The Fake Mate by Lana Ferguson
Publication Date: December 5th 2023 by Berkley
Mackenzie, an ER doctor and wolf-shifter, needs a man to get her grandmother to stop with the matchmaking. Her dates have been awful and she’s tired of it. Dr. Noah Taylor needs a mate since someone has outed his Alpha status to the board of directors, and most fear that designation when the Alpha is not mated. Alpha shifters are supposed to be safer when they’re mated, so when Mackenzie asks him to fake-date he jumps at the chance if she’ll pretend to be his mate. Of course, their fake situation will lead to more. This is a romance, after all!
The Fake Mate was entertaining and hot! It grabbed my attention when I saw it was a shifter romance, since I love shifter stories, but I would call this shifter-lite, more focused on romance. Their romance was very spicy. I do enjoy spice in a romance, but sometimes, less is more. I ended up skimming after the first few because they went on and on.
The humor and banter were fun, and I enjoyed the grumpy/sunshine aspect, although, I think Noah was oblivious to his surroundings, focused on his job, more than a true grump. Noah and Mackenzie were both likable and relatable and it was easy to see they were made for each other and I enjoyed their journey to a real HEA!
Two wolf shifters agree to be fake mates but unexpectedly find something real in this steamy paranormal romantic comedy by Lana Ferguson.
Mackenzie Carter has had some very bad dates lately. Model train experts, mansplainers, guys weirdly obsessed with her tail—she hasn’t had a successful date in months. Only a year out of residency, her grandmother’s obsession with Mackenzie finding the perfect mate to settle down with threatens to drive Mackenzie barking mad. Out of options, it feels like a small thing to tell her grandmother that she’s met someone. That is, until she blurts out the name of the first man she sees and the last man she would ever date: Noah Taylor, the big bad wolf of Denver General.
Noah Taylor, interventional cardiologist and all around grump, has spent his entire life hiding what he is. With outdated stigmas surrounding unmated alphas that have people wondering if they still howl at the moon, Noah has been careful to keep his designation under wraps. It’s worked for years, until an anonymous tip has everything coming to light. Noah is left with two options: come clean to the board and risk his career—or find himself a mate. The chatty, overly friendly ER doctor asking him to be her fake boyfriend on the same day he’s called to meet the board has to be kismet, right?
Mackenzie will keep her grandmother off her back, and Noah will get a chance to prove he can continue to work without a real mate—a mutually beneficial business transaction, they both rationalize. But when the fake-mate act turns into a very real friends-with-benefits arrangement, lines start to blur, and they quickly realize love is a whole different kind of animal.