Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Virtual Tour ~ Dating Ryan Alback by J.E. Birk ~ (Review + Giveaway)

Greetings! I'm J.E. Birk, and right now I'm traversing the internets to discuss my new romantic comedy, DATING RYAN ALBACK. Follow along to learn more about an insecure movie star, a klutzy teacher, and the neurotic dog who loves them. Leave comments for a chance to win a $10 Riptide giftcard and copy of any book from my backlist! 

About Dating Ryan Alback

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. 

3.5 Stars

I loved the cover, it's adorable and the premise was different and unique. The story was pleasant, but that's all. While the book was cute, funny, a bit sexy and entertaining, it was missing a spark of excitement and chemistry between the main characters. It was just kind of an okay read.

The characters were likable and sweet. I loved Ryan's dog, Alby, and I enjoyed the interaction with Jason's co-worker and students, as well as with Jason and Ryan's parents. The story is well-written for the most part, but the ending felt very rushed and a bit unfinished.

The story is good, it just wasn't for me. I'm sure plenty will love it. Recommendable!

*Copy provided to the reviewer via NetGalley for my reading pleasure, a review wasn't a requirement.*

3 Stars 

Started off great, but the leads break up and one hooks up with someone else, and then his ex comes back and he's conflicted...Not quite my idea of a romance.

This started off well and despite the circumstances of their meeting, Ryan and Jason had a certain something that was pretty obvious from the start. I couldn't quite believe how blinkered Ryan could be, and that he'd believe something so readily about Jason, despite having no proof and despite knowing how the paparazzi operates, and so he deserved to be dumped. I got that and I agreed with that. What I wasn't OK with is that Jason then went back home, got drunk off his head and ended up getting off with someone he met at a club, and the next thing, he comes home and Ryan's waiting and they're almost back together. Technically, they'd broken up - not that they were really anything concrete before the break-up - so it wasn't cheating, but still I'd have expected Jason to be at least a little conflicted over it, or at least thinking over it and having some regrets. The author just glossed over this.

Before they can clear the air entirely, Jason's ex is also back on the scene and Jason is confessing that the ex wants him back and that he's conflicted over how he feels about it...

Yes, it's a romance and the leads end up together, but I didn't believe in the 'them'. I read about it, I saw that Ryan made attempts to make amends, but everything felt a little too rushed and too unspoken. The tale ended without a definite HFN and certainly without any hint of a HEA, so for me, this didn't entirely work, despite the author's writing being so decent.

ARC courtesy of Riptide Publishing for my reading pleasure.

About J.E. Birk

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. You can follow her ramblings on Twitter by looking for @jebirkwrites. She’s also been known to ramble on Facebook as J Elisabeth Birk.

Connect with J.E. Birk:


To celebrate the release of Dating Ryan Alback, one lucky winner will receive a $10 Riptide Publishing credit and their choice of ebook from J.E.’s backlist! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on February 25, 2017. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!


  1. I have seen a few blog posts and I am getting more excited to read this one with each post.
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  2. Thanks for the reviews and sharing your take on the story. Review wise my thoughts lean more towards Rita's in terms pet peeves and relationships. But I do appreciate both and will take both into consideration.
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  3. I appreciate the honest review!


  4. love the blog post today
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  5. Congrats on the release & thanks for the review!

  6. Congrats on the new release and thanks for the review.
    tankie44 at gmail dot com