Thank you to Berkley for providing a review copy of The Dating Plan
I am a huge cover judger when I browse books, and I am obsessed with two things: the current trend of illustrated romance covers, and the color purple. Naturally, The Dating Plan really stood out to me when I was browsing on Netgalley. When I found out it also featured a software engineer as the leading lady, I was sold (as a software engineer myself, women in STEM representation is super important to me).
Even with a step-by-step plan, these fake fiancés might accidentally fall for each other in this hilarious, heartfeltromantic comedy from the author of The Marriage Game.
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 fiancé.
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 was the first book by Sara Desai that I’ve read and I found her writing style was fairly unique. She has a real knack for creating chemistry between characters – she very effectively built the chemistry and tension that came from a pair of characters having years of history with each other. The only part of the writing of this book that I didn’t love was how cheesy the dialogue got at times – it really threw me for a loop and ruined my immersion in the story a few times.
Daisy was the quintessential software engineer – she was a little aloof with her coworkers, never put down roots at a company, and had very nerdy interests. She was also facing constant family pressure to settle down with a suitable man – the book kicks off with her aunty ambushing her at a work conference with a suitor for her. Throughout the book, she grows as she learns to forgive past grievances and figures how to let people in. I really loved watching her learn to not keep her coworkers at arms length – all of her peers were interesting side characters that helped her grow as a character. I also really loved how dynamic and funny Daisy’s family was – they were a massive group of characters and it was really fun to read about such a tight knit family.
Liam and Daisy had a whole lot of history together. Growing up, Liam was best friends with Daisy’s brother, and Daisy had a major crush on him. When he agreed to be her date to a school dance and then disappeared into the night, Daisy harbored some major hatred towards him. Their reunion years later was rocky at first – Daisy wanted nothing to do with him until he proposed a fake dating scenario that would ward off her family’s attempts to find her a suitable husband. As they became closer through their ruse, the sparks began to fly in earnest between them. Daisy and Liam were a great pair, and had some very, very strong chemistry – their romance gave me butterflies in my stomach and it was clear they were made for each other.
The Dating Plan is a super cute romance with well developed characters and a leading man to die for. It’ll have you swooning from the first time Daisy and Liam cross paths to the very last page. If you’re looking for other swoony romances, check out The Ex Talk by Rachel Lynn Solomon and Much Ado About You by Samantha Young. 4/5