Cover Image: The Dating Plan

The Dating Plan

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Member Reviews

I just finished reading The Dating Plan by Sara Desai which had the ultimate fake dating trope! Two ex-childhood friends must fake date (and soon get married!) in order to achieve their professional and family goals.
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I loved the characters in this book so much! Both of the main characters, Daisy and Liam, are fun and funny yet have things that they’re working through. They have issues in their relationship that they must work through together, but they also each have personal feelings and pasts that they must confront individually. I loved how all of the paths intersected and made the story what it was.
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As well, the romance in general was so great! They already have loads of chemistry from their past and it’s just amped up by 1000 due to their fake engagement. The swoony-ness was there along with a few steamy bits. I felt the overall balance in the romance between fun, swoony, and steamy was well done.
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I wish there had been a little more description when it came to what the character was feeling in that instant or how the situation was playing out, but that’s pretty much my only complaint.

Overall, this was a lovely and lively contemporary romance with a little bit of everything for everyone. Come one, come all!
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Put this on your TBR as your next steamy romance.

Happy Publication Day to The Dating Plan by @saradesaiwrites

I love Sara’s books! They always make me laugh out loud and have great happy tears moments. This one also made me blush. I’ve read some pretty steamy books before and usually I don’t get too overwhelmed by romcom scenes but this one was very very good!

Okay so besides that the book is about Daisy Patel a software engineer who enjoys all things logical and routine. She likes numbers and analyzing everything. She does NOT like Liam Murphy. In fact she hates him with a strong passion. Liam is truly sorry for what he did but is also wanting to keep his distance from his childhood crush.

They bump into each other at her office one day and very soon they both realize that they need something from the other. Liam needs a wife in order to get his inheritance and Daisy needs a man so that her Aunties stop setting her up.

Together they form a no feelings attached dating plan...that does not go according to anyone’s plan lol.

This was a fun fake dating/hate to love romance which is my favourite! It was wonderfully balanced with serious moments, romantic twists and intimate scenes. It’s definitely one to add to your list!
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Daisy Patel has had a crush on her brother's best friend, Liam Murphy, since she was a teenage girl.  When Liam asked Daisy to her high school prom, she was over the moon, until he stood her up and then disappeared from their lives.  Now, ten years later he suddenly shows up in her life at a convention along with her ex-boss, who is dating her ex-boyfriend; and her Salena Auntie who has a guy she brought along as possible husband material.  So what does Liam do?  He kisses Daisy and plays along that they are engaged!  

It also turns out that when Liam's grandfather passed away, part of his will states that Liam must get married by his 30th birthday, which is in a few months, in order to claim his inheritance.  Thus starts The Dating Plan.  Daisy and Liam come up with a list of fake dates they will go on to get everyone to believe that they are really dating.  Then they'll get married for a year and divorce after that.  Problem is is that the fake dating turns real pretty quickly.

Just when it looks like everything is going according to plan, of course, everything falls apart.  It will take a lot of soul searching for both of these two to find their happy ever after, but it will be worth it in the end.

Overall I enjoyed this story.  I could relate a lot to Daisy.  Liam was a fun add to the mix to her very controlled life.  I really loved Daisy's crazy family too and they made for a lot of laugh out loud moments.
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4 Star review The Dating Plan by Sara Desai
Sara Desai is a new author to me and how I have not come across this author before I have no idea. I was intrigued be the blurb when I read this second chance at love story and found it to be well written and an entertaining story. 
This is Daisy Patel and Liam Murphy’s story. These two have history as Liam broke her heart many years ago by standing her up at her prom. Daisy has never forgiven him and Liam has never forgotten Daisy, for him she is the one who got away. However, sometimes you have to do things you would rather not and Daisy is at this point, thanks to her matchmaking relatives who will not give up. 
When Liam learns the terms of his grandfather’s will and that he needs to be married, he is shocked. He is even more surprised when Daisy asks him to be her fake fiance. However realizing that they can help each other out, a marriage of convenience is planned.
I enjoyed this story, it had romance, heat, was witty, with loud out loud moments and I loved the relationship that developed between Daisy and Liam. 
This was an entertaining read that I enjoyed. 
I received a copy of this book through the publisher via Netgalley.
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Thank you to NetGalley and Berkley Pub for the arc of this title.

One sentence review:  A woman in STEM, second chance/fake engagement romance with lots of humor and some great characters.

The Dating Plan by Sara Desai was a really fun read for me.  I love the fake dating/engagement trope.  I'm not entirely sure why but it is one of my favorites.

