Dating Dr. Dil is an immensely fun read filled with fake dating, annoying yet hilarious family members, and a swoon-worthy desi romance. And for once, the fake dating trope actually WORKED. If you’re a fan of fake dating then you’ll love this read.
When the book starts out, Kareena Mann isn’t having the best day. Her family forgets her birthday AND she finds out that her father is selling their home, the house her deceased mother loved, before she has time to get together money and buy it. Her only way out is to find the love of her life – only then will her father give her the “wedding” money he has saved for her.
Meanwhile, Dr. Prem Verma has been wrangling donors for his local community health center via his talk show all about love, but after a hookup gone wrong, Kareena confronts him on live TV and he loses his donors. His only solution is to convince Kareena that they are meant to be together in order for his parents to fund the center. Basically, both of their families are pushing them into a relationship since they want grandkids. Unfortunately, Kareena wants nothing to do with him.
The beginning of this book is AMAZING. Like, I was hooked from the very first sentence. Between Kareena’s over-the-top yet somehow realistic family (who made me want to slap them and hug them simultaneously) and the instant attraction between the main characters (that swiftly turns to hatred – a classic enemies-to-lovers), the plot had me perched on the edge of my seat.
Plus, Kareena is the dreamer in the relationship, even though she’s also quite practical about her job (and a bit of a loner). She really believes in true love and wants to wait for it, while Prem is more logical and tries to convince her that they need to make the best of the situation. The back and forth is great because their relationship gives them both a chance to grow and change. We get to see them slowly fall in love as Prem takes Rina on all these wildly romantic dates (mainly to achieve his own ends, at least at first) and the tension is palpable.
Things I didn’t like: Prem refers to his – male part – as Charlie. Not once, but multiple times. The sexy scenes were so good but that totally threw me every time he references…Charlie. Why does it need a name? He’s a heart surgeon who doesn’t believe in love and doesn’t have an especially cutesy personality, so this made no sense to me.
I also felt that some of the dialogue was wildly out of place/cringy. There are far too many millennial references (many of which are already out of date) and jokes that just don’t play off well. Every time the characters said something “trendy,” I was taken out of the story. I wish the dialogue had been a bit more timeless or just…not so much.
But the beginning is great, the characterization is good, and the love story, in general, is quite fun and also realistic. I definitely recommend Dating Dr. Dil as a fun read for 2022!