Fated Mates - A Romance Novel Podcast podcast

06.32: Secret Babies, Friends-to-Lovers and More — Books we love with tropes we don’t

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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 rules, meaning…tropes we don’t care for that are done really really well.

So! This one is for everyone who’s ever asked Jen for Secret Baby or Virgin Heroes and anyone who’s ever asked Sarah for Friends to Lovers or Spies. We talk about the books that make us go…not that…but maybe that?

We also want to thank the following publishers and authors for their incredible generosity in making sure that almost every attendee of the Live went home with a romance novel. We are so lucky to share Romancelandia with you: Avon Books, Ballantine Books, Blue Box Press, Dell, Grand Central/Forever, Gallery Books, Lauren Blakely, LJ Evans, Pippa Grant, Ana Huang, Parker S. Huntington & LJ Shen, Elle Kennedy, Avery Maxwell, Ava Miles, Max Monroe, Kathryn Nolan, Amari Nylix, Meghan Quinn, Piper Rayne, P Rayne, Stephanie Rose, Lucy Score, & TL Swan.

Photo credits: Stephanie Keith

Show Notes

We had the very best time at Fated Mates Live, and it wouldn’t have been nearly as fun without Lauren being there. Christina Lauren’s newest book, The Paradise Problem, is out May 14th. Preorder it now, and check out their tour schedule to go see them (they’re even more terrific in person) when they’re near you!

Solar eclipses are very cool, and Jen really should have gone home…. as it turns out, 95% is not anything like 100%! If you have the chance, you should go get in that path of totality. Jen’s brother Erik was at his office rooftop in downtown Cleveland and saw people getting married, and also took a very cool video at totality. New York earthquake twitter was pretty funny, too.

Jen, staunchly anti- virgin heroes since 2018.

Kevin Costner’s speech about luck from Bull Durham.

The book about women in the CIA is called The Sisterhood: The Secret History of Women at the CIA by Liza Mundy.

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