Cover Image: The Dating Plan

The Dating Plan

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Member Reviews

I was looking forward to The Dating Plan since I first heard about it. This book was incredible. I was in a mild reading rut and it pulled me right out. The Dating Plan has some of the best tropes in the genre (I am a huge fan of older sibling's best friend, enemies to lovers/second chances). It's sweet, and steamy, and hilarious. I also love the way that Desai writes about family.

I can't wait to read more of Desai's writing! Thank you to Berkley, Netgalley & Sara Desai for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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Thank you so much to Berkley and Netgalley for a copy of The Dating Plan by Sara Desai 🌟🌟🌟
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First off: how beautiful is this cover?!
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This was a cute and steamy fake dating, a little bit of hate to love, second chance romance. I liked Daisy, a software engineer and Liam (who also happens to be her brothers past best friend). I also loved seeing Daisy’s extended family and how much they loved each other, and all the talk of food! There was a lot of humour in this book !
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This one was a little hit and miss for me. I felt like some parts of the story moved almost too fast and other parts dragged and were repeated often. I’m really not a fan of mis communication and there was a lot throughout  this novel. I understand why it happened in the past, I just wished that it was addressed earlier during the ‘present day’ timeline. I think we would have gotten to see more authentic relationship building this way which would have made me root for the couple more. I felt kind of like being in a relationship “fixed” a lot of things that I wish were maybe addressed professionally from a mental health stand point. I did like there was quite a bit of character development through out the novel.
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Content: alcoholism, addiction, domestic violence and child abuse - emotional and physical abuse - there are descriptions in forms of memories- one incident where child had to go to the hospital, death of a loved one, sexism, motor cycle accident leading to hospitalization, driving while intoxicated/high (discussed in a memory), infidelity (not main couple)
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DNF @ 20%

I’m just bored. 

It sucks because I was obviously really looking forward to this one and the reviews of it all over bookstagram were A+! I really wanted to push through but there was just so much talk of work, which would’ve been fine in increments but it really felt like that was all I got in that 20% alone. There’s also constant talk about parental abandonment and I just wish everyone would just stop and unpack. I hate thinking that it’ll again be brought up at the end as some sort of plot device. Not a fan of that.

My hopes were just too high!
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I really enjoyed this romcom. This book did have all the predictable tropes but it was still interesting and had great characters and dialogue. Daisy isn’t looking for a husband but her dad and aunties are definitely looking for one for her. Liam, her teenage crush, has re-entered her life after breaking her heart since he abandoned her on her prom night. After his grandfather’s death Liam learns he needs a wife to get his inheritance. Daisy and Liam realize they can both help each other with a fake marriage. I really liked these characters and their banter and the secondary characters were great. If you like romcoms check this one out.
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Her nerves ricochet around, banging against every internal organ and threatening to send her into a spontaneous combustion. She has a pitch she needs to get to in a conference room across the building and things are just not going her way. She’s sprinting as best she can in heels not made for an Olympic track meet. The conference room is just around the corner and she has a minute to spare... and then she runs headfirst into a rock hard chest. The worst part? It’s a man she can’t stand. The one man in the world that she loathes. This day can’t get worse... or can it?

The Dating Plan was such a fun read! Daisy was a delight of a character and I love reading about women in the tech world. Liam was also a hunk and you couldn’t help rooting for the two of them. As a rom-com it had its light, funny moments, but it also showcased some tough themes and how to work through feelings of failure and overcoming a difficult past.

If you’re a fan of the fake dating trope and second chance romances then I recommend giving this one a read!

TW: Physical and Emotional Abuse, Abandonment, Death of a Grandparent/Loved One, Motorcycle Accident, Feelings of Failure/Not Being Good Enough.
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✨Book Review- The Dating Plan by Sara Desai ✨

Thank you @berkleyromance for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review. 

What I Loved?
🌸 Daisy- I love seeing female characters who work in STEM. She is a bad ass software engineer who works her booty off for the company she believes in. I loved that it was a female hygiene company and that she was eventually named the CEO. 
🌸Enemies to lovers/fake engagement. Although this trope is so predictable, it’s one of my favorites! Sara Desai wrote it so well though! I liked that there were two reasons for the fake engagement- Daisy for her family but also Liam for his family. 
🌸 Just like I loved with The Marriage Game, I liked that this one was set in San Francisco. 

