in Indian-American culture and cuisine and with a dash of Marvel and bad-boy biker... who can resist? 

Be forewarned, reader, there are a handful of steamy scenes that will knock your socks off.
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This was a solid romance! I wasn’t totally in love it with it but there wasn’t anything wrong with it either and I’m glad I read it. I think some of the pacing was a bit off and not all of the timeline made sense but overall I do recommend it.

This is definitely a character driven book and I think it really nailed it in that regard. Daisy felt a little cliche as a sexy geeky girl but she still managed to be endearing as hell and I ended up loving her as a protagonist. I’m a sucker for a bad boy so I fell for Liam immediately. Daisy’s family definitely stole the show though. All the aunties and uncles were so fun and I really felt like I was in a big Indian family. The food descriptions were *chefs kiss* (though maybe not shark soup (iykyk)).

Daisy and Liam had great chemistry and good banter between them. I found myself physically chuckling and smiling quite often. There was also a handful of sexy scenes that were pretty decent (that scene at the bar though... 🤤)

If you like hate to love, fake dating, and second chance romance, I think you’ll really like this.
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Both main characters are lovely.  Especially Daisy.  She is quirky, smart, and funny.  Her development throughout the book is wonderful to experience. Chemistry is great between them and it is a sweet story.  I loved the little bits of Indian culture, too.
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I loved Daisy’s character in The Marriage Game and enjoyed reading her HEA with childhood love Liam Murphy.  

Daisy is surrounded by her matchmaking Aunties and it is so much fun reading about the desi community and the descriptions of the delicious Indian food.

Another winner for Sara Desai.
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A very breezy romance, The Dating Plan has Daisy-- a coder who can't bear to face her interfering aunties' chosen suitors-- craft a scheme with her teenaged crush Liam to fake-date/marry for appearances only. The writing style is light and beachy, and Desai aims to round out her characters in their cultures, dotting in great-sounding Indian food (Daisy) and a lot of fairly hackneyed whiskey-soaked Irishness (Liam) to the story. Everything that happens is on the far side of fetched, which wasn't a great fit for me as a reader. Recommended for those who connect with stories with a high level of wish-fulfillment and don't mind a lot of darkness around the edges.
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The Dating Plan wasn't at all what I was expecting.  Daisy and Liam as characters both walk the line of cliche, but Desai gives them the dimension they need to not be predictable and flat. I enjoyed this one and I think readers will as well.  There is a hefty inclusion of Indian culture (and a bit of Irish culture, as well), but it is fairly well done compared to similar books in this genre.
Great for readers who want to root for a geeky girl and a misunderstood 'bad guy' making good on the wrong-doings of their past.  
Thanks for the ARC!
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This was a nice, light read. No big surprises, but a fresh take on the trope. The charcters were well crafted.
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This was a quick and easy read with lots of great moments and I loved Daisy's family's dynamics.  That said it did feel a bit disjointed at parts and sometimes the tech jargon took me out of the story (maybe this is because of my tech background). If you love a good second chance romance, fake relationship, or enemies to lovers definitely check this one out.
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In The Dating Plan software engineer Daisy Patel is an endearing geek challenged in the emotional intelligence department. Desai unfortunately goes a little overboard in sprinkling technical terms and complex workplace dynamics which result in a choppy narrative.
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Daisy is a super-smart software engineer who's a little bit smothered by her big, loving Indian-American family. Liam is a successful venture capitalist who yearns for love and acceptance from his fractious Irish-American family. They knew each other as kids, and were very close. At the beginning of the book, they reconnect in a very unconventional way, and to make a long story short, they agree to be one another's fake fiance. A fun premise, and very well executed by this author, who writes with such heart and humor and creates completely lovable characters.  The fiance situation may be fake, but this story could not be more genuine. I can think of so many readers who will enjoy the smart, snappy dialog, the humor, the fast pace of the plot, the intriguing secondary characters, and the Bay Area setting. Readers who have enjoyed books by Helen Hoang, Sophie Kinsella, Talia Hibbert, Jasmine Guillory and Emily Henry will love this.
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The Dating Plan is a romance novel following Daisy Patel, an introverted, computer software engineer, whose family is trying to set her up – being twenty-seven and single is unacceptable – and Liam Murphy, a venture capitalist out to found his unicorn of products. These two had a past 10 years ago, but when a chance encounter brings them back together, sparks begin to fly. But will they be able to fake being fiancés when feelings begin to reemerge. 

