The Herd Archives

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Montana Fire by Lisa Jackson (Random Read #1)

This was my Random Read for February as well as my first time reading Lisa Jackson and, well, it was exhausting. Montana Fire is made up of two shorter stories about the McLean brothers, Denver and Colton. The stories are loosely connected but can be read separately. I really wasn't a fan of Aftermath and if basing my opinion on just that story would never pick up another Lisa Jackson book again. Ever. I did manage to finish the entire book and ended up liking the second story Tender Trap and it's characters a good deal more. I'd maybe, maybe pick up another book of Jackson's after reading Colton's story but I'm not going out of my way to get my hands on one. There were a lot of similarities between the storylines for each brother which was a little on the unoriginal side and left me wondering if it was a theme Jackson uses often in her writing. In both the slightly older hero dumps the heroine when they're kids over a misunderstanding/betrayal and because she's too young, stays away for years with no communication and the heroine never dates or is with anyone else during the near decade because they still love the hero even though he was an ass and isn't in their lives any longer. At least in the second story the relationship was somewhat believable and the characters were nice to one another and decent people overall. 

Type: Contemporary Romance
Heat: 2 out of 5
Rating: 2 out of 5


"Naive and in love, Tessa Kramer had lost her innocence to Denver McLean under the Montana sky. But when a fire blazed through the McLean ranch, casting deadly suspicion on Tessa's ardor, Denver left and never looked back. Now, years later, he's returned. But will their scars from the past undo the connection they still feel?"

Wordless Wednesday...mornings.

Alright. I know it's wordless Wednesday but .... This is Gladys and how she's decided to wake me up in the mornings now days. When I moved the room around she got two of her favorite things. Lounging on her mom first thing in the morning and getting to look out of the window at all the trees outside at the same time. It's not her most flattering look but I think they're pretty funny and couldn't help myself.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

February Hot Reads! Bound, Branded & Brazen by Jaci Burton

Do you ever read books that get you a little hot and steamy? If you do, join in Hot Reads and share some of your favorite sexy reads and find some new ones!

Hot Reads is a Monthly Meme, hosted by Book Savvy Babe and Alive on the Shelves, where we get to share our hottest read of the month!  Your choice can be any book, it doesn’t matter the genre, the length, whether it’s new or old.  If you read it during the month, and it raised your temperature, it qualifies to be a HOT READ!  To make things as simple as possible, Hot Reads will take place the 28th day of the month.  So every month, be ready to share your HOT READ pick!  

IMPORTANT: Due to content, this meme is open to participants 18 and older ONLY!

This one sat on my shelf for nearly a year before I finally picked it up. Damn shame too since it was a great read! I'm a city girl through and through but this one had me seriously considering how far the nearest ranch and cowboys are from here :) Whew, yeah, cowboys- who knew?

The book is 3 separate stories each about one of the McMasters' sisters finding their cowboys when they return home to their family ranch. Branded was my favorite and what made it such a Hot Read! Brea's shy, inexperienced and a little wounded. Gabe, he's a little bit aggressive and has the whole dominant thing going on. Likes to be in control and in charge.
"I was patient with you tonight, Brea. I held back. This is what I want you to make sure you're ready for." He fisted his hand in her hair, brought his lips to hers and gave her what he'd wanted to give her all night- a real kiss. She gasped as he parted her lips with his and drove his tongue inside her mouth. He claimed her mouth with demand, with possession, with the understanding that if she came to him again, she'd be his for the taking. He wound his tongue around hers, then sucked, crushing his lips against hers, pushing her back against the wall and letting her feel him--all of him--until there was no mistaking exactly what he wanted. And when he'd pushed her--and himself--to the brink, he let go.  
Brea's eyes shot open.  
"If that's what you want, if that's what you can handle, then you let me know."
So, yeah, things get pretty damn steamy between the two of them (and it's really, really good) but he doesn't just try to jump in her panties. He actually wants to know about her, wants to bring her out of her shell and help her find her self confidence after some pretty bad experiences with other guys. That's what put this one over the top for me. Yeah, I'm getting the whole cowboy thing now!  Or at least this one :)

Did you have any fun, Hot Reads this month?

Friday, February 24, 2012

Follow Friday! Where do you read?

Q: Activity!!! Take a picture or describe where you love to read the most...

A: Alright this is kinda fun. Can't wait to see where everyone reads. I've got 3 spots. 

First spot is my bedroom. Love reading in here. The flash is doing a kinda funny thing with the wall color since it's the middle of the night but it's a really nice moss green color. It's a pretty relaxing and warm place to read.

