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(Englishmen Stories #1)

3.43  ·  Rating details ·  510 ratings  ·  102 reviews
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
ebook, 122 pages
Published April 10th 2013 by Dreamspinner Press
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Average rating 3.43  · 
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Technicality warning:
The timeline was not linear. Each chapter was opened with "present" time (somewhere in 2014) and it was within a single day, as Callum waiting for something (we knew later that it was a phone call). Then it would jump back to "past" time when he met and built relationship with Noah. It was a bit confusing for me at first; didn't realize it until about 30%.

The relationship was okay. I wasn't fond with the HFN, actually, but it wasn't too bad. That wasn't the reason for my
T.A. Webb
Apr 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing
4.5 very big stars, rounded up...

I am a sucker for stories where the underdog ends up with the jock. Especially if said jock isn't a total alpha jackass.

Callum is in Toronto working on installing the software for a new arena. He meets Noah in the gym there, and starts a friendship based on a mutual sense of humor and likes. Noah is a professional hockey player and a genuinely nice guy. Callum hesitates to tell him he's gay, assuming it would make a difference in their friendship. And since he's
Apr 13, 2013 rated it did not like it
Nope. This did not do it for me. Not at all. First of all, it was slow. Then it got slower. Then it slowed down further, and truly, this is when all the things that science-fiction has taught me should have made the action either come to a complete standstill, or start moving backwards. In time.

The backdrop of Toronto, that beautiful, wonderful city, was not used at all. The whole setting felt flat and one-dimensional, with the hockey thrown in just because. "Well, it's Canada, right? Gotta have
Apr 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing

Excellent freebie from DSP...I'm all for these sporty types....not jocks usually, they're too full of themselves, but the quiet ones, they're the ones you have to watch... 4.5 stars

Callum is an English software genius, who having installed the stuff in Wembley stadium, has been asked to oversee all of the complicated stuff being installed at the new Toronto Bobcats arena in surprise, surprise, Toronto, but he's only there for 12 weeks. The Toronto Bobcats are a decent hockey team , Callum of
May 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Curious and charming. Memory flashes. Restless wait.

I was instantly captivated, I fell hard for Callum and Noah, and I had a serious case of ‘needta know now'. I honestly couldn't stop reading until I knew why the world was tipping over this imminent phone call.
Personally, I found the pacing fun. I enjoyed the brief play-by-play of the present day followed by reminiscing memories of the last few months.


British computer whiz, Callum, is pacing the day away waiting for some important news.
Jeff Erno
I'd never heard of this author before, and I had this book on my Kindle, unsure where I got it. I see from other reviews that it was a freebie so I must've downloaded it at some point. Wow, I'm sure glad I did. What a terrific story, well written and edited, relatable and interesting characters, and a truly touching love story.

I don't see why so many readers complain about the fact that the nemesis in the story was a woman. Can't a story have a female villain just as easily as a male. That's not
Julio Genao
Apr 03, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: novella
A cut above the average m/m foolishness, with a realistic conclusion as hopeful as it is wistful.

Happily, the final conflict is now almost—but not quite yet—out of date.

Well-done, despite a cartoonish antagonist and slightly underplayed sex scenes.

I about died with the doofy poem; I should be so lucky.
clear skies
Apr 13, 2013 rated it did not like it
This is not a bad story but it isn't a very good one either. My love for sports and mm are rarely a good match. Noah is a hockey player for a team in Toronto. Callum is from England and has come to Toronto to work on some IT software for the Bobcats new stadium.

The setting was one-dimensional, whilst I understand some readers are negative about the facts about sports, that doesn't mean one ignores the whole element their book is based on. There was next to nothing about ice-hockey here. The
Apr 13, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: kindle-archive, mm
The structure of the story didn't bother me all that much, and I kind of liked finding out how they got together in that way. I just thought the story fell kind of flat. I didn't have much connection to the characters, nor did I think all that much of their bond. The secondary characters felt even thinner, and the villains were pathetically obvious, and lacking in any substance. (Oh look it's the evil, jealous, woman, again!) I thought the resolution was unsatisfactory, and I really didn't like ...more
Jun 13, 2013 rated it it was ok
Technically, sufficiently well-written.
Creatively, flat on the page.

Not bad. Just not good enough to scale the boredom wall I've hit recently.
The story Noah is told in third person through the eyes of Callum Walker. Noah Lukas, is Callum’s love interest and Noah is a hockey player.

(view spoiler)
Apr 16, 2013 rated it really liked it
I hate being the sort of person that whinges for half star ratings--I mean suck it up and decide, right?

Well the last line is so perfect that it nailed the score. The story itself is a fun twist on "two ships in the night" meets sports theme. The guys are lovable, the chick's mental, and Noah and Callum negotiate their relationship successfully.
Christina Marie
I was left feeling mildly apathetic about this book. I didn’t dislike it, but I wasn’t overflowing with feelings of like either. It had some really good moments. I thought parts of it were fun and cute. And some parts were bland.

Callum is installing software at a new stadium, Noah is a professional hockey player, and the two meet at the gym. They eventually become friends. I feel like I didn’t really get to know much about the characters. I completely missed any chemistry that existed between
Apr 10, 2013 rated it really liked it
Nice short read. Once again, the only woman in the story was an eeeevul raving beyotch, but I did like Callum & Noah. Hockey! Yay!

ETA: Almost forgot to mention the no condoms or lube. I was very WTF about that esp for 2 guys on opposite sides of the ocean that just met.

