Fated Mates - A Romance Novel Podcast

Fated Mates - A Romance Novel Podcast

The most listened to romance novel podcast, Fated Mates is co-hosted by bestselling author Sarah MacLean and romance critic Jen Prokop. Weekly episodes include romance novel read-alongs and lively discussions of the work of the genre, highlighting the romance novel as a powerful tool in fighting the patriarchy…with absolutely no kink shaming.

Episodes

November 16, 2022 76 min

Two seasons ago we promised an episode where we recommend romance novels for each of the characters in Ted Lasso. Sarah’s brother is holding us to it! This week, we’re filling the TBRs of every single member of the Richmond Team…and Trent Crimm, of the Independent. It is a very chaotic journey…but one we hope you’ll enjoy.

F*ck Cancer.

Next week, we’re taking a break while Sarah makes Thanksgiving dinner and Jen waits for hers to w...

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We’ve talked about this week’s read along so much it’s kind of impossible to imagine that we haven’t read it with y’all, yet! But here we are, finally cracking open Claire Kent’s brilliant novella, Hold. Set on a prison planet, this one dials forced proximity up to 11, and does the excellent job of answering just how horrifying a world can you write a romance in? The answer is very. Very horrifying. We talk about sex and consent an...

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November 2, 2022 61 min

Our Trailblazer episodes continue this week with Iris Johansen, who began writing category romance in the heyday of the format at Loveswept. During her varied career, she’s written categories, historicals and now writes thrillers and crime novels.

In this episode, we talk about the founding of Loveswept, about how she learned to write, and about the power of storytelling. We also talk about the way her career has grown and evolved...

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It’s spooky season and that means we’re reading spooky stuff! We recommend some of our favorite recent witches and demons and incubii and ghosts and vampires and others…and then we try to get to the bottom of why paranormal romance and monster romance doesn’t feel like halloween romance to but these books do? This episode has it all: celebrity witch talk, a welshman named Rhys who isn’t the one you’re thinking of, a peek into Sarah...

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In the very best version of “third time’s the charm,” we are finally welcoming Christopher Rice to Fated Mates! A man of many talents, he writes fabulous contemporary romances as C. Travis Rice, and suspense, crime and supernatural thrillers as Christopher Rice. Today we’re talking Redemption Romance in honor of his most recent romance release, Sapphire Spring.

In this episode, we talk about how redemption romances and bully romanc...

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In 2022, book bans in United States schools and libraries are at their highest since the ALA Office of Intellectual Freedom started collecting data. Bans are happening around the country, in every state, and disproportionately affecting books by and about LGBTQIA+ and BIPOC people. What’s more, challenges are likely underreported, because librarians who are resisting them are facing unprecedented workplace retribution and in so...

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It’s our 200th Episode and we’re finally doing the thing we’ve been talking about doing for 200 episodes! A full deep dive into one of our favorite — or possibly our favorite! — romcoms…Moonstruck! Moonstruck was released December 18th, 1987, one day after Sarah turned nine…auspicious Sagittarius energy! It’s set in Brooklyn, is a perfect romance novel on film, and features more than one wolf, bewitched by the full moon. It is ever...

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Today we start one of our new features for Season Five: If You Liked…Read This! We begin with Ali Hazelwood’s The Love Hypothesis, a book that took romance and BookTok by storm last year when it burst onto the NYT best seller list and hung out there for nearly a year, bringing so many new readers (and Reylos!) to romance.

This one is full of tropes romance loves, and we take them topic by topic, recommending read alikes for everyth...

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It’s official! Sarah has broken the glass and taken Marrying Winterborne out of the vault and she has exactly as much to say about it as you expect! We’re talking perfect heroes, heroines who deserve to be revered, brilliant writers and plots that require the kind of skill you only get with Lisa Kleypas. Rhys Winterborne is nearly crushed by a building and still shows up at traditional calling hours (with 30 minutes to spare) to pr...

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Not that kind of bang! We’re talking about beginnings today, on the first interstitial of Season 5! This one edges into a bit more writing shop talk than usual, but we’re still name checking lots of favorite books, many of which we’ve done deep dives on already! So consider this your nudge to go back and read some great books we’ve talked about! Also, Sarah has Covid, Jen’s on the mend, Fated States is back, and next week, we’re re...

