Review: ‘The Dating Plan’ by Sara Desai
The Dating Planby Sara Desai
Series: Marriage Game #2
Published by Berkley Publishing Group on March 16, 2021
SubGenres: Contemporary Romance
Format: AudioBook, Paperback
Source: Library, the publisher
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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.
The Dating Plan is the second book that I’ve read from author Sara Desai. This one was a little better than Marriage Game, where I actually enjoyed it, but it still wasn’t a favorite. I’m hoping I will find one book from Sara Desai that I’m going to love. I’m not giving up because I do find Sara Desai’s stories adorable and humorous.
The Dating Plan includes the following tropes: Enemies to Lovers, Fake Dating/Engagement, Brother’s Best Friend (only mentioned), and a Slow Burn Romance. I liked the idea of the plot behind this book, where the two characters are enemies that turn into lovers who knew each other years ago. Liam (MMC) needs Daisy’s (FMC) help to gain the inheritance that his grandfather left them, but it involves getting married. The issue is Liam broke Daisy’s heart nine years ago when he never showed up to take her to her prom, and he left without explanation. She never got over it and is hesitant to help him, especially when he won’t tell her why he never took her to prom. The reason, in my opinion, could have easily been addressed nine years ago if he had told her.
I thought it was silly that Daisy still hadn’t gotten over what happened at prom, but she was a teenager at the time, and prom was a big deal, and she had feelings for Liam during that time. She didn’t get to experience prom, and it broke my heart for her. I found it even more ridiculous that Liam wouldn’t tell her the truth, and it took forever for him to admit it to her, even after they had arranged to have a fake engagement.
I’ve found that I like the FMCs more than the MMCs in Sara Desai’s books, which was the case in the previous book and this one. Daisy’s character is quirky and adorable, and she reminded me so much of someone I know in real life, which is why I liked her character. It was also refreshing to read a character who is a Software Engineer. I’m tired of reading books where the characters are influences of some kind.
It did take me a bit to like Liam, and it was all due to what he did to Daisy years ago and him not telling her the truth. Once I read his POV and how he felt for Daisy, he eventually redeemed himself. Both characters were complex and had some things to work out, not only with the past but also with their families. Poor Daisy was having her Aunts try to hook her up with other men while she tried to make them believe she was with Liam, even though it was fake. Then there was Liam and his family and how he grew up. No wonder why he left.
Overall, this was an okay book, and I’m hoping the next book in this series I will enjoy more.
Story Rating: ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️.5
Standalone or Part of Series: It’s part of the Marriage Game series, but could be read as a standalone.
Would I recommend this book? Yes. If you enjoy a lighthearted Contemporary Romance/Romantic Comedy.
Genre/SubGenre(s): Romance | Contemporary Romance | Romantic Comedy
Trope(s)/Element(s): Enemies to Lovers | Fake Relationship | Brother’s Best Friend | Second Chances | Slow Burn