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Search tags: F-Scott-Fitzgerald
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review 2018-07-22 20:41
Voyage of the Golden Dragon by Nicolas Logue
Voyage of the Golden Dragon (Eberron Supplement) - Nicolas Logue,Scott Fitzgerald Gray

This is a standalone adventure, but because of their were so few published adventures for Eberron, many DMs may choose this supplement to follow up with the 'Lost Forge'-'Shadows of the Lost War'-'Whispers of the Vampire's Blade'-'Grasp of the Emerald Claw' chain of modules.

The Golden Dragon was planned as a battleship for the air, but with the 'Last War' ended it has been converted and finished as a pleasure craft. The owners are concerned about its safety after a threat so the party is hired on as guards for the launch and maiden voyage.

Clearly, things don't go well.

I didn't review this two years ago, because I wasn't sure if I would use this for my campaign or not. The adventure is a bit of a murder mystery and involves a lot of scheming - prime Eberron business, but I feel it lacked action. I might play this someday, but its doubtful.

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review 2018-06-18 15:17
The Love Boat and Other Stories
The Love Boat and Other Stories - F. Scott Fitzgerald

We all have that exasperated moment!

There are times when you almost tell the harmless old lady next door  what you really think of her face - that it ought to be on a night nurse in a house for the blind; when you'd like to ask the man you've been waiting ten minutes for if he isn't all overheated from racing the postman down the block; when you nearly say to the waiter that if they deducted a cent from the bill for every degree the soup was below tepid the hotel would owe you half a dollar; when - and this is the infallible earmark of true exasperation - a smile affects you as an oil baron's undershirt affects a cow's husband.

(from The Smilers)

I may have to face it - I may have grown out of that phase when Fitzgerald's short stories were delightful, quaint, diversions. I still count some of them as my favourites, but more often than not reading his stories has become somewhat repetitive - telling fairly superficial stories about fairly superficial people, most of whom seem to be Princeton men, or Harvard men, or Yale men, or someone closely connected with them. Like the characters in Wodehouse's stories, they never develop, never amount to anything more real than a cliche.  

 

Unfortunately, many of Fitzgerald's short stories seem to feature them. Even more unfortunate was it that most of the stories in this particular collection featured them. 

 

Still, there are the odd gems. In this collection, The Smilers stood out for me. I liked it just as much as The Ice Palace, Bernice Bob's her Hair, The Camel's Back, or May Day, but sadly it was the first story in the collection and the rest of the stories did quite manage to live up to the quality of that first story.

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review 2018-06-05 02:44
I know I said that ‘Poke Check’ was my favorite book in this series and...
Last Defense - F. Scott Fitzgerald,V.L. Locey

I stand by that I loved that book a lot but I think it’s got a bit of company on my favorites shelf when it comes to this series. I honestly didn’t think it was possible for me to love another book in this series as much as ‘Poke Check’ but I’m happy to say that I was wrong because ‘Last Defense’ won me over practically from the first page.

 

First off let me just say we get a peek at all the usual suspects (meaning MCs from previous books) so that’s always a plus with me. We’ve met both of the MCs from this book in previous stories but only very briefly and while I remembered them I have to admit that neither of them seemed like real attention grabbers to me…which just goes to show you how much I know because as I said this one had me practically from the first page…I guess it’s a case of you’ve gotta’ watch out for the quiet ones.

 

Max Van Hellren is a defenseman and I have to admit when it comes to hockey my all time favorite player is #4 Bobby Orr. Former defenseman for the Boston Bruins so I think Max won me over by virtue of his position on the Railers but truthfully, I just came to really like him and then there was Ben Worthington…now, Ben doesn’t play hockey, nope, he runs CrossRoads Shelter it’s a no kill animal shelter…right? Tell me you don’t already like Ben. Not to mention how can you not like someone who names their dog ‘Bucky’ as in ‘The Winter Soldier’…sorry, that gets him so many coolness points in my books.

 

Needless to say, both of these men come with a full set of their own baggage…Max is 32, which is not young in the world of professional hockey and each game that he plays could very well be his last game ever. Max has a life threatening medical condition and no this isn’t a spoiler because this is all in the blurb. But for Max there’s only every been hockey and while this is his last season in the NHL, it’s the season he’s worked his whole professional career for…in fact probably his whole life he’s never wanted to be anything other than a hockey player and this is the season that could see him on a Stanley Cup winning team. The ultimate goal of every boy who’s ever laced on a pair of skates.

 

Ben has had it all. A job that he loved, living next door to his two adorably nosy aunts with his loving husband. A husband who died so suddenly and unexpectedly that Ben never got to say good-bye.