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Season Five starts today, you Magnificent Firebirds!

Season One gave us a full lAD deep dive (if you’ve never read Kresley Cole’s Immortals After Dark, general existential malaise is a really good reason to start), and Season Two gave us The Books That Blooded Us -- the books that made us the romance readers we are. Season Three was during a pandemic, so just let us live (but also, there was a Roy Kent episode). Season Four introduc...

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We’re still on our break (back next week!) but this week we have two episodes coming to your earholes! Today, we’re releasing our crossover episode with the brilliant Melody and Erin of the Heaving Bosoms podcast to talk Burn For Me by Ilona Andrews!

Burn For Me is a longtime favorite of Jen’s and the first book in the Hidden Legacy series and Sarah deeply regrets taking so long to read it because WOW IT IS GREAT. Here is one for t...

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We're on hiatus until September 14, when we'll start Season 5, but you won’t miss us, because this week, we have the recording of Fated Mates Live, our first-ever in-person live! Headphones in for this one, y’all.

We were joined in Alexandria, VA by Kate Clayborn, Adriana Herrera, Tracey Livesay, Naima Simone, Ali Hazelwood, Diana Quincy, Andie J. Christopher, and Sophie Jordan, and we had the best time! This audio is imper...

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Sarah has a new book out, so as is tradition for our last episode of the season, Jen is playing host, and Sarah is playing guest, and we’re talking about journeys vs. quests, how being a romance heroine is political, and why Heartbreaker just might be Sarah’s most romantic book. It’s mostly a spoiler free episode, but you might prefer to finish your read before listening. Enjoy! And don’t miss the first two chapters of the magnific...

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The final Trailblazer of Season 4 is a very excellent one—we’re welcoming JR Ward to Fated Mates! Best known as the author of The Black Dagger Brotherhood (a series that blooded Jen), JR began her career writing contemporary romances under the name Jessica Bird before turning to the vampires the romance world adores. In this episode, we talk about the twists and turns of her early career, about the influence of her mother and other...

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Our final interstitial of Season 4 and we’re talking Antiheroines! If she’s a criminal, a grifter, a villain or a generally bad dude, we’re here for her, we support her, and we’re rooting for her to fall in love! Today we’re talking about the way antiheroines play in romance, about how we hold them to different standards than antiheroes (it’s the patriarchy, that’s why!), and about why they seem to be more prevalent in historicals ...

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You’re getting the full banana this week, y’all, because we were together! Like, actually face to face, across a table in a hotel room! We’re talking Apollycon and Fated Mates Live, answering your questions, recommending fun books, and generally being delightful in your earholes (listen, if we’re not delightful, don’t tell us, we had a great time)!

Thanks to Grand Central Publishing, publishers of Farrah Rochon’s The Hookup Plan, Bl...

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This week, we’re talking about one of our (and many of your!) favorite recent contemporary romances, Talia Hibbert’s Get a Life, Chloe Brown. We’ve talked about Talia on a number of episodes before, and we’re so happy that our final read-along for Season 4 is this one — which is a straight shot of sexy joy directly into readers’ hearts. Also…these two are so thirsty for each other and it’s great.

We talk about artists and handymen ...

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July 20, 2022 74 min

Four seasons in, we’re just throwing caution to the wind now. It’s Daddy week! Yes, that kind of daddy. No, it’s not for everyone, but it is for us and we’re talking about the whys and hows and wtfs herein. Headphones in, obviously.

Fated Mates Live, in person is happening — if you have tickets to the live show in Alexandria, VA on July 30th — let us know on our Twitter thread (and find friends!). If you didn’t get a ticket, but w...

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July 12, 2022 65 min

It’s July, which means it is officially summer reading time in the northern hemisphere! We’re so excited to share this week’s episode, in which we talk about Beach Reads that aren’t just beach reads but are actually beach reads, by which we mean, romances in which the characters — *ahem* — on the beach. It’s all part of the service we provide here at Fated Mates. We’re taking little trips to Spindle Cove and Lucky Harbor before we ...

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