Although this novel description says the book is “hilarious”, I didn’t find myself smiling or laughing very often. The characters had some deep scars, that traversed even into the light-hearted scenes. Overall, I liked the two main characters as individuals, but I couldn’t really grasp what they saw in each other expect: I liked you since we were teenagers (she’s smart and he was a “bad boy”). I didn’t feel like the whole dating plan transitioned through the book well, like there needed to be a little to it – it’s the title of the book and I didn’t think it was captured well. Also, I don’t really care for Marvel Comics and this is the third romance novel I have read recently with female characters who are obsessed with it. 

All that to say, the family dynamics and family issues played an important role. I really like the quirky family characters. I still wonder though how none of the aunties knew Liam if he was over at the Patel house all the time for 8 years while growing up. I knew my best friends’ family well and her family didn’t seem as close as the Patel’s were. 

Overall, two things that really brought a smile to my face in this book: 1) Jaxon and 2) a bus stop near the end. Otherwise, this book really wasn’t for me. I didn’t really connect with characters and had a hard time believing their feelings for each other. 

Thanks to Berkley Publishing Group and Netgalley for giving the opportunity to access this ARC.
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I enjoyed Sara Desai's debut The Marriage Game so I was delighted to see the smart and quirky Daisy starring in her own story.

Daisy enjoys the world of writing code - dodging the endless parade of men her aunties want her to meet and possibly marry. Daisy's heart was broken when her older brother's high school bestie stood her up at her senior prom. Liam disappeared and Daisy hasn't been the same.

Daisy's having one of those days. She's with her ill-prepared boss at a conference, looking for investors when he asks her to get supplies for their demo. "Supplies" equals every maxi pad in the restroom's vending machine. Bonus? She can hear her former boss and recent ex-boyfriend having sex in a stall. So it's a trifecta when she trips as she's leaving the restroom, pads flying everywhere. Only to end up in long lost Liam's arms.

The still gorgeously hot Liam who broke her heart. Behind Liam? Because this is a trifecta plus, is one of her aunties with a prospective husband for her.

So Daisy does what anyone would do - pretends Liam is her fiance and kisses him. The sparks fly but her heart's still hurting. 

Liam has reasons of his own to want a fauxmance. To inherit his family's distillery and save it from demolition, he has to get married in two months.

I loved the antics of both families - Liam's eccentric Irish relatives and Daisy's Desi extended family with their loving but interfering ways. The descriptions of the food and clothing were fun (except the one auntie's dreadful "fusion" dishes).

This is a steamy faux-to-real romcom. Yay for seeing a successful woman in a STEM job. Even better that she's a WOC. The banter between Liam and Daisy was sparkling at times and very raw and real other times. The writing is fast-paced. There are some angsty parts but it's well balanced with all of the fun bits.

CW: Domestic violence comes up multiple times.

Thank you NetGalley and Berkley for the ARC.
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Fake relationship, childhood crush, sign me up! I loved this quick and hilarious book. The banter between Daisy and Liam was spot on. The chemistry was everything you want in main characters. I will definitely be reading more by Sara Desai.
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Loved the representation here and a quirky nerdy MC of color in a STEM field who was also cute and sexy makes me happy. Women can be smart, nerdy, and fashionable! Yay! The childhood crush to enemy to lover has been done before but this is really cute and the author did a great job creating chemistry and snappy dialogue. I think the big bust up was a bit overblown. I get that Liam has a trigger but I think his reaction didn't feel organic. 

I actually enjoyed this so much I went back and read the author's first novel about the Patels. I was really impressed with how much the author improved and evolved in just her second book. I definitely look forward to reading the next installment!
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Excellently plotted with great main characters. The chemistry between them is off the charts. Loved it!
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Daisy was heartbroken when her prom date Liam stood her up and she never saw him again.  A decade later they run into each other.  Daisy still hates Liam and never wants to see him again but in a strange twist of fate, Liam is in need of a wife to access his inheritance and Daisy needs a reason to get her matchmaking aunts off her back.  To make their engagement look authentic, they go on a series of dates where little by little they start to fall for one another.  This was a fun chick lit book to read, not too sappy and with some funny moments along the way.  I liked how the main character is proud of her Indian heritage and lots of mentions of her culture were mentioned throughout the story.
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The Dating Plan was a fun read. Great characterization, witty dialog, and a caring yet eccentric cast of family members all make the fake engagement trope work. It is a plus when a romcom novel provides food for thought regarding human relationships along with the romance and humor. The Dating Plan delivers on that. However, I found it to be a little bit in my face toward the end. Excellent perspectives on life, success, friends, and family were (just a little) weakened by how much time we spent in the main characters’ heads as they pondered those lessons. Overall? This book was a delight.
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I enjoyed this book more than the first one. I loved the dynamic between the two characters. The childhood crush and fake relationship made this story sweet. I loved Daisy's obsession with the Avengers, and Liam was swoonworthy.
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