 

Things between Max and Ben start out simply as two men sharing a mutual physical attraction. But with each encounter they get to know each other a bit more and both men slowly begin to realize that they like each other and that the attraction has gone well beyond the purely physical.

 

Between the hockey and Ben’s work at the shelter which keeps him more than a little busy finding time to be together is another job altogether that these men both find that they are willing to put forth the effort for.

 

Sometimes books just grab us and we fall into them and that’s what happened for me with this one. Everything just came together for me in the best way possible and this book was a total pleasure to read. Sure there was a little bit of angst and drama but damn take out that and chances are what you’ve got is a hella’ boring story and this story just had the right amount to keep this reader interested. My attention was grabbed from the very beginning of this story and it never wavered.

 

While ‘Last Defense’ could easily be read as a standalone story I have to say my recommendation is to start at the beginning and enjoy all of  it. I love reading a series where the MCs continue to recur in subsequent stories and while it’s not always necessary to know everyone’s background and who’s connected to who…it does make the story more interesting and in general just more enjoyable. This one is most definitely recommended.

 

*************************

 

An ARC of ‘Last Defense’ was graciously provided by the authors in exchange for an honest review.

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review 2018-04-02 00:57
Poke Check (Harrisburg Railers #4) by R.J Scott) and V.L. Locey
Poke Check - V.L. Locey,R. J. Scott

tanislav “Stan” Lyamin is happy playing for the Railers. The towering goalie is well-loved, respected, and making a home for himself even though that home only contains him, his cat, and his growing Pokemon trading card collection. Stan prefers it that way. He’d given his heart to a man in a secret affair, and that man walked away, leaving Stan shattered. Now Erik is back in his life, and he has the same tumultuous effect he had on Stan’s heart as before. This time it’s not just a kissable mouth and sweet blond curls that Erik has brought to Harrisburg, there’s a soon-to-be ex-wife and a precious baby. Despite the vow Stan made to hate Erik forever, he’s now finding it harder and harder to turn away.

Erik Gunnarsson’s dream had always been to play in the NHL, he just never imagined he’d land a contract with the Railers. Who would have thought that fate would put him on the same team as Stanislav Lyamin; the man whose heart he’d callously broken?

Secrets and lies had defined their summer relationship, and the choice that Erik made to end it all haunts him still. In the middle of a messy divorce and with a baby in tow, Erik finds himself back in Stan’s life. Now all he has to do is be the best dad he can be, prove to the team that he deserves the chance to stay on the roster and try his hardest to get Stan to forgive him. Is it possible to persuade a man who hates you to give love a second chance?

 

Review

 

I really liked Stan and Eric. I was super excited about this book and I enjoyed it.

I like everything that is here but to be a really great read, more detail, and more couple time, and more exploration was needed. 

The writers are in a tricky spot because Stan's English is not great, he doesn't speak Swedish, and Eric's Russian is basically nil. 

However, when we are in Stan's head things work well and this is a lovely alternating point of view book. 

I just needed more complexity to really feel the love between these two great heroes
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review 2018-03-31 17:03
F Scott Fitzgerald's letters - a side not seen in his fiction.
F. Scott Fitzgerald: A Life in Letters: A New Collection Edited and Annotated by Matthew J. Bruccoli - F. Scott Fitzgerald,Matthew J. Bruccoli

I have a whole new appreciation for F. Scott Fitzgerald's writing now, having read his doubts, worries, exacting notes to his publisher, concerns that nobody would "get" it. This man who seems so sure of himself in all of his novels is a worrier, scared, desperate to be a good writer (even after his early success.) In short, he's very human.

 

I reread Gatsby while reading this correspondence, and given his personal financial worries, apologies to those he owed money to, etc, I have a different take on it now than I did before - partly influenced also by my advancing age and events of the last decade or so. I wonder if Fitzgerald - great American novelist - didn't wonder, from time to time, if the American Dream was a crock? Dunno - just a thought.

 

It was exciting to hear him introducing other great writers (Hemingway, for instance) to literary agents and critics. He was genuinely in awe of other writers. His letter to Willa Cather and his words about her in letters to others show he was truly a fan - you can tell from the deferential tone. And while he may have been less than level-headed from moment to moment, or way too far in his cups, he was funny, personable and interesting always.

 

Sadly we're limited to the letters saved. This means that a bunch written to Zelda aren't included, since she didn't save her letters from him. (No remarks on that, Ella!) I've always sort of loved Zelda, but it's clear from these letters that so did F. Scott Fitzgerald, or at least he repeated it to everyone he wrote.

 

These are worth reading if you're nosy like me.

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