Second favorite spot is my guest room. I redid it this year after living in the house for near 7 years and never getting it quite right. It's been painted 5 times so far but I think this one's going to stick. Love the dark purple and green.  Added the wall of black bookcases and a nice reading chair too (but I usually use the day bed for reading). 

Last spot is the living room. I ended up here a lot during Christmas. Was so nice with the fire going and the tree up. That's my grandmom when she was visiting and my two dogs (Zack and Margarite) in the first picture. There are a couple nice places to read in there and one of the full wall bookcases I put in this summer (and one of the reasons it's a favorite spot). Love getting to see all my books on display. And, that's part of the group of cats I herd every day enjoying their Christmas catnip.

And. That's my house and where I curl up with all my favorite books. This last year or so I've pretty much made everywhere a good reading spot and I'm loving it :)  

So where do yall curl up?

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Hush (Lodestone #1) by Cherry Adair

A reckless adventure in a deadly paradise.

Thrill seekers Zakary and Gideon Stark travel the globe in search of extreme adventure, but a trip to Venezuela to jump off the world's highest falls catapults them into a perilous game of life or death--where they don't know the rules.

A one-night stand that will change his life forever.
Kidnapped with a woman Zak knows nothing about, the brothers are held prisoner deep in the jungle. A risky, deathdefying escape separates them and nearly claims Zak's life . . . until his recovery reveals a baffling new sixth sense.

An unexpected diversion with lethal consequences.
Now, to find his missing brother, Zak and the mysterious Acadia Gray will have to out-smart, out-gun, and out-maneuver not just the brutal kidnappers but also a new player who joins the adrenaline game: a ruthless opponent who wants the Stark brothers dead--at any cost.

Type: Romantic Suspense, Slight Paranormal 
Heat: 3 out of 5
Rating: 4 out of 5

Sweet Mary I'm gonna have nightmares for a week after this one! But so, so worth it. Once I started Hush I absolutely could not put it down. Just loved it! From characters to the plot and all the action and twists along the way. Could have done without the dinner plate sized spiders and snakes the size of your thigh (cue nightmares!) and I will never, ever, be visiting the jungle but other than that it was nicely done and an enjoyable read. Wasn't at all what I was expecting but sometimes that's a good thing, right? I really thought this was going to be a full on paranormal but in reality the paranormal was just an itty little bit of things. I liked the addition of it though. It was an interesting little twist that had me guessing at what it meant to the overall story. 

Naughty After Dark Blog Hop Winners!

Thanks to everyone who entered our giveaway! Loved all the guilty pleasures. They were great! We had two winners at Herding Cats & Burning Soup. Congrats to....

June M who picked The Mark of a Vampire Queen by Joey W. Hill (nice choice!)


Elie Z who is getting a nice box of chocolates!

If you didn't win this time be sure to stick around. We've got a couple hop giveaways coming up and a new "Take my Books" feature on the way.

AND if you haven't already there's a YA book giveaway of your choice going on right now so don't forget to check that out too!

Wordless Wednesday...a little blown glass.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Recipes: Macaroni and Cheese- a little grown up

I love a good macaroni and cheese and this one was pretty damn good. It's a little dressed up so doesn't feel quite like a kids side dish. The added ingredients (mustard, onion, cayenne pepper) gave it a nice little kick and a wonderful flavor. Smelled heavenly when it was cooking too.

I did manage to throw in my very own blunder and didn't realize with the topping that the oil said 2 teaspoons not 2 Tablespoons. I wasn't paying enough attention and am totally blaming the 140 pound dog hovering around my feet trying to sneak a taste. So my topping was a bit wet and had to be put under the broiler for a bit to get it even a little crispy. I'll definitely make this dish again and get that little bit right. The only change I made to the recipe was adding an extra cup of cheese. I love my mac and cheese really cheesy. Next time I might try a little stronger cheese. I used a mild Cheddar since that was what was on hand. Was still very nice. The dish was creamy and perfect for a snowy day when you just need a little comfort food to get you going.

Recipe after the jump

Girly Crafty Project 1! Building a birdhouse!

 I have officially made my first and last birdhouse! And finished one of my girly crafty projects from my new years resolutions. Woohoo! Okay so it wasn't all that girly but birds are a bit girly, right, so I'm going with it.

I've got this book of 2001 things you should do before you die and building a birdhouse was one of them. So I picked this little one up ages ago and it's been sitting on my shelf. Not sure exactly why we all need to build a birdhouse but a birdhouse we have even though they totally and completely freak. me. the. hell. out. They're not nearly as bad as butterflies ::shudder:: but still.

