Thursday, February 17, 2022

Taking the Leap by Kristen Ashley Blog Tour

Available Now. Taking the Leap by Kristen Ashley. Blog Tour February 16th - 18th.

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.

Don’t miss our reviews of other books in the River Rain series!
For book two, Chasing Serenity, click HERE.


Add to Goodreads.


Taking the Leap by Kristen Ashley

Book 3
Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
Apple Books  ~  B&N  ~  Google Play  ~  Kobo
Audiobook (US)  ~  Paperback (US)




What kind of coffee drink do you like?

I could have lied, and when I saw him at the office, said I was driving when I got the text and that was why I didn’t answer.

But there was a part of me that was so excited to get my very first text from Rix, and that part was strong.

So strong, that thought didn’t even occur to me before I texted back with oodles of curiosity, Why?

Because I’m buying you a coffee, babe.

Another babe.

That was three.

Highly inappropriate, even infantilizing.

I said not one word about the “babe.”

Instead, I texted, Iced Chai.

Once I sent that, I texted, Mocha latte, