cover image Take the Lead

Take the Lead

Alexis Daria. Griffin, $16.99 trade paper (368p) ISBN 978-1-250-81796-9

Bestseller Daria (A Lot Like Adiós) brings heat to the dance floor in this delightful rom-com about reality TV stars who find love during a celebrity dance competition. Idealistic professional dancer Gina Morales, 27, dreams of being a star. Despite four seasons of the Dancing with the Stars–esque TV show The Dance Off under her belt, she’s never made it to the finals. But Gina has high hopes for her new partner: handsome and impossibly ripped Stone Nielson, the reluctant star of an Alaskan wilderness show. Stone hates reality TV and is only doing The Dance Off to help his parents through a rough patch, but working with Gina makes him realize his love of dance. Neither is interested in a showmance, but as Stone’s gruff exterior melts in the face of Gina’s bubbly personality, the pair can’t deny their explosive chemistry both on and off stage. When the paparazzi catch on to their burgeoning relationship, Gina and Stone must decide what to prioritize: their careers and a shot at the trophy or a chance at true love. The structure of the competition keeps the pages flying, and Daria does a fantastic job making the thrilling dance routines jump and twirl off the page. Add in the protagonists’ opposite personalities and fiery attraction, and this whirlwind romance scores a 10 out of 10. (Feb.)