I’m incredibly excited to be reviewing this series today as Mr Ryder is a fellow Brit, bridging the Atlantic and writing of what happens when a boy from Blighty takes his wares over the pond, something Ryder himself is living. The nifty little stories have to be done in one go, just like I read them, so without further ado, introducing Ben Ryder from the insatiable Dreamspinner Press.
Noah: The first story in the series follows Callum Walker, British brain-box and techno-whizz kid from his home in London to the lavish new sports arena in central Toronto. Deferring to the command of the vapid dilettante Amy, Callum finds his visit to Toronto sullied by the workload imposed by the phony blonde, pressed beneath his own work and the work of the other technicians less capable than himself. Lucky for Callum, his regular trips to the gym see him befriending the behemoth ice hockey super-star Noah Lukas. The story is told from Callum’s recollection whilst sitting in a bar in London, waiting for a call that could change his life. As we jet back and forth between London and Tornoto, the story unfolds itself into a neat little love story, replete with the damning threat of coming out to an adoring public and nestled within an insidious blackmail scheme. The story was an alluring journey into a trans-Atlantic love affair that every British boy dreams of, and in the hands of Ben Ryder, Noah fits the roster perfectly. Get your tickets to the show now!
Side Line: When his company decides to take the boys in Bahrain by storm with their new beer brand, Jay packs up his bags for a week in the sand and sun with a band of cheerleaders and the delightfully acerbic Jackie at his side. Throwing night after night parties, Jay finds himself under the spell of US soldier Damon, a man he can’t fathom for the life of him. After a bracing encounter over the bonnet of Damon’s car, Jay feels like he’s been used. But as Damon pursues him with all the force of the US Military training he has acquired, an adventure and a whirlwind love affair bluster past in a week he will never forget. The characters were complex, the sex was hot (if a little improbable…saliva does not make for good lube!), and the heart-wrenching events were everything I expected from the writer of the fantastic predecessor Noah. Side Line picks up right where Noah left off, in that same bar in London with Callum sat at the next table. Damon starts off as a mystery, soon unfolding into a three dimensional gem of a muscle man, the supporting characters pulling the story along to a warming climax, saliva not necessary.
Released: The third and final story in the series is the best one by far. Dominic Holland finds himself in New York, working as a writer for a prestigious American newspaper after the man he dedicated his life to had deceived him and broken his heart. Settling into his new home, Dominic embarks on some of the hottest casual sex I have ever read. The silver haired stranger aside, Dominic also begins to become enraptured with the office stud Alex, but as their stories unravel, Alex’s past starts to encroach on the whole papers future, to destructive ends for all. The story is less a love story than a political PR nightmare, as the villainous How Johansson brings his bigoted ways into the headlines of the paper. What unravels before them is a spider-web of complex cross hairs as Dominic finds himself thrust in the middle of the political debacle, no one to trust. This book was a pleasure to read, from start to finish. Each of the characters were endearing as hell, and we see the spirited Jackie return from Side Line propped at the desk across from Dominic. The entire series comes full circle as Callum and Noah, Damon and Jay all wind up in New York city for various reasons, their futures recounted for the readers pleasure. I loved this book.
So that was Englishmen as told from one of Dreamspinner’s hottest writers, holding his own against contemporaries such as Andrew Grey and John Simpson. I spent a good few days crashing through the stories he had penned and when done, the only thing I regretted was reaching the end. Hopefully that is not the last we will see of Ryder, and fingers crossed, maybe we will get another dose of that British charm. Oh okay, I know we will. Though there is no release date as yet, Ryder is currently working on another of the fab tales titled Jackie’s Boys – A Tale of Two Weddings. I’m sure we can figure out what that might be about, right?
Noah is available at the following link: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=3749
Side Line is available here: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=3885
And Released can be purchased by following this link: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=4090
Don’t hesitate to pick up your copies now. You won’t be sorry at all. Ben Ryder is a huge hit at Insight Out! And you can follow him on Twitter: @benryderbooks where you can follow the progress of Jackie’s Boys and any other news in the world of Brit Author Ben Ryder.