Side Line by Ben Ryder

61U9prDu+uL._SL1350_Title: Side Line

Series: An Englishmen Story, #2  

Author: Ben Ryder

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Length: Novella (174 pages)

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (June 12th, 2013)

Heat Level:  Explicit

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥4Hearts

Blurb: Free beer, humor and hot Marines…what could be better?
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Reviewer:   Gigi

Review: I loved this story! I was pulled into the main characters right away, and felt like the supportive characters and the environments were very convincing. I wouldn’t have been able to imagine the life as a beer company distributor, traveling to the Middle East, to do promotions with squad of scintillating girls where that kind of behavior can get you stoned to death let alone the threat of being killed for his sexuality, but Ryder certainly did! Throw in a horde of horny, military men and this story is like a powder keg waiting to ignite! The intense sexual heat between Damon and Jay were palpable and I both loved and hated them in turns. The best part of this story, aside from all the hot steamy encounters, was the humor! I haven’t laughed out loud while reading in a long time. The laughter was the perfect counterpart to help balance the tension in the story. And I really enjoyed the way the author wraps up this story, letting my imagination run wild! A great read!

Released by Ben Ryder

ReleasedLGTitle: Released

Series: English Men Stories, #3

Author: Ben Ryder

Genre:  Contemporary

Length: Novel (208 pages)

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (August 14th, 2013)

Heat Level: Explicit

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥3.5 Hearts

Reviewer: Thommie

Blurb: Dominic Holland leaves behind in London the shattered remains of a dishonest relationship and sets about rediscovering himself across the pond, exploring New York City, and two widely different possible futures. Through a series of increasingly public encounters with a mysterious silver-haired man, Dominic gets a tantalizing taste of a new kind of freedom. But it’s fellow journalist Alex Everton who attracts Dominic, making him yearn for a real and honest love. But Alex is working on a story that is linked to his past, leaving Dominic unsure of whether he will be the one to heal his heart.

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Review: Wow, such a weird story this one. It kept surprising me, with its turns and twists. I don’t think I knew at any time what was going to come next or how the story would end. That, by the way, took me completely by surprise, too.

Dominic has just ended his relationship of five years, after a long time in misery with his ex culminated at finding out he’d been cheated for over two years. Insecurity and trust in himself effectively shot down.

He was fortunate enough to have found a job in Manhattan, New York and now is trying to make a new life for himself. A chance encounter in the subway, leads to a number of some extremely risky and utterly hot sex with a man Dominic doesn’t even know the name of. The stranger, while quite hot, is a dangerous player and Dominic doesn’t think he’ll be able to follow through anymore.

At this point in the book, I was left flabbergasted. You see every encounter Dominic had with the silver-haired man (whom I’ll be calling silver fox from now on) was the epitome of risqué. as they never once used a damn condom. The encounter in the woods at Central Park, the one in the Hotel’s outdoor staircase, and the last one on the rooftop, not all of them included protection. Keep in mind they were complete stranger that didn’t even know each other’s names, for crying out loud. So anyway, this was something that had me frowning at.

Moving on in the story Dominic is also drawn to a fellow colleague at the newspaper he’s working. Alex is such a nice guy; Dominic can’t help but feel that they could be good together. Yes, the idea of a relationship leaves him quite cold, as he still isn’t over his ex’s betrayal, but he doesn’t resist when Alex invites him to go on a rafting weekend together.

And here I am, thinking that I’ve finally found the thread of this story and have everything figured out, the plot, the romance, and the end. Silly me, I was thrown on my butt, literally, the way this story turned again and evolved. It was quite interesting and hooking, I admit. I loved the story! I loved the suspense. I came to think Alex was a complete idiot at one point and I absolutely adored how my favorite Silver Fox turned out in the end. But, then I was left aghast that it ended. It’s a happily for now read and I didn’t like that. I felt as if many things were left hanging. The question “What happens next” is going on and on in my head and not leaving me in peace. I seriously hope there is a sequel to Dominic’s story, but I wonder how it would be since this book is part of a series. And if there isn’t a sequel to Dominic and the Silver Fox, or even Alex, well then I’m quite disappointed and not liking the feeling at all.

And before I go and work myself up, I will recommend this book to you. It’s totally readable as a standalone, funny and fun, hot and sexy, and written in a wonderful pace and style.

I only had one big question though that baffled me a bit. Why was this story placed in the year 2017?


So yes, I’m an utter moron sometimes. I can’t believe that the fact this story is indeed set in near future when the HIV vaccine is finalized and Dominic has already been vaccinated hadn’t sunk in and the true meaning of that fact was lost in me. Meh, I would have avoided a ton of angst on the character’s behalf when they went bareback if my brain had registered that properly.

