The Fake Mate

Berkley. Dec. 2023. 400p. ISBN 9780593549377. pap. $17. PARANORMAL ROMANCE
In this wolf shifter romance, Dr. Mackenzie “Mack” Carter’s grandmother is obsessed with finding her a mate, but all of the resulting dates have been duds. In desperation, Mack tells her grandmother she’s dating someone and blurts out the name of the first person she sees: Dr. Noah Taylor. Noah is universally disliked at the hospital where he and Mack both work. Now someone has turned him in to the hospital board as an unmated alpha—a stigma that could jeopardize his job. He needs a mate—fast—or his career could be over. When Mack tells him her plan, he can’t believe his luck and quickly agrees to a fake relationship. Soon their chemistry is too strong to resist, and their new friendship turns into a friends-with-benefits arrangement. The longer they pretend, the closer they get, but what pushed them together could tear them apart. This fun, steamy romance has interesting, well-drawn characters who happen to be shifters. While aspects of the wolf play into the dynamics (and mechanics) of the story, the focus is on the relationship between the protagonists.
VERDICT Fans of fake relationships will appreciate Ferguson’s (The Nanny) paranormal twist on the trope.
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