In this case the book centers around Daisy Patel who is a software engineer with abandonment issues.  One reason she is this way is because her senior prom date, Liam,  stood her up.  Imagine her surprise when one day at a tech conference she runs into Liam.  Through a series of circumstances, they end up pretending to be engaged in order to fool each others familes.  And so the fun begins.

What I loved about this book:
- Daisy - who is an Avenger loving genius who loves lists and organization and her large extended family
- Liam is a leather wearing, motor cycle riding, venture capitalist with a bad boy streak who loves Indian food and Daisy's family
- Daisy's family is just the best. 
- How Indian culture is explained and played homage to in the course of this book
- and finally I loved the Northern California setting.  I grew up in this region and it feels like home.

Overall I really enjoyed this one.  I love the humor and the sense of family.  I did get a little frustrated with a couple of the hiccups in the relationship, but life isn't always easy so of course there are going to be obstacles along the way.  Overall though this is one I'd highly recommend.
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The Dating Plan
By Sara Desai

Sarah Desai’s The Dating Plan is one enjoyable read in the fake dating, fake fiancée, and second chance at love trope that I really do personally enjoy in the romcom genre. The characters were great especially our main lead, Daisy Patel who represents STEM as a talented software engineer with a slight marvel obsession. At a conference, Daisy meets Liam, her childhood crush, who was also the same guy who stood her up on her senior prom night. They both have something to gain by pursuing their fake relationship – Liam can secure his inheritance and Daisy can get her meddling aunties off her back.

I found the story so endearing and a true joy to read. I was swooning right from the start for Daisy and Liam’s obvious chemistry and attraction. I love the STEM representation as well as multiracial couple, and I can totally relate with the meddling aunties. I have not read Sarah’s previous book, and now I am certainly a huge fan. What a fun and entertaining book I simply adored.
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HJ Recommended Read!

Daisy Patel loves her job as a software engineer with all its lists and numbers this is her happy place, one without the complication of boyfriends or office politics. With her life going exactly the way she had planned the only problem Daisy has is her family and their deep desire to see her married and settled. Wanting to be the best daughter she can be and desperately wanting to get the meddlesome aunts of her case Daisy does what any smart people pleaser would; enlist the help of her high school crush Liam Murphy to play the role of her fake fiancée.

Venture capitalist Liam Murphy is living his best life taking the business world by storm however there is one hiccup, in order to receive his inheritance Liam must be married! So when his best friends little sister has the perfect solution to both of their problems Liam doesn’t think twice about getting into a fake relationship with Daisy, never mind that these two share a history. Soon Daisy and Liam find that what was supposed to be the easy solution is more complicated than either expected with some very real feelings resurfacing.

“She was his keeper of secrets, the light in his soul.”

I have fast come to love Sara Desai books and The Dating Plan has to be my favorite yet! I am a huge fan of the fake fiancée trope and this book has knocked my socks off. I absolutely loved watching the fake relationship dynamic mixed in with the expectations of a traditional family play out. But really it was Daisy and Liam’s steamy hot chemistry that stole the show, I loved this couple to bit and seeing them falling for their own plan was just delicious!

After not seeing each other for a good ten years their reunion was most definitely hilariously cringey, no girl wants to run into a hot guy let alone her former crush while holding feminine care products! This only just set the tone to what was a brilliantly witty and hilarious relationship. With a marriage crazy aunty hiding a prospective groom at every corner it was impossible not to laugh throughout this book.

I absolutely loved Liam and once we got to know the reason for him crushing young Daisy’s heart all those years ago you will only love him more! It was really nice getting to see these two characters support each other as they face their burdens and obstacles together. Family was such a big theme in this book and it was nice getting to see how both characters deal with their respective families.

