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BOOK REVIEW: Take the Lead

Take the Lead by Alexis Daria
(Re)Publication Date: February 14, 2023

I love Alexis Daria and I was so excited to learn about her debut novel when I heard they would be republishing it with a cute illustrated cover. Seriously, I love this cover. 

This book doesn’t release until 2023 so you will have to wait a bit, but it will be worth the wait (anyone else a Bachelor fan and picturing Madi Prewett’s wedding veil? Just me? Okay.)

Plot (from Goodreads): 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.


WHAT I LOVED 

  • We all know I love a reality tv show setting in books and this did not disappoint. The dance competition was just so fun.
    • I usually feel that reality tv producers are given a bit of a pass in books, but here they are manipulative and their antics drive the plot forward which I appreciated. 
      • Also the characters are aware of their antics and are trying to deal with their emotions/ambitions within the constraints of their reality. 
  • Gina and Stone!
    • These two have an instant connection and stellar chemistry. 
    • They also both have stuff to deal with and their individual journeys were so much fun to follow. 
    • Plus, obviously the “opposite attracts” trope with the city girl and wilderness guy, but there are some layers to this. 
  • It was fun to see Alexis Daria’s debut because so much of what I love about her books (Latinx MCs, strong family plots, and excellent chemistry) are also present here and I always like seeing where authors start off. 
  • I also loved Gina’s friendship with Natasha. 
  • In contemporary it is a bit harder to pull off the “how are they going to make this work out” and Alexis Daria does it so well here. I was seriously wondering how she was going to pull it off. 
  • Contemporary romance hasn’t been working for me as much lately (idk why), but this one was excellent. 
  • I already mentioned the tv show setting, but it is a DANCE SHOW so they really cannot keep their hands off each other (professionally) so it was fun seeing the tension of them not wanting to keep their hands off each other (unprofessionally). 

WHAT I DID NOT LOVE

  • a few minor things that honestly I don’t even remember 

Overall, I would recommend this one to contemporary romance lovers who like a fun setting and the opposite attracts trope. 

 

*thanks to the publisher for an eARC; all thoughts are my own*

Thanks for reading! 

xoxo, Tree 

2 thoughts on “BOOK REVIEW: Take the Lead”

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