And this one turned out to be a real bitch. The directions were pretty much a picture with arrows and kinda made my eyes cross. Probably didn't help it was near 3 am when I poured everything out of the box and got started on it. Took me so long to figure it out I'm honest to God embarrassed for myself. But it's done and everything looks pretty much like the picture. I'm not sure how a bird's actually supposed to fit inside that tiny little hole but we'll see. Now to get it waterproofed and hung as far away from the house as humanly possibly and I'll be happy.

The herd even got involved. That's Gladys' little snoot up there checking things out. They're so helpful ;)

Dead After Dark anthology

While I didn't LOVE this anthology as a whole it was worth the read for Ward and Squires' contributions. Both were wonderfully written and left me wanting more- in a good way. Ward is always on my to read list and I'll definitely be reading more from Squires now too.

So, what about yall? Do you love anthologies or try to avoid them? Anyone else find a great new author to read from picking one up like I did with this one?

Type: Paranormal Romance
Heat: 2-3 out of 5
Rating: 3 out of 5

Shadow of the Moon by Sherrilyn Kenyon
Ah Fury. I've loved him for a while now. I have such a soft spot for the ones who are always on the outside and have so few people that believe or care about them.  He really is a good man even if so few see that in him and I was really excited that he finally got his own happily ever after. 400 years after betraying his trust and ending their friendship Angelia has fallen back into Fury's life right when animal shifters are being attacked and trapped in their animal forms. Both filled with hatred for the other and more than willing and determined to kill one another. Things turned so quickly. She got over her deeply ingrained fear/hatred for his kind (animal to human shifters), he forgave her for nearly killing him and being part of the attacks on his kind, they're madly in love, the attacks are dealt with. Was just a lot to happen in a mere 91 pages. I think it would have been an amazing full story. It would have been much easier to take if it were a longer story so Fury and Angelia could slowly rebuild their relationship and trust in one another instead of falling into bed with each other and everything being magically fixed between them. As it was it was just an average and fairly typical short story in an anthology.  One thing I did love was seeing all the big, strong, scary alpha men taken to their knees by little kids. Fury, Fang, Vane and Zarek (oooh Zarek!). It's just amazingly wonderful to see them completely taken and smitten with the little kids in their lives. Hands down my favorite part of this tale.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Kiss of Fury (Dragonfire #2) by Deborah Cooke

Alexandra Madison has discovered an invention that could change the world. When her partner is murdered and their lab destroyed, Alex knows she has to rebuild her prototype in time...

Donovan Shea knows the Madison project is of dire importance to the ongoing Pyr/Slayer war. So when he sees Alex being followed by a Slayer, he reacts and defends her, never imagining that she’s his destined mate...

As Slayers close in on their prey, Donovan knows he'’ll surrender his life to protect Alex—and lose his heart to possess her...

Type: Paranormal Romance, Shifters (Dragons)
Heat: 2.5 out of 5
Rating: 3 out of 5

The battle between Pyr and Slayer continues! This time Alex Madison is caught in the crossfires. She's invented an earth friendly car that's soon to be debuted and is key to saving the earth. On top of that it turns out she's Donovan's destined mate. Basically she's everything the slayers are out to destroy and they're determined to eliminate her invention and prevent her and Donovan's firestorm. Terrified of dragons after an attack she now has to trust the very creatures that scare her in order to survive. Things aren't much better on Donovan's side of things. Of all the Pyr he's the one who doesn't want a mate or his firestorm. Because of a betrayal in his past he's turned into a playboy who doesn't want to settle down or risk his heart again. 

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Follow Friday and a wedding invite!

Gain New Blog Followers

Feature & Follow Friday is a Meme hosted by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read. Each week there's a fun new question then you hop around and check out all kinds of fun new blogs! Jump over to their blogs to join in on the fun!

Q: I like unique names for characters and am looking forward to coming up with some when I start writing. What's the most unique character name you've come across?

Oh Lordy. There are just way too many over the years. I'm going with a whole series on this one. It's one of my favorites. Dragon Kin by G.A. Aiken. Hysterical, dramatic, insane dragons. Really can't get much better than that. So. We have....Annwyl the Bloody and Fearghus the Destroyer, Talaith and Briec the Mighty, Ragnar the Cunning and Keita, Vigholf the Abhorrent and Rhona, Gwenvael the Handsome and Dagmar and last but not least....√Čibhear the Blue. I love them all. 

Ah, and then the lovely boys from J.R.Ward's BDB. Zsadist (my all time favorite hero), Rhage, Phury, Xhex, Vishous, Torhment and of course Butch. I mean, really. Who here knows a Butch?? Hehe. Love all the funky spellings.  

