Ryan Alback has almost everything he’s ever wanted: a successful acting career, a dog who adores him, great family and friends, and a life outside the closet. The only thing missing is a boyfriend — but Ryan’s been burned by Hollywood relationships before, and he’s not eager to try one again.
Jason Santos has almost everything he’s ever wanted: a fulfilling career teaching middle school, a house in a city he loves, and parents who support him in every way. Too bad he can’t seem to forget the ex-boyfriend who rejected his marriage proposal.
When a talk show host launches a dating contest to find Ryan a boyfriend and Jason accidentally wins, neither of them expect anything to come from it. Yet somewhere between a disastrous massage and a mud sinkhole, they both start to wonder if this date could be more than just a public relations stunt. But before they can move into the future, they’ll both have to learn to let go of the past.
Dating Ryan Alback was a very pleasant surprise. It had a good storyline, decent writing, and characters I liked. There were a couple instances of what felt like the author’s voice coming through rather than the characters – such as hitting us over the head with the whole standardized test issue. I am in total agreement with the complaints, but it felt forced.
There was also the oddity of Jason supposedly knowing that Ryan couldn’t get over his hangup easily and yet the moment Ryan begins to doubt, he explodes. That seemed odd to me. He was going all “Don’t you know me at all!” when in fact, no, Ryan didn’t. They’d only gone out a couple times by then.
That aside, I enjoyed the book. I loved the secondary characters – from Ryan’s friend Danny who is one of the few that has an in with Ryan’s dog Alby (all it takes is a lot of treats) to Jason’s parents. All of the characters felt real, which is impressive. I did find the sex scenes unneeded and unmemorable. The story could most definitely stand on its own.
If you’re looking for a light romance with enjoyable characters and a pretty decent storyline, give Dating Ryan Alback a try. I know I’m glad I did.