The Dating Plan is definitely a cute and funny fake romance turned real read, this is one I would recommend all romcom lovers read!
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The Dating Plan by Sara Desai was my first book of this author and I really really enjoyed it! 
It's such a sweet and emotional and special story! Awwwww! Swoon alert!! 
So this book is about Daisy and Liam and both know each other from the past. When the meet again it seems like fate because Liam needs Daisy's help... and she needs Liam's help as well. 
Will they resist this sizzling chemistry? 
You've to find out for yourself! I won't tell you too much! 
I totally loved the characters! Daisy is sooo smart and strong and inspiring!! Awesome! 
And Liam is the perfect fit for her! He's this charming bad boy with a heart of gold. 
I really enjoyed their story!! 
It was so funny and romantic and dramatic and really good! 
Thank you so much Sara Desai for this copy via Netgalley! 
This is my honest review. :)
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I loved The Marriage Game and she didn’t disappoint me with The Dating Game!! 
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Reasons to read this book:
- female protagonist who loves making lists 
- she is a software engineer🤍
- fake relationship 
- chemistry is 🔥 
- male protagonist is a cutie (they always are, aren’t they 🥰)
- a desi fam who is pushy (I love them!!)
- a desi fam who is always there for you 🤍
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When I read her first book I said she reminds me of Sonali Dev’s book (who is my favorite desi romance writer) and I stand by my statement. 
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Can’t wait to read what you write next !
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ℝ𝕖𝕧𝕚𝕖𝕨 ⭐️⭐️⭐️ The Dating Plan by Sara Desai
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Liam was Daisy's brother's best friend. Having a troubled family life left him on their doorstep more times than not. Her family took him in and he became part of the family. But on prom night, Liam left Daisy stranded and never came back. For ten years he disappeared. Imagine the shock of running into him 10 years later at a work conference. Liam is back in town after all this time for his grandfather funeral, but when he learns that his inheritance depends on him being married, Daisy offers the perfect solution: A marriage of convenience. As they try to convince their relatives the reality of their impeding nuptials sparks fly, but will old issues come back to haunt them? Will they be able to face them together?
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As with the first book in this series I'm left a little perplexed. I usually love both the "Big brother's friend" and "Marriage of convenience" tropes and unfortunately they felt a little flat in this one. For one the brother was absent for 99% of the book, and the secrecy and tension we usually get from a fake relationship was deflated by the fact that the main characters told almost everybody that it was indeed a fake relationship. Both of them have strong family issues and feeling of abandonments, but they felt told more than they felt real. Unfortunately the plot didn't feel carefully thought-out. I do have to say that the string of stereotypes present in the first book are back in the second as well.
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This couple really saved the book for me. I rooted for them from the beginning. Daisy and Liam had great chemistry and I loved their little streak of jealousy for one another. The scene at the veterinarian was so beautifully done, I loved how he came right away even after their bad night, and comforted her.
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Steam level | 3.5 | Multiple descriptive sex scene. Including a very hot bar-office one.
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Thank you Penguin for sending me a copy of The Dating Plan in exchange for a review! As always all thoughts and opinions are honest and my own.
🐝
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This is one of those romance books that’s comforting the whole way through.

I enjoyed Daisy and Liam’s relationship, even though they were seemingly enemies at first there was that underlying electricity between them that I could see from their first encounter. Daisy’s character was refreshing, nerdy, and bold - I appreciated her drive and ability to stand up for herself (even if it took a lot of convincing). Liam’s character was after my heart from his first introduction. I can’t quite put my finger on what I liked about him so much but I did. 

Overall, it was a nice book to read in between some heavier storylines. My only complaint is that I felt like the ending was a bit too long and could’ve been shortened by several pages. BUT, it was still a fun read for me and I recommend it to all you romance lovers out there.
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The Dating Plan ended up being a book of mixed reactions for me. There were a few things I enjoyed, things that drove me crazy, and things that fell flat. For me, it was the quintessential "meh" book.

The story follows Daisy and Liam. They have a complicated history, including Liam being Daisy's brother's ex best friend. When they meet by chance ten years later, they find that they can be each other's solution to their separate relationship issues. And so, a fake engagement begins. The biggest obstacle to their impending fake marriage? Their families. They both need to be convinced this is a real relationship for their plan to succeed. Which is where Daisy's "Dating Plan" comes in. But, can their relationship stay fake while working to convince their families it's real?

Oh my gosh. Fake relationships is absolutely one of my favorite tropes. It is the main reason I read this. I'm a sucker for a good fake relationship. And, for the most part, that portion of the book succeeded for me. The steamy scenes were generally solid, if you can get past a few too many euphemisms and poor descriptors... and a bout of totally unnecessary macho-ism. Despite Liam's couple of personaility wobbles, I enjoyed Daisy and Liam's relationship when it was just Daisy and Liam.

Unfortunately, there was so much else going on in this book. Too much. I'm all for character needing to work on themselves both separately and together to be able to build a strong relationship by the end of the book, but with the list of issues in this book, it detracted from the relationship story and left many side plots to be tied up far to quickly and neatly to feel real. Both Daisy and Liam were dealing with MULTIPLE layers of current family issues, past family and childhood trauma, work crisises, as well as discovering themselves and what they truly needed to be happy. And these were all regular and forefront issues. Nothing took a backseat. It was too much for me and I never felt like all those moving pieces fit together well. And a side note to this, neither Daisy or Liam's careers, as a software engineer and venture capitalist respectively, felt well thought out or researched.

