Take the Lead (Dance Off, #1)
The first book in a sizzling duology about dancers who find love from #OwnVoice's Alexis Daria.Gina Morales wants to win. It’s her fifth season on The Dance Off, a top-rated network TV celebrity dance competition, and she’s never even made it to the finals. When she meets her latest partner, she sees her chance. He's handsome, rippling with muscles, and he stars on the popular Alaskan wilderness reality show Living Wild. With his sexy physique and name recognition, she thinks he’s her ticket to the finals—until she realizes they’re being set up.Stone Nielson hates Los Angeles, he hates reality TV, and he hates that fact that he had to join the cast of the The Dance Off because of family obligations. He can’t wait to get back to Alaska, but he also can’t deny his growing attraction to his bubbly Puerto Rican dance partner. Neither of them are looking for romantic entanglements, and Stone can’t risk revealing his secrets, but as they heat up the dance floor, it’s only a matter of time until he feels an overwhelming urge to take the lead.When the tabloids catch on to their developing romance, the spotlight threatens to ruin not just their relationship, but their careers and their shot at the trophy. Gina and Stone will have to decide if their priorities lie with fame, fortune, or the chance at a future together.

Take the Lead (Dance Off, #1) Details

TitleTake the Lead (Dance Off, #1)
Author
ReleaseOct 3rd, 2017
PublisherSwerve
Rating
GenreRomance, Contemporary Romance, Contemporary

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Take the Lead (Dance Off, #1) Review

  • Nicola
    January 1, 1970
    In the UK we call it Strictly Come Dancing, across the pond it’s Dancing With the Stars, but whatever name it goes by, if there’s glitter, sequins, fleckerls, foxtrots and fake tan involved I. AM. THERE. So a romance centralising around all this? No stranger to reality TV, gorgeous 6’7 bearded Alaskan wilderness star, Stone Nielson is more at home chopping wood than shimmying his hips. But when he’s partnered with LA based pro dancer, Gina Morales on The Dance Off, it’s not long before she coaxe In the UK we call it Strictly Come Dancing, across the pond it’s Dancing With the Stars, but whatever name it goes by, if there’s glitter, sequins, fleckerls, foxtrots and fake tan involved I. AM. THERE. So a romance centralising around all this? No stranger to reality TV, gorgeous 6’7 bearded Alaskan wilderness star, Stone Nielson is more at home chopping wood than shimmying his hips. But when he’s partnered with LA based pro dancer, Gina Morales on The Dance Off, it’s not long before she coaxes out the moves hiding beneath the muscle and the man-bun. I loved Stone. Quiet, contemplative and brooding, he’s a gentle giant and I enjoyed seeing how his confidence grew as the competition progressed. Gina was a fabulous female lead and her bright and vivacious personality complimented Stone’s perfectly. And whilst both refuse to be cornered into a showmance to boost their popularity and show ratings, their attraction to one another is undeniable. “The intensive nature of the training and filming schedule forced an intimacy that was unlike anything in the real world.” Naturally it’s only a matter of time before Stone and Gina’s tango becomes that of a horizontal variety and trust me, all the build-up and tension towards it is seriously worth it. But what really struck me were the real and poignant nods to Gina’s personal plight and her battle against stereotype with her being Puerto Rican and a performing artist, which played an important and valuable part to the story. “The worst would be playing into the ‘sexy Latina’ stereotype, setting a bad example for my nieces, and losing out on future jobs because they think I’m unprofessional.” Fun and sexy with the right balance of fight and conflict, Take the Lead wasn’t flawless—at times the pacing felt a little rushed with regards to the live shows—but it is a strong, satisfying series opener and debut from Alexis Daria: I’m looking forward to reading more from her and seeing what treats lie in store when pro dancer, Natasha and show judge, Dimitri get up close and personal in Dance with Me.Copy received courtesy of St. Martin’s Press via NetGalley. *Stock Images
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  • Mirjana **DTR - Down to Read**
    January 1, 1970
    ***4 Stars***Loved this debut! Puerto Rican professional dancer + Mountain man reality star + dance competition = One happy reader!! ♥ ♥ "You light me up. You helped me remember who I was before, and see clearly who I am now and who I want to be." Gina and Stone were fantastic together. Both dealing with unwanted expectations and trying to break free from the molds the public put them in, they find comfort and so much more with each other. Gina has dreams. She wants to dance, sing, and act. H ***4 Stars***Loved this debut! Puerto Rican professional dancer + Mountain man reality star + dance competition = One happy reader!! ♥ ♥ "You light me up. You helped me remember who I was before, and see clearly who I am now and who I want to be." Gina and Stone were fantastic together. Both dealing with unwanted expectations and trying to break free from the molds the public put them in, they find comfort and so much more with each other. Gina has dreams. She wants to dance, sing, and act. Her mother gave up a potential career as a singer for a man who eventually walked away from her and his family, and Gina refuses to let history repeat itself. Being a pro dancer on the Dance-Off is fun,rewarding, and a great stepping stone in her career, but she refuses to let herself be pigeon-holed as nothing more than the sassy and sexy Latina. She's more than that and having the producers try and push an "are they or aren't they?" angle is something Gina refuses to go along with. Her career is the most important thing to her, and she won't compromise that for anything...or anyone. Stone is known as the strong and quiet one on his family's reality show. His family has built their public persona on being wilderness survivalists and all that entails, but privately, things aren't as they seem. Stone has become frustrated and tired of living a double life. Going on the Dance-Off will help his family with some of their financial issues, but he wasn't expecting to get paired with someone like Gina. Someone so full of life, fun, and energy. Someone who hurdles his carefully constructed walls easily. Someone who brings out the side of Stone he hasn't been since before his family's reality show. "You make things...easier.""What do you mean?""It's easier to talk with you. Easier to think. Easier to...feel." The way Alexis Daria wove this story was terrific. I was equally invested in Gina's and Stone's individual growth, their journey as a couple, and their ups and downs as competitors on the dance show. The instant attraction that Gina and Stone felt evolved wonderfully into so much more. Their connection was believable and the stolen quiet moments they were able to share were both heartwarming and sexy as hell. The pacing was a little uneven at times (zooming through scenes that I think should have been expanded to add depth or giving too much time to scenes that didn't really add anything), but even with that, it didn't pull me out of the story. And can I just say the dancing was awesome! I'm a fan of dance movies and watch Dancing with the Stars every season, and everything in this book hit the notes that I love. Alexis Daria showed so many different aspects of dance...how personal it could be, the commitment involved, and how it can lead you to discover sides of yourself you try to hide or didn't even know existed. She'd danced the tango countless times, with countless partners. It had never, never been like this. This was foreplay. He was showing her his intensity, what he was capable of, and what he'd do to her - for her, with her - if she let him. This is a debut book by a debut author that I highly recommend. I can't wait to see what's in store for Natasha (Gina's best friend and fellow competitor) and Dimitri (a judge on the show). But more importantly, I can't wait to see what more is to come from Alexis Daria. With one book, she's got a fan in me! ***ARC courtesy of publisher, via Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review***
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  • Maria Rose
    January 1, 1970
    If you’re a fan of Dancing with the Stars or other reality TV show dance competitions you are definitely going to want to pick up Take the Lead, a lively, energetic and sexy contemporary romance by début author Alexis Daria. And if you’ve never watched one of these competitions before, after reading this story you’ll likely want to add it to your viewing schedule. The plot is fresh and original, giving the reader almost a voyeuristic behind the scenes look at what makes or breaks the dancers on If you’re a fan of Dancing with the Stars or other reality TV show dance competitions you are definitely going to want to pick up Take the Lead, a lively, energetic and sexy contemporary romance by début author Alexis Daria. And if you’ve never watched one of these competitions before, after reading this story you’ll likely want to add it to your viewing schedule. The plot is fresh and original, giving the reader almost a voyeuristic behind the scenes look at what makes or breaks the dancers on the stage. Along the way it details the romance between a professional Puerto Rican dancer needing to make the finals or be cut from the show and her partner, an Alaskan lumberjack who’d rather be anywhere than on the stage.For more of this review please visit All About Romance: https://allaboutromance.com/book-revi...A copy of this story was provided by the publisher via NetGalley for review.
