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Book CoverTabs’ review of Take the Lead (The Dance Off, Book 1) by Alexis Daria
Contemporary Romance published by Swerve 03 Oct 17

In Alexis Daria’s debut, the sparks fly between a professional dancer and an Alaskan reality television star on a “Dancing With the Stars”-esque competitive reality show. Gina Morales is a professional dancer who has been on the Dance Off for a few years but has never won that coveted trophy. With her career prospects on the line, she’s determined to whip Stone Nielson into shape. Stone is a naturally quiet person and he’s really only doing the show to help out his family. Gina quickly shifts his priorities.

Gina and Stone are paired together by the show’s producers. Being well used to the machinations and manipulation of reality television, Gina quickly realizes that the production team is trying to set them up in a “showmance” i.e. a fake television romance. She’s not pleased. While it would be good for votes, she’s ever conscious of her image and doesn’t want to be portrayed as a stereotypical sexualized latina, so she keeps things professional between them.

That turns out to be harder than she expected, though, as Gina and Stone are frickin’ adorable together. They make a great pair on the dance floor but an even better pair off. Gina is bossy and demanding as a choreographer and coach and their early scenes give major Johnny-and-Baby-in-Dirty-Dancing training montage vibes. Gina tries to resist the attraction, but she just can’t.

If you have a thing for caring, loving heroes, then you need to go flex your one-click finger because Stone is a textbook case. He’s been stuck in a rut he doesn’t like for years because his family needed him. If he can help someone he cares about who needs it, then he darn well will. When he finds out that getting to the show finals is critical for Gina’s career prospects, he’s all over it. He’s a giant loving sweetheart of a man.

This book is so much fun. The characters have depth and chemistry. The romance is adorable and hot all at the same time. The book is just great. I want the next one and I want it right now.

0fa74262Grade: A


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.

No excerpt available.