Little Gun

New toys

There's a new toy in the house: a very basic camcorder for me to tape evilie antics.  So, now I have a YouTube channel (FiremountainCattery) and present my very first, very imperfect upload of kittens at play.

The three in the video are Star (brown tabby), Tiny (red tabby) and Kit (red tabby with white).  Kit is available. If anybody would like to add a Maine Coon kitten to their household, please let me know! :)
Little Gun

Review: 'Libertine's Kiss' by Judith James

I received an eARC for Libertine's Kiss via  It is Judith James' August HQN Historical release in stores now.

Here's (part of) the blurb from the author's website:

"The Civil war has cost the once high spirited Elizabeth Walters her best friend and her father, leaving her unprotected and alone. She flees an unwanted marriage, seeking safe haven, but what she finds there is something she never expected. Despite William’s gratitude and promise to aid her, Elizabeth never expects to set him again, but the Restoration of Charles II to his throne will bring her to the attention of both William and the king.

Can a promise long forgotten and a friendship forged in the past help two lonely people find each other and themselves? Can a debauched court poet and notorious libertine convince the wary Elizabeth he is capable of love? These are the questions asked by Libertine’s Kiss…”

I saw this on Netgalley several months ago, but decided against reading it originally because I find the English Civil War and Cromwell era utterly depressing and because I thought knowing too much about Rochester's real life would detract from the story, seeing as he died of the pox or another STD at the age of 33.  It didn't seem much of a recommendation for a romantic hero, even though the Earl of Rochester became an utterly compelling person when I first stumbled across him several years ago and was inspired to do some research on his life.  If you haven't seen it, I highly recommend the movie 'The Libertine' starring Johnny Depp.  If nothing else, it will make you reconsider your love of reading about rake heroes - showing as it does what happens to those who 'dip their wick' too freely and contract venereal disease.

But I kept hearing about Libertine's Kiss and a number of people who share my reading tastes recommended it so I requested it day before yesterday. 

I'm not sure I've much to say about Libertine's Kiss except I loved it.  I don't normally notice prose and find those authors who get lauded for it more often than not deadly boring, but I was compelled into the story by the lyrical prose from page 1 despite all my misgivings about setting and the author's inspiration for the hero and only stopped reading in the middle of the night when my mind kept spinning the story into dreams after my eyes had closed despite all my efforts to keep going.

I finished it this morning and wish it weren't over.  I had a couple of language use quibbles, which were hopefully fixed before the final edition hit the bookstores and electrons, but if not they did not detract majorly from the story itself.

James again included a scene as in her debut book Broken Wing which involves one of my absolute dealbreakers, but fortunately it turned out it was a false scent as in BW.  I do kind of wish she wouldn't do that because it does involve an utter no-no for me personally, but even if the no-no had taken place it would have made sense for the character and story, though I would have hated it (how's that for an utterly vague, non-spoilery comment :).

Libertine's Kiss is a very intense story, but not without lighter, joyous moments. Just the way I like my historical romance best.

Highly recommended. A-

ETA: A kind soul pointed out that I should mention that this is indeed a romance novel with a HEA and that the hero is only based on Rochester in a 'what if he had become a faithful husband' kind of scenario.
Little Gun

Review: 'Tracker's Sin' by Sarah McCarty

I received an eARC of this book via and the following blurb is courtesy of Netgalley.  I tried to check if this is the official Harlequin blurb, but the Harlequin site has neither a cover nor a blurb available for this October 1 Spice title.


        Before his trade became his name, “Tracker” Ochoa was a scrawny Mestizo runaway. Now as fearsome as he once was frightened, he’s joined the notorious Hell’s Eight...and they have a job for him.

        He must rescue kidnapped heiress Ari Blake and deliver her safely to the Hell’s Eight compound—by any means necessary. Turns out that includes marrying her, if he means to escort her and her infant daughter across the Texas Territory. Tracker hadn’t bargained on a wife—especially such a fair, blue-eyed beauty. But the erotic pleasures of the marriage bed more than make up for the surprise.

        Tracker’s well-muscled bronze skin and dark, dangerous eyes are far more exciting than any of Ari’s former debutante dreams. In the light of day, though, his deep scars and brooding intensity terrify her. But he’s her husband and she’s at his mercy. With the frontier against them and mercenary bandits at their heels, Ari fears she’ll never feel safe again.

        Tracker, too, remembers what fear feels like. Though he burns to protect Ari, to keep her for himself always, he knows that money, history—and especially the truth—can tear them apart."

Unfortunately, this summary has extremely little to do with the actual story and even contains one glaring error.  I find it rather annoying when blurbs are so far off.