For some, a multitude of side plots or the careers of the main characters are non issues. And that's great. Read and enjoy fully. But for me, I felt a bit yo-yo'd between everything and pulled out of the story when their jobs didn't sound believable. I was truly excited for this book, but ultimately it missed the mark for me overall.

Thank you to Berkley Publishing and NetGalley for providing an eARC in exchange for an honest review.
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Happy #PubDay to The Dating Plan by Sara Desai! And thank you to @netgalley and @berkleypub for a copy of this e-book in exchange for my honest review.⠀

This story centers around Daisy Patel who is a software engineer wired to logically figure out all her problems... except her problems in love. As her aunties breathe down her neck to get married, she ends up having her high school crush, Liam, pretend to be her fiancé. This works well for Liam, who has been in love with Daisy since they were young and needs to get married in order to secure his family inheritance. He is afraid, however, of hurting Daisy again (after breaking her heart in high school). A series of fake dates end up unearthing old feelings. They must figure out if amidst the fake dating, their love for one another is actually real.

This was a humorous, fun, steamy, and heartfelt read. I personally loved that the characters knew each other for most of their lives because it made the romantic progression feel more natural and effortless. There were plenty of painful moments of self-sabotage, but I appreciated the growth in the characters as they both worked to overcome past abuse and hurt from their families. Liam's background was pretty intense in this arena so I'll warn readers that they do mention some past trauma and physical abuse. 

The whole time I read this all I could think was that it would make an AMAZING rom com! They have the cutest dates, Daisy is delightfully quirky, and her family is the BEST. They are like My Big Fat Greek Wedding meets CiCi's family from New Girl and I loved them. The movie needs to exist just so I can meet Daisy's family. 

Overall, this book rekindled lost loves, sprinkled in the most adorable dates, and shared the most heartwarming emphasis on the importance of family. It was definitely steamy too, so if that is all up your alley, you need to pick this one up ASAP!
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I loved this book! Sara Desai is such a good storyteller and I fell in love with this book immediately. I highly recommend it for romance fans.
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The Dating Plan has a fake engagement, enemies to lovers with a dose of second-chance lovers- what isn't to like?  Daisy wasn't my favorite character in The Marriage Game, but I came to love her so quickly after diving into this one.  And Liam? Mmm. A leather wearing bad boy who broke Daisy's heart but still looks like sin? Kryptonite.  I loved Daisy's love for spreadsheets and Marvel, and I loved Liam's passion for the San Jose Sharks, his protectiveness of Daisy and wanting to be a better man.  Throw in a dose of that wonderful Patel family and some Irish relatives to boot? More great family dynamics are at play in this one, just like in the Marriage Game before it.  

I honestly saw a lot of myself in Daisy's personality and trust issues, so I really felt connected to her character.  I noticed that a lot of folks who didn't like this book thought Daisy's character was too quirky or over the top, but honestly, I didn't feel that way at all.  I have feelings about this and think that some of the issues Daisy discusses about her mother are directly related to her personality, which for me softens the edge; it's like a defense mechanism. I don't want to say too much because of potential #spoilers; just don't let those reviews scare you away.  

You don't have to read the Marriage Game first for this one, but I do highly encourage it, because it gives you some Patel family background, which I think is helpful going into this one.  I give it ⭐⭐⭐⭐.5 and a moderate+ steam rating- the steamy scenes were limited, but WHEW were they STEAMY.
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The Dating Plan by Sara Desai was probably one of my favourite books of this year so far. It was my first foray into this author and I will be going back to check out her other books.

The Dating Plan was laugh out loud funny and witty, I actually found myself re-reading sentences and smiling to myself at the sheer wit. The story follows Daisy Patel, a software engineer, who is super quirky and has her whole life planned out in an excel spreadsheet. She likes to keep things casual and not get too attached, whether if it’s her current job or the current boy she is sleeping with, she likes to just dip her toes in and then snatch them out to find something new. This is due to two major figures in her early childhood life leaving her with little to no warning. She ends up literally crashing into one of those people at a tech conference as she is trying to escape an old boyfriend, and old boss, and one of her matchmaking aunties.

