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Amanda Shofner

Grand Mistress of On a Book Bender. On the path of least revision. Wine supplier for grammar pain sufferers. #BecauseWine. Idea wrangler. Wielder of words. Black coffee drinker.

Currently reading

Jayne Castle
Diana Peterfreund
Bad Behavior
Jennifer Lane
The False Prince
Jennifer A. Nielsen
Light of the Moon (Legend of the Dreamer, Book 1)
David James
Amaryllis (St. Helen's Series #1)
Ten Ways to Be Adored When Landing a Lord - Sarah MacLean I have two gripes about this series: one, the titles are ridiculously long to type out; two, I don't have the next book in my hands RIGHT NOW.But the titles are FUN. I get serious giggles every time it rhymes in my head. No, I'm not drunk. And I've already requested my library copy. Duke of Leighton, you have some 'splaining to do.So now that we've cleared up my "gripes" about this series, can I just say that I adored Ten Ways to Be Adored When Landing a Lord? I liked the absence of the ton and balls; Isabel's situation is so much more precarious by being out in the country and so very alone.And then there's Nick. Chased out of London by ladies attempting to land him. Determined not to follow in the footsteps of his parents. Heh. They always think they can resist, don't they? But put self-sufficient, beautiful Isabel in his path, and... well, this is a romance.I appreciate that the characters of this series are not cookie cutter---their circumstances different, their motivations different, and yet you love them all the same. Because we met Nick in his brother and Callie's book, Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake, we know only enough to be intrigued. And Nick doesn't disappoint.Isabel doesn't disappoint, either. She is fierce and determined and she cares about the women who have been cast out or escaped terrible conditions. She's not without her faults, but again, one of my favorite types of historical romance heroines.I loathe the day I run out of Sarah MacLean books to read.
Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake - Sarah MacLean Do you ever have a book that has you glancing over to the next page because you have to see what's happening next and then going back to your page and furiously reading? That was Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake. Lots of furious reading. And it was glorious. Sarah MacLean doesn't disappoint.I have a confession to make, though. Calpurnia---Callie---is often considered "plain" because she has brown hair and eyes. And I'm trying to figure out why it bothers me less here than in, say, Someone Like You. It always bothers me to see brown-eyed, brown-haired characters considered plain. But perhaps the difference here is that Callie is internalizing and accepting what society has told her---like what society today still tells us. I can relate to that.But what's more: Ralston, too, thinks Callie plain. Until he looks closer and gets to know her. And that's what I find redeeming about Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake: brown-eyed, brown-haired Callie turns from plain to lovely. Or rather, she always has been. In a way, it forces us to reconsider what it means to be "plain." And that brown is beautiful too.It helps too, that Callie just wants to fight for her happiness. She wants to experience everything that's been denied to her because she had the "misfortune" of being born a woman. And I love when women buck tradition. I love when strong, pig-headed men fall hard. When self-proclaimed "ne'er fall in love"ers fall in love. Sarah MacLean's historical romances hit my happy spot. The kind of happy spot that has me curled up in a chair reading the book cover to cover because I can't force myself to stop. The happy spot that has me eyeing the next book in the series, which I also picked up at the library, and thinking I better start that one soon. And I shall.
