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TAKE THE LEAD – Alexis Daria
A Dance Off Novel , Book 1
St. Martin's Griffin
ISBN: 978-1250817969
February 14, 2023
Romantic Comedy

Los Angeles – Present Day

Gina Morales has been with the Dance Off reality show for several seasons, but she has yet to win. She is informed by her producer that she must make the finals this season or she will be fired from the show. With the pressure on, Gina is given another reality TV star, nature survivalist Stone Nielson, as her partner. He has no dance experience but like Gina, he is determined to win. He needs the money to help his family pay off their mother’s medical bills. Their meeting in Alaska is filmed and comes complete with Stone shirtless while chopping wood—and a bear. Once in Los Angeles, the two get down to the task of Gina teaching Stone how to dance. 

In TAKE THE LEAD, Gina and Stone soon find that working closely together leads to revelations about each other and intense dialogue. They come from different lives, yet they are both determined to make their dance coupling work for a win. Sexy dances and sizzling chemistry end up with Gina and Stone attracted to each other. It doesn’t help that their producer wants them to fake a showmance. They aren’t pretending at all! But once their time on the show is over, they plan to go their separate ways.

We see the insides of a dancing competition show in TAKE THE LEAD by Alexis Daria. Despite the friendliness seen by viewers on television, there is a sense of it being a cutthroat competition because winning is everything as it helps promote careers. To Gina, Stone is like a big bear with his huge body and long hair. Gina is of Puerto Rican heritage, and she is like a passionate sparkplug when it comes to dancing. With her teaching, Stone will hopefully become a top-notch dancer—and win the top prize. Along the way, there is some drama. Readers will be wondering if there is a happily ever after in store for our couple, or whether there will be heartbreak. 

There’s much for Gina and Stone to learn about each other, but it is a fun journey for readers in TAKE THE LEAD. Things don’t always go smoothly, as there is plenty of hard work and tears, but there are also tender moments. While denying they want to do a showmance, they can’t deny their attraction. Readers will enjoy the fun and learn how a show like Dancing with the Stars works. Don’t miss this entertaining tale. 

Patti Fischer 

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