Other good news on this front, another novel is coming “Jackie’s Boys” and it will include all the characters of the English Men Stories, and yes (a fact I’m jumping all over the place) my beloved Silver Fox is going to feature in it too. 


Dreamspinner This Week 08/12/

Dreamspinner Press’ releases for the week of August 12, 2013


Appearances Matter by Jeff Erno

AppearancesMatterLG2nd EditionDumb Jock: Book Three


At age sixteen, Todd Hoffman is a social outcast. He lives with his mother in a rundown mobile home and doesn’t wear the nice clothes or drive fancy cars like the other students. He has one outlet: he secretly writes fan fiction about a boy falling in love with another boy he’s crushing on, and posts it online.


When Galen Caulfield, Todd’s real life object of affection, notices him and asks him out, Todd feels like he’s living his fantasy. Soon enough he realizes that fantasy and reality are two very different propositions.


Galen is the high school soccer team captain, clearly out of Todd’s league. On top of that, he’s popular, good-looking, and confident, so everyone thinks he’s straight. Now it’s up to Todd to decide whether Galen is the boy of his dreams or just another dumb jock.  


1st Edition published by Amazon Digital Services, Aug 24, 2012.


Length: Novel (210p.) | Genre: Contemporary, Coming of Age| Release Date: August 12, 2013

Buy as eBook ($6.99 ISBN: 978-1-62380-624-8) | Buy as Paperback ($14.99 ISBN: 978-1-62380-623-1)


Stealing the Wind by Shira Anthony

StealingTheWindLGMermen of Ea: Book One


Taren Laxley has never known anything but life as a slave. When a lusty pirate kidnaps him and holds him prisoner on his ship, Taren embraces the chance to realize his dream of a seagoing life. Not only does the pirate captain offer him freedom in exchange for three years of labor and sexual servitude, but the pleasures Taren finds when he joins the captain and first mate in bed far surpass his greatest fantasies.


Then, during a storm, Taren dives overboard to save another sailor and is lost at sea. He’s rescued by Ian Dunaidh, the enigmatic and seemingly ageless captain of a rival ship, the Phantom, and Taren feels an overwhelming attraction to Ian that Ian appears to share. Soon Taren learns a secret that will change his life forever: Ian and his people are Ea, shape-shifting merfolk… and Taren is one of them too. Bound to each other by a fierce passion neither can explain or deny, Taren and Ian are soon embroiled in a war and forced to fight for a future—not only for themselves but for all their kind.


Length: Novel (214p.) | Genre: High Fantasy, Paranormal, Shapeshifter, M/M/M or More

Release Date: August 12, 2013

Buy as eBook ($6.99 ISBN: 978-1-62380-054-8) | Buy as Paperback ($14.99 ISBN: 978-1-62380-053-1)

Anthology: Cuddling Edited by Anne Regan

 CuddlingLGWhat happens after “happily ever after”? No matter how long they’ve been together, the couples in this anthology find that keeping a relationship alive takes work. Whether it’s job conflicts or family issues, the seven-year-itch or just plain stuck-in-a-rut routine, these men face the challenges of keeping the spark alive with humor, creativity, and romance.


At First Sound by G.S. Wiley

Change of Heart by Rhidian Brenig Jones

Cupcakes for Two by K. Lynn

Dream Lover by Nico Jaye

Happy Holidays by Anna Butler

Home on the Range by Anna Martin

How to Date Your Husband by AC Valentine

Like an Old Sweater by Elizabella Gold

Looking Back by Rob Rosen

Quarter Moon Over a Ten Cent Town by Stephen Osborne

Reboot by S. H. Allan

Remember When by River Clair

The Cat’s Out of the Bag by Rowan McAllister

The Making of a Family by Caitlin Ricci

The Responsible One by Eva Clancy

The Thing I Love Best About Mitch by Dawn Douglas


Length: Novel (316p.) | Genre: Contemporary | Release Date: August 12, 2013

Buy as eBook ($6.99 ISBN: 978-1-62380-652-1) | Buy as Paperback ($17.99 ISBN: 978-1-62380-651-4)


Positive by Tia Fielding

PositiveLGEven after a decade, the life that journalist Brent Walsh and Milwaukee homicide detective Shawn Mackey have made together is far from boring. But when a new case cuts a weekend getaway short, they aren’t quite prepared for how it will impact their personal lives. Suddenly there’s too much to juggle: Shawn will be working the case of the sharpshooter who is trying to infect random people with HIV, Brent needs to cover the story but fears a conflict of interest, one of Shawn’s colleagues is attracted to him, and Brent sincerely needs to mend the painful break with his childhood best friend, Ollie, and heal their broken hearts.