Storm - Brigid Kemmerer Well. I started Storm late one evening--eight or nine--and couldn't pull myself away from it until I'd finished. And considering I'm in the middle of an adult historical romance bender and Storm is YA paranormal, that's a high compliment. I thought I was burnout on YA paranormal. Not, apparently, if it's from Brigid Kemmerer.Another reason I know this series rocks? I was able to handle a--wait for it--love triangle. And you know how I hate those. And I hated this one too, but it made sense. It wasn't overdone. If I can tolerate that, then the story has to be good. #LogicI find myself clamoring for the next book in the Elemental series because for as much as we learn in Storm, there is a lot more left to learn. We're with Becca, who knows nothing. We're with Chris, who knows what's happening, but as a narrator, he is slow to give up his secrets. Brigid Kemmerer nailed the "just enough information to keep me feverishly reading, but not revealing so little that I want to give up reading" line.It's a tough line to walk, y'all.I am intrigued by this elemental world. But I like elemental powers. And I like how they were explained in Storm. Even though I know, without a doubt, there is more information to be had. I more more Elemental world. I want more Merrick brothers. Their family dynamic is a bit heart-wrenching. I liked Becca. She wasn't damsel in distress, but she wasn't "I don't need anybody" either. She was real. Real is good.Bottom line: I want more.
Porn & Revolution in the Peaceable Kingdom - Micaela Morrissette Porn & Revolution in the Peaceable Kingdom is for people who......are not scared off by the title of "Porn & Revolution"...like when books flip reality on you; humans as pets whaaat?...love a little revolution...or sex (feral, dirty sex)...have ever wondered about animals and their devious plans...enjoy stories that are just a little oddPorn & Revolution in the Peaceable Kingdom was a free story I read on Tor.com on September 9, 2013 for the Why Buy the Cow? reading challenge. I read it for the title. Like this surprises you?
The Duchess War - Courtney Milan Whee! More Courtney Milan. After reading The Governess Affair, I was excited to dive into The Duchess War and see the brothers in action. I wasn't disappointed.One aspect of The Duchess War I enjoyed was that Robert, our hero, was not suave. By any means. He was passionate about his causes and funny and moral, but not a charmer of the ladies. Unless you're charmed by lines like, "You have magnificent tits." He's not the typical historical romance hero, and I found that I liked it.But Minnie was fun. She has secrets. Scandals. Backbone. Robert never stood a chance. I always enjoy a heroine who's progressive and smart beyond the times. Minnie certainly fits that role. Strong heroines for the win!The Duchess War also introduces other characters in the Brothers Sinister series and I can't wait to dive into their own stories. Though the series surrounds the brothers (and their group), there's a strong focus on women and as much as I love a good hero, woman power is where it's at.
Legacy Lost - Anna Banks Legacy Lost is for people who......have read Of Poseidon (and the other books in the series)*...want to know the story of Grom and Nalia...don't mind third person present tense (It's as painful as I remember)...are invested in the series ...or are just interested enough to want to know more*I would say that, though the story happens before the events in Of Poseidon, reading this book first would likely be confusing.Legacy Lost was a free book I read on Tor's website on August 28, 2013 for the Why Buy the Cow? reading challenge.

