Release Date: Mar 16, 2021
Heat Level: Hot
Publisher: Penguin Group
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.