Ryan Alback is the star of a popular television show. On the surface, he seems to have it all. He has a supportive family, good friends, a dog he rescued, dedicated fans, and he’s able to be out as a gay man. Ryan is not successful at relationships, though. When he goes on a talk show and confesses to being alone on Valentine’s Day, the host and producers (also Ryan’s publicity people) decide to fix him up on a blind date weekend with a lucky contest winner. They’ll pay for everything, and when it’s over, Ryan and his date will give an interview about it. Ryan’s not thrilled with the idea, but he agrees to go along.
Jason Santos is also pretty happy with his life. He’s a teacher and loves his job. His parents love and accept him and his friends only want to see him happy. This is how he winds up discovering he’s the winner of the date with Ryan. Turns out, one of his friends had submitted Jason without his knowledge. At first, he’s not happy, but he decides to go anyway.
When Ryan and Jason first meet, it’s a little uncomfortable. However, they begin to realize they might just be good for each other. They don’t have an easy road ahead. There’s a difference in their lifestyle, the distance of their residences, and their schedules. Also, there’s the idea that Jason might be leaking information to a tabloid. Can they overcome all of this and be together?
Cute! Cute! Cute! This is my opinion of Dating Ryan Alback. Sometimes, you just need to sit down, relax, and read a book that will leave you with the warm fuzzies, and this is the perfect book for that sort of occasion. I enjoyed everything about it. I fell in love with Ryan right away, and Jason was just as sweet, and the way they meet? Clever and creative. I’ve read a lot of meet cute/blind date stories, but I believe this is my first talk show.
Ryan and Jason have a very nice chemistry. I liked how the author made both men inherently good. Neither had an ego or a chip on their shoulder. Yes, they’d both been in bad relationships, and they were a bit jaded, but they weren’t overly angsty about it. Ryan was a famous actor, but was still a great guy. Jason was a great teacher, and he loved his students. They may have gotten off on the wrong foot (but just a little), but that was quickly remedied.
Our boys are extremely sexy together. They put out all sorts of lightning and sparks. The sex scenes were steamy and Kindle melting. Of course, sex isn’t the most important part of a story, but in the case of Ryan and Jason, it enhances their relationship. The love scenes are balanced. There aren’t too many, but there aren’t to few. Like Baby Bear’s porridge, everything was just right.
The background characters worked really well. From the talk show host, to Jason’s teacher friend, everyone filled their roles perfectly. I don’t want to give away any of the story, but I’ll say even the sources of the conflict are nicely written.
J.E. Birk’s writing style is smooth. The plot of Dating Ryan Alback was obviously well thought out. I never felt overwhelmed by anything, and even when there was angst, I didn’t feel like I needed to skim and skim until I got to the happy parts. I also enjoyed the humor in the story. This book didn’t take itself too seriously, and that was refreshing.
The ending tied everything together neatly. I was satisfied, but I have to admit, I’d have loved to have Dating Ryan Alback go on forever. Ryan and Jason are two characters who will hold a place in my heart. I highly recommend this book.