I know I'm missing some that have made me go "ah, huh??" over the years. Love what authors can come up with. I'm going to have to start writing them down I think. 

So, what are some of yalls favorites?

Oh! And check out the two giveaways on the left side. Two books up for grabs and some yummy chocolates!


And for the wedding invite :) One of my favorite authors has a new book coming out and Jane's finally getting married!


"You're invited to the wedding of Nice Girl Jane Jameson to Gabriel Nightengale. NICE GIRLS DON'T BITE THEIR NEIGHBORS hits the shelves on Feb. 28."

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Naughty After Dark Blog Hop!

So. It's my first blog hop and there's a good bit of squeeing going on here. What a fun hop to join in on! It's hosted by Close Encounters with the Night Kind and Natasha Blackthorne who put it all together! It's their first time hosting a hop and they've done a fantastic job! Don't forget to check them out too!

So. Naughty After Dark. Mmmmhmmm. I'm going with my favorite guilty pleasures for this giveaway. 
Books and Chocolate. 
Really, it doesn't get much better than that. 
Blush worthy books and mouth watering sweets.
I'm so a sucker for both!

What to Do!
Just fill out the rafflecopter below to be entered and leave a comment about your favorite guilty pleasure. Then jump around and check out some of the other great giveaways on the hop!

The Prizes!
Two lucky winners. One prize each.

1. Any book off your guilty pleasures list from up to $15. 
It doesn't have to be naughty but I'm good if it is :) Could just be a cover that makes you go...damn! A book from a series you can't believe you love. A hero that makes you drool. Guilty pleasure however it comes. 

Just adding some pretty pictures and some of my favorites. You can go for one of them or anything else.
Dominic (The Lords of Satyr, #4)Kiss of Fire (Dragonfire, #1)Exclusively YoursKiss of the Highlander (Highlander, #4)What a Dragon Should Know (Dragon Kin, #3)

Breaking Free (Masters of the Shadowlands, #3)How to Flirt with a Naked Werewolf (Naked Werewolf, #1)Untamed (MacKinnon's Rangers, #2)

2. And a yummy box of chocolates from a local chocolate shop in my town called Chocolate Smiles
This one's open to US only because of shipping.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Seducing the Enemy's Daughter by Jules Bennett

Brady Stone had just learned the new manager of the property he wanted was a woman...and quite desirable. Charming Samantha Donovan into giving away corporate secrets would be even sweeter considering she was the enemy's daughter.

The business magnate had been planning his revenge for years. Now the only thing standing between Brady and victory was a beautiful, innocent pawn. His head told him to forget about any possible future with Samantha. But his heart knew that in destroying the Donovan empire he would be ruining his last chance at happiness.

Type: Contemporary Romance
Heat: 2 out of 5
Rating: 2 out of 5

I picked up Seducing the Enemy's Daughter because of the Lori Foster Get Together this summer that Jules Bennett is attending. I want to read a little of each author that will be there. Her writing is simple and easy to read. I really enjoyed the character of Samantha. She's hard working, determined, treats people well and cares about her job and the people who work for her. Samantha is throwing everything she's got into making the Hawaiian resort she runs a success. She loves the resort and wants to earn her father's respect as a business woman. She's someone I'd want to know and be friends with. Someone you want to see succeed. She's a lovely woman who is surrounded by less than stellar men. Father, brother and our hero Brady. Honestly, they all fall firmly into the category of bastards.

Flat-Out Sexy (Fast Track #1) by Erin McCarthy

Independent single mother Tamara Briggs wanted to find a new, sexy, no-strings-attached man-just not one as young as NASCAR driver Elec Monroe. But he sure does get her heart racing. And after she’s tricked into a blind date with him, Tamara gives in to her passion. Things screech to a halt, though, when he asks to meet her children. Whatever happened to wham-bam-thank-you ma’am? Suddenly Tamara has to decide how much risk she’s willing to take to experience the power of true love.

Type: Contemporary Romance
Heat: 3 out of 5
Rating: 3 out of 5

Well. This one took a little while for me to get on board. For the first few chapters I was seriously disliking our heroine Tamara and was wondering how in the world I was going to get through the book. It all started with Tamara and her friend at a cocktail party more or less trashing the man Tamara was dating. From all accounts he really wasn't all that great of a catch but still I just did not like the way Tamara and her friend were going on about him. She came off shallow and mean hearted. I still really don't see why that part was included in the book. It didn't add much to the plot and was just distasteful. Alright, I'm done ranting. Other than that I enjoyed the book. It was a fun, sweet and sexy read. And I did warm up to Tamara once the first few chapters were over and she was with our hero Elec. 