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  • Xan West
    January 1, 1970
    A copy was provided by the publisher through Netgalley in exchange for an honest reviewI loved this! It was completely gripping; I stayed up way too late last night because I could not put it down. I loved these characters so much, fell hard for them both, and particularly for Gina. I was rooting for them all the way, as a couple, as dance partners. I wanted them to get a happy ending. The obstacles and conflict felt so right, they unfolded in a beautiful way. The heroine is Puerto Rican, and I A copy was provided by the publisher through Netgalley in exchange for an honest reviewI loved this! It was completely gripping; I stayed up way too late last night because I could not put it down. I loved these characters so much, fell hard for them both, and particularly for Gina. I was rooting for them all the way, as a couple, as dance partners. I wanted them to get a happy ending. The obstacles and conflict felt so right, they unfolded in a beautiful way. The heroine is Puerto Rican, and I really appreciated how deeply culturally specific so many aspects of the story were, and really felt for Gina in her fight to push back against sexualized stereotypes of Latinas. The way that was woven into the conflict in the story was brilliant, and had me really invested in her arc. As a New Yorker, I also really enjoyed how much this book (and Gina) were enamored of NYC, even though so much of it happened in other places. It was lovely to read the NYC set scenes, they were swoony and full of details and just made me really happy. The Central Park scene totally had my heart. I liked the way the book showed the depth of Stone's discomfort with being sexually objectified and in particular, sexually harassed by one of the other contestants. These things are often excused and made light of when men are being targeted, and I liked that this story didn't do that, that we were shown how very uncomfortable he was with it. I absolutely adored the dancing in the story. Loved how central it was, how much it was described, it just made me so happy to read that. I got to really sink into the details of the dancing, and the arc of the competition. I also got a kick out of the reality tv aspects of the story, how much it played with the manipulation of reality tv, how that brought them together and how it created obstacles for the romance. So much drama! So much push-pull and forced proximity and intensity and internal and external conflict!I loved the chemistry between Gina and Stone, it was so hot, and had this lovely thread of tenderness in it too. This translated into the sex scenes, that brought so much heat, and also a lot of heart. Stone was a wonderful match for her; I really got why she fell for him. And I loved how much he adores her and admires her and gets invested in her success. The resolution of one of the central romantic conflicts caught me a bit by surprise, but after I sat with it for a minute, really worked for me. The other resolutions of the major arcs were extremely satisfying, and one of them around Gina's career, really got me in the feels. This felt like such an intricately woven story, and I loved the way it wrapped up. A masterful job of pacing and characterization, this romance was a joy to read, and is an incredible debut. I can't wait to read book 2!Trigger Warnings: (view spoiler)[ Hero is sexually harassed. Both hero and heroine are pressured to act like they are in a romantic & sexual relationship. Sex on the page. Alcohol use. Wilderness scare with a bear, and use of a firearm. (hide spoiler)]
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  • Coral
    January 1, 1970
    Mind-blowing, heart-wrenching, tear-jerker. Okay, I exaggerate. We're talking about a book on reality TV. Actually, its 2 reality TV shows. Where things are exaggerated, faked, blown totally out of proportion for the sake of ratings.Gina, a born dancer waiting for her big break is in danger of losing her current shot to fame by not pandering to what the tv exec wanted by playing up the stereotypes. She especially do not need an attraction to someone who is going to be a partner whom the producer Mind-blowing, heart-wrenching, tear-jerker. Okay, I exaggerate. We're talking about a book on reality TV. Actually, its 2 reality TV shows. Where things are exaggerated, faked, blown totally out of proportion for the sake of ratings.Gina, a born dancer waiting for her big break is in danger of losing her current shot to fame by not pandering to what the tv exec wanted by playing up the stereotypes. She especially do not need an attraction to someone who is going to be a partner whom the producer wants her to play a romance with.Stone is tired of faking it for reality TV but his family depends on the income. Where he's usually portrayed as the strong, silent one in his family show because of his inability to lie convincingly, he is now trusted into the limelight and has to depend on Gina on how to navigate the dance show world.By the forth chapter, I had my heart out for Stone. He has to carry the burden of so many secrets which he is not comfortable with for his family. With Gina's insistence that they keep their relationship secret, he gets more and more stressed keeping the secrets.I was initially annoyed with Gina with her constant push and pull with Stone, with her stubborn insistent of keeping their relationship secret because in her view it will only affect her professional reputation. But I realise later on, it is her masking her real worries about what happens when the show is over and when Stone leaves her. Its her first time falling in love and she doesn't know how to handle it.I love how the author sticks to using the dance competition each week as catalyst for each change in the relationship and the interactions with other competitors are kept to a minimum, only when it affects the main characters.I'm surprised to note that this is the author's debut novel. I'm eagerly waiting for other goodies from her.Plot: 4.5/5Characterisation: 4.5/5Prose: 4/5How much I enjoyed it: 5/5ARC received from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for a fair review
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  • Lisa
    January 1, 1970
    Also on Romances Ever After.Take the Lead follows Gina and Stone, two reality TV stars, as they compete with the other contenders in The Dance Off, a network-TV dance competition. Both have different reasons of joining; Gina is in it to finally win it, since it’s already her fifth season, and Stone sees the prize money as a chance to alleviate his family’s financial troubles. However, Gina realizes immediately after meeting Stone that they’re being set up for the show’s romance bait, something s Also on Romances Ever After.Take the Lead follows Gina and Stone, two reality TV stars, as they compete with the other contenders in The Dance Off, a network-TV dance competition. Both have different reasons of joining; Gina is in it to finally win it, since it’s already her fifth season, and Stone sees the prize money as a chance to alleviate his family’s financial troubles. However, Gina realizes immediately after meeting Stone that they’re being set up for the show’s romance bait, something she’s been adamant with the producers that she would not do.What I love most about Take the Lead is the relationship between Gina and Stone. Gina is fierce about protecting her reputation. She recognizes her privilege by being Puerto Rican on a show with a nationwide audience, so she remains resolute about doing her job to the best of her abilities and not be stereotyped as another sexy Latina, which means she needs to keep things with Stone professional. She has dreams of making it big in this cutthroat business, and she will not let anything stand in her way. Stone, on the other hand, loathes the “celebrity” life. He never wanted to be a reality star, but was pulled into it due to his loyalty to the Nielson family. Stone has his own secrets, things that will affect his family and their livelihood if they become public. I love how they grew closer the more they spent time with each other, and how they became each other’s solace. Gina and Stone have strong chemistry with each other and it’s so entertaining to watch their bond shift from colleagues to lovers. My only issue with the story is that the pacing felt slow in some parts and rushed towards the end, but other than that it’s a pretty solid debut, and I’ll be keeping an eye on more of this author’s works. E-ARC is received thanks to the publisher via Netgalley.
