Mackenzie Carter is tired of her grandmother trying to set her up on dates and, without thinking, she blurts out that she’s met someone. Unfortunately, the first name out of her mouth is the last man she would ever want to be paired up with - Noah Taylor, the big bad wolf of Denver General. Noah has worked hard to keep his alpha designation a secret for years, afraid that the stigma surrounding unmated alphas will ruin his career. But an anonymous tip has his world crumbling down around him. So when Mack asks him to be her fake boyfriend on the same day he has to meet with the board, he proposes a fake dating scheme that will keep her grandmother off her back and the board off his. But chemistry is hard to ignore and the pair find themselves developing a very real friends with benefits arrangement that has them blurring the lines between what’s real and what’s just pretend.
I never knew I need a contemporary paranormal romance, but when Lana Ferguson tells me she’s got some “wolfy shit” (her exact words) coming out, it becomes an immediate need. The grumpy/sunshine vibes are immaculate, the fake dating turned real friends with benefits is hot as all hell, and the underlying question of whether they will be found out had me flipping pages as fast as I could.
As a Grey’s Anatomy enthusiast (despite how outrageous it is), it was so much fun to see a story like this in a hospital setting. The hospital politics, the one person who always has all the gossip, the exam room shenanigans - it hit all the right notes. Plus, the scene that directly references Grey’s made me actually laugh out loud.
One thing that does not need to be stated but will be anyways: Lana Ferguson knows how to write spice. If you’ve read her debut THE NANNY, then you know exactly how much steam to expect. Maybe keep a fan close by so your hand doesn't get tired from fanning yourself through all the spicy scenes.
And speaking of THE NANNY, there is a quick cameo from our favorite geriatric bestie Wanda and it’s the most Wanda cameo ever and had me chuckling well after I read it.
THE FAKE MATE by Lana Ferguson hits shelves on December 5, 2023 and you’re gonna wanna preorder a copy here so you have it on release day. Want a little something extra? Lana has paired up with Meet Cute Romance Bookshop yet again and you can get your copy with a signed bookplate and art print if you preorder here by December 1, 2023.
Disclaimer: I received an advanced copy of this book from the author for free and have voluntarily written this review. If you purchase a copy using my Bookshop affiliate link above, not only will I receive a small commission (which will fuel my coffee and tea addiction and help to keep me up all night reading more books to recommend to you), but you will be supporting indie bookstores as well! If you prefer Amazon, visit my Amazon storefront and click on the list titled "2023 Book Recommendations."