One Dance with a Duke (Stud Club Trilogy #1)

One Dance with a Duke - Tessa Dare Can we just pause for a moment and revel in the hilarity of a club called the Stud Club? Hilarity and brilliance. Because...STUD CLUB. Good times, good times.With a series name of Stud Club, you know it's going to have the kind of humor that doesn't take itself too seriously. So while it does get emotional (and seriously, give me a romance that doesn't--wait, don't), it doesn't have the same kind of emotion tugging that, say, the Sarah MacLean books I read did. And you know what? That's perfectly OKAY. Too much of the same is bad.I liked Amelia even though I, like Spencer, thought her faith in her brother was a wee bit misplaced. But it also gave the story part of its push and pull, so can you really fault her too much? No. You can't. I do wish her need to put people in front of her own desires was explored a little more, but...I was satisfied. (As were Amelia and Spencer. Multiple times. But they might have been satisfied in different way than I was...)Moving on.Spencer was a delight. Fun. Romantic while denying every moment of it. And his being completely bewitched by Amelia was so very entertaining. Because he doesn't know why, but he just goes with it. On gut instinct. Wait. It may have not been his gut. But either way, he goes after what he wants without looking too closely at why. Rawr.One aspect of One Dance with a Duke that I appreciated was the inclusion of family. It wasn't a strong family-family kind of book. (I'm not sure what that means, but it sounds right.) But it did feature familial ties and that matters for something.You can bet I'm going to seek out books two and three in this Stud Club trilogy. Heh.
One Good Earl Deserves a Lover - Sarah MacLean You know what makes me happy? Books like One Good Earl Deserves a Lover. I put up with reading the entire book on my phone's Kindle app just so I had the chance to read it. I don't risk eye strain for just any book, you know. And in case you're wondering, One Good Earl Deserves a Lover is worth the risk. Also, the title's fun to say.Pippa is my favorite sort of historical fiction heroine: strong, intelligent, and logical. Toss out the smelling salts. She's progressive--far beyond the times--and I like that. I like it a lot. And while Cross didn't quite flip my switch (What? Redheads just don't do it for me.), he was suitably fun and tortured and determined to do the right thing, even if what was "right" was wrong.Like A Rogue by Any Other Name, One Good Earl Deserves a Lover is the perfect way to spend an afternoon. Yes, again I have devoured the book in an afternoon. I don't do that for just any book either. With the right amount of wit and emotion-tugging, One Good Earl Deserves a Lover delivers an escape read that has me wanting more. Why do I have to wait until November for the next book?The Rules of Scoundrels books do a good job of setting up the next scoundrel in each book, and I can't wait to get my hands on Temple. His book, rather. Until then, I shall survive on Sarah MacLean's other series.
Jennifer's Journal #1: Snatched by the Greys - Alexandrinha Abbott Read the full #boutofbooks group review on our Storify.
A Rogue by Any Other Name - Sarah MacLean Excuse me while I go seek out all Sarah MacLean's other historical romances. I find that I simply must read them all. Have you ever picked up a book only to discover that its genre is exactly what you needed? That's what A Rogue by Any Other Name did to me: historical romances are my current choice of book drug. And I'm not ready to give it up.A Rogue by Any Other Name came recommended to me by Nikki. I've always enjoyed historical romances, but they seem to inevitably land in my second spot. I love them, but... there's always another genre that occupies the number one spot. But this book taught me that sometimes you just need to embrace the historical. Fantastic recommendation, Nikki.This was, for me, a pure escape read. One, like Maya Banks's Highlanders series, I devoured in a single day. It's the type of book you throw yourself into the arms of and swoon a little. Yeah, I went there. So what?From a historical romance standpoint, A Rogue by Any Other Name was a fairly straightforward book. But I had ALL THE EMOTIONS and enjoyed the journey that Bourne and Penelope were on. Nothing fells me quite like the stupid, pig-headed male realizing his intelligent wife is exactly the one he needs. (And let's not forget the sex. Because really, ladies.)The scandals and scoundrel aspect of A Rogue by Any Other Name was fun. Historical settings often focus on what's proper, and so anything that's not is, of course, deliciously naughty. One might even say wanton if one was so inclined. (I am, of course.) So this? This was definitely the perfect way to spend an afternoon. And I must prepare for my trip to the library to get more Sarah MacLean books. *walks off in a swirl of skirts*