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  • Liv (Stories For Coffee)
    January 1, 1970
    I really enjoyed reading this novel because I love dance competitions, so this book really won me over. I also enjoyed the Puerto Rican culture that’s woven into the story since Gina is a Puerto Rican main character whose ethnicity and culture is very important to her. Her drive to break stereotypes placed on Latinas was like a breath of fresh air to me because I related so hard to her character and everything she stood for which was hard work, perseverance, and dedication. Stone was also an ado I really enjoyed reading this novel because I love dance competitions, so this book really won me over. I also enjoyed the Puerto Rican culture that’s woven into the story since Gina is a Puerto Rican main character whose ethnicity and culture is very important to her. Her drive to break stereotypes placed on Latinas was like a breath of fresh air to me because I related so hard to her character and everything she stood for which was hard work, perseverance, and dedication. Stone was also an adorable character to get to know along the way, as well. His gruff demeanor contrasted perfectly with Gina’s personality. Their dynamic was so unique because their relationship blossomed on screen for this reality show, so it was interesting to see how they were pushed together by their producers and their own desire to be together. I loved how healthy and cute their relationship was and I rooted for them to not only win the competition but to win over each other’s hearts at the end of the novel.While this story was written in a pace that was a bit too fast for me to fully enjoy the characters and their growing relationships, I still enjoyed this story overall for its diversity, well-written dance scenes, and quirkiness that comes along with reality shows. If you love anything to do with dance, a steamy forbidden romance, and a strong-willed female lead, you’ll love Take the Lead.
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  • Anna Banana
    January 1, 1970
    4.5 starsI've never watched Dancing with the Stars but after reading this book I have real admiration for the dancers on that show!This book was so much fun! It's fun, fresh, and very steamy I couldn't stop reading from the moment I started to read. Add in the Latinx rep and I was sold on this from the get-go.I loved Gina and Stone and I thought they had some really great chemistry. Stone is honestly so perfect I loved how much he cared for Gina and how he broke down her walls. I relate to Gina 4.5 starsI've never watched Dancing with the Stars but after reading this book I have real admiration for the dancers on that show!This book was so much fun! It's fun, fresh, and very steamy I couldn't stop reading from the moment I started to read. Add in the Latinx rep and I was sold on this from the get-go.I loved Gina and Stone and I thought they had some really great chemistry. Stone is honestly so perfect I loved how much he cared for Gina and how he broke down her walls. I relate to Gina so much so I understood a lot of her struggles in this book and it made me love her so much for it. However around the 75% she also started to annoy me a bit. The conflict kind of got dragged out a bit and it really annoyed me how petty and stubborn Gina was being. However the resolution was more than worth the wait and I loved the epilogue so much. I highly recommend checking this book out! You won't regret it!
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  • Taryn (sunlitlibrary)
    January 1, 1970
    Actual rating: 3.5 I think Take the Lead was a pretty addictive, solid debut. It has an awesome premise and pretty good relationship development, but could have been better with a little writing and pacing improvement. Nonetheless, Alexis Daria definitely has potential and so I'll definitely continue reading her books.You can read my full review here.
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  • Saly
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you so much Coral for reviewing this book, if it wasn't for you I would not have read this. First of all a brilliant premise, a dance reality TV show. Second I loved the heroine, she was ambitious and passionate about dancing and didn't want to take shortcuts or do something that would compromise her image in front of her family even if it would ease her way. I liked that about her, even if I felt she was worrying way too much about it later.I loved the hero too, he was a saint to give up Thank you so much Coral for reviewing this book, if it wasn't for you I would not have read this. First of all a brilliant premise, a dance reality TV show. Second I loved the heroine, she was ambitious and passionate about dancing and didn't want to take shortcuts or do something that would compromise her image in front of her family even if it would ease her way. I liked that about her, even if I felt she was worrying way too much about it later.I loved the hero too, he was a saint to give up so much for his family. I felt his family was selfish but well what do you do you love them anyway right? Then, why the 4 stars, well I felt the conflict about them wanting different lives was resolved too quickly and hero's new thing just came out of the left field but bravo for a lady who gives no apologies for wanting to be successful. I will be reading this author again for sure.
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  • Jen
    January 1, 1970
    Listen. Take the Lead by Alexis Daria is perfect. PER.FECT. I loved this book. I want to take this book out behind the high school and make out with it. This book was goddamn good that after I finished reading it, I spent the rest of the day watching Strictly Ballroom, the Step Up movies, and Magic Mike. This book made me want to sign up for dance lessons----and I am a white girl with NO rhythm! I clap on the wrong beat and my husband jokes I need a walking helmet! I’d sooner give up romance and Listen. Take the Lead by Alexis Daria is perfect. PER.FECT. I loved this book. I want to take this book out behind the high school and make out with it. This book was goddamn good that after I finished reading it, I spent the rest of the day watching Strictly Ballroom, the Step Up movies, and Magic Mike. This book made me want to sign up for dance lessons----and I am a white girl with NO rhythm! I clap on the wrong beat and my husband jokes I need a walking helmet! I’d sooner give up romance and only read Jonathan Franzen novels before I’d take dance lessons! I just wrote a paragraph with like 18 exclamation points, and I hate exclamation points! I have been reduced to a quivering pile of happiness at the perfection of this book. I mean, I guess you could stick around for the particulars, but if you haven’t one-clicked yet, I really can’t help you. The characters in this book are both trapped in a web of their own making, beholden to their lives as reality TV stars. Gina Morales is a professional dancer on a Dancing With the Stars-type show. This season, her partner is Stone Nielson. He and his family are stars of their own reality show about being survivalists in Alaska. He’s farmed out from the family show to the dance show to try and win enough money to pay for his Mother’s medical bills. Gina is determined to win this season, knowing it could catapult her career to the next level.Gina and Stone have all the chemistry, but their beliefs about who they are and how to be in the world couldn’t be more different. Some of it on the surface: he loves Alaska and she’s a city girl; he’s quiet and taciturn while she’s bright and chatty. On a deeper level, each character is fully developed, with a set of fears and foibles that make them afraid of making a future together. I loved Gina. She’s strong, hard-working, and knows exactly what she wants. She’s also savvy about the ways in which the whole system is working against her. Early in her career, she had a boyfriend who used her to get ahead and then dumped her. She’s determined not to let anyone else have a chance at ruining her career. When they first meet, Gina is instantaneously wary of Stone, sensing her producer is setting them up for a “showmance.” While other dancers might enjoy being at the center of a showmance, Gina negotiated a contract that expressly outlaws being cast in that light. Even though she can’t resist him and their romance is real, she explains when they need to keep it secret, “Do you have any idea how much my agent fought them on the showmance angle when I was hired? A lot. And because I’m Puerto Rican, I’ve been fighting against the ‘sexy and promiscuous’ Latin stereotype my entire career, something that’s hard enough when you’re a dancer....You don’t get to make this about you.” Gina breaks her own rules when she gets involved with Stone, and she is convinced that if others know about their romance, it will hurt her career. There is no part of her worry that seems contrived or hysterical, by the way. It just feels real. She’s a woman of color, and she knows damn well she can’t make any mistakes. But is Stone a mistake?What Gina doesn’t realize is that Stone has been lying for his family for years. Their reality TV show is contrived, and his whole life is managed, scripted, and filmed. Stone doesn’t ever have the chance to be himself, because his reality TV contract forbids him from sharing anything that would ruin the illusion of his family’s life in the Alaskan wilderness. Stone loves his family, but he cannot wait for his contract to be over so he can return to a regular life. Stone is impressed that Gina lives by her principles while he is living a lie. This