Liam Murphy seems to have it all: good looks, a charismatic personality, and a high-profile job where he is lined up to make partner. Like Daisy, Liam also likes to keep his romantic pursuits short lived. However, if he wants to continue his grandfather’s legacy and the family business, he needs to get a wife as soon as possible. When Daisy crashes into him, all of the memories of his past life as her brother’s best friend comes back in a rush and he is not surprised to find that she still hates him for what he did back when she was 18. It is because of this dislike that Daisy has for him, that Liam thinks she would be the perfect fake fiancée and wife for a year – no chance of her actually catching feelings for him. Daisy agrees to Liam’s offer for a fake relationship as it will get her matchmaking family off her back, but in true Daisy style she creates a spreadsheet of dates to go on in order to create an illusion of legitimacy to their relationship. And so it begins…

I cannot stress how much I loved this book, I could not stop reading it and I almost wish that I had someone to read it with just to laugh out loud at the adventures and the dialogue between the characters. Liam and Daisy are entertaining enough on their own, but the secondary characters of their family members and coworkers add an extra layer of hilarity. It is a really well balanced story with romance, comedy, a bit of mystery, lots of tension, sex, and all of that is thrown together with two strong leads. This would make a great romantic comedy movie – I hope it gets turned into one!

I also really enjoyed that both Liam and Daisy are from different cultures, both strong in their own culture and willing to adapt and enjoy the customs of each other’s traditions. Even though this book was pure fun, there was a tremendous amount of character development and touched on a lot of real-world emotional topics. Both Daisy and Liam had their own personal demons to battle through before they could really commit to a healthy relationship together. I loved how realistic the book was in that sense, there wasn’t a “yay we are together now, we can figure out the rest somehow” type of feel to the story. We actually joined both of them on the journey of figuring it out before they could realistically have a happily ever after.

I highly recommend this book, and look forward to more work by Sara Desai.

~ Harshita
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I was so excited to get approved for this ARC...buuuut I put it off for a bit because I was nervous. The Marriage Game was my favourite romance of 2020, so I knew I needed to check my expectations. I am happy to report I really enjoyed this book too....even though The Marriage Game still holds the number one place in my heart because Layla and Sam for life! 

Things I loved:
-multiple romance tropes woven together perfectly- second chance romance, fake dating, hate to love - I am loving this in romances lately!
-Daisy is just such a great character, she’s funny, quirky and full of sass
-I was hooked from page one. The story flows well, the writing is funny and sweet
-enjoyed the return of the Patel extended family...Especially the nosy aunties 

Things that weren’t my favourite:
-was hoping for a bit more steam but the few scenes that were there delivered well. Definitely a slow burn!


Thanks to Berkeley Pub for the gifted copy to review!
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I love a good fake relationship trope so I was excited to read The Dating Plan by Sara Desai.

Daisy Patel works as a software engineer at a struggling start-up, she just got dumped, and her family are constantly trying to set her up with eligible men, which is annoying her to no end.

Liam Murphy is working at a venture capital firm and just found out he’s been left his grandfather’s whiskey refinery business in his will, with the catch that he has to be married by his next birthday, which is only two months away!

Liam and Daisy used to be friends when they were younger. At least they were until Liam stood Daisy up for her prom. They haven’t seen each other since that night, until they bump into each other at an investor pitching event and Liam decides she’s the perfect person to help him with his predicament—and he isn’t going to let a little matter like her hating him stand in his way.

The story was fun, although you’ll have to suspend reality and just roll with the way they get together because it’s over-the-top, and all happens very fast. I really enjoyed both of the main characters, they had their own unique quirks that made them relatable and a joy to read about. Plus they weren’t super young, which I appreciated…I get tired of reading about early-twenties drama in romances.

Overall, it’s a fun and relatively light read but it still has some heart, and there is some talk of emotional abuse and strained family relationships. I really enjoyed learning more about Daisy’s culture and marriage traditions too. Oh, and there’s a healthy amount of steam…of the bed-breaking variety. 😉
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I connect so well with Desai’s writing. It’s funny, sweet, and never fails to make me smile. There were definitely some serious themes woven into the humor, but it was so well done. I was definitely rooting for Liam and Daisy’s HEA. 

💜Second chance romance with a side of hate to love AND fake engagement - YESSSSS to all of the tropes!! 
💜I absolutely adored the Patel family in The Marriage Game and was sooooo glad to spend more time to with them throughout this book. I laughed so many times at their family meddling.  
💜Liam. Wow. What a guy. Definitely book boyfriend material!! After a very difficult upbringing, it was endearing to watch him work through his emotions to become an amazing man. 
💜Daisy. Smart, independent, and so dedicated to her friends and family. I loved watching her let go and fall for Liam. 
💜I’m an Avengers junkie, so I adored the references - and undergarments 😂

TW: Themes of domestic violence and substance abuse.
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Sara Desai has written a fun romantic comedy. Despite being a bit predictable at times, I enjoyed the story. 

This is a story rich in family and culture. I love any story that does not have a cookie-cutter main character. Daisy was a smart, fun, intellectual, business-minded woman that was fun to watch evolve throughout the story. 

This is a great quick read for anyone looking for a fun escape. 

I will be watching for future releases from Desai.
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