Book Review

The Dating Plan

The Dating Plan

  • Author: Sara Desai
  • Genre: Romance
  • Publication Date: March 16, 2021
  • Publisher: Penguin Audio
  • Series: Marriage Game #2

CONTENT WARNING: mention of parental abandonment, domestic violence, alcoholism

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Daisy Patel is a software engineer who understands lists and logic better than bosses and boyfriends. With her life all planned out, and no interest in love, the one thing she can’t give her family is the marriage they expect. Left with few options, she asks her childhood crush to be her decoy fiance.

Liam Murphy is a venture capitalist with something to prove. When he learns that his inheritance is contingent on being married, he realizes his best friend’s little sister has the perfect solution to his problem. A marriage of convenience will get Daisy’s matchmaking relatives off her back and fulfill the terms of his late grandfather’s will. If only he hadn’t broken her tender teenage heart nine years ago…

Sparks fly when Daisy and Liam go on a series of dates to legitimize their fake relationship. Too late, they realize that very little is convenient about their arrangement. History and chemistry aren’t about to follow the rules of this engagement.

Oh. My. God. I’ve been trying for a few days to come up with words to express how I feel about this book, and I just don’t seem to be able to. Words are failing me — but just trust me when I say this book is … amazing. There’s so much to love about it, so I guess I’m going to go through specific things I like, since I’m honestly struggling to be coherent?

The characters are amazing. I loved how Daisy is unabashedly brilliant and proud of it, and she’s a huge dork and doesn’t bother to hide it. She is a computer coder, and does things like hack Guitar Hero to ensure that she wins every game, wears Marvel superhero lingerie, lives by lists, isn’t scared to make an ass out of herself, and has no desire to dumb it down for ANYONE. Liam is a total cinnamon roll, wrapped in motorcycle leathers and walls a mile high. But I adored him anyway! Both of them come with a whole lot of baggage that neither of them really want to talk about, but they know that they need to at some point.

The plot. So, basically Daisy is being stalked by her aunties who are trying to marry her off and shoving suitors in her face, which is not something she wants. Liam has to get married by his next birthday in order to get his inheritance and save his grandfather’s distillery … but time is running out. And he doesn’t want to just settle for anyone, but after running into Daisy, he realizes that she would be perfect, and he could be the solution to her meddling aunties. Except for the simple fact that she HATES him. So they obviously agree to work together, and Daisy, true to form, sets up a dating plan for them to follow to make things seem real. 

The spice. When they start following the dating plan, that’s when things get all out of whack. Both of them start to catch feelings, which I saw coming from a mile away. And this book was surprisingly spicy, but it was done amazingly well. I loved seeing things get hot between them, because they had great chemistry.

The humor. This book was laugh out loud funny. There were so many funny and awkward situations, and I really enjoyed how it was done. I loved that neither of the characters was afraid to get silly and let themselves be who they really were, and I think a big part of that came from the fact that they knew each other really well already. They had basically grown up together, so it wasn’t like creating a bond with someone totally new. It felt like a realistic story. 

The angst. Both of the characters are keeping secrets, and neither one is communicating fully with each other. It leads to some major angst, but it had me hanging on every word. I couldn’t stop listening, and wanted to find out what happened. There’s a tension running through the story, and I never quite knew what was going to happen next, aside from expecting a HEA. 

Overall, this book was great. I loved it and the way both Desi and Irish culture was represented through the characters, especially how Daisy’s family mixed both traditional and modern characteristics. Also, it addresses some more serious issues, such as how a history of family trauma affects children into their adult lives, and the ways that they carry that into future relationships. The audiobook version of this was incredibly enjoyable, and I’m definitely going to be checking out the rest of this series.

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