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review 2020-06-03 18:45
Review: Fake Out
Fake Out - Eden Finley

Fake Boyfriend is one of my favorite fanfic tropes, so it was fun to see in a novel.  The story follows Maddox whose high school girlfriend refused to accept his repeated attempts at breaking up, so he finally lied and told her he was gay.  She then outed him to his entire town, which, I don't care how upset you are, that's just wrong, so I actually felt no sympathy for her because of the lie. Maddox moved to New York to attend college and then stayed, rarely visiting his small town home in Pennsylvania.  Years later he ran into the ex-sweetheart who was having a bachelorette party.  SHe boo-hoos about how it should have been them getting married and how much she misses him.  She then invited him to the wedding with his boyfriend...his non-existent boyfriend.  And much like she did in high school, she blabbed and told everyone he was coming home.  Everyone including Maddox's parents who make certain he can't politely back out of the wedding because they guilt him into bringing his boyfriend (that he didn't tell them about) home to meet them.  Now he's tasked with finding a fake boyfriend to take home for a weekend.

 

Enter his best friend, Stacy, who convinces her gay brother to do the job.  Maddox promises to get Damon, an endeavoring sports agent, a meeting with a high profile hockey player in return for the favor.  Of course Damon cannot turn the chance to gain his first (solo) client and agrees.  And shenanigans ensue. I don't want to spoil the good bits.

 

The characters were likable and flawed like normal humans.  They were not perfect and there were bad choices made and misunderstandings, but not to the point of angst where you wanted to strangle everyone.  It was a fun story where the plot didn't resolve itself immediately, but it didn't drag out overly long either.  There was comedy, drama, angst, sweetness, and sexytimes.  All of which were well written.

 

The narrators did a good job of capturing the voices and emotions of the characters.  This was the first in a series and I would be interested in checking out more.

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review 2020-05-30 09:35
Review: Kidnapped by the Pirate
Kidnapped by the Pirate: Gay Romance - Keira Andrews,Cornell Collins

M/M historical romance.  The story was well put together.  It held my attention and made my heart race in all the right  places.

 

Nathaniel is sailing to a New World Colony with his sister when they are set upon by pirates.  As it turns out this is the very Privateer turned pirate at the betrayal of Nathaniel's father.  Once the Hawk knows who he has in his midst, he kidnaps Nathaniel as he is the only son and heir of his bitter enemy.  Hawk's plan in to ransom Nathaniel and finally visit revenge upon the man that took his legal life as a Privateer away.  What Hawk doesn't count on is falling for his captive.  Romance, mutiny and adventure ensues.

 

The plot was good, the characters were likeable, the romance was sweet and hot where it needed to be.  The narration was spot-on.  There was emotion and I felt as though I were truly "hearing" the characters.   Job well done.

 

 

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review 2020-05-28 13:53
Agent to the Stars ★★★★★
Agent to the Stars - Wil Wheaton,John Scalzi

Okay, maybe not objectively 5 stars, but this book was just exactly what I needed right now. It's a little silly on the surface, but the goofy premise and light humor and bantering dialogue camouflage some serious themes, one of which surprise-smacked me in the face towards the end. Because it was there all along, I just didn't notice because I was laughing. 

 

Audiobook, via Audible, and Wil Wheaton's performance was as perfect as always. 

 

Thanks for the rec, Char. You never steer me wrong. 

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text 2020-05-28 05:42
Points To Take Note Of When Trying Out The Best Escape Rooms London

 

 

While there are tons of ways to have fun with family and friends, visiting the best escape rooms London is absolutely something you should not miss out. This type of game mainly revolves around unique concepts and missions that players can choose from. Players will then have to find clues and solve the puzzles in order to win and escape the room. The best part about it is that everyone can master it.

So whether you a regular escape room player or a first time, here are some things you should take into consideration when playing.


Choose your escape room goal

Since an escape room is a group activity, make sure to have one goal that you and your teammates will focus on. Do you just want to have a good time? Or you’re planning to win big? Having a player group with mixed motives can lead to stress and even arguments. In mixed groups containing both kinds of players, the “speed players” often feel frustrated by the slower pace of the “for fun” players, and the “for fun” players can feel pressured and rushed by the “speed players”. Deciding what style of play the group will utilise can prevent problems ahead of the game.


Don’t overdress!

If you’re planning to dominate an escape room after a fancy dinner out, maybe bring a change of clothes. Otherwise, wear clothes that will allow you to move comfortably. You don’t want to miss solving a puzzle that required you to sit on the ground because you can’t afford to ruin your dress. Escape rooms are usually pretty clean environments, so that’s not really a concern.


Pay attention to your escape room introduction

Most of the best escape rooms London have information they have to convey to players before the players begin their game. These details can usually be in verbal, video, audio or written form. These intros usually include two different types of information: general safety and rules, as well as the introduction to the storyline of the room.

Storyline intros are useful to all kinds of players. Many of them explain the specifics of the goal your group must achieve to win the game. Many owners incorporate helpful hints or clues into their storyline introduction. So if you do not want to miss out on any clues or hints, make sure to pay attention to everything inside the room.


Divide and conquer to search

One of the best tactics in playing an escape room game is to split up your group and have each one of you and your teammates check every corner of the room for clues or hints. This helps make sure that the room is thoroughly inspected, and helps prevent the case where certain areas are overlooked, and certain other areas are repetitively combed over.


Work efficiently and be proactive

Escape rooms are not a spectator event. If you aren’t contributing to solving a particular puzzle, try to move on to another one! Tackle the hard puzzle that everyone else gave up on. Rotate back through the room and double-check whenever you can. Sometimes, a fresh pair of eyes is all that’s needed. Remember that missing out hidden clues might cause you to lose the game.


Bring a wristwatch

A wristwatch is potentially the only thing you’re allowed to bring into an escape room and use during the game. It will let you keep an eye out for exactly how much time is left, which is very helpful when the game does not provide a clock or only provides a clock in one of the rooms. Also, you never know when you will need a source of light to shine on a dimly-lit lock, right?


Don’t be afraid to lose

Some of the most satisfying escape rooms were ones where you failed to escape. The game is a lot more fun when you solve puzzles genuinely and don’t rush chaotically to finish the game. These games can be hard but are also simultaneously fun and immensely satisfying. Enjoy yourselves, and embrace the game and your friends, not the outcome, and you will have lots of fun!


Have fun!

Having a great time and just enjoying the escape room adventure is always its main goal. Embrace the challenge, but arguments with teammates over a game has a way of sucking the fun right out of everything. Don’t take life too seriously. You will never escape it alive anyway!

Going on an escape room adventure is definitely something you and your group will not regret. But of course, aside from having fun, winning the game should never be excluded in your goals. So whether you and your group are booking the best escape rooms London for a short activity or perhaps a social event, you might want to consider the above-mentioned tips first.

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review 2020-05-25 15:01
Smith of Wootton Major / Farmer Giles of Ham ★★★★★
Smith of Wootton Major / Farmer Giles of Ham - J.R.R. Tolkien

I admit I'm biased, but I loved these two short stories as much now as I did when I was a little kid just discovering Tolkien. I feel as though they represent both his love of the heroic and the mysteriously romantic nature seen in LotR, but also his affectionately scathing take on human nature seen in The Hobbit. With SoWM illustrating the first and FGoH the second. I think these would be a good intro to Tolkien for anyone hesitant to make the larger commitment to his novels. 

 

Paperback version, found at my public library's Friends of the Library sale. 

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