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.
Kristen Ashley strikes again
I rode this book in one sitting, wasn’t able to go to sleep, I was riveted from start to finish! 1 of my favorite ever!!!
4.25stars-edgy, dramatic and tragic
4.25 stars--TAKING THE LEAP is the third instalment in Kristen Ashley’s contemporary, adult RIVER RAIN erotic, romance series. This is thirty four-year old former smoke jumper/firefighter John ‘Rix’ Hendrix, and twenty-eight year old, Alexandra ‘Alex’ Sharp’s story line. TAKING THE LEAP can be read as a stand alone without any difficulty. Any important information from the previous story lines is revealed where necessary. Rix and Alex’s story line begins in book two Chasing Serenity.
SOME BACKGROUND: River Rain, owned by businessman Duncan Holloway, is a large chain of stores concentrating on outdoor life including camping, hiking, rock climbing and trail walking, that has ventured into philanthropy and camps for children and youth.
Told from first person perspective (Alex) and dual third person (Rix and Judge) TAKING THE LEAP focuses on the building but fake romance and relationship between thirty four-year old former smoke jumper/firefighter John ‘Rix’ Hendrix, and twenty-eight year old, Alexandra ‘Alex’ Sharp, and the upcoming wedding of Alex’s sister Blake. Alexandra Sharp is descended from royalty but refuses to play the games her mother sets into motion. Estranged from her family- her distant father, controlling mother, and the questionable sanity of her older sister, Alex has always preferred to remain in the background but her sister’s wedding is about to place the spotlight on our story line heroine when she brings co-worker and amputee John ‘Rix’ Hendrix as her plus one. Alex has crushed on Rix for as long as she can remember but Rix has a dark history, a past mired in betrayal and loss, and a reputation with the women as a one-night stand kind of guy. Working together for River Rain Outdoor Stores and their Kids and Trails programs forces our couple to dwell on their mutual attraction but Alexandra remains unconvinced in the face of history, and the ‘fake’ aspect of their relationship that will quickly turn into something more.
Alexandra Sharp is a beautiful, intelligent, shy and somewhat withdrawn woman who has spent most of her life on the sidelines watching as the world, and her family continue to implode. Alex is not naïve; she is not a fool nor a door mat but a woman who is willing to speak up when needed, and defend herself against those who are hoping to tear her down including several members of her immediate family but Rix Hendrix is all about protecting the woman with whom he will fall in love, a woman who does not need protecting when all is said and done. Rix is offering a friends with benefits relationship with our story line heroine, a relationship that co-workers and close friends see as a prelude to disaster.
The relationship between Rix and Alex is one of mutual attraction but Alex’s overt shyness is a detriment to her personal and social life. Rix often mistakes Alex’s awkwardness as not interested, but her ambivalence and uncertainty is but a side effect of her family history of distance and control. Alex is determined to prove she is worthy of love but Rix’s past is hoping for a second chance, a chance that brings with it too many memories of betrayal and negligence. The $ex scenes are intimate, erotic and passionate but I dislike the use of a certain four-letter word in my romance story lines.
There is a large ensemble cast of colorful, energetic and sassy secondary and supporting characters including Chloe and Judge (Chasing Serenity), Judge’s father Jamie, and sister Dru. We are introduced to Alex’s family-her sister Blake, Blake’s fiance Chad, and their parents Helena and Edward, and her friends Katie and Gal, as well as Rix’s ex Peri, and his brother Josh, Hailey and Kinsley. Adding commentary is gossip columnist Elsa Cohen.
TAKING THE LEAP is a story of love and acceptance, betrayal and loss. Kristen Ashley pulls the reader into an emotional tale of dysfunctional dynamics wherein one family is unable to accept the world as it is, preferring live in a world of their own making. The premise is edgy, dramatic and tragic; the romance is provocative and intimate; the characters are heart breaking yet inspiring.