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Take The Lead (Dance Off #1): ARC Review

35832861BLURB: 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

Release Date: October 3rd

~BUY LINKS~

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | Google | Ebooks.com | Goodreads

~REVIEW~

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 internal conflict 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, others 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! 😀

I was particularly pleased 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!!

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This was  a great debut. And i need everyone to click those link above and pre-order. 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 🙂

~Rating~ 

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3 thoughts on “Take The Lead (Dance Off #1): ARC Review”

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