ETA (AGAIN!): OOPS! Story is set in the future when there is an HIV vaccine so no need for condoms. My bad.
May 31, 2013 rated it it was ok
Begin with Ami's review, add a predictable story with too many unnecessary details and you get two stars. I got it for free, but I don't feel like giving a higher rating because of that.

Apr 10, 2013 rated it liked it
3.5 stars.

This was a nice quick read. Would read the next one to see more about how the HFN ending further develops.
2.5 stars The last impression you want to leave your reader with is probably not an eye roll. "We can't go to Vegas... I've spent all my luck finding you." Barf!

Ok so the bare bones of this story, I liked. Because of the length of the book, the relationship got pretty serious pretty quick. But I'm ok with that. I liked their interactions and the basic plot. The things that pulled me out of the story and brought the rating down:

1) Amy - if you've read this, that's all I need to say. If not, let
Apr 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I love hockey. I love m/m romance. Put the two together and I’m psyched! Add a good plot to the mix and I’m in heaven. Ben Ryder has delivered a hat trick with Noah. This story is told from Callum’s POV, in an interesting mix of flashbacks. The book opens with Callum slightly stressed about something. We don’t know what, but it’s important and he’s trying to waste time. As he goes through this one day in London we get flashbacks to his time in Toronto. I liked the way this flows. It seems ...more
Mar 31, 2013 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Barb ~rede-2-read~
May 20, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: to-re-read, read-2013
I enjoyed this story much more than I expected to. I admit I peeked at a few reviews before I started so I thought it might not be something I would enjoy, but I really enjoyed both the pace and the storyline.

The switch back and forth to Callum waiting in London for Noah's news from Toronto was a nice touch. And I liked the ending. It was much more realistic than I expected. The author didn't take the easy path with a simple sweet HEA that wouldn't have really fit. It's rare that I enjoy a HFN
Apr 24, 2013 rated it really liked it
Very nice free short, that is actually quite a decent length. Nothing majorly exciting but the romance is sweet and there's a bit of added angst with the addition of a scheming female and Noah the hockey star having to make choices around his status as a star not wanting to out himself. Callum is a lovely character and it was really nice to see him get his man
Lost a star because the timeline is a bit confusing at times and I didn't agree with the choice they made at the end but apart from that
Sep 10, 2013 rated it liked it
A nice short novella about two guys falling in love.
It had some sweetness and was nice thought out.

I liked the writing, it had a good flow and even the structure with the flashbacks worked. The main character Collum could have been a little more fleshed out, I found him interesting, but I didn't learn enough about him.

Still, for a rather short novel it was well composed. An enjoyable read.
Apr 10, 2013 rated it really liked it
Plot is a bit predictable, but with likeable main characters and very well-written. Stories with a mix of present day and flashbacks tend to be confusing, not so in this case. Very well done.

Two things I would wish for: that the work be prophetic in the matter of the HIV vaccine, and that the story would have been a bit longer, maybe with an epilogue to give us a glimpse of the guys a couple of years in the future.

Recommended for fans of light contemporary m/m romance.
Maree Repa
Aug 29, 2013 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book. I really liked the main character, Callum he seemed like a sweet guy. It was a easy fun book to read & can't wait to read the other two in the series. Very enjoyable!
Apr 11, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: mm-romance
This was going OK and I was even liking it a bit until... Yeah until Amy turned out to be the real ugly b1tchy villain. Seriously authors? You can't build readership by insulting them this way.
Mar 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Tell me we're not done with Callum and Noah?? Really enjoyed this one and looking forward to Ben Ryder's other books.
Jan 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
Working It Out!

Who doesn't wish they could meet a hot professional athlete at the gym who's immediately into them?

Okay. Fine. I don't go to the gym. If I did though? I'd want a hot gym bunny to want to snuggle with me while I tried to do as little as possible while still actively being at the gym.

Callum tickled me from the beginning since he's that guy who pretty much doesn't see the forest for the trees. He's aware of his work, getting things done, and certain he can't quite blame work for his
Mar 18, 2013 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars

I really wanted to love this book but sadly I was only in like with it. I’m a huge fan of sports themed books so I just had to snatch this one up.

The story bounces back and forth between present day and 16 weeks before when Callum gets to Canada for the job. We learn Callum is sad about something and the change of scenery might just be what he needs. He’s focused on his job until he sees a gorgeous hunk of a man being chatted up by everybody in the gym. Callum doesn’t realize that Noah
John Amory
May 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Ben Ryder's characterization is the real reason this story has stuck with me for so long. Callum and Noah felt real, even Amy felt real to me; some readers are angry/annoyed with the reveal of Amy's true colors, but I didn't find it all that far-fetched or offensive. I didn't even find the "reveal" all that shocking, because Ryder did a great job of hinting at Amy's being nothing more than a selfish opportunist throughout the story. I really just wish this was a full-length piece, because having ...more
Shelby P
Apr 10, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: m-m, sports, freebie
I could have done without the time in London and waiting for that fucking phone call, so not necessary. Another fucking Amy that I couldn't stand. This one comes in second to that bitch from Gone Girl. What I loved best about this book was that Callum, although nice to a point, stood his ground with Amy. I loved that!!!

The relationship with Callum and Noah was ah'ight. Where were the condoms?

Overall I liked this story and that damn Amy had my blood boiling. LOL
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Englishmen Stories (3 books)
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  • Released