means it is especially painful, hurtful even, to keep his feelings about Gina a secret. He thinks, “Everyone wanted him to be silent--his family about their pasts, and Gina about their relationship. The silent protector, keeping secrets and putting aside his own needs. Well he was sick of being the quiet and reserved one.” Stone’s inner turmoil is just as real and grounded as Gina’s, and neither of them can figure out how to move forward together. It’s this conflict and character building that makes Take the Lead a 5 star romance for me. I cared for both of them, wanting both of them to get what they need and to end up together. It truly takes compromise and work from both of them to find that HEA. Part of the reason I called this book perfect is Alexis Daria’s flawless portrayal of their emotional and physical intimacy. Every steaming glance builds the heat, ever kiss feels earned, and the sex simultaneously builds intimacy and reveals their vulnerabilities. I desperately wanted them to end up together but had no idea how it would happen.Finally, I think the best books are always having a larger conversation about society and the world. Yes, this book needs a Spotify playlist and a YouTube channel of dance clips. But it’s also as damning an indictment of reality TV as the scripted Lifetime show Unreal. On Twitter, author Cecelia London recommended another novel that takes on reality TV called The Last One by Alexandra Oliva, saying “She really nails the bullshit involved in the way the media is presented to us, and how it creates doubt in our minds.” Take the Lead is doing something similar, but oh so personal. Gina and Stone are caught in the web of expectations of family and society, but I couldn't read it without wondering about the webs keeping me in place, or the webs I am inadvertently weaving for others.Cross-posted at The Book Queen's blog: http://www.tbqsbookpalace.com/2017/09...I got this book from NetGalley.
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  • Adele Buck
    January 1, 1970
    A thoroughly entertaining and engrossing debut, Take the Lead uses the structure of a television dance competition to show the love story between a professional dancer and a reluctant reality show star.I enjoyed the absolute hell out of this book. The main couple stood out as real and relatable against the artificiality of the reality show backdrop. The secondary characters were also charming and endearing. A review of a romance often references whether a reader was "rooting" for the main couple A thoroughly entertaining and engrossing debut, Take the Lead uses the structure of a television dance competition to show the love story between a professional dancer and a reluctant reality show star.I enjoyed the absolute hell out of this book. The main couple stood out as real and relatable against the artificiality of the reality show backdrop. The secondary characters were also charming and endearing. A review of a romance often references whether a reader was "rooting" for the main couple, and in the context of this book, I was rooting for them all the way: as a couple, as a dance pair, as a team. I wondered how they would bridge their differences, which seemed insurmountable, but the narrative handled it with grace.I was given an advance reader's copy of this book in return for an honest review.
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  • Mariam Zenik
    January 1, 1970
    Take the Lead is a fantastic romance that takes an ambitious heroine who has her eyes set on the win and a man forced by his circumstances to be the Quiet One. Together, Gina and Stone discover that they can have more than what they had eyes one. Happiness and success can coexist with a partner who’d uplift you (literally and figuratively) and support you. Sizzling romance aside, these two and the rest of the cast provide a beautiful picture of a piece of society that is rich with culture and lo Take the Lead is a fantastic romance that takes an ambitious heroine who has her eyes set on the win and a man forced by his circumstances to be the Quiet One. Together, Gina and Stone discover that they can have more than what they had eyes one. Happiness and success can coexist with a partner who’d uplift you (literally and figuratively) and support you. Sizzling romance aside, these two and the rest of the cast provide a beautiful picture of a piece of society that is rich with culture and love. Full review to come on my blog.
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  • Marianne (Boricuan Bookworms)
    January 1, 1970
    THIS WAS FVCKING AMAZING THE BEST ROMANCE A+ OMG WOW
  • Sarah
    January 1, 1970
    I received an advance copy of this book from NetGalley. My thoughts have not been influenced in any way. This was a really fun contemporary romance. I've never watched a celebrity dance show, so I don't know how realistic that part was, but I really enjoyed the characters and the story. The author did a great job of connecting the reader with the characters before there were any steamy scenes, which you don't see enough of in contemporary romances. I look forward to the next book in this series.
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  • Jess
    January 1, 1970
    I'm crying. Why am I crying?
  • Lenore Kosinski
    January 1, 1970
    https://celebrityreaders.wordpress.co...3.5 stars -- I received a free copy through NetGalley in exchange for an honest and unbiased review/opinion.There were a few things that stood out and made this a must request book for me, and it was those things that I enjoyed the most in this story.First, I'm a sucker for a book about dancing.  I'm really not a very good dancer myself (though I still try, I have, like, ZERO grace), so I ALWAYS admire dancers of all types, from ballet to ballroom and beyo https://celebrityreaders.wordpress.co...3.5 stars -- I received a free copy through NetGalley in exchange for an honest and unbiased review/opinion.There were a few things that stood out and made this a must request book for me, and it was those things that I enjoyed the most in this story.First, I'm a sucker for a book about dancing.  I'm really not a very good dancer myself (though I still try, I have, like, ZERO grace), so I ALWAYS admire dancers of all types, from ballet to ballroom and beyond.  And it boggles my mind how anyone can not understand the athleticism involved.  So I loved seeing the bits of dancing thrown into this story.  Strangely, having just read another book based on a dancing with the stars type show, I will say that while the dancing bits were good, they didn't live up to that other books inclusions somehow...  Maybe because Stone was so large and strong, you didn't get to see his struggle enough.  The author made it look easier than I think it is...and I just didn't *feel* the dancing quite as much...  BUT if I didn't have the other book to compare to, I probably would have loved it more.  And there was the practice with the Argentine Tango...that was pretty awesome.  Maybe it's that the dancing was more glossed over in the second half, and I just wanted to bring back more of my own memories learning ballroom dance.  Huh.  This was a part I thought I loved, and I *did*...just maybe not as much as I thought.OK, SECOND: Ms. Daria NAILED the diversity component.  I think this is what you get from #ownvoices...because the author is latina, you get a very realistic latina heroine.  I loved that aspect of Gina's character, and seeing her fight to not be viewed as a stereotypical oversexualized latina was just so well done.  And you know what else I loved?  It wasn't just one heroine that was hispanic!  There was actually a lot of diversity in the whole cast of characters (and not just hispanic)!  From other dancers to production staff to judges to hosts...it was just so real, you know?  I don't understand why more authors don't diversify the whole cast more.And the great thing about this book is that the author doesn't just tackle the issues surrounding Gina being latina...she also tackles how women in the entertainment industry are treated differently than men, particularly in regards to romantic relationships with other people in the industry.  AND we also get to see some of the effects of sexualizing men through Stone, and how he's portrayed and what producers want from him (just take his shirt off).  I really loved that those things were all silently woven into the plot, but weren't too preachy.This review is already getting long, and I haven't even gotten to characters, which is what I tend to focus on.  I enjoyed Gina for the most part, and while I understood her reasons for how she approached her relationship with Stone (wanting to keep it secret), I did start to lose my patience with her...  It started feeling really selfish the longer it went on, and like she didn't even try to understand it from Stone's perspective.  So in the end, I had a hard time believing her love for him.Stone, on the other hand, was pretty adorable.  Don't get me wrong, he had his own selfish moments...but he was kind of a beta boy, and you know how I love my beta boys.  He may have the appearance of an alpha, but his personality was anything but.  He was sweet, considerate, respectful...he made me swoon with how much he cared for Gina, and how, once he changed his tune, he was willing to do so much to make her dreams come true.In the end, the reason I'm knocking it half a star (but still rounding up) is that I just felt like I was missing some magic...  There was just something missing in the writing...something I can't put into words...that just kept me from getting sucked in and getting my emotions fully involved.
