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Ryan was the estranged brother of Kyle McBride who relocated from New York to live in the apartment building. Kyle and Ryan had a previous falling out after Taylor McBride had told Kyle that Ryan had made a pass at her, but Kyle had believed his wife over his brother.
After Amanda Woodward found out about their falling out through the diary of the late Matt Fielding and encouraged Kyle to contact him and patch things up. Ryan later arrived in Los Angeles and punched Kyle.
Shortly after his arrival, he began working for Amanda Woodward Advertising and expressed a romantic interest in Megan Lewis, who was initially reluctant to return his feelings. With time, however, the two eventually grew closer and began dating. It was eventually revealed that Ryan was a widower and a father. Following his wife's death in a car accident, he'd placed his daughter, Sarah, in boarding school, and had apparently vowed to never remarry, breaking off three engagements in the following years. After Ryan had visited Sarah, she later ran away from the school—and her aunt Terry—to find him again. She wound up being cared for by Megan until Ryan learned of her whereabouts.
After gaining legal custody of his daughter, Ryan later married Megan, and the two of them began raising Sarah together.