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

June 12, 2024 97 mins


We’re talking about brothers and sisters as secondary characters in romance today — by popular demand from listeners, it’s our sibling episode! We get to the bottom of why we all love secondary siblings—the overbearing olders, the wild child middles, the delightful youngers, the equally handsome and broad shouldered boys, the snarky, stunning girls, and everyone else who’s ever caught our eye and made us say “now where’s there ...

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School’s out for Jen’s summer and Sarah’s in the final stretch so we’re dreaming of romance beach reads and talking about our massive summer TBR piles! There’s something here for everyone — hot librarians, superheroes, heists, funeral homes, wedding planners and baseball players and F1 drivers and, of course, dukes.

Our next read along is Joanna Shupe’s The Devil of Downtown, from her Uptown Girls trilogy. It’s Jen’s favorite in the...

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One of our most popular interstitial topics, we had to come back for a third run at Curvy Heroines this month in celebration of Bridgerton-mania online and our absolute delight that we finally get to see Penelope get that handsome man who is just back from his long trip to glow-up-land (we deserve nice things, and so do curvy heroines)! Sarah’s talking exclusively about historicals today, and Jen is bringing new-to-the-pod authors ...

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May 22, 2024 79 mins
Gather together your bouquets and boutonnières, wedding season is here! But, in typical Fated Mates fashion, we spend the first 20 minutes talking about Pulp Fiction (just go with it, these are the mysterious ways of the podcast and you just need to trust the process). Then, we’re talking weddings in romance novels—not the books where the main characters get hitched, but instead they are guests at a wedding. Maybe they’re fake dati...
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We don’t often talk about secondary characters in romance, but this week, we’re talking about the women who provide wisdom, council and laughs in romance—moms, grandmothers and aunties! We talk about the shocking epidemic of orphaned main characters in romance, about how extended family provides nuance in the books, and about our very favorite mothers, grandmothers, aunties and adopted olde...

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May 8, 2024 113 mins

This one is for our historical lovers! We’re talking about everyone’s favorite title — Dukes! We get to the bottom of many duke questions, including: Why so many? Why are they always dukes? What’s wrong with princes? How do these guys make their money anyway? What’s with all the normies inheriting dukedoms? What about duchesses? And more! Please remember that everything we are about to say ...

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For our forever favorite, Kate Clayborn, our third Fated Mates Live episode! During the absolutely delightful event (we had so much fun!), Kate selected an interstitial topic that we’ve never tackled, somehow? It’s time for Marriage in Trouble! We talk about the old school bones of the trope, with ingenue wives and the jaded heroes who have to crawl over glass for them, about marriages that...

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Headphones in! This is not for beginners. Our second Fated Mates Live episode is live! During the event (which was so so fun we love every single one of you who came!), the fabulous Nikki Payne selected one of the most challenging interstitial topics we’ve ever tackled—Inanimate (and sentient!) objects! So! This one is very very odd, and filled with a number of recs that just prove that the...

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This is the first of three episodes inspired by the incredible time we had at Fated Mates Live in Brooklyn. During the event (which was so so fun we love every single one of you who came!), we asked guests Nikki Payne, Kate Clayborn and Lauren Billings of Christina Lauren to choose an interstitial topic they would like us to tackle on the show. Lauren chose a great one: Exceptions to our ru...

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This week, we’re talking about film adaptation and romance novels with Yulin Kuang, filmmaker and romance novelist. We discuss her work as both a screenwriter and director (she’s writing and directing the adaptation of Emily Henry’s Beach Read), and her debut romance novel, How to End a Love Story, set inside the writers room on a television show between the author of the books the show is ...

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We’re finally diving into alpha submissive romance novels during this deep dive of Heather Guerre’s Preferential Treatment, one of Sarah’s best books of 2022. We’re talking about the way some romances do such immense work today—this one really digging into something that romance usually steers clear of…money. We know money and power are inexorably intertwined, but what does that really mean...

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An absolute classic for a reason, we’re talking about Beauty & the Beast today — about the trope itself, about how the 1991 Disney movie brought it back to life (yes, we see you, Dain), and about why we love the vibe of scarred and broken men in a castle being found and renovated by whip smart, bookish heroines. Spoiler: It’s patriarchy.

If you j...

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March 19, 2024 139 mins

The cornerstone of the genre. The one thing that, when thrown into question, is guaranteed to enrage every corner of Romancelandia. We’re talking about Happily Ever After (HEA). Its promise, its importance, its relevance to us as readers, writers and people in the world. We talk about what really makes it hard won and deserved for us — which means yes, we’re talking about grovels and yes, w...

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March 13, 2024 83 mins

A classic among classics, we’re talking enemies to lovers this week! We get to the bottom of what we think of as “enemies,” and how it differs from “rivals-to-lovers” and “friends-to-enemies-to-lovers” and “friends-to-lovers” (jk, we’ll never understand friends-to-lovers). We revisit some of our very favorite romances, talk about stakes, about impossible situations, and about how sexy hatin...

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Sometimes you just have to get to the bottom of something, and that’s what we’re here for. Today, we’re taking an unexpected, unexpectedly thorough at what might be one of the rarest and most maligned heroes in Romancelandia—the Himbo. He’s darling, he’s sweet, and he’s made of nothing but love and abs. Journey with us as we consider the place of these lovable dummies in the pantheon of thi...

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February 28, 2024 77 mins

Y’all enjoyed Romance Science so much, we figured, why not tackle romance law next! This week, we’re discussing wills and trusts, inheritances, guardianship, and more than a few HR violations! We also begin the episode with an important addendum to Romance Science (apologies to the Passion fans in the crowd).

There’s still time for you to join us for...

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We’re joined this week by the fabulous Nikki Payne, author of Pride & Protest and this month’s new release Sex, Lies & Sensibility to talk about home renovation romance and why we all love it so much! Is it because of competence? Yes. Because we like it when characters have to walk through fire together? Definitely. Because of the metaphor for our lives and futures? Absolutely. We t...

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We’re talking about gaming hells! Is it residual Derek Craven love? Probably. Why does Sarah love a casino so much? Why are we so into ladies being wagered by the idiot men in their lives? What makes these places that are so not sexy in real 2024 life so incredibly hot in a) James Bond movies, b) heist movies, and c) historical romances? We’re getting to the bottom of it—or at least, we’re ...

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We’re so excited for today’s deep dive on Natalie Caña’s A Dish Best Served Hot — a sexy, second-chance romance that gave us so many feelings, including delight that Natalie is at the very beginning of her romance writing career! Here we talk about taking big swings in romance, about telling love stories against the backdrop of real life issues, and about how this book’s ending might be the...

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It’s February which means it’s time for the biggest holiday in romance — Derek Craven Day! We’re so thrilled to be able to celebrate this remarkable man—born in a drainpipe, named himself, turned to a life of spectacle stealing—with all of you! This year, we’re so excited to have friend of the pod and of Cravens, Sanjana (follow her on TikTok at baskinsuns), to chat with us about her landma...

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