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  • Natalie
    January 1, 1970
    Soooooo this book danced its way into my heart (i couldn't help myself ok? lol) I have to thank twitter for cluing me into this wonderful book! It wasn't on my radar til recently and when i requested it on Netgalley I didn't think I'd get approved but yayyyy!Listen I love reality TV. Granted, I haven't watched much Dancing With The Stars, was more an America's Best Dance Crew watcher buuut I love dance movies and I have seen some episodes of DWTS and this book felt sooo authentic in it's portray Soooooo this book danced its way into my heart (i couldn't help myself ok? lol) I have to thank twitter for cluing me into this wonderful book! It wasn't on my radar til recently and when i requested it on Netgalley I didn't think I'd get approved but yayyyy!Listen I love reality TV. Granted, I haven't watched much Dancing With The Stars, was more an America's Best Dance Crew watcher buuut I love dance movies and I have seen some episodes of DWTS and this book felt sooo authentic in it's portrayal of the reality show angle.Stone and Gina's chemistry, so off the charts. I love that building tension between then. The dancing practices were just perfectly crafted for all the yummy sexual tension, and awkwardness. MmmHmmm.And lemme just shout about how Gina is Puerto Rican and the author is toooo. yessss.! We see pieces of her culture intertwined throughout. Gina is also pretty adamant about not wanting to go along with the producer's showmance (show-romance) idea, so as not to perpetuate the sexy, promiscuous Latina stereotype. This added some real internal conflict to her character, along with some baggage from her childhood where her father was concerned. I felt this was so well done. Up until the end we see Gina struggling with what she wants and if that want includes Stone. And Stone, my word, this guy, i adored him. He's this big dude (about 6ft, 7 if i'm remembering correctly) but he's so aware how his size can intimidate people, he makes all the effort to appear less so. He was just really sweet and I also enjoyed the development of his internal conflict, where his family's reality show was concerned. So many heart eyes for him, man his character was so well crafted! There's a  big cast of secondary characters who added a lot of depth to the whole reality show angle. We get a lot of different personalities in one space and it makes for some good reading. Some secondaries I loved, other not so much (looking at you Lauren and Donna >.> lol) I'd like to give a shout out to Gina's roomie and best friend Natasha because her personality shone off the page for me. She was a great support system for Gina. teasing her about Stone, being their for her, offering advice when things went south with Stone. Just  a really great friend. I especially liked how towards the end there we saw her getting some advice from her mother and sis. So important to see her having the women in her life, supporting her, while also telling her giiiirl get it together! :DI particularly liked how Gina and Stone actually communicated! They talked things out. Sometimes this led to fights buuuut they talked. And omg THE DANCIIIIIING!!! I loved learning about the different dances they had to perform each week. Gina came off as knowledgeable and skillful on her craft. And those dances? Damn, the author really did an excellent job of capturing the at first awkwardness, then the feelings and tensions when they had to perform. Loved that! Felt like I could picture their rehearsals and performances so easily.And I read the final dance while hanging out with my family and listen...the raw emotion the characters felt, and the judges felt, was simmering off the pages let me tell you! I think that final dance has got to me my fave of them all. I don't know howwww Alexis (the author) made the emotional aspect of that dance leap off the page but wow!! This was  a great debut. And i need everyone to get this book!. You won't regret it. And now (as with so many other books right now heheh) I'm awaiting the sequel for Natasha's story :)
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  • Meags
    January 1, 1970
    TL;DR: SEXY DANCING WITH THE STARS-ESQUE ROMANCE BY #OWNVOICES AUTHOR***THE STORY:I want to start by saying that I loved this story. It was something I’d heard some buzz about and decided to read because of that. I was so happy that I did! Reality TV isn’t really something I enjoy, but this book really doesn’t require much investment into that, as the settings and characters are so richly developed.Gina Morales is on her third season of The Dance Off as a professional dancer, and she’s got the t TL;DR: SEXY DANCING WITH THE STARS-ESQUE ROMANCE BY #OWNVOICES AUTHOR***THE STORY:I want to start by saying that I loved this story. It was something I’d heard some buzz about and decided to read because of that. I was so happy that I did! Reality TV isn’t really something I enjoy, but this book really doesn’t require much investment into that, as the settings and characters are so richly developed.Gina Morales is on her third season of The Dance Off as a professional dancer, and she’s got the trophy in her sight. So when her producers take her into a remote region of Alaska to meet this season’s partner, she’s hoping for some kind of superstar athlete, but instead, meets Stone. Her tongue nearly falls out of her mouth after she spots him for the first time, bare chested and swinging an axe. Stone Nielson turns out to be a mountain man, part of a reality show of his own, that follows his family living off the grid in the wilds of Alaska.Their beginning attraction starts to flourish the more they dance together, particularly as Gina coaches Stone to let all of his emotions out into the dancing. It’s not long before they’re nearly ripping each other’s clothes off from pent-up lust. But there’s a hiccup: Gina is totally against a showmance (real or fake) because she doesn’t want to play into the stereotype of the sexy Latina. She wants to earn her success based on her talent and drive, not who she’s sleeping with. Stone doesn’t understand, but he wants to make her happy, so they continue seeing each other in secret… until it gets out.TECHNICAL ELEMENTS:Overall, I loved the characterization and the setting. There are some minor time jumps in the story (for example, the story skips from rehearsal straight to the end of a taped performance at one point), but I think this worked in the story’s favor to keep the plot moving and prevent it from dragging.My one criticism is that I felt that Stone (and the author by extension, due to commentary from other characters and how Gina came to her epiphany by the end) totally disregarded the real struggle that many women performers have when it comes to career double-standards. I did like the line where Gina tells Stone that “men always do”, when it comes to bouncing back after a misstep in their careers. Most of the reasons that Gina had for not wanting their private life to be public and to not capitalize on that for the sake of votes seemed incredibly sound and reasonable, and a lot of the characters tried to brush it aside, and intimated that the things Stone had kept from her were for her own good.The final “grovel” (as a convention of romance novels) was altogether a little rushed and sloppy. Some of the dialogue felt to me slightly insincere, like they’d written it down and rehearsed it beforehand, although their reunion was a surprise and at least for Gina, unplanned.I also enjoyed the other characters, and felt that they were mostly well-rounded and added a lot of color to the story. Lauren, the other top performing celebrity partner, was a bit evil and sinister without any real character development, but that’s fine. It was enough to know that she was highly competitive and felt threatened by other people who did better than she did.FINAL THOUGHTS:As a whole, this book is a sizzling and fun romp through the world of dance competition reality shows. I love when a romance has sexy chemistry AND the hero and heroine genuinely like each other and make each other better people, and this book has that in spades. I definitely plan to read the next books in the series and hope that Gina and Stone at least make a few cameos.***FREE BOOK PROVIDED BY NETGALLEY IN EXCHANGE FOR HONEST REVIEW
