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Publisher's Summary

A Marie Claire Book Club Pick!

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.

©2021 Sara Desai (P)2021 Penguin Audio

What the critics say

A LibraryReads Pick

One of Marie Claire's Best New Romance Novels of 2021

"Outrageously funny, meltingly hot and tender, and wrapped up in heartwarming community, this book will warm you in the best ways. Daisy and Liam are just the kind of sexy joyful magic we need in the world right now." (Sonali Dev, author of Recipe for Persuasion)

"Geek-chic Daisy makes an endearing heroine, and the dysfunctional Murphy family provides believable tension. Desai’s fans will be thrilled to reconnect with the eccentric Patels and new readers will be hooked. This is a gem." (Publishers Weekly, starred review)

"A smart, sexy read. If you haven't done so already, prepare to mark Sara Desai as your new fave author!" (Sajni Patel, author of The Trouble with Hating You

What listeners say about The Dating Plan

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Too bad the fire left before the end

I liked this book but it just ran out of steam. The beginning of the story was very good. Loved Daisy and her quirky family. I loved how she was weird and nerdy and wonderful. Her Marvel loving ways were awesome too. It was fun to see her life when compared to Liam’s. The Dating Plan they were trying to fake was a fun storyline and helped them grow in their relationship together. But when the eventual conflict occurs and they part ways, there was just too much going on and I lost interest in them as a couple anymore. I really think I need to stop listening to books on audio because I’m not loving the stories I’ve heard so far. This narrator is good and I chuckled at times. But again, I just lost interest. Just too many loose ends to be summed up and least of which was the HEA.

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High School Crushes, Family Drama and a Steamy Romance

The story opens with drama and I love it! Imagine running into the ladies room only to find your ex with your former boss hooking up behind one of the bathroom stalls. Then the pad machine malfunctions and starts making noise, spitting out pads. So you grab the pads and run out as your former boss asks if someone is there. Then you come out of the rest room, only to find your match making auntie “in the neighbourhood” and wants you to meet a potential husband. Then you nearly fall and the man of your dreams, (who also broke your heart ten years back) breaks your fall! This is how chapter 1 opens! The book starts right away with humour and a fast paced, but realistic storyline.

I am so infatuated with love stories that involve people having a friendship or knowing each other from grade school. There is so much history and understanding between the main character Daisy Patel and her high school crush Liam Murphy, who is also her brother Sanjay’s old best friend. Although a story like this is unlikely to ever happen in real life, many of the events that took place in the beginning were surprisingly realistic (for me anyways). I like that Daisy and Liam get to know each other again and open up about things from the past, contributing to their commitment issues.

My critiques:

- The last four hours dragged on a little too long for me, especially for a predictable ending.
- Sanjay’s voice sounded too similar to Liam’s voice. The narrator, however, did well with the female voices.
- It got a little too sappy for me at the end.
- Some of the things that stayed silent/ secret for a span of 10 years was a little unrealistic.

Other things I loved:
- Interracial relationship (Daisy is Indian and Liam is Irish).
- Themes of family, food and culture.
- Steamy romance scenes.
- References characters from the previous book: The Marriage Game. I am interested in reading this book now.

This could totally be a Netflix series or a movie.

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  • Rida zahra
  • 2021-05-07

Bollywood movie turned into a book

The book is full of cliches and dramatics like a Bollywood movie. it was okay. Not a great read but not bad if you're looking for over the top romance.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Alison
  • 2021-04-18

Soft porn, anyone?

Oh my god, don't listen to this in a public place/in the car with your kids/while making dinner for your family because wow--those are some pretty graphic sex scenes. And there are several of them. If a little soft porn disguised as chick lit is what you're into, this book is basically a B movie you might watch when everyone else has fallen asleep and there is nothing else on. It's cute, it's entertaining (if not totally predictable from page 1), the characters are fun and narration good but it's nothing ground breaking and while a good sex scene can spice things up, this was seriously overkill. Just make sure to listen with your ear buds!

1 person found this helpful

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  • ninewest57th
  • 2021-07-23

Absolute Garbage

I agree with another reviewer, this is soft porn disguised as a Bollywood romance.

Soneela Nankani is a global treasure. Her performance is excellent as usual but there is only so much she can do with a book this bad.

Stay away for your sanity!

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  • Savannah Harris
  • 2021-06-14

Must read!

Really loved this book, super sweet and romantic. The main characters family can get a little annoying with how overbearing they are, but it’s nothing too obnoxious.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 2021-06-12

This series is so good and narrator is amazing!

Love it - just as good as the first book in the series, and love that the original characters still make appearances! Sara Desai has a fantastic writing style and is such an awesome storyteller. Absolutely love her! I really can't wait for book 3 later this year!

The fake relationship trope is my favourite, and she did it so well here - he needed a wife to save the family business (due to his grandfather's will requirements), and she was willing to take on the role in order to get her match-making Auntie's off her back, because she didn't want to get married anytime soon. Liam was Daisy's childhood crush back in school - her brother's best friend, so what could it hurt? He'd only broken her heart by disappearing and standing her up on her Prom night, and had just now come back, 10 years later. The trials they have to go through to get to the HEA are a great rollercoaster ride!

Soneela Nankani has narrated quite a few books I've listened to recently, and I'm really loving her!

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  • Katelyn Jones
  • 2021-06-10

Terrible

Don’t waste your time. This was absolutely terrible and so dramatic. 99.9% of this “plot” could have been avoided had communication been present.

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  • Diane
  • 2021-06-04

LOVED IT

The story itself was just wonderful but the tension, witty banter, & overall layout really just left you wanting more! I found it so hard to stop listening and wanted nothing more than to know what would happen next! It look me 4 days to listen completely through but I could have gone through it sooner had I not controlled myself! I highly recommend for anyone who’s looking for a nice, upbeat, & entertaining book!

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  • Anonymous User
  • 2021-06-02

Light hearted and fun loving.

Such a delightful summer read. Refreshing love story for all ages to enjoy. Go sharks!

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  • Debra Akins
  • 2021-05-04

Fabulously fun!

I just love a feel good rom-com and this was spectacularly fun! The banter hit all the marks. It’s quirky, sassy, and truly laugh-out-loud hilarious all the way through. It was all of the best kinds of melting mush and giggles.

I loved Daisy so, so much! We fully support a brilliant, badass, Type A, take-no-shit woman. And the style? Unmatched. She’s such a relatable character from her struggles with her mother to finding her empowering confidence. It’s so refreshing seeing character traits such as her organization, determination, and dedication getting the admiration they deserve. Daisy is what you want to be when you grow up. I also really appreciated what I got to learn about desi culture and community from Daisy and her family.

I was living for the accurate mental health journey in this book. There were very real representations of dysfunctional family issues, mental and physical abuse, and the after effects of what that kind of trauma does to a person. Seeing Daisy and Liam both struggle through baggage and growth was very genuine and I appreciated it so much.

This book brings an entire set of characters to fall in love with beyond our protagonists. Rainey was a personal favorite for me. It would’ve been a quick read if I hadn’t been busy with finals. This was such a well rounded story, it was all-around fantastic, and definitely recommend!

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  • JH
  • 2021-04-05

Great Listen!

I loved the story, and the reading. I see there is one other book by this author, I hope she is working on more!
I love the humor and the romance.