What I Disliked? 
🌸 Liam. Yeah, so I just didn’t connect with Liam. He just bugged me. The storyline with his brother just seemed to drag out. If the two brother just had a conversation, they could have figured it all out a whole lot faster. 
🌸 The whole motorcycle accident part. I mean, I guess It was a way for Liam to prove his love for Daisy. But it just seemed coincidental that the store owner was talking about crashes and they get in one.
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I am all for fake dating and relationships out of convenience, but for some reason The Dating Plan just fell flat for me. I wasn't particularly sold on Daisy and Liam's chemistry. I think this book was also a bit over the top for me, but I think this book will still resonate with a lot of readers.
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Trigger warning: Child and spousal abuse

Don’t be fooled into thinking this is a run-of-the-mill enemies-to-lovers romance. This one throws an emotional punch and then some. Yes, the set-up is that Liam Murphy broke Daisy Patel’s heart when he stood her up for her senior prom and then left town without a word. He was her brother’s best friend and a part of her family, so the devastation was worse because he not only rejected her, but her father and brother as well. When she accidentally runs into him 10 years later, she soundly rejects his friendly overture; that is, until he proposes a fake engagement. For him, it’s a way to save his family’s distillery and, for her, it means getting her well-meaning matchmaking aunties off her back and finding a way to save the start-up organic feminine products company she’s come to care about. However, as so often happens, the emotions become real and someone’s going to get hurt.

Where this diverges from the normal trope is in the story of their childhood traumas. Desai spares nothing in her descriptions of the damage caused by Liam’s abusive father and Daisy’s casually cruel mother who abandoned her at age 7. They’re both suffering under the mistaken belief that they’re not worthy of love, and it’ll take a near-tragedy and some painful confessions before they can have a chance of absolving themselves and each other.

Ultimately, this is a story of redemption, forgiveness, and the power of love and family to right the wrongs of the past. It’s also a steamy romance between a sexy math nerd who doesn’t see how powerful she can be and a broken man who has achieved professional success, in large part to spite the father who made it his life’s mission to pound any self-worth out of him. The juxtaposition of Daisy’s meddling, but loving Indian-American family against Liam’s emotionally-distant, alcohol-abusing Irish one feeds into negative stereotypes, but it’s integral to the story and not gratuitous or ill-intended. Desai does a commendable job of defining her characters and readers can’t help but root for these damaged souls to find love and contentment with each other. Highly recommended.

I received a complimentary ARC of this book from Berkley Publishing through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Opinions expressed are completely my own.
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This book was a super cute and quick read featuring one of my favorite tropes: fake dating. I don't know what it is about fake dating that just pulls me in. 

Daisy is super quirky and a huge Marvel fan. Her character was just so different from the typical romance character which made me adore her even more. Both Daisy and Liam have a lot of growing to do and with the help of each other, they're able to make major personal development strides. 

If you're looking for a feel good love story with the quirks of fake dating, this book is for you!
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Yesterday I finished this fun and adorable book which has some of my favorite tropes in it. I'm a sucker for the fake dating and fake fiance trope.  And this book nails it. 

It was a fast read with well developed loveable characters and light writing with just the right amount of clever humor. The main characters have depth and the dynamic between them was just perfect. They had a past together that was angsty and it was so fun to follow their journey. I loved how they showed growth both together and as well as individuals that had some struggles to overcome in their own lives.

I'm giving this book 4⭐. I'm not rating it higher its because I found the last part of this book more dramatic than it should've been. And even though it was fun, it's not the kind of book that will stay with me. Overall, this can be a great book when you need something light enough to lift up your mood or when you're slumping to get you back in the reading game.
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Absolutely loved the characters that were introduced in this title. It was very smart, funny, and sexy. A perfect romance novel.
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Loved the plot and the fake dating trope but I wasn’t a huge fan of Liam (he did grow on me over time). He seemed really immature with some of his jokes and at times Daisy did too. The writing is really good and Daisy’s family dynamics are funny with lots of love and laugh out loud moments.
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4.7 stars
This is the first book I have read by the author and it is an interesting mix of a contemporary, second chance romance while introducing the reader to another culture and its traditions. Daisy is a mid-twenties, successful software engineer who is being harassed by her family to find a man and get married. Things have gotten so bad that the level of finding someone has led to having her aunts doing double duty as matchmakers and showing up out of the blue with “acceptable” prospects. Liam is the childhood best friend of Daisy’s brother Sanjay and growing up, Daisy had the biggest crush on him. However, when a milestone in Daisy’s life happened, Liam was nowhere to be found leaving Daisy with feelings of resentment. Fast forward a few years, Daisy and Liam reconnect when they accidentally bump into each other at a conference. Times have changed and each one has his/her own crosses to bear. Will they make the decision to work together to solve both of their problems? Can Daisy get past her feelings towards Liam? Overall, this is one engaging, page turning storyline from beginning to end; not to mention a cute as a button dog. It will have you laughing in spots and there is some steam as well. If you enjoy reading enemies to lovers and fake relationship stories, then this is one to add to your reading list.
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This was not my favourite book by this author.  I found myelf skipping through, and then putting it aside to read again later. 