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  • Tina ( As Told By Tina )
    January 1, 1970
    This review was originally posted on As Told By TinaTake The Lead is Alexis Daria’s debut novel and a pretty good debut at that. Take the Lead is centered around Gina and Stone who are competing on a reality TV competition similar to Dancing with the Stars. This is the second book that I’ve read that has dealt with reality TV, the other one is Kissed by Reality by Carrie Aarons but that is more of a bachelor style book. One of my favorite things about Take The Lead is that I felt like I was watc This review was originally posted on As Told By TinaTake The Lead is Alexis Daria’s debut novel and a pretty good debut at that. Take the Lead is centered around Gina and Stone who are competing on a reality TV competition similar to Dancing with the Stars. This is the second book that I’ve read that has dealt with reality TV, the other one is Kissed by Reality by Carrie Aarons but that is more of a bachelor style book. One of my favorite things about Take The Lead is that I felt like I was watching the show while I turned the page. I loved learning about the different dance styles and how much time goes into perfecting each routine. The book mainly focuses on the first couple weeks of the competition then fast-forwards towards the end of the competition. I personally would have liked it to be just a tad bit slowed down so that we could truly see Gina and Stone grow together. Gina and Stone had chemistry from their first meeting and that left me turning the page to find out if they were going to fight their attraction or give in. There were times where I wanted to smack both of them for their lack of communication that could have avoided most of their problems (but what fun would that have really been?) but I also liked that they learned from their miscommunications. I also felt like Stone was the only who really grew in this book. I felt like he really broke out of his shell and went for what he wanted. Gina, of course grew but I didn’t feel like she grew the way Stone did. I especially liked Daria’s tackle on two subjects that I tend to argue with most people in my life. Gina was determined to keep her relationship with Stone a secret because she didn’t want to contribute to the stereotype of the sexualized, promiscuous Latina. I also loved that Gina stood her ground when it came to how she wanted the media to portray herself even if I didn’t agree 100% with it. I understood her wanting to set a good example for her nieces and other little girls watching the show. I also thought it was excellent that Daria brought up how men and women are treated in the industry. Men are often applauded for sleeping with their co-stars while the women are labeled and often lose jobs because of it. Is it fair? ABSOLUTELY NOT. Overall, I enjoyed this debut novel and will definitely continue the series. Daria has a ton of room for growth and has potential and I can’t wait to see her grow as an author. And if you want to read a better review on Take The Lead you should read Taryn’s review that you can find here.
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  • Mel González
    January 1, 1970
    “Stay with me. Remember what I told you? Channel whatever’s happening in your head into the dance. Into me. Let me help you carry it.” *ARC provided by the publisher through NetGalley for an honest review*If you want an adorable, entertaining and cute romance book that will make you think but also will make you swoon, this is the book for you. I had such a good time reading this, it's very addicting from the first chapter and it actually discusses important topics like representation in media “Stay with me. Remember what I told you? Channel whatever’s happening in your head into the dance. Into me. Let me help you carry it.” *ARC provided by the publisher through NetGalley for an honest review*If you want an adorable, entertaining and cute romance book that will make you think but also will make you swoon, this is the book for you. I had such a good time reading this, it's very addicting from the first chapter and it actually discusses important topics like representation in media and the breaking down of stereotypes. I have to say, I loved that we had a determined, strong latina dancer as our heroine. Even though I wasn't always on board with her decisions, you can always tell that she was so driven and ambitious, she loved dancing and performing and she transmitted that through the pages. The romance was adorable, I really liked that it was somehow slow paced and that they became really good friends before being anything else. The tension between them was super well developed and I believed the chemistry that they had. Even though most of the time I got frustrated with the lack of communication between them, I could understand why they didn't tell things to each other, especially if the cameras were always around. Both of them had secrets and motives that they couldn't discuss with the other person until they trusted each other and I thought that build up to the moment when they trusted each other was well done. I liked that, like I said, we got important discussions. Gina was focused on not being oversexualised so she wouldn't play into the trope of the sexy latina, she wanted to always do the best for her career and I totally understood a lot of her actions. It also talked a lot about the sexism in the entertainment industry and how hard it is for woman to be liked and how much they have to work to overcome the double standards that they suffer. The writing had good moments but I didn't always like it. A lot of times it felt like it was nothing special to be honest. I felt like I've read the same sex scenes a million times in other books. Also, at one point Stone talked about the "pure male satisfaction" that swept through him and Gina said that "everyone can relate to desire", which it's not true. One of the things that I liked the least was the pacing of the moments they were on the tv show. We would have long moments on the first day of rehearsal and then an entire week would pass where nothing would happen and then she wouldn't show the dance and then it would jump two days after that and it felt all over the place at a lot of points. Other than that, I really enjoyed this book. It was a very good debut novel and I'm definitely going to read more of Alexis Daria's books in the future. She had a lot of good moments and good discussions and I think the writing can get so much better because she has a lot of potential.