Though the case comes to a close, it’s not the end of their troubles. Shawn and Brent still face a past of old white lies, a present possibility of inviting another man to their bed, and a future with children, not to mention health issues and national fallout from the case. It’s enough to make them want to run away—until they realize they have to face those challenges head-on so they can get on with the life of love they’re hoping for.


Length: Novel (204p.) | Genre: Mystery/Suspense, M/M/M or More | Release Date: August 14, 2013

Buy as eBook ($6.99 ISBN: 978-1-62380-068-5) | Buy as Paperback ($14.99 ISBN: 978-1-62380-067-8)

The Ranch Foreman by Rob Colton

 18212692When Madison “Matty” Ward finds himself out of work and without a place to live, his cousin comes through with a job on the Gates cattle ranch. Despite not knowing anything about herding cattle or taking care of horses, Matty does his best to impress the older hunky foreman, Baxter Hollingsworth. Baxter is drawn to the new young hand, but he’s deeply closeted, and after an openly gay veterinarian shows he’s interested in Matty, Baxter’s repressed feelings lead to an explosive encounter. Baxter then withdraws—leaving Matty feeling angry and used—until an accident forces him to confront his fears.


Length: Novella (120p.) | Genre: Western | Release Date: August 14, 2013 | Buy as eBook ($3.99 ISBN: 978-1-62380-066-1)




Released by Ben Ryder

 ReleasedLGAn Englishmen Story


Dominic Holland leaves behind in London the shattered remains of a dishonest relationship and sets about rediscovering himself across the pond, exploring New York City and two widely different possible futures. Through a series of increasingly public encounters with a mysterious silver-haired man, Dominic gets a tantalizing taste of a new kind of freedom. But it’s fellow journalist Alex Everton who attracts Dominic, making him yearn for a real and honest love. But Alex is working on a story that is linked to his past, leaving Dominic unsure of whether he will be the one to heal his heart.


Length: Novella (208p.) | Genre: Contemporary | Release Date: August 14, 2013 | Buy as eBook ($5.99 ISBN: 978-1-62380-778-8)


Summer School by Tam Ames

 SummerSchoolLGJeremy Decker’s recent split with his long-distance boyfriend has left him lonely with a mountain of debt. His only practical source of extra cash is to teach summer school, even if it means teaching history—not easy for an English teacher. To support him, the school hires Lucas Van Sloan, a much-younger college history student.


Lucas, with his swimmer’s physique and optimism, not to mention his determination to get what he wants, both attracts and annoys Jeremy… and what Lucas wants is Jeremy. The heat flares between them, but when Jeremy’s ex, a high-powered attorney with plenty of experience turning things his way, shows he wants Jeremy too, it threatens to snuff out the flame of passion and new love.


Length: Novella (148p.) | Genre: Contemporary, Humor | Release Date: August 14, 2013


Buy as eBook ($4.99 ISBN: 978-1-62380-065-4)



The Cost of Loving by Wade Kelly

 CostOfLoving[The]LGUnconditional Love: Book Two; Sequel to When Love Is Not Enough


Matt Dixon, a young firefighter, is the golden child of his family, and he never dreamed that coming out would challenge more than the way his church sees him.


For years, Matt has led a double life hoping to avoid ridicule. When a self-righteous pastor’s statements provoke him to defend his recently deceased best friend’s honor and subsequently out himself, he suffers the brutal aftermath of his revelation. Everyone in his life, including his family and his new lover, Darian, must deal with the ramifications as Matt struggles to come to terms with guilt, shame, and his very belief in God.


Darian Weston lost his fiancé when Jamie took his life, and his feelings for Matt added guilt to his burden of grief. Confused and lonely, Darian clings to Matt despite his inner strife. But small-town realities keep intruding, and if Matt and Darian hope to make a life together, they must first take a stand for what they believe in, even if they fear the cost.


Length: Novel (350p.) | Genre: Contemporary | Release Date: August 16, 2013

Buy as eBook ($6.99 ISBN: 978-1-62380-964-5) | Buy as Paperback ($17.99 ISBN: 978-1-62380-963-8)


Jasper’s Mountain by John Inman

 JaspersMountainLGWhen small-time thief Timmy Harwell recklessly “borrows” a Cadillac for a joyride, he doesn’t expect to find a cool $100,000 in the trunk. His elation turns to terror when he realizes the SUV and the dough belong to Miguel Garcia, aka El Poco, a Tijuana drug dealer with a nasty reputation. Timmy sees only one way out: leave the stolen car behind and run as fast as he can.


