Heat Factor: One open-door sex scene without a ton of detail
Character Chemistry: The fate is right there in the title.
Plot: Baker and billionaire / artist / flamingo shifter trapped in creepy banquet hall during a snowstorm.
Overall: Short, sweet, and fun
So the backstory on this book, in case you don’t know, is that Elva Birch mocked up a promo for April Fools’ Day 2021 as a joke—and then ended up writing the book, because how could she not? And then when she wrote it, how could I not read it? I mean: look at this.
Anyways, Anita is a cupcake baker who has just landed a huge job supplying cupcakes for a charity auction. After staying up all night frosting 2000 little cakes of joy, she rushes off to the event center to deliver them, even though the sky is looking awfully overcast. When she arrives, it’s oddly quiet—the only person there is Frank, who helps her unload the cupcakes, reveals he’s the bajillionaire sponsoring the event, and then breaks the bad news that the party is canceled because of the storm. And then the power goes out.
Most of the book is just Frank and Anita hanging out in a big, dark, cold building. There’s some extra creepy ambiance because someone else might *also* be there, but isn’t revealing themself. There’s cute banter, and a tiny bit of angst about the whole fated mates thing, and fort made of drapes, and really ridiculous game of Simon Says.
I liked this book mostly because it doesn’t take itself too seriously. Like, Frank is a billionaire flamingo shifter, right? And how did he make his money? He is an artist who makes LAWN ART. But like really high-end lawn art. So that’s the tone we’re going for, and I chortled and went with it.
On a more substantive level, Birch plays around with shifter tropes in fun ways. Frank’s inner flamingo—who recognizes Anita as his mate immediately—helpfully encourages Frank to dance as a mating ritual. Luckily, inner flamingos seem to be less forceful than inner wolves, so there’s no overtone of sexual violence coloring their interactions.
At its core, underneath all the playfulness, The Flamingo’s Fated Mate is a really gentle romance, where the characters are kind to each other and respect each others’ boundaries. Perfect for a rainy day when you need a quick pick-me-up.
I voluntarily read and reviewed a complimentary copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own. We disclose this in accordance with 16 CFR §255.
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