Taking the Leap (River Rain #3) by Kristen Ashley
ABOUT THE BOOK
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.
I couldn’t wait to read Alex and Rix’s story after finishing Ms. Ashley’s Chasing Serenity last year and it was so much more than I hoped for. Rix’s natural protective instinct for his buddy’s girlfriend, Chloe in book 2 carries over as he unexpectedly falls for the introverted and shy Alex.
In a tragic, job-related accident as a fireman, John “Rix” Hendrix loses his legs, his fiancee, and his career in one fell swoop, but his strength and fortitude had him back to enjoying nature and getting used to his prosthetics. It’s just that emotionally he wasn’t good. His friends and family were avoiding talking about his legs so he’s garnered a reputation for being a manwhore. John “Rix” Hendrix has a type and his shy colleague, Alex Sharp, is not it. Who thought an adorable, socially awkward introvert named Alex Sharp could change his world?
Alexandra “Alex” Sharp is happy with her job, especially when she comes into contact every day with the hottest, coolest guy she’s ever met. She knows she’s not his type, but it doesn’t stop her fantasizing about him. And it doesn’t stop her from telling her self-centered sister that unbeknownst to him, he is her plus one for her sister’s wedding. A wedding she was forced into attending. It’s just a ploy to get her sister off her back about being forever single and later planned to tell her he wasn’t coming at the last minute. But, sometimes things don’t always go as planned.
There is nothing I love more than observing two strong and vulnerable characters unravel and become the very best of themselves. Alex is at ease with Rix’s disability and is non-judgy and not afraid to ask him questions that he welcomes instead of having everyone avoid the elephant in the room. Watching a protective and virile man come undone is my weakness. I’ll say it once again that Ms. Ashley writes incredibly human male roles. The love for their family and friends is heartwarming and genuine. Rix’s first intentions with Alex were questionable at first with all of his emotional baggage getting in the way, but with his friend Chloe’s cunning matchmaking skills, he comes around. I knew Rix would be my book boyfriend with his respect for and unadulterated support of Alex as she deals with her clusterfuck of a family. My God, that family is a mess and I cheered for Alex when she finally puts them all in their place and shows them more respect than they deserve. She’s definitely the better person. By the way, Alex’s sister’s wedding from hell had an epic ending!!!
The supporting characters are a fantastic addition to Ms. Ashley’s book. It felt like home again seeing the marvelous Chloe and Judge work their magic bringing Rix and Alex together. Subtly is not Chloe’s forte, but her heart is in it 100%. Judge’s father, Jamie, and sister, Dru, make an appearance as well as Chloe’s mom and stepfather, Bowie. Rix’s family is lovely as they enfold Alex into their family. And though Alex’s family leaves much to be desired, her father Ned steps up for his daughter, and even her Bride-idorah sister Blake shows signs of humanity in the end. I definitely want the story on the yummy mature single guys. Namely, Jamie and Ned. No age gaps, please.
There are so many extraordinary moments in this book that gave me the feels. There are well-written valid feelings regarding living as an amputee and the physical and emotional changes it imparts. The characters are genuine, caring, and resilient, and I highly recommend you give this series a try.
Thank you to Ms. Ashley for giving me the opportunity to read this book with no expectation of a positive review.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Kristen Ashley, born in Gary and raised in Brownsburg, Indiana, was a fourth-generation graduate of Purdue University. Since, she has lived in Denver, the West Country of England, and now she resides in Phoenix. She worked as a charity executive for eighteen years prior to beginning her independent publishing career. She currently writes full-time.
Although romance is her genre, the prevailing themes running through all of Kristen’s novels are friendship, family and a strong sisterhood. To this end, and as a way to thank her readers for their support, Kristen has created the Rock Chick Nation, a series of programs that are designed to give back to her readers and promote a strong female community.
The mission of the Rock Chick Nation is to live your best life, be true to your true self, recognize your beauty and take your sister’s back whether they’re friends and family or if they’re thousands of miles away and you don’t know who they are. The programs of the RC Nation include: Rock Chick Rendezvous, weekends Kristen organizes full of parties and get-togethers to bring the sisterhood together; Rock Chick Recharges, evenings Kristen arranges for women who have been nominated to receive a special night; and Rock Chick Rewards, an ongoing program that raises funds for nonprofit women’s organizations Kristen’s readers nominate. Kristen’s Rock Chick Rewards have donated nearly $170,000 to charity and this number continues to rise.