His getaway is cut short when a storm strands him outside Jasper Stone’s secluded mountain cabin. Jasper finds Timmy in his shed, unconscious and burning up with fever, and takes care of the younger man, nursing him back to health. The two begin to grow close, but Jasper, a writer who seeks only solitude, is everything Timmy isn’t. Straightforward, honest, and kind.


Timmy needs Jasper’s help—and wants his respect—so he hides his dishonest habits. But when El Poco comes after him, Timmy realizes he’s not the only one at risk. His actions have also put Jasper in harm’s way. Honesty now could mean Timmy loses the man he’s come to love, but not being honest could mean far worse.


Length: Novel (204p.) | Genre: Contemporary | Release Date: August 16, 2013

Buy as eBook ($6.99 ISBN: 978-1-62380-073-9) | Buy as Paperback ($14.99 ISBN: 978-1-62380-072-2)



Harmony Ink Press’ releases for the week of August 12, 2013


On the Right Track by Sam Kadence

 OnTheRightTrackLGRyunoski “Ru” Nakimura knows all about the trappings of fame. Expelled from a boy band for coming out as gay, he still wants to continue his career in music. Too bad his ex finds nothing better to do than exploit their relationship in the press, so Ru leaves California behind to lie low in Minnesota for a while.


Adam Corbin attends a Minnesota high school and wants to coast through as a typical student. He’s friends with an openly gay student, Bas Axelrod, but while Adam plays football, he also stays away from much socializing. Blending in and not outing himself has been easy because he’s never really been seriously interested in any of the guys he’s encountered.


When Adam meets Ru in a library, Adam begins to think he’s found that special young man who might make it worthwhile to just be himself. And for Ru, Adam looks like someone he might trade his fame for, if they could be together. Ru and Adam will both come to realize that courage and love must go hand in hand if they are to have a future.


Length: Novel (184p.) | Genre: Contemporary, Gay, YA | Release Date: August 15, 2013

Buy as eBook ($6.99 ISBN: 978-1-62380-070-8) | Buy as Paperback

Noah by Ben Ryder

NoahLGTitle:  Noah

Series:  TBA

Author:  Ben Ryder

Genre:  Contemporary Romance

Length:  Novel (122 pages)

Publisher:  Dreamspinner Press (April 10th, 2013)

Heat Level:  Moderate

Heart Rating:  ♥♥♥3Hearts       

Blurb:   Callum Walker is feeling listless in his life in London. When his job takes him to Canada to install communications software for a new sports arena, he’s glad for a change of scenery.

During his stay, he befriends Noah Lukas, the strikingly handsome star player of the Toronto Bobcats professional hockey team. Callum knows nothing will ever come of it, but he can’t stop his attraction. As their bond grows, Callum learns more about—and falls more for—Noah through his sensitive and humble interactions with fans, his gentlemanly reaction to flirtations from arena staff, and his frank apprehension over his impending retirement. Their friendship evolves from workout partners to confidants, and then to even more. But Callum’s time in Canada is limited, and circumstances may divide him from a love he wasn’t looking for.

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Reviewer:   Tams

Review:  Callum Walker is a computer programming whiz who just landed his dream job helping to design the new Toronto Bobcats stadium in Canada. Restless with his dull life in London, he wholeheartedly accepts the job. The new position comes with an array of amenities, including an onsite apartment and gym. It’s while he’s working out one day, he spots the sexy guy with broad shoulders and a body that won’t quit.

Noah Lukas is the star player for the Bobcats. When he and Callum meet at the gym they become fast friends and workout partners. Callum is instantly attracted to Noah, but he doesn’t broach the subject. A weekend trip to Noah’s cabin turns this unlikely pair from friends to lovers. But, Noah is still safely secured in his closet. Besides, Callum will be heading off to Rio for his next job, as soon as the stadium is up and running.

Will secret rendezvous and stolen moments be enough for them to build a relationship on that can last? Or will life, circumstance and the threat of Noah being outed and possibly losing his career in hockey, be the end of their relationship before it even starts?

I could see potential for these characters, but ultimately the story fell a little flat. It was rushed and some possible plot development was introduced, but not followed through. Also, each chapter starts off in present day (which is 2014, I believe), for just one paragraph and then jumps back almost 2 years. This was very confusing until I caught on, which wasn’t until close to half way through. When I visited the author’s website I learned that this is the first book in a series. He promises some more Callum and Noah page time. Now that I’m invested in these characters, I will read the next in the series so I can follow their journey. I’m not sure I’d recommend this book alone though, I liked it, but I didn’t love it.

Portia’s Two Cents:  I actually enjoyed the flashbacks.  While Callum is waiting, we wait with him.  We see how he came to be at the moment he is now.  You want for his visitor to be Noah, but you really don’t know if it will be.  The anticipation kept me turning pages, well past my bed time.