147 episodes

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

Fated Mates - A Romance Novel Podcast Sarah MacLean & Jen Prokop

    • Arts
    • 4.9 • 495 Ratings

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

    S03.49: YA Romance Interstitial with Nicola Yoon

    S03.49: YA Romance Interstitial with Nicola Yoon

    Two episodes this week! Huzzah!

    Today we’re joined by the extremely delightful, extremely brilliant Nicola Yoon to discuss her extremely romantic new book, Instructions for Dancing, and YA Romance in general! We talk about Nicola’s love of romance novels (which she shares with the heroine of her book), about her history with them, and about what makes YA Romance so extremely delicious. We also talk about her new project with the Obamas and her new imprint for young readers at Random House.

    • 1 hr
    S03.48: The Ted Lasso Interstitial: Is Roy Kent a Romance Hero?

    S03.48: The Ted Lasso Interstitial: Is Roy Kent a Romance Hero?

    “Hang on,” we can hear you saying, “isn’t this a romance novel podcast?” It absolutely is, and that’s why we’re dropping a very special episode about the character who is the most perfect on-screen version of a romance hero that ever there was: Captain of the AFC Richmond team, Roy Kent. Added bonus, we’re joined by Jen’s brother Erik to talk sports stories (and check in on Jürgen Klopp).

    Spoilers abound, so if you haven’t watched Season 1, do that first!

    • 1 hr 41 min
    S03.47: Taboo Romance Interstitial with Nikki Sloane

    S03.47: Taboo Romance Interstitial with Nikki Sloane

    It’s Taboo Romance week! We’re thrilled to be joined by Nikki Sloane, whose books we’ve adored for years here on FM. We talk about what makes a romance taboo, about why readers are drawn to taboo stories, and about whether taboo romance is empirically erotic.

    • 1 hr 15 min
    S03.46: Susan Elizabeth Phillips

    S03.46: Susan Elizabeth Phillips

    We are so excited to have absolute romance legend Susan Elizabeth Phillips with us to discuss every fangirly question we had for her! We talked about her new book, When Stars Collide, the latest in the Chicago Stars series, about her role in inventing the sports romance, about the opera and the way she thinks about her career after a few decades of writing. We had the BEST time.

    • 1 hr 8 min
    S03.45: Dark Romance Interstitial: Monsters Need Love, Too.

    S03.45: Dark Romance Interstitial: Monsters Need Love, Too.

    We promised you an episode on Dark Romance and truthfully we’re pretty proud of how well we’ve delivered. We’ve got Kenya Goree-Bell, Nisha Sharma, Joanna Shupe and Jo Brenner with us today to dig deep on this subgenre that we don’t read regularly. We are endlessly grateful for their guidance through this end of the romance pool!

    We talk about what makes a romance “dark,” about how dark romance differs from morality chain and taboo romance, and about why dark romance resonates with so many readers. Oh, and yes, if you’re curious, we fill your TBR pile (obvi). Stay tuned at the end of the episode for additional reflections from Sarah & Jen.

    CONTENT NOTE: Because Dark Romance can include all sorts of problematic content, we don’t shy away from many of those topics in this episode. Proceed with caution, both in listening and in reading.

    • 1 hr 51 min
    S03.44: The Stage Dive Series by Kylie Scott: #HeroesWhoEat

    S03.44: The Stage Dive Series by Kylie Scott: #HeroesWhoEat

    We’re back to read alongs this week! We’re big Kylie Scott fans here at Fated Mates, and we talked about her Stage Dive series all the way back in Season One on our very first interstitial, and now we’re doing a deep dive. We’d intended to do book three, Lead, but we ended up talking about all four, and honestly, rereading this was pretty great for us. We hope it was great for you, too.

    Our next read along, sometime in July, is Cat Sebastian’s wonderful Unmasked by the Marquess. Get it at Amazon, Apple Books, B&N, Kobo, or Bookshop.org.

    Thank you, as always, for listening! Please follow us on your favorite podcasting app, and if you are up for leaving a rating or review there, we would be very grateful!

    Show Notes

    Sarah has a book coming on August 24th! Preorder Bombshell now. You won't regret it.


    Everyone is struggling with getting dressed again. 


    It’s a 1001 in the 1001 Dark Nights series as an homage and allusion to Scheherazade, the story-teller of the Arabian Nights. 


    We also love the VIP series by Kristen Callihan, and the 4th book in that series, Exposed, comes out next month, July 2021.


    On our upcoming episode with Susan Elizabeth Phillips, where she told us that back in the day, “rock stars, actors, and athletes” were not allowed in the early days of romance. We aren’t sure why, but we speculate that it was fear of putting “sex, drugs, and rock and roll” and other high roller lifestyles on page. 


    If you want to join the OSRBC group (Old School Romance Book Club) on Facebook, make sure to answer the three questions if you want to be admitted.


    Beverly Jenkins liked the Stage Dive series, too.


    Andi Arndt is the narrator of all Kylie’s books, including the entire Stage Dive series, and Jen thinks she is terrific. 


    The Captains’ Vegas Vows has a similar set up to Lick: waking up married in Vegas, and only one of them remembered what happened. 


    “Retcon” is a word that started out as shorthand for retroactive continuity, and here’s a piece from Merriam-Webster explaining its remarkable elasticity.


    Hyperemesis gravidarum is the medical term for severe morning sickness, which affects about one percent of pregnant people. 


    DC comics claims that Batman doesn’t go down, but the internet and everyone else on twitter and even Zach Snyder disagred. But in all seriousness, maybe it's just another interesting data point about America turning back towards the Hays Code and continuing to remove sex from all kinds of media.

    Thelma and Louise does have a great ending, you can’t argue with that. And since 2021 is the 30th anniversary of the film’s release, there are lots of interesting retrospectives on the movie.


    Desmond Morris is an English zoologist who outlined the 12 stages of intimacy -- hey, humans are animals, too! 


    Our July interviews will be with Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Nicola Yoon, and Nikki Sloane. Our July read-along is Unmasked by the Marquess by Cat Sebastian.

    • 1 hr 21 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
495 Ratings

495 Ratings

ashever ,

All the bananas amazing!

I found out about Fated Mates through their collaboration episode with Learning the Tropes. I am relatively new to reading romance and started with their episodes on Bridgerton and this has led me to just listening to all the episodes. By God, these ladies are amazing!!! I live for their snarky banter and their smart insights on basically anything. They are not afraid to say how they feel and to discuss subjects in romance that are otherwise ignored. I started the Waking up with the Duke episode and had to stop halfway through, because I knew I had to read it. Talk about a book the blooded me…thank you Sarah and Jen.

Emmy from the block ,

Best podcast out today

This podcast is funny, smart, interesting - pretty much the top podcast running today. I’ve rediscovered my love of romance through listening. Dive in!

Sophy2016 ,

Prisoner of my desire

Thank you for recommending this book. I enjoyed it. It was a rather original setup. I enjoyed your show about 50 Shades of Grey. I refused to read it on principle but it was interesting to hear the industry take

Top Podcasts In Arts

Listeners Also Subscribed To