Hi there! today I’m sharing a review for a recently published contemporary M/M romance from JE Birk. DATING RYAN ALBACK is a sweet and sour romance between an out TV star and a nobody schoolteacher–engineered by a talk show host.
About the book:
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.
Ryan Alback is a successful TV actor who made it through child stardom with his head on, well, pretty good. He was closeted as a teen, and only came out under pressure from a boyfriend looking to advance his standing. Ryan has never gotten over this betrayal, and though he is out, he’s mostly celibate, fearing another opportunist.
Enter a talk show host, who gets Ryan to admit that he’s lonely on her show. Grand plan: find Ryan a man!
Jason Santos is a seventh-grade teacher in Denver and he’s determined to find a way to pay for his community program that serves kids who are undocumented, or have undocumented parents. He hasn’t dated in a year–not since his ex turned down his marriage proposal and he limped away from their relationship. Now, his BFF has entered him into the contest for a date with Ryan Alback, and Jason is, meh. He’d never get picked. Until he does!
Their date is a weekend away in a Vermont B & B, and it seems to go great. Ryan fears Jason will be a fan-boy, but Jason’s totally cool and they seem to hit it off. Until the stories begin to leak, and Ryan accuses Jason of selling him out.
Thing is, that didn’t happen, and Ryan is mortified that he hurt a man with whom he had begun to build a tentative rapport. Ryan seeks out advice, and begins to establish publicity on his own terms–before reaching out to Jason again. Jason isn’t excited about the jerk showing up, but Ryan makes a super pretty apology. Plus, Jason’s only human; he adored Ryan when he was a child star.
There’s some other drama down the road, including bad exes and strung-out seventh graders, but the story is all about Ryan finding peace in his career while Jason find balance in his life. It seems these guys will make it, and I do love when that happens.
About the Author:
J.E. Birk has been telling stories since she could talk and writing them since she was introduced to the alphabet. She hails from Colorado, where you can usually find her skiing, training for a 5K she won’t end up running, or watching people run into each other on football fields and in hockey rinks.
Thanks for popping in, and keep reading my friends!