That said, I spent an enjoyable afternoon reading Sarah McCarty's fourth entry in the Hell's Eight series, Tracker's Sin (after Caine's Reckoning, Sam's Creed and Tucker's Claim).  Before I started reading, I was rather concerned how McCarty would manage the heroine's horrific past within the confines of the story - after all this is published in an erotic romance imprint - and I'm pleased to be able to say that this part of the story worked pretty well for me.  The device McCarty employed to make Ari's reaction to Tracker possible seemed plausible.

Overall, there weren't any too outrageous or eye-roll inducing events (until the very end), but I very much miss the intensity of McCarty's earlier writing.  Both Sam's Creed and Caine's Reckoning just grabbed you by the throat and didn't let go.  While I read Tracker's Sin in one sitting, I never felt the same way about these two characters, which is particularly sad, as Tracker was the character who literally leapt from the pages for me in the first Hell's Eight book I read and I couldn't wait for his story. 

The secondary characters in the form of Ari's adoptive parents never became more than ciphers and their motivations seemed nebulous, but the climax to the mystery of who had been after Ari and her sister was used splendidly to set up the next book in the series.

I'm not sure I'd call this book erotic romance even with the less than mainstream sex scene thrown in at the end.  I feel a bit perverse for seeming to complain about this, in light of the fact that I would have not been able to suspend my disbelief if there had been any more 'easy' sex than there was considering Ari's extremely serious earlier trauma.  I'd still have to say the hotness factor of the book was fairly low and I really question the inclusion of the last sex scene which seemed not only tacked on, but outright perfunctory and only there because author and publisher seem to think readers expect this kind of behavior of the heroes in this series.

Pleasant story with some flaws, C+.
Little Gun

Books read/listened to

I finished listening to 'The Vor Game' and 'The Warrior's Apprentice' on audio (re-reads).  I like Miles so much better as Naismith.

Now, I'm out of Miles audio, out of Bujold audio, for that matter.  What to do, what to do?

Read Jo Goodman's 'Never Love a Lawman'.  I really abhor the recent move towards 70k mini novels.  Well, this one ain't one of those at 434 pages.  Which should make me happy, if it weren't for the fact that those were the most boring 434 pages it has been my misfortune to read in a long time.  Zero chemistry between the characters, boring suspense plot.  Why did I finish, you ask.  Well, I don't know.  Maybe because so many others loved this book and gave it A grades, I kept looking to see what they were seeing.  Didn't find it.

Started Hunter's 'Provocative in Pearls', but bogged down by the rather unlikeable heroine.

Finished a re-read of Jo Beverley's 'Forbidden'.  It's not one I totally love like I do some early Baloghs and Putneys, but when it came up as a (rape victim) virgin hero recommendation on DA I decided a re-read was in order.  Enjoyed it again!

In other news, darn FB games are cutting seriously into my reading time.

I can't for the life of me figure out what I should read next.  I think I mentioned how 2010 books have sucked so far?

In additional news, Jo Bev posted a cover pic of a re-release of 'Tempting Fortune' in the UK.  What is it with UK covers that make you want to buy all the books just so you can burn them to destroy their ugliness?

You can find that abomination at

And on that cheerful thought, I think I'm going to bed.

Little Gun

Books read

Schone, Robin The Lady's Tutor

Apart from her invention of a non-existent female anatomical feature I really liked it.

Schone, Robin The Lover and Gabriel's Woman

These were re-reads.  And coming right after TLT it was striking how dark they are.  Considering I like angst and dark, it's worth mentioning that although I like both books (apart from the fact that Schone does not know what many of the 'big' words she uses mean, which leads to unintended hilarity) they are a bit too dark for me.

Hunter, Madeline The Seducer 

Well, he was seducing all right, but, boy, what a boring book.  I've already forgotten what it was about.

Enoch, Suzanne Meet Me at Midnight

It was fun until about halfway through when the heroine decided to become TSTL.  I wish the villain had done away with her.

Thinking about heading to my local bookstore (aka Walmart) to see if the new Hunter is available.  Even though DA Jane liked it less than RiR and she didn't like that one very much at all...  Been mulling the 700+ books in my TBR mountain range, but so far nothing said 'read me'.

I really, really, REALLY want this reading slump to be over.  It may be time to pull out some old and new favorites, but I did that so much last year I'm afraid even these titles are losing their powers.
Little Gun

Books read/listened to

Finished Bujold's A Civil Campaign and Diplomatic Immunity in audio.

I didn't have trouble listening to either the butterbug fight or the dinner scene which was intriguing because they annoyed me when I first read the book.  I still don't know what that butterbug fight was supposed to do for the plot, however.  And I still don't like Ekaterin, at all.  Less actually, if that's possible.  Her manipulations really irk me as that's her major complaint about Miles' behavior... pot meet kettle.

Interestingly enough, I really liked ACC when I first read it and only later decided that I didn't like it due to Ekaterin.  Conversely, DI was much better on my second time through (read it only once).  Maybe I'm now resigned to Miles being stuck with her, lol.  But since I wasn't looking for that romantic element any longer, it worked much better as an action plot.