This is not about the book, but about me.
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I enjoyed this a lot! The fake romance trope felt familiar but well done, the STEM main character was relatable and interesting, and the romance was a good medium-steam. Will certainly appeal to rom com lovers with that cover, too!
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I really enjoyed reading this book. It was such a quick read and I really enjoyed it. I love a good second chance romance especially when its from childhood. I loved watching Daisy and Liam find love in each other and Liam reconnecting with his family. I love his and Sam's competitives over swords. It was an amazing read and I love learning a little more about Desi culture. I cannot wait to read the next book in the series.
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“We’re off to a bad start if he doesn’t know the difference between tampons and pads,” Mia murmured. “I definitely don’t want tampons with maximum adhesion.”

This book was laugh out loud funny.  It’s not often get a book featuring feminine products.  Daisy works for Organicare, a company that makes menstrual supplies and after going out to get some from a competitor for a demo, runs into Liam, the man who stood her up for her high school prom. 
Fake dating, second chances, misunderstandings—this book has them.  And I really enjoyed all of it.  These characters are adorable, they have great chemistry, and I am looking forward to going back to last year’s The Marriage Pact and getting more of Daisy. 
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Another terrific Patel family romance! I love this big Indian family full of crazy antics, hilarious aunties, supportive family and swoon worthy romances. This story has smart gal Daisy in a fake relationship with her teen heartthrob Liam. He was her brother's best friend and part of the family until he broke her heart and disappeared ten years ago. He's back and needs her help to save his grandfather's legacy distillery. They embark on a win-win fake relationship that's full of laughs, heartwarming revelations, and passionate kisses that leads to sizzling encounters. I love these slightly broken characters with their long history of friendship and secret crushes and love. It's exciting as the grow up Daisy and Liam discover that what they liked about each other ten years ago is still a factor today and the love is still there. Fantastic writing that kept me engaged and rooting for Daisy and Liam to get their HEA. I look forward to more from this talented author and her wonderful storytelling with all the laughs and fun, lively family and friends, and heartfelt romance I could want. Loved it!
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Daisy Patel has a job she likes and is content with her life, if only her aunties would stop trying to find her a spouse. And so what if her ex-boyfriend is dating her ex-boss.  She can handle it.  What she can't handle is literally running into the guy who stood her up ten years ago for Prom.  Him, she hasn't forgiven yet or forgotten. Her brother's best friend, her entire family holds a grudge against Liam Murphy for hurting Daisy and abandoning their family. 

When Liam Murphy finds out he needs to get married to inherit a beloved piece of family property, there's only one person he can ask to be a fake fiancé, and that's Daisy. Even though she is reluctant and still angry with him, Daisy sees a benefit too -- her aunties might stop with their arranged marriage proposals if she already has a fiancé. 

As Daisy plans their dates that will establish their fake relationship, sh has the opportunity to heal old wounds 
with Liam.  It isn't long before they are acting like old friends, bantering about everything. There's a real spark between these two characters that I absolutely loved about this story.  

I found myself laughing so many times while reading this book. Daisy is adorable as she tries so hard to stay mad at Liam and he tries hard to melt the walls she put around her after being stood up by him. He does have a good reason for breaking her heart that night, and he gives some great apology too.  It's clear from the start they still have feelings for each other, it's just going to take some work on Liam's part.

I just loved this -- it was so much fun, the aunties were hysterically funny, and Daisy's father was just the right mix of fatherly and forgiving.  This story warmed my heart in more than one way, and I can't recommend this book enough. If you are looking for a wonderfully romantic friends-to-enemies-to-friends-to-lovers story, The Dating Plan is a terrific choice.

A complementary copy was provided by the publisher. This is my honest review.
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I finished this in one night which says it all to be honest. Right from the start, the narration was so well done. I was instantly in love with Daisy. She was smart and funny and sarcastic and witty. I loved how relatable she was as a desi main character struggling to be independent while also wanting to be part of this huge community that desi families tend to have. 

I found myself laughing out loud with all the banter and jokes, especially the little ones about how the family gossiped. Most of the time when writing about desi family gossip, it feels pretty stereotypical, but Desai did a great job making this feel more wholesome and well meaning. You could truly see that while it could be a bit overwhelming have to deal with the family, Daisy knew they were just well meaning and trying to look out for her because she was family.

Now onto the fun stuff. I LOVED Liam and Daisy's relationship. It was so much fun to see childhood friends to lovers to enemies to lovers. The banter was top tier. the chemistry was off the charts. The pining! The angst! Just so much fun to read. While I personally didn't think the drama with prom and family stuff was as dramatic as I usually like from rom-coms, I do think this book just did such a good job fleshing out the characters and making them have their own individual problems and lives along with having them work so perfectly together!

Also, just the whole fake dating trope really makes me happy. I live for that and I think this trope was executed really well! The vibes were excellent and I would definitely recommend this to anyone who wants just some fun romance!
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