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  • Christina
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you Alexis Daria and St. Martin’s Press, for my ARC of Take the Lead. I received this ARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. A book with a dancing competition tv show? Count me hooked. The description of the book got me intrigued pretty fast. And woah. It did not disappoint me. Actually I think this is one of my favorite books I’ve read this year so far. From start till end I was fascinated with the whole reality show dynamic. And I was even more fascinated with the whole dan Thank you Alexis Daria and St. Martin’s Press, for my ARC of Take the Lead. I received this ARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. A book with a dancing competition tv show? Count me hooked. The description of the book got me intrigued pretty fast. And woah. It did not disappoint me. Actually I think this is one of my favorite books I’ve read this year so far. From start till end I was fascinated with the whole reality show dynamic. And I was even more fascinated with the whole dancing plot. If there’s something I love in books, it’s sports and dancing themes. Therefore, before I even started the book I was pretty positive this would be a book I would love. And I 100% loved it. Having seen a lot of reality shows with dancing involved it made it even funnier to read because I could totally visualize Gina and Stone dancing the various dances that was introduced throughout the book. The funny, the romantic, the sexy dances – all of them. I quickly came to care for Gina. Alexis Daria did an incredible job creating an amazing, likeable and realistic character. Something about her just made me want to protect her from all evil in the world and make sure that she would succeed and achieve all her dreams. I really loved how Gina did everything in her power to fight the stereotypes that surround Latina women and that, sadly, society wants them to adapt to. Thus is another reason why I wanted to protect her from all evil. Gina is a talented and strong woman, trying her best to set an example for society that she and Latina women in general are so much more than that stigma. It was very easy for me to care and root for Gina and Stone. Their chemistry was just magical and it was hard for me not to smile over most of their scenes together. Even though they lived completely opposite lives and have very different personalities - Stone being an Alaskan Wildman and Gina being a city girl with tons of dreams - they strangely enough fit together perfectly. I guess opposites DO attract. It was really cool to see the friendship that Gina and Natasha had. Despite being in the same competition and competing against each other, they ignore it and remain best friends, and support each other endlessly. And I loved that. Give me all the women supporting women! I loved their friendship and I cannot wait to see more of it in Alexis Daria’s next book Dance with Me.If you like contemporary romance novels, novels with dancing involved, movies like Dirty Dancing and/or Step Up, or even a dance show like Dancing with the Stars, this book is for you. Even if you don’t find any of these things interesting, I still recommend this book to everyone.
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  • Alex (HEAbooknerd)
    January 1, 1970
    SERIES: Dance Off #1ROMANCE: Opposites Attract. In Secret. “Stay with me. Remember what I told you? Channel whatever’s happening in your head into the dance. Into me. Let me help you carry it.” QUICK REVIEWThis was absolutely amazing and I read it in one sitting! I'm a sucker for music/dance themed books and this did not let me down. I loved both Gina and Stone as individual characters and as a couple. They had so much personality, chemistry, and some serious dance moves. Their emotional connect SERIES: Dance Off #1ROMANCE: Opposites Attract. In Secret. “Stay with me. Remember what I told you? Channel whatever’s happening in your head into the dance. Into me. Let me help you carry it.” QUICK REVIEWThis was absolutely amazing and I read it in one sitting! I'm a sucker for music/dance themed books and this did not let me down. I loved both Gina and Stone as individual characters and as a couple. They had so much personality, chemistry, and some serious dance moves. Their emotional connection had me on a roller coaster of emotion and Alexis Daria does a fantastic job conveying it all through their dancing.--------------------------------CHARACTERSGina Morales: Winning The Dance Off has been Gina's sole focus, but she refuses to compromise her integrity just to get ahead in her career. So when she meet Stone she knows she has to keep him at arm's length before he interferes with all her goals and dreams. But working with Stone is testing her limits and her will power.Stone Nielson: Helping his family has always been important to Stone, but it's also what got him into this predicament to begin with. He's used to being "the quiet one" on his family's reality TV show and now he's front and center, learning to dance. He might be attracted to Gina but he knows he has to keep things together -- for himself and to protect his family.WHAT WORKED FOR ME-- Stone was probably my favorite thing about this book; he was such a perfect hero! He might be big and muscular, but he's also a bit of a beta hero. I love this because I'm all for betas but it was also fun to watch as he grew confident in his dancing and really embraced taking the lead when needed. He was a perfect blend of sweet and strong while also being completely drool worthy. I adored his more romantic side that really came out as he got comfortable with dancing and with Gina. -- The intimacy outside the bedroom was really well written! You could tell these two had more than just lust because they shared so many small moments of holding hands, little touches, leaning on each other for support, etc. Really beautiful and well done. That being said, holy cow, these two were on fire in the bedroom!-- I love a strong and dedicated heroine so Gina was a joy to read. I loved her passion for dancing, her fire to succeed, and her determination to be the best version of herself without compromising on her self respect. This does lead her to hold onto her pride and fear a little too tightly, but it also makes her a heroine I can really respect.-- I truly appreciated how emotional Stone and Gina's connection was and how much Alexis Daria was tugging at my heart strings in the last quarter of the book. I truly felt how deep their relationship had gotten and how hard it was for them to go through the ups and downs the show put them through.WHAT DIDN'T WORK FOR ME-- Only a small thing: several months go by in the book, but I barely noticed the passage of time. We know each of the show's episodes has a week of rehearsal, so the amount of time passing is there, it just felt very subtle because there were no external clues that usually get thrown in to show time. This might have more to do with me reading it all at once than anything the author did or didn't do.--------------------------------I received a copy of this book through NetGalley in exchange for an honest reviewSee this and more on my blog: Happily Ever After Booknerd
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  • Michaelene
    January 1, 1970
    "City girl, this is way beyond country living,” he drawled. “This is living wild.”Alexis Daria's Take the Lead has such an original storyline that I was salivating for this book like nobody's business. It meshes a Puerto Rican dancer, a gruff Alaskan survivalist, and a Dancing with the Stars like competition. How fun this book was!Stone doesn't want to be on a dancing show, but because of his family he finds himself flying down to LA and hobnobbing with a different flavor of reality TV. But when "City girl, this is way beyond country living,” he drawled. “This is living wild.”Alexis Daria's Take the Lead has such an original storyline that I was salivating for this book like nobody's business. It meshes a Puerto Rican dancer, a gruff Alaskan survivalist, and a Dancing with the Stars like competition. How fun this book was!Stone doesn't want to be on a dancing show, but because of his family he finds himself flying down to LA and hobnobbing with a different flavor of reality TV. But when he meets his new dance partner, it's more than their dance steps that heat up.Gina has to win this season of The Dance Off or she loses her job. Of course, she's paired with a guy with no professional dancing background and who doesn't take the show seriously. But each week, their dances become more demanding. There just might be something else burning between them.Were all dancers like this? Whose brilliant idea had it been to stick him with someone so touchy and talkative? This wasn’t what he’d signed up for.I loved these two! While Stone is gruff and serious, Gina has this bubbly personality that Stone can't help but fall for. The last thing Gina will ever do, however, is fall for a fellow co-worker. The structure of the story is absolutely brilliant, and there's obstacles big and small, internal and external, that you can't look away from the page.There's also this line of burning chemistry sometimes...it wasn't anything overt, and yet, it was some of the most tantalizing tension I've read in a long time. He was supposed to lead? Then damn it, he would lead.May I also say that I loved how the country boy had to take on the city life? It was another fresh take on this story that makes Take the Lead stand out. This was a delectably charming book that pulls out all the stops and asks what you would do to win.Not only in life, but in love.4.5 stars!*I voluntarily reviewed an arc via the publisher on NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.*
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  • Michelle
    January 1, 1970
    This book is everything I always want dance movies to be, and while they always leave me a little disappointed, this book left me utterly satisfied and grinning like a fool. Perfect for fans of Step Up and Dancing with the Stars.The premise is fun-a reality show Alaskan survivalists goes on a dancing with celebrities show and falls for his dance partner/choreographer. And then the writing took it to a whole other level of emotional depth that made it even easier for me to enjoy the fun setting. This book is everything I always want dance movies to be, and while they always leave me a little disappointed, this book left me utterly satisfied and grinning like a fool. Perfect for fans of Step Up and Dancing with the Stars.The premise is fun-a reality show Alaskan survivalists goes on a dancing with celebrities show and falls for his dance partner/choreographer. And then the writing took it to a whole other level of emotional depth that made it even easier for me to enjoy the fun setting. "It wasn't just about attraction anymore. This was mutual respect and trust. She liked him." = that's what takes a romance novel from good to great, in my opinion. I want to see steamy sexual chemistry translate into something MORE and I want to really believe the characters when they get to know each other more deeply and truly care about each other, and I really felt that with Gina and Stone. Plus, all the described dance choreography made me SALIVATE for this to get made into a movie. They would be so cool to watch! And I'm not just saying that just bc I have a huge soft spot for tall, muscled, manbunned guys dancing a fierce tango. Even though I do. Five stars and a new author to watch!