Someone Like You

Someone Like You - Susan Mallery It's been a long time since I picked up a contemporary romance, but my mood said contemporary and contemporary I got. I was particularly intrigued by the Mafia dons and angry exes. HECK YES DRAMA.But what could have been gritty drama was relatively harmless, making it more of a fluff read than suck-me-into-it escape read. The secondary characters were more interesting to me than Jill and Mac--I especially liked Bev, Jill's aunt, and Emily, Mac's daughter. Every time there was a chance to dig a little deeper into the characters, the story pulled back and moved on.Jill's character got on my nerves a little with her "boring" brown hair and crazy "frizzy" hair that needed to be straightened. (Hey. Curly hair is awesome and brown hair isn't boring.) And her belief that she wasn't sexy (and her obsession with having Mac say it) because she was flat chested. Spoiler: if you've got boobs, men usually like that. Another spoiler: if a guy is going to judge you based on your cup size, you need a different guy. Give me a confident and secure brunette heroine any day. Mac was pretty decent though.I did, however, like how Someone Like You sets up the next book, which had a tendency to intrigue me more than the story I was reading. If someone threw Falling for Gracie at me, I'd catch it instead of bat it away. So while Someone Like You wasn't exactly my favorite book ever, it was an enjoyable way to spend an evening without getting too tied up in huge emotional upheavals.
Highlander Most Wanted - Maya Banks Maya Banks never fails to elicit extreme emotion from me. And then you get conversations like this:Amanda: *flails* MAYA BANKS, WHAT YOU DO TO ME!Kelly: YESSSSS!Amanda: I NEED MOAR HIGHLANDERS *FLAILS*Kelly: Don't you LOVE them????Amanda: THEY MAKE ME WANT TO WEEP WITH JOY.Kelly: LOL! Did you finish the book?Amanda: Yes. Just did. I WANT MOAR.Kelly: The 3rd book doesn't come out until MARCH! WOE WOE WOE.Amanda: Noooooooo. But it's Brodie and Taliesan. AND THAT'S WHAT I WANT.Kelly: I knooooooow.Amanda: But I also want a story for ALL THE BROTHERS. And Rorie. ALL THE SIBLINGS.Kelly: I AGREE!Amanda: Gah. I NEED ALL THE MAYA BANKS HIGHLANDERS NOW.ALL THE MAYA BANKS HIGHLANDERS. Is it March yet? No? Dammit. I suppose I'll have to actually write a review then.I picked up Highlander Most Wanted on my birthday bookstore trip. I've found that Maya Banks's Highlander books cut through any reading apathy or afternoon with ease. They're perfect escape books, and Highlander Most Wanted was no exception.Maya Banks has a formula, to be sure. But each couple is so carefully nuanced that it never feels like a formula. Genevieve has had a shitty year. Captured by a bastard, she's given up hope. UNTIL BOWEN SHOWS UP. Watching the fierce warrior fall under her spell never gets old. NEVER. And I want more.The Montgomery and the Armstrong siblings are the perfect companions to spend an afternoon with. Whenever I need an escape read, they deliver. (Yeah. They deliciously deliver.) And sometimes, we need the escape reads--the ones that have us reading cover to cover without little pause because we can't tear ourselves away. And Maya Banks hasn't failed me yet.
Two Ravens and One Crow  - Kevin Hearne,  Luke Daniels Two Ravens and One Crow is for people who......are fans of the Iron Druid Chronicles...enjoy their Druids...prefer their enjoyable Druids naked (and horny)...want to know what happened in the middle of Granuaile's training (since it's referenced in other books)...need their #NakedDruid fix because what else are we going to read until book 7?...are curious about the Morrigan (Hunted. Man. That book.)...finished book 4 recently--props to you for reading in order...have already finished books 1 through 4; yes, you need to read these in order...can't get enough Iron Druid Chronicles
Hunted - Kevin Hearne The Iron Druid Chronicles is one of my most recommended series and for good reason: it is entertaining and fun + it has broad appeal. This series is the kind you recommend to readers and non-readers alike. It's "if you're only going to read one book this year, make it an Iron Druid book" good.And Hunted is no exception to the Iron Druid awesomeness factor. It's probably also one of the most hard-hitting books to date. Which makes it hard to write a review without giving anything away.But I shall try.To fall back on an oft used and well loved (by me, anyway) phrase: THINGS HAPPEN. Hunted is aptly named, with Atticus, Granuaile, and Oberon being chased across Europe by the Olympians. (And other enemies. And frenemies. Annnnd...Atticus knows a lot of people.)One aspect that I love about this series is how conflicts in previous books come back to bite Atticus in the ass, but in a way that is completely natural--as if we're reading one long story rather than different books.Pretty sure Kevin Hearne is a genius. An adorable one, but one nonetheless.Though the world doesn't necessarily get more complex, the Ragnarok situation does complicate already complicated matters. This story arc is far from over, and we're introduced to a couple more characters that could have interesting implications for future stories. And I like it. I like it a lot. I'm ready for the seventh book.PS. And Oberon? Just plain rocks. Love that dog.
Camping With The Boys - Sock Drawer Press Camping with the Boys is for people who......like more wang for their fuck...can't get enough of the MONSTER COCK...like multiples (partners AND orgasms)...enjoy some dirty talk occasionally ...need it a little dirtyCamping with the Boys was a free Kindle book I downloaded on July 26, 2013 for the Why Buy the Cow? reading challenge.
Werewolf Menage Erotica: Pack Justice - Michelle Fox Werewolf Menage Erotica is for people who......want more wang for their fuck...like menages that are erotic and feature werewolves...enjoy a little D/s...walk the line between pleasure and pain...like doin' it dirtyWerewolf Menage Erotica was a free Kindle book I downloaded on July 26, 2013 for the Why Buy the Cow? reading challenge. Kelly's recommendations FTW!