This review may contain spoilers, so fair warning, upon reading the review.
About The Book
From New York Times bestselling author Kristen Ashley comes the new book in her River Rain series, Taking the Leap.
Alexandra Sharp has been crushing on her co-worker, John “Rix” Hendrix for years. He’s her perfect man, she knows it.
She’s just not his perfect woman, and she knows that too.
Then Rix gives Alex a hint that maybe there’s a spark between them that, if she takes the leap, she might be able to fan into a flame. This leads to a crash and burn, and that’s all shy Alex needs to catch the hint never to take the risk again.
However, with undeniable timing, Rix’s ex, who broke his heart, and Alex’s family, who spent her lifetime breaking hers, rear their heads, gearing up to offer more drama. With the help of some matchmaking friends, Rix and Alex decide to face the onslaught together…
As a fake couple.
“Are you a different man?” she asked softly.
“I don’t fight fires.”
“You’re fighting one for me.”
Taking The Leap was such an artfully crafted romance that won my heart so completely, and I was worried about this one because the second book in the series “Chasing Serenity” just wasn’t my favorite of the series and I really had issues with it. But from the moment that I read this one I just knew that this would be a top read. One the heroine definitely worked for me in every way. I just related with her so well, which isn’t super common with Kristen Ashley heroines. And for those who have read this author know exactly what is her typical heroine and I was so thrilled that we got a heroine that was outside the realm of the norm of what KA normally writes. I also was intrigued by the set up of the series and curious to see what would be the circumstances by which this story would be developed. Taking The Leap is exactly what the title conveys and I couldn’t put this one down here. KA fans everywhere will be delighted by this one here.
The story begins with our heroine, Alexandra, who has had a crush on our hero, Rix, for the longest time and hasn’t remained seen by him until one evening when they are with friends. There is chemistry that is off the charts or at least that is what Alexandra thinks. But what really happens is that her assumption was incorrect and she finds out he wasn’t that interested and now there is a distance between them that wasn’t present before now. But nothing is as simple as it seems and when Rix learns that Alexandra has had a crush on him when he had assumed she had an issue with his disability, he is determined to show her he is not the man she assumes him to be. But Alexandra is in a bind because she is going to have to go to her sister’s wedding, and already claimed Rix as the “plus one”, Rix discovers this and realizes this is the perfect opportunity to make things up to her in this way. so they act as if they are boyfriend and girlfriend, while at the same time exploring the hidden desires they both have for each other, and what becomes a fake relationship turns into something deeper.
What I Loved
Taking The Leap was such an interesting story and one that I was completely drawn into. I really adored Rix and Alexandra together. Rix has a disability, as he used to be a firefighter, and lost his legs and his wife at the time abandoned him and he has issues with that and what women really see in him. Then we have Alexandra, who may come from a rich high society family, but has always felt at home helping others and living in the mountains. She is a introverted and very shy and struggled to speak with men she is attracted to just like she feels for Rix. It was quite neat to see Alexandra slowly come out of her shell, and really push herself in being in a relationship with Rix and learning to brave her natural inclination to hide. You see much of her personality stems from how she was raised and felt more comfortable being alone. Seeing Rix and Alexandra really come together in their relationship, adjust to their preconceptions of each other, and see how good they are for each other really showed the beauty in opposites attract. You will see a beautiful romance blossom in this story as we delve into each of our character’s individual personalities and intricate natures to find a bond that builds a strong relationship. Definitely a story that will sweep you off your fee.t
What I Struggled With
So this is a trend I have been seeing in some of this author’s newer books and I am learning to adapt to it. I do miss her classic KA style. What I have seen is some of her writing and it will be one or two moments in the story that just doesn’t fit the tone of the rest of the story in which she gets political and the phrasing of the text in the story will be very “preachy” and it’s just enough to turn me off a bit. So this story won’t be as fully five-star as I would have liked to give it. And just for clarification, I don’t care for politics in my romance. I want to escape reality which is packed with politics in every aspect of my life, I want to get away from it when I read fiction. It’s just not for me and will turn me off from a story.
I found Taking The Leap to be a superb tale that captures my heart with all the feels and deep riveting emotions that Kristen Ashley is famous for. Its a story that connected me so deeply with the characters and left me wanting more from this world.
Title: Taking The Leap
Author: Kristen Ashley
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Length: 490 Pages
Storytelling Quality: 5
Story Itself: 4.5
Character Development: 5
Writing Style: 3.5
World Building 5
Feels + The Romantic Heart 5
Cover Art 4
Overall Rating of the Book
Simmering—soft warm touches and light intimacy
Warm- a medium level of sexual tension, a balance of sexual and emotional intimacy, lighter on the details in the sexual moments.
Steamin’ up the room -the sexual content is more explicit in the language and tone, heavier amount of sexual scenes.
Blazing fire to the building-The prime focus is the sex scenes, scorching hot, and could burn one. Less focus on the emotional intimacy to the relationship.
After The Climb-Pub 2020 #1 in the Series
Chasing Serenity-Pub 2021 #2 in the Series
Taking The Leap-Pub 2022 #3 in the Series
Making The Match-Pub 2022 #4 in the Series
About The Author
Kristen Ashley was born in Gary, Indiana, USA. She nearly killed her mother and herself making it into the world, seeing as she had the umbilical cord wrapped around her neck (already attempting to accessorize and she hadn’t taken her first breath!).
Kristen grew up in Brownsburg, Indiana but has lived in Denver, Colorado and the West Country of England. Thus she has been blessed to have friends and family around the globe. Her posse is loopy (to say the least) but loopy is good when you want to write.
Kristen was raised in a house with a large and multi-generational family. They lived on a very small farm in a small town in the heartland and existed amongst the strains of Glenn Miller, The Everly Brothers, REO Speedwagon and Whitesnake (and the wardrobes that matched).
Needless to say, growing up in a house full of music, clothes and love was a good way to grow up.
And as she keeps growing up, it keeps getting better.