Sunday, February 12, 2012

In My Mailbox!

Oh it was a happy mailbox this week. I'm certain my mail lady really doesn't care for me anymore. But really I'm so okay with that. 

So two piles here. The one on the right is all new authors. I'm going to Lori Foster's Reader/Writer Get Together this summer and wanted to try a little of each author attending. So that's my start. I read my first by Erin McCarthy this week. It was pretty entertaining. Hopefully I'll find a bunch of new authors to follow :)

The huge pile on the left. Well that was just for fun. A few authors I've read in anthologies and wanted to try out, a Larissa Ione book I've been trying to get for ages and one by Molly Harper who I just love and have been dying to read. Plus a couple I've just heard raves about but have never read.

A handful of books I've won arrived too plus a yummy postcard from Jaci Burton. Damn. Cannot wait for that book to come out. I think I might end up liking hockey.

From Goodreads
Running the Maze by Jack Coughlin
Chopsticks by J Anthony and R Corral
Last Man Standing by Cindy Gerard

a signed copy of Blind, A Memoir by Belo Miguel Cipriani (from SM Boyce)
A Cold Creek Secret by RaeAnne Thayne (from the blogging book)

So another fun filled week and lots of books I can't wait to dig into. Favorite arrival was the Molly Harper. What was your favorite this week??

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Copper Beach (Dark Legacy #1) by Jayne Ann Krentz

Within the pages of very rare books some centuries old lie the secrets of the paranormal. Abby Radwell's unusual psychic talent has made her an expert in such volumes-and sometimes taken her into dangerous territory. After a deadly incident in the private library of an obsessive collector, Abby receives a blackmail threat, and rumors swirl that an old alchemical text known as The Key has reappeared on the black market.

Convinced that she needs an investigator who can also play bodyguard, she hires Sam Coppersmith, a specialist in paranormal crystals and amber-"hot rocks." Passion flares immediately between them, but neither entirely trusts the other. When it comes to dealing with a killer who has paranormal abilities, and a blackmailer who will stop at nothing to obtain an ancient alchemical code, no one is safe.
Type: Contemporary Romance, Slight Paranormal Aspect
Heat: 2 out of 5
Rating: 2 out of 5

I love Jayne Ann Krentz. Absolutely love her books as Krentz and Amanda Quick. I was so stinking excited when I heard there was a new series coming out and that it would be a paranormal. Unfortunately I didn't really love this one. Maybe I built it up too much? No clue but it just didn't do anything for me or have that little something I love about her stories and writing. 

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Follow Friday!

Q: What would your prefer: reading your favorite book over and over again until you got sick of it OR reading 100s of mediocre books? And why?

A: I'd so go for reading 100s of mediocre books instead of my favorite until I was sick of it. I never want to be sick of my favorite book. Would break my heart to get tired of the characters and get to the point I didn't want to visit with them anymore. Plus even mediocre books have their moments and can make you laugh or cry. 

What about yall?

Houston, We Have a Problem by Erin McCarthy

Dr. Houston Hayes has never had trouble maintaining his professional distance with both patients and co-workers...until he meets resident Josie Adkins. Every time the tiny tornado of cheery clumsiness drops a chart in his presence, he's treated to a view that makes him extremely interested in her bones. Jumping them, that is. For a man who prides himself on control at all times, this is getting to be a problem. And problems always have solutions. All her life, Josie has wanted to be a surgeon. But how can she do that while she's suffering from the debilitating Dr. Hayes Induced Dropping Medical Equipment Syndrome? Honestly, with those ice blue eyes and powerful shoulders dipping down to a--whoops, there goes the blood pressure cuff--what's a girl to do? And then Dr. Hayes shocks her by prescribing a very sexy cure: one night of sheet-burning passion to erase the sexual tension for both of them. But only one night...he won't need more than that. Suddenly, Josie has her mission--a chance to prove the arrogant Dr. Hayes wrong. One night with her will never be enough if she has her way. And soon, both doctors may be falling into a desire deeper than any they've ever that makes them hungry for more.

Type: Contemporary Romance/ Chick-Lit
Heat: 2.5 out of 5
Rating: 4 out of 5

This May I'm getting to attend Lori Foster's Annual Reader & Author Get Together. I'm so stinking excited it's not even funny. I've only read a handful of authors going though so decided to a ton of reading before hand and read a little from each author. Thus....Erin McCarthy and Houston, We Have a Problem. It turned out to be a pretty cute book and one to add to my guilty little pleasures pile. Loved the title too.