Also read:

Hunter, Madeline Ravishing in Red

I had read the first couple of chapters and was underwhelmed with the setup but there was a very intriguing secondary characters and even though the book had gotten meh reviews I picked up a copy at the UBS last weekend.  Liked it much better than anticipated even though the reason I bought it (hero's brother) didn't work out the way I had hoped for.  First new book I wasn't annoyed with in quite some time.  I really liked it.  Looking forward to the next installment which happily comes out next Tuesday.

Finished Kinsale's Lessons in French this morning which started out good, went meh and then to 'oh, how incredibly dumb'.  It wasn't as horribly slapsticky as I had expected, but the good bits got lost in all the crap she surrounded it with.  Most interesting to me was Kinsale's assertion that she wrote a funny, light book.  I disagree completely.  It's a despressingly sad book with an unlikely and idiotic conclusion.

So much for my excitement after the Hunter that my reading slump might be over.  Gah!
  • Current Mood
    annoyed annoyed
  • Tags
Little Gun

Books read

Finished the new Balogh 'A Matter of Class' last night.

It's a hardcover novella.  I got it from the library and the 20 cents rental fee will have been too much to pay for that.  In other words, I was underwhelmed.

You know I was sad to see Lavyrle Spencer retire because she said she didn't have any more stories in her.  I think somebody ought to tell Balogh it's time to stop repeating herself.
Little Gun

Get to know me meme

Via mmegaera 
Welcome to the new 2009 End of Year Questionnaire of getting to know your family & friends. Have fun and be truthful!

1. What is your occupation right now? Blissfully unemployed person.
2. What color are your socks right now? Black with flowers.
3. What are you listening to right now? The hum of two laptops..
4. What was the last thing that you ate? Meatloaf with mashed potatoes and gravy.
5. Can you drive a stick shift? Yes, although I haven't in years.
6. Last person you spoke to on the phone? A nurse from the doctor's office calling about RJ's prescriptions.
7. Do you like the person who sent this to you? Yes. :)
8. How old are you today? 38
9. What is your favorite sport to watch on TV? I don't think I have one.
10. What is your favorite drink? Cranberry juice.
11. Do you dye your hair? No.
12. Favorite food? Pasta; I get grumpy if I don't get my weekly dose. :)
13. What is the last movie you watched? at a cinema? Startrek. on DVD? Ice Age 3.
14. Favorite day of the year? Don't have one.
15. How do you vent anger? I turn it inward.
16. What is your favorite season? Summer.
17. Cherries or Blueberries? Cherries. I know blueberries are good for you, but ewwww.
18. Do you want your friends to e-mail you back? Always.
19. Who is the most likely to respond? N/A
20. Who is least likely to respond? N/A
21. Living arrangements? A single family house with a few red cats. There is a husband but he's working out of town.
22. When was the last time you cried? Fairly recently.
23. What is on the floor of your closet? Stuff, more stuff, cat stuff, cat bathing stuff, more stuff.
24. Who is the friend you have had the longest that you are sending this to? I'm just posting it on my LJ.
25. What did you do last night? I had dinner in Nashville with fellow members of the Nashville Cat Club, then pretty much fell asleep driving home and missed my exit which necessitated an extra 10 miles and 25 minutes driving on winding mountain roads.
26. What are you most afraid of? Spiders.
27. Plain, cheese, or spicy hamburgers? Cheese.
28. Favorite dog breed? I'm a cat person.  In a former life I liked Golden Retrievers.
29. Favorite day of the week? I don't have one.
30. How many provinces/states/countries have you lived in? 1 state, 3 countries.
31. Diamonds or Pearls? Don't do much jewelry, but definitely pearls.
32. What is your favorite flower? Roses.
  • Current Mood
    pleased pleased
Little Gun

Books read/listened to

Finished listening to:

Lois McMaster Bujold, Komarr (audio)

I'm sure the 'I'd better offer sex soon' scene is meant to make the reader feel sorry for Ekaterin because her husband is 'so difficult'. All it did for me was exemplify why I think she's manipulative and whiny. I see nothing for Miles to fall in love with in her. Oh well, different strokes and all that.

I've actually started the audio version of 'A Civil Campaign'. Will see how far I get.

Currently trying to read Julia London's 'The Devil's Love' and hating it. But it's like a train wreck, every time after I put it down for good I end up picking it back up a little time later thinking it *has* to get better. It never does! Guess that makes me as stupid as the characters. The plot is based on a twist that makes NO sense whatsoever (she's an heiress with a 500,000 pound dowry, but if she doesn't marry the guy her father's debts won't be paid off and she doesn't get anything). Yeah, right, whatever. Why did this get published? Why were innocent trees murdered for this?

I'm repeating myself, but so far 2010 sucks as far as new-to-me authors and books. Anybody have a recommendation for me that will work, cause I'm getting a bit desperate here...