Audiobook Review: Dating Dr. Dil (If Shakespeare was an Auntie #1)

Published September 29th 2020

Author: Nisha Sharma

Narrators: Soneela Nankani , Sunil Malhotra & Vikas Adam

Audiobook Length: 10 hours 49 minutes

Hi! I’m Kareena Mann. As cheesy as it sounds, I’m looking for my soulmate. In four months. And he must gain the approval of my meddling aunties.

Kareena dreams of having a perfect love story like her parents did. That’s why on the morning of her thirtieth birthday, she’s decided to suit up and enter the dating arena. When her widowed father announces he’s retiring and selling their home after her sister’s engagement party, Kareena makes a deal with him. If she can find her soulmate by the date of the party, he’ll gift her the house, and she’ll be able to keep her mother’s legacy alive.

Hi, I’m Dr. Prem Verma, host of the Dr. Dil Show. Prem means love, Dil means heart, and I’m a cardiologist. Don’t let my name fool you. I only fix broken hearts in the literal sense.

Prem doesn’t have time for romance, which is why it’s no surprise when his first meeting with Kareena goes awry. Their second encounter is worse when their on-air debate about love goes viral. Now Prem’s largest community center donor is backing out because Prem’s reputation as a heart-health expert is at risk. To get back in his donor’s good graces, he needs to fix his image fast, and dating Kareena is his only option.

Even though they have warring interests, the more time Prem spends with Kareena, the more he thinks she’s might actually be the woman he wants to spend the rest of his life with. In this Taming of the Shrew re-imagination, for Prem and Kareena to find their happily ever after, they must admit that hate has turned into fate.

Find It On: Goodreads / Amazon

** Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links, including Amazon, and I may earn a small commission, at no cost to you, if you purchase through my links. **

Dating Dr. Dil is the first novel in the If Shakespeare was an Auntie series that is loosely based on The Taming of the Shrew. Before any reader begins this novel, they should know, in case it is important to them, that this novel includes a lot of foul language and descriptive open-door scenes. For me, this is not a factor, but I know a few readers, including some in my book club, where they have different preferences. As almost any other reviewer will most likely point out, the word “Charlie” is used a lot and it completely has no backstory as to why it was included and its use in the story completely, at least for me, takes the reader out of enjoying any other piece of writing surrounding it.

The book begins with Kareena Mann, an Indian American attorney, who lives in her childhood home with her dad and grandmother. After the death of her mother, she tries her best to keep her memory alive through fixing her mother’s older car or things around the house, which her mother built from scratch. The story begins with her waking up on her 30th birthday and deciding that now may be the time to find true love again after earlier failed attempts. I enjoyed this part as it is relatable to a lot of people who believe that life changes at 30 and you’ve “failed” if you have not accomplished certain goals by then. This belief that she needs to find someone is cemented when she finds out that she’ll only get her nest egg if she becomes engaged and she needs it within four months to buy the house before her father and grandmother sell it. While this was a nice introduction to how Kareena’s family treats her, I had a lot of difficulty understanding why Kareena’s younger sister moving out to get married was the catalyst when Kareena was still living there. It just seemed there was a lot more to this conflict; however, as this is the catalyst that helps Kareena eventually interact with the love interest, I feel like it was glossed over as the author seemed anxious to move the story along.

The other POV in the story is Dr. Prem Verma, who is Dr. Dil with his own tv show. After a failed meet-up at a restaurant, Kareena confronts Prem while attending his show’s taping with her sister. This video goes viral and threatens both of their futures (Kareena’s chances to find a love match and Prem’s need for investors for his future medical clinic). The two eventually come up with a fake dating plan to restore their reputations, which leads to the usual falling in love. Through the story, the readers learn more about Prem’s medical career history and future plans, yet aside from it being mentioned a lot that Kareena’s a lawyer, I have zero idea about any details for her career.

This story is written as enemies to lovers and while Kareena made a lot of assumptions about Prem during their first meeting, she never apologizes for starting it. I can understand her frustration with Prem, especially after he suddenly left her while they were making out to take a call, and her jumping to the conclusion that he may be a “fuckboy”, but she never asked him any direct questions, so, for me, she is in the wrong for making the assumptions and yet she never apologized for it. Throughout Kareena and Prem spending time together, there are multiple callbacks to their first night together. For me, it seemed unrealistic how much apparently Kareena revealed herself where it came across as she told her entire life story within minutes of meeting this guy yet no direct communication about intentions. As the story goes on, the two do learn more about each other, but I had trouble understanding why Kareena continues to make assumptions about Prem again and again. For me, she clearly was wrong about her first assumption, so it seemed that she did not grow from the experience and take a second to believe her new assumption may be wrong.

Some moments are included in the story without follow-through. Prem and Kareena participate in a scavenger hunt where teenagers taunt them and I was left wonder what was the point. There is a huge emphasis on the sweater vests that Karina wears and aside from others not liking the style, there was not a lot of follow through to explain why it is a very repeated concept. The same also goes for the heels that she always wears. Kareena is deathly allergic to cinnamon, but the moment is brought up only as a way to bring them together, but never included again. The list goes on and on with this as I do not mind all of these, but if they are important to the story, then I would expect some additional exploration. This could be a mention, a discussion, or a full plotline.

The follow-through with plot lines and character traits were my main reasons for being on the fence with this novel. It could be that I do not understand the culture, or this is just a mistake in the writing, but I could not understand why Kareena’s family is desperate for her to find someone as she is “expiring” at 30 and yet get upset when she needs time away from the family to go on dates. Her family is very toxic and it is discussed in length, but it is glossed over at the same time in favor of more time with the characters. Prem’s reasons for believing in love one way and Kareena’s opposite views are both valid, but they seemed half-baked in their execution. I completely loved the concept of this novel and there are multiple pieces that I enjoyed. My only wish is that it did not read as chaotic and felt more polished. This is the start to the series, so I believe there is a lot of potential there and I would greatly be interested in checking out the sequel!

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