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  • Treena
    January 1, 1970
    I got an ARC of this book from NetGalley. Thank you! The following is my honest opinion about the book:I requested this book because I love Dancing With the Stars. I'm the type of fan that follows the dance-pro's I admire on Instagram and will read articles in magazines that feature them. I enjoy watching the behind-the-scenes footage/ the rehearsal antics and love finding out about how these pro's/celebrities are like when they aren't on the show.This book is like a treat of epic proportions fo I got an ARC of this book from NetGalley. Thank you! The following is my honest opinion about the book:I requested this book because I love Dancing With the Stars. I'm the type of fan that follows the dance-pro's I admire on Instagram and will read articles in magazines that feature them. I enjoy watching the behind-the-scenes footage/ the rehearsal antics and love finding out about how these pro's/celebrities are like when they aren't on the show.This book is like a treat of epic proportions for fans of DWTS. I absolutely loved what I was reading and stayed up all night finishing this book. Reading was like getting an up-close invitation to what goes on in such a reality tv show. So cool! I loved that there was a good balance of the show stuff (costume-fittings, rehearsals, show performances) and the off-cam, down-times, giving ample room for the growing relationship between the MC's. If I'm not mistaken, this is Alexis Daria's first book and I'm floored as this book is pretty-darn polished. Ms Daria did such a great job of fleshing out the MC's and writing a well-paced story. Count me as a fan of her writing style. (This book is a dual POV, btw, which is totally my jam.)I grew to love both Gina and Stone and was cheering for them all throughout. Heck, I even loved Tash/Natasha, Gina's roommate/bff/co-star pro-dancer on the show. In fact, I'm so excited that book 2 will be about Natasha and Dimitri (one of the judges on the show).If you like DWTS, SYTYCD, movies like Step Up, then I would definitely recommend this book. I would also recommend this book to those who enjoying reading about strong heroines and gentle sweet men (bec Gina was more alpha, imo, than Stone).
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  • Ptiteaurel
    January 1, 1970
    Si vous lisez en VO et si vous êtes fans de DALS ( si vous ne savez pas ce que signifie ce sigle c'est que vous ne suivez pas assidûment Danse Avec les Stars) cette romance est faite pour vous et ne pourra que vous conquérir. Je découvre la plume d'Alexis Daria avec ce premier tome de la saga A dance Off Novel et j'ai hâte de lire d'autres romans dans cet univers qui me parle complètement. Fan de la première heure, je n'ai jamais manqué une saison sur TF1 et même si nous sommes dans une version Si vous lisez en VO et si vous êtes fans de DALS ( si vous ne savez pas ce que signifie ce sigle c'est que vous ne suivez pas assidûment Danse Avec les Stars) cette romance est faite pour vous et ne pourra que vous conquérir. Je découvre la plume d'Alexis Daria avec ce premier tome de la saga A dance Off Novel et j'ai hâte de lire d'autres romans dans cet univers qui me parle complètement. Fan de la première heure, je n'ai jamais manqué une saison sur TF1 et même si nous sommes dans une version romancisée de cette émission TV je suis sûre que nous ne sommes pas loin de la vérité.je ne peux que vous recommander cette lecture VO car elle vous fera passer de supers moments. La danse est la thématique principale mais par le biais de l'émission , des personnages, Alexis Daria évoque les thématiques fortes liées aux émissions de télé où derrière les paillettes se cachent des choses peu glorieuses. Leur carrière passera t-elle avant leur vie et leur sentiment?Chronique complète à venir..
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  • Avri
    January 1, 1970
    Romance is not a genre I typically read.And I have despised reality TV since MTV's Real World pushed music videos off the air. But sometimes it is good to test your boundaries, to step outside your comfort zone.I am glad I did. Gina and Stone are fully realized protaganists - learning, breathing, feeling, making me care. My belief that reality TV is at least partly to blame for the post-truth condition of the world today remains undented, but never got in the way of my enjoying the narrative arc Romance is not a genre I typically read.And I have despised reality TV since MTV's Real World pushed music videos off the air. But sometimes it is good to test your boundaries, to step outside your comfort zone.I am glad I did. Gina and Stone are fully realized protaganists - learning, breathing, feeling, making me care. My belief that reality TV is at least partly to blame for the post-truth condition of the world today remains undented, but never got in the way of my enjoying the narrative arc of Take The Lead, and the reason is the truth of the motivations apparent in all of the characters.The book is moving, engaging, and more than a little steamy, with impressive pacing. It earns its (spoiler alert) happy ending.When the sequel drops, I am prepared to once more step outside my wheelhouse for Alexis Daria.
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  • Renée Dahlia
    January 1, 1970
    The premise of two reality tv stars just screams for a miscommunication/misunderstanding conflict, and this book supplies that in plenty. It manages to do this without the annoying 'but if you just talked to each other' trope, and gives great reasons for why they misunderstand each other. Stone goes on a strong journey in this book, starting out as someone loyal to his family at huge cost to himself, and through the process of dancing with Gina, he learns to balance that loyalty with his own emo The premise of two reality tv stars just screams for a miscommunication/misunderstanding conflict, and this book supplies that in plenty. It manages to do this without the annoying 'but if you just talked to each other' trope, and gives great reasons for why they misunderstand each other. Stone goes on a strong journey in this book, starting out as someone loyal to his family at huge cost to himself, and through the process of dancing with Gina, he learns to balance that loyalty with his own emotional needs. I can't stand a man-bun, but I do love a loyal male character, and Stone has that quality in spades.This book is hot, and fun, and emotional.
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  • Melissa Parnell
    January 1, 1970
    Okay so I am going to admit something. My guilty pleasure. Definitely one of my higher guilty pleasures is dance shows. Any kind of Dance movies, reality tv, scripted tv shows, if it involves dancing, I am so there. So when I read the premise of this book, I was like take my money. I need this book now! I am so so glad I read it. This book was addictive. I loved the dancing. I loved the characters. I loved the storyline. Everything about it had me hooked. I was just reading that this was a debut Okay so I am going to admit something. My guilty pleasure. Definitely one of my higher guilty pleasures is dance shows. Any kind of Dance movies, reality tv, scripted tv shows, if it involves dancing, I am so there. So when I read the premise of this book, I was like take my money. I need this book now! I am so so glad I read it. This book was addictive. I loved the dancing. I loved the characters. I loved the storyline. Everything about it had me hooked. I was just reading that this was a debut novel and it really surprised me. This was definitely a great debut and kept me fully entertained. I can't wait to read more from this author.
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