As someone who's recently been getting into rom-coms, The Dating Plan was the perfect combination of a feel good, emotional story and lovable, sexy characters.
Daisy Patel is a software engineer (love having a female character with a cool job!) who has generally stayed away from the dating scene despite her aunties always trying to find her a husband. When she meets her high school crush Liam Murphy at a conference and the two share a "for show" kiss to fight off Daisy's aunty, ex-boyfriend and ex-boss, she's thrown back into her past. Liam is a venture capitalist (another cool job!) with a complicated family past. After the death of his grandfather, Liam learns he's in line to inherit the family distillery, but only if he's married by his birthday— and stays married. Daisy stands out as his best option, and with mutual benefits to the arrangement, the two create a dating plan that will solve everything so long as they stick to the rules.
I loved the connection between Liam and Daisy, it was emotional, loving and filled with hilarious banter. They were also great individual characters. Daisy is super smart and into Avengers and trivia facts, Liam loves his motorcycle and has a huge soft spot for his nephew. Both had burdens they were fighting and I couldn't help but root for them and want to see them break free of the past that was holding them back. I also loved the dynamic of Daisy's big Indian family and the quirky traits of her father and aunties.
Her culture is showcased through her everyday life— her family, the foods she loves, dancing, the clothing her aunts wear. I think her culture was represented in a very modern way without being stereotypical. Daisy wasn't a stereotypical Indian girl either, she was very relatable. I think for many of us who were born in North America, we do our best to stay in touch with our heritage but all the same time we are a reflection of our North American culture as well.
When I first started the book, it felt a bit slow for me and didn't get into the characters right away. I'm so glad I kept going because I would've missed a gem! Once the plot got going, I didn't want to put this book down!
I will definitely be reading more of Sara Desai's books in the future!
My rating: ★★★★★