Author: Sara Desai
Narrator: Soneela Nankani
Audiobook Length: 11 hours 25 minutes
Even with a step-by-step plan, these fake fiancés might accidentally fall for each other in this hilarious, heartfelt romantic 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 is the second novel in the Marriage Game series, although each novel can be read as a standalone story. Daisy Patel, the cousin of Layla, the main character from The Marriage Game, is a software engineer who works for a smaller company, Organicare, which is looking for investors. The love interest in this story is Liam Murphey, a venture capitalist. The two characters originally met in school when they were supposed to attend their high school prom together. The two parted ways when Liam never showed up and Daisy has harbored resentment ever since. As Daisy’s family is insistent about finding her a husband and Liam needs to get married in the next few months to inherit his late grandfather’s distillery, the two agree to fake a relationship.
The two have their own terms for this fake relationship that will lead to them being marriage for a year to satisfy their family expectations. To add to the “realness” of their relationship, they go on a series of pre-planned dates to keep up appearances. Liam’s character still cares for Daisy, and it is apparent when they first interact in the story. On the other hand, Daisy was a huge contradiction to her herself. Internally and when she is around others, she repeats how much she hates Liam for leaving her alone on prom night; however, when she is around Liam the chemistry takes over and she “forgets” the hate.
The entire prom scenario was not for me. While I could potentially see some emotional turmoil coming from this one instance, it just seemed like an extreme reaction to an event that does not mean a lot to many people. I am sure there are those that care A LOT about prom and would care a lot if they are stood-up, but, for me, it seems unrealistic that someone would hate another for this ten years later. I wanted more exploration into this rather than Daisy hated Liam for this one night. The reasons behind this fallout are explained, but I needed more for how Daisy arrived to keeping the resentment for ten years.
As the reader first meets Daisy in The Marriage Game, for me, this was not the same character even though it is written this way. When Daisy is introduced in this novel, it seemed like a completely new character as the personalities and mannerisms were different. While it may just be me who thinks this, I had to separate the two versions of Daisy and act as if they were two people to have everything make sense. For Liam, there are a few Irish family stereotypes in this story, such as they drink a lot and fight a lot. He was an okay character for me as he was neither loveable nor unlikable and instead just fell in-between, although I can see why many other readers would love him. I did enjoy his and Daisy’s interactions as they worked well together throughout the story.
One thing to note is that the cover does not fully reflect the characters as Daisy describes herself a lot about having “extra padding,” but this is not included in the illustration on the cover. While it does not take away from enjoyment of the content, it is disappointing that the publisher missed out on actually representing the character as she was written. Overall, this story had tons of elements that I typically love, but I was not a huge fan of how they were all put together. Liam and Daisy were very sweet together, but it was difficult to think of them as having a potential second-chance romance when there wasn’t a lot between them the first time around; however, it was an adorable fake-dating romance that was captivating and enjoyable. This story was not bad, and I continue to enjoy the author, but this particular novel was just not for me.