Cover Image: The Dating Plan

The Dating Plan

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Member Reviews

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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3.75*
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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This was fun and sexy - I hadn't read her other book, but I'm hooked now! Definitely a funny, witty, clever read.
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This is a fun and entertaining book....what can go wrong with a “Dating Plan”?  Liam and Daisy are adorable.  They were acquaintances via her brother when they were younger but neither one of them knew how the other felt....they were secretly crushing on each other. Liam hurt Daisy and she has never been able to forgive him.

As their paths cross unexpectedly many years later...the sparks are there but Daisy is still very angry.  As it turns out, they both need a favor and turn to each other to make a deal...a “Dating plan”.  I loved their characters and the surrounding cast.  I do feel Daisy’s grudge was a little over the top, but i get it and it made a good story! 

This is my first Sara Desai book and i look forward to reading her other books. 

I requested an arc and I am providing my honest review.
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*I received and ARC of this book free from Berkley Publishing Group via NetGalley.*

Daisy is a software engineer (aka tech nerd) who likes working in her quiet zone. When all that changes and she suddenly has co-workers all up in her space surprisingly she learns to adapt, even become friends with a few. I think that had a little something to do with Liam bringing her fun side back.

Liam was Daisy’s brother’s childhood best friend and her no-show prom date, which left her heartbroken and self-conscience. She never expected to run into him again. Or for them to be “engaged” five minutes later. But with a determined aunt dragging a possible suitor behind her and an ex-boss who stole her ex-boyfriend both barreling down on her at the same time she gets Liam to pretend they are together to same her from their antics.

Liam never thought he’d come back to town, but when is grandfather got sick he couldn’t stay away. With his passing though he left Liam’s gift with strings. He needed to be married, and only had two months to do so. Problem was the only one he’d ever cared about was the one he was fake engaged to for half a second and she ultimately still hated him for standing her up on prom and for staying away with no explanations.

Both needed something the other could assist with, but to make it an official business deal Daisy came up with a dating plan. One which Liam kept altering. But one which made them fall more in love with each other. Too bad it took an accident for either to admit it to the other.

The Dating Plan is a second chance romance mixed with crazy relatives, weird foods, and an entire story filled with people who care about one another.

I probably would have given it five stars, but there were typos that kept messing up my reading flow. Of course those were more than likely fixed prior to publication (or at least I would hope so).
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Fabulous contemporary womens fiction romance!! The gist of this storyline is not new by any means, but Sara’s special style and voice made it unique for me. I will say this tho, it still baffles me when I read second chance in a descriptor of an upcoming book and find out the first chance was barely even a blip. Honestly, that did put me off at first when I started reading, but I’ve read a ton of books by this author (Sarah Castille) and knew she would somehow bring it all together.

Once I started reading, I couldn’t stop; even thru my second chance eyeroll! Liam and Daisy were great together and I was rooting for them! They had fantastic chemistry in and out of the bedroom. Their story wasn’t merely a romance journey. It was deeper than that. It was emotionally charged, and I truly felt the struggles they were both dealing with from their pasts and even the here and now. Obviously I am not giving you any plot points, but if you know anything about the womens fiction genre, then you know everything I am trying to convey without me having to spell it out.

I am really enjoying this side of Sara (again, I know her as Sarah Castille) and look forward to more in the future.
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Daisy Patel, a software engineer, just wants to be successful in her field and not feel the pressure of her family trying to marry her off. Liam Murphy has something to prove, and needs to get married to inherit the family business. He realizes Daisy, his childhood crush (and childhood best friend's sister) is the perfect choice. One small hiccup - Daisy hates his guts.

The Dating Plan is an adorable rom-com with fun characters (ahem enemies to lovers), with lots of back story, chemistry, and relatable moments. Great for fans of fake dating/relationship tropes.

I highly recommend if you are new to the romance genre, or for fans already. The writing style is quick and easy to read, perfect to bust you out of a reading slump, and to make you feel good.

Thank you to Berkley Publishing Group and Netgalley for my gifted e-ARC copy in exchange for an honest review.
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Fake relationships are one of my favorite romance tropes so when I saw the description for The Dating Plan, I jumped at the chance to read it. Daisy Patel is a software engineer who has a plan for her life and it doesn't include getting married or falling in love, much to the unhappiness of her family. So she comes up with a plan to ask Liam Murphy, her childhood crush, to be her fake fiance. He benefits from the arrangement too because his inheritance is contingent on being married plus he's always wanted to reconnect with Daisy after he broke her heart as teenagers. Soon the fake dates they go on to make their relationship seem real.. start to feel real to them as well. But are they willing to admit that to themselves?

