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review 2017-10-12 05:45
Take the Lead by Alexis Daria - My Thoughts
Take the Lead: A Dance Off Novel - Alexis Daria

Ballroom dancing, reality shows, a sexy, talented Latina dancer, a handsome, rugged, Alaskan outdoorsman, a secret or two... put them all together, shake 'em up and what do you get? A fun, sexy romance that owes everything to Dancing with the Stars.  :) 

Gina is a ballroom dancer, one of the best of the best.  She refuses to play the showmance games her producers propose with her new partner, Stone.  Drop dead, gorgeous, reality star Stone.  The only problem is, as they get to know each other, they start to like each other and of course there's no denying the sexy sparks that flare between them. 

Take the Lead is sexy and fun, especially for fans of Dancing with the Stars.  They'll recognise some familiar.... um... types, shall we say.  I got a special kick of out Kevin, the golden boy of the show who gets the best partners and seems to win more than his fair share of the competitions.  Oh, does THAT sound familiar!  *LOL*  There's also a J-Lo type secondary character.

Both of the lead characters have their flaws and their obstacles to overcome.  Gina doesn't want fall into the stereotypical characterisation of Latina women in entertainment, nor to present a questionable role model for her nieces.  Stone needs to protect his family with well-meaning lies.  Reality TV is a bitch.  *LOL* 

The development of the romance may seem a little rushed, but you know.. I kept thinking of Kym and Robert on DWTS and how we watched them fall in love on the show, so it all works for me. 

The sex was steamy and the banter fun.  Are you a fan of DWTS and a romance reader?  Read this book.  You'll have fun. 

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review 2017-10-06 20:44
Take the Lead
Take the Lead: A Dance Off Novel - Alexis Daria

I enjoy Dancing With the Stars, so when I saw this book, I had to read it. Gina is a professional dancer on "The Dance Off." She is paired with Stone. Stone is a reality star. He is known as the "quiet" one on his family's reality series. He has 3 sisters and 3 brothers and along with their parents live completely off-the-grid in Alaska. 
I enjoyed their interactions. I liked seeing Stone transform from very quiet, reserved to much less quiet and more outspoken in regards to his needs. The realization that he was unhappy and something needed to change. His needs have always come last, since he did whatever his family needed. I wanted him to stand up for himself. He does, in a way, but not in the way I would have wanted him too. Circumstances beyond his control helped much more than him having (getting) a backbone. 
I liked Gina's work ethic and her personality. She is driven and has goals. Her "daddy issues" played a huge role in some of her worries and decisions; she gave her absentee father way too much power I thought. Attention is paid to the "sexy" Latina stereotype and how Gina is very careful because of it. Gina happens to be Puerto Rican. I also thought this was poignant because of hurricane Maria and what is happening in Puerto Rico right now. 
I will admit to wondering who would be the one to compromise and how would a compromise would work. I thought their compromise worked well for them, it was on both sides, not just one. I did think the whole issue with Stone and his "off-the-grid" family's show was glossed over, forgotten, and resolved too quickly. It does make a point: how "real" is reality. I can say as someone who likes reality TV (Survivor! DWTS! The Bachelor/ette!) I do realize that they are scripted and edited. How much? That's up for debate. 
Good secondary characters (why did the vindictive bitch have to be a figure skater??!!). I was invested in the story.

eARC courtesy of St Martin's Press (Swerve Imprint) and NetGalley.
Published on Oct 3rd.

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