Cover Image: Take the Lead

Take the Lead

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Member Reviews

As soon as I finished reading, I had to berate myself for waiting so long to read it. Saying mood reader problems explains most of it but it's also that I'm not much of a fan of mixing reality tv or even tv competitions with my books. Daria brings the heat with this one with two individuals who find passion in and out of the dance floor.

Gina and Stone appear to be opposites when they first meet. She's a city girl and Stone is from the Alaskan wild, but they are going to be dance partners in a tv competition. They ooze chemistry, but Gina is determined to avoid it to ensure her dancing skills get the attention instead of a potential romance with her partner.

I admired Gina's commitment to her job and trying to move her career forward. I appreciated the inclusion of combatting sterotypes as one of Gina's motivations--this is a battle I completely understand. It brought additional depth to Gina's character and to the overall story.

While Gina made a lot of valid arguments for why the romance was something she needed to keep under wraps, I also felt bad for Stone. It didn't mean she felt any less for him, but it also meant they couldn't freely express how much they cared for each other, which I wanted more of. Let's also be honest, women usually usually end up more scrutinized than men when something of this nature happens. It's hard to not want to keep it away from prying eyes. I completely understood Gina's inner turmoil.

The book is sexy and their chemistry is sizzling hot. Both characters are fleshed out, but it was Gina I easily connected to. I liked this one more than I thought I would and definitely recommend it.

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This was a fun, and very spicy, romance - especially for fans of Dancing with the Stars and other "reality" tv shows. Both main characters are good people, driven to succeed, and they have a lot of chemistry.

As I have watched quite a few seasons of television dance competitions, that was my favorite part of this book - it was a lot of fun reading about the different weeks, the costumes, the dances, the judges, and behind the scenes. I also liked both of the main characters. I read the book really quickly, because I was excited to know what would happen!

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I thought this was a cute book, but I didn’t love it. It starts off strong, but then halfway I feel like it just starts to slow down. The main character was super annoying, and I felt like I couldn’t get past that. I also didn’t feel like the chemistry was realistic. If you’re a fan of opposites attract, dance competitions and instant connection, this book would be for you!

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A solid 4 star read

ARC provided by NetGalley and the Publisher in exchange for my honest review.

This book is giving me Dancing with the Stars x Hallmark romance movie vibes. Stone, a reality TV star from a family with too many secrets is paired with Gina, a latina professional dancer on a reality TV show echoing Dancing with the Stars. After getting off to the wrong start, their natural chemistry shows and boy, did it combust!

I genuinely enjoyed reading this book, there were definitely times where I could relate to both characters. Stone, a reality TV star, has many secrets on his plate. Secrets that will bring consequences to his family if they do come to light. Gina,a latina professional dancer is hoping that “The Dance Off” will give her a big break in her career and to fame and want nothing to do with mixing business and pleasure - talk about conflict.

Oh man, the slow burn here was so worth it and the scenes were hot!

A couple of cons: Sometimes the pacing of the story was too-slowed and some parts too rushed - there was a bit of inconsistency there. I struggle to connect with the characters for some reason, the romance was solid but I just couldn’t get much of a feel for the characters.

All in all, Take the Lead is an entertaining read and provides some wanted drama to my reading!

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Very cute and steamy read. I loved the chemistry between the two MCs and felt their story was solid. The only complaint I would have is the seemingly insta-love due to the fact that they are both attractive/hot people.

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This was a fun, fictional look at what behind the scenes of a show like Dancing With the Stars is really like. I bought into the romance and it was steamy in all the right ways. I really like the way Alexis Daria writes and will be seeking out more of her books!

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I was disappointed with this book, as it failed to capture my attention or interest despite my initial excitement.

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I love the latinx representation! Gina is meant to be the over sexualized character on tv with her dance partner Stone. The producers push them into a fake dating scenario and it all goes uphill when they start to develop feelings! And don’t forget about the spice!!!!

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I liked the chemistry, the growth, and the diversity of the characters. Gina and Stone were both likable and relatable, and I rooted for them to overcome their obstacles and find their happiness. I appreciated the representation of different cultures, backgrounds, and identities in the novel.

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This was a fun one - I love reality tv and loved that the tone was set with a tv show. The characters connection was great and loved that you felt you KNEW them - you saw their character development and growth. I love that in a book! I felt like this was romance done well. I will be sure to check out other Alexis Daria books (and love that there are 2 more books in this series to read next!)! Thank you for the ARC!