I thought the book had a strong start. As someone who was in the tech start-up world for a long time, a lot of those little details surrounding Daisy's job (and even Liam's to a certain extent) resonated with me. Not to mention, their meet-cute was truly hilarious. The dynamic between them were definitely there and I did find myself pretty amused at a handful of moments. But the book and story just progressively waned and even dragged at some points, which was surprising given that it's a short book. It felt very superficial and never dug too deep with character development. Instead the author chose to emphasize just certain aspects of their personalities like Daisy being a nerd or Liam having a past. It made them caricatures instead of fully-realized characters. And if can't connect to at least one of the protagonists, it makes it difficult to connect to the romance and story overall. 

Do I recommend? I think there are better fake relationship books out there if you also enjoy that trope. I ended up giving this 2.5 stars which for me translates to as just "okay" and ultimately forgettable.
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"Anytime you are with me you should expect to be ravished. Come prepared. Leave the Avengers at home." 


The Dating Plan was rom com that had just enough of an underling meaning.
Daisy has loved Liam for as long as she can remember... until he left her standing alone at prom with no date and no excuse. Now she's dedicated 10 years to hating him.

But Liam may have the perfect proposition for her. Fake an engagement. Yes the ole' fake relationship trope.


TDP was the perfect mix and sweet, salty and a bit of heat 🔥 with its nerdy quips, melt your heart one liners, and HEA.

Read if you love:
-supporting diverse authors that ROCK
-learning a little about what its like to be a part of a large asian family
-avenger jokes
- the nerdy girl gets the hot guy
-the proposal vibes (with less to the wind to the wall)

-feel good romances

What I missed:
- for some reason I just felt unattached to the more serious topics. Idk if it was the timing or maybe I needed more but I craved more of these two being fun and wild together.

Rating:
story-⭐️⭐️⭐️💫
characters-⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
trope- fake dating/ enemies to lovers
steam- "alright my friends, this one goes out to all those broken headboards out there!"


🎼Song: Kiss Me Slowly by Parachute 🎼
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Sara Desai's The Dating Plan takes on the trope of "fake dating" with fresh perspective. Fierce software engineer Daisy Patel is in need of a way to stop the endless stream of suitors from her well-intentioned, but overbearing aunties. Liam Murphy is in need of an engagement fast if he has any hope of saving his family's distillery. While these two have a history, they both think their personal, pragmatic motives can keep them from getting into too much trouble. But, we know how these things go. Enter chemistry and watch the sparks fly. 

What gets in the way is a lot of miscommunication and secrets and lies. Will they be able to overcome these obstacles?

Many thanks to the author, NetGalley, and the publisher for sharing a copy of this book with me. All thoughts are my own.
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The Dating Plan is the follow-up to last year’s The Marriage Game. This is Daisy’s story, Layla’s quirky super smart cousin. After reading and enjoying The Marriage Game and finding out that this book would feature the fake dating/engagement trope I couldn’t help but ask for a copy for review.

I liked this book. I liked Daisy and her fun personality and loving nature. She works for a start-up company writing code and is surrounded by a great group of secondary characters. She is paired with her brother’s BFF, her childhood crush Liam, who broke her heart when he bailed on their prom date and then stayed away for ten years. He shows up at the exact wrong time and inserts himself into a touchy situation. Daisy lets him know really quickly that he is the very last person she ever wants to see again.

Only he shows back up with a proposition… become his fiancee and then stay married to him for a year. This will help him save his inheritance and she will get her family, who keeps throwing eligible men her way, off her back for good. He will also help by lending a hand to the struggling start-up she works for.

I wasn’t sure if I would like Liam at first, he was a bit of an ass. (I HATED his brother so much). But he and Daisy did have chemistry and a whole history that helped me see them as a couple. Each chapter starts with some fun back and forth texts and I started to look forward to each new date and seeing how they would play out. The ending was nicely done and a great wrap-up to this love story.

My only gripe is that EVERYONE seemed to know that their relationship started out as fake. I wanted fake shenanigans! All in all, The Dating Plan was a quick, easy, enjoyable read and I am looking forward to reading more books in this world.
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