Dating Dr. Dil by Nisha Sharma
Publication Date: 15 March 2022
I definitely had a love-hate relationship going with Dating Dr. Dil. I loved the Southeast Asian culture representation. It’s not something I’m completely familiar with, but I have enjoyed learning as I’ve read more books centered on Southeast Asian characters. I loved the descriptions of the FOOD (seriously, do not read this book when you’re hungry). I am always down for a discussion of love matches vs arranged marriages, so I was happy with that part of the story. And I completely adored the supporting cast of aunties and assorted friends and family. Like, please give me all the aunties.
What did I not like? Our main characters. Honestly, they both irritated the heck out of me. Let’s start with the titular Dr. Dil, aka Prem Verma. I get that some people may not agree with love matches or falling in love as a concept. Maybe it was just me, but Prem seemed WAY too adamant and stubborn in his belief that love is a fallacy, and the author never really lets us feel his perspective. I know that he had lost someone important to him, but the whole thing of him being a cardiologist and basically telling his viewers that love is bad for your cardiac health seemed a bit over the top. Also, speaking of things I just don’t get, Prem has named his… <ahem> little friend “Charlie.” With no explanation. That’s just what he calls it. Seriously, you can’t just throw that out there without context.
Our heroine, Kareena, is a bit more palatable than Prem, but that’s only because I totally could empathize with her desire to keep possession of her family home, and I think she’s a badass for being able to fix up her classic car. But the fact that she and Prem are basically both lying to their families and playing them for money doesn’t sit well with me. I know it’s probably that my WASP-y self doesn’t have the proper cultural context, but it still seemed a bit icky to me.
One thing that Sharma does do well in this book is the steam! Once these two got to the bedroom (and the shower) it became almost a completely different book. And I want more of that book. As for this one? I liked it enough that I will continue with the series when the next books come out, but it wasn’t among my favorites of the year.
Thank you to Goodreads and Harper Collins for gifting me with a copy of this book.