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Take the Lead is the first in a cute romantic series about a reality dance competition and dance ‘showmances’, reflecting pop culture in our world today. Gina and Stone have fabulous chemistry and their love affair steams off the pages. The extended cast of characters are quirky, entertaining and fun. I enjoyed this sweet novel!

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Somehow my review got deleted??? I don’t know how that’s possible but anyways here’s my review!:

Dancing with the Stars within a book!? Sign me Up. While this is just a new cover with a few corrections from the originally published story this was still SO Good! It took me bit to warm up to the MC’s in the story but, once I did it was just a whirlwind of romance and cute feels.

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Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for granting me free access to the advanced digital copy of this book, as this book has already been published, I will not share my review on Netgalley at this time.

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Thank you Alexis Daria, St. Martins Press and Netgalley for this E-ARC!

Dancing into the glittering world of reality TV, "Take the Lead" by Alexis Daria offers a vibrant and entertaining dance of romance that transcends the stage. Set against the backdrop of a dance competition, Stone Nielson, the rugged Alaskan survivalist, finds himself partnered with Gina Morales, a talented LA-based professional dancer. While Stone is more accustomed to chopping wood than twirling on the dance floor, Gina is determined to coax out the hidden dancer within him.

The chemistry between Stone and Gina is undeniable, and their journey unfolds with a perfect balance of humor, tension, and steamy romance. Stone, a gentle giant with a brooding charm, undergoes a transformative confidence boost as the competition progresses. Gina, a fabulous and vivacious dancer, complements Stone's quiet strength with her own bright personality.

However, the real charm of "Take the Lead" lies in the authentic portrayal of Gina's personal struggles as a Puerto Rican performing artist. Daria delicately weaves poignant nods to Gina's battle against stereotypes, adding depth and relevance to the storyline.

As the dance partners navigate the intense training and filming schedule, an intimacy unlike anything in the real world blossoms. The slow burn of their growing attraction culminates in a tango of emotions that is both satisfying and worth the anticipation.

While the pacing occasionally feels rushed during live shows, "Take the Lead" stands as a strong and satisfying series opener, showcasing Alexis Daria's prowess in delivering a captivating romance. The debut leaves readers eager for more, especially as future installments promise the tantalizing dance between pro dancer Natasha and show judge Dimitri in "Dance with Me."

Copy received courtesy of St. Martin’s Press via NetGalley

4.5 Stars

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Thank you to Net Galley for the copy of this book.

Alexis Daria does it again. I absolutely loved this book. I loved the Latinx representation, the dancing and the character development. Pick up this book especially if you enjoy similar books by Emily Henry or Daria’s other gems!

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This had me feeling like I was actually watching a dancing with the stars season. The imagery was so well described. I loved the whole behind the scenes reality tv aspect of it! As a Latina myself I loved the Latina fmc representation!

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Ooh boy I have to laugh at how long it took me to read this book. I swear I enjoyed and even looked forward to picking it up again, but I got so busy for a while and just could not focus on physically reading a book.

But as I said, I really did enjoy it. I love Dancing with the Stars and it was sweet to read a romance with a reality dancing show as the setting show. Was it groundbreaking? Of course not. But I don't read romances to be introduced to something new. I read romances to escape with a little happiness that will have me grinning by the end. This did the job. And I know if it was made into a movie, I'd be curled up with my hot chocolate and a blanket at home ready to watch.

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I had to come back to this book because this it wasn’t working at the moment, I’m glad I came back to this. It was fun to listen to, because it reminds me of watching Dancing With the Stars, but with behind the scenes.

I loved seeing the characterization of Stone as he finds himself through dance and standing up to his family’s ever going TV show and the lies he has to keep up with. On the other hand, Gina has been on The Dance Off for 4 seasons and never won and this is the last season especially since Stone is her ticket to winning it all. And it doesn’t help that her producer makes it clear they want it to be a showmance.

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Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the ebook of this novel in exchange for an honest review

I really enjoyed this read! The chemistry between Gina and Stone was palpable, and the angst/tension was well done.

I liked the setting of the novel being a reality TV show, and found that quite interesting. For someone that doesn't watch a lot of reality TV, it was interesting to see what could and probably does go on behind the scenes. You learn in this novel how toxic this kind of show would/could be in real life. It made me so mad the types of things that would happen to our main characters just for the sake of 'good' TV.

The conflict in the story I feel was well written between the two main characters, and didn't last overly long. I will most definitely be picking up more from this author in the future!

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A Dancing with the Stars/Strictly Come Dancing fan fic. Essentially. It's what we all think goes on backstage and behind the scenes of dancing competition reality shows!! This is an update and republication of an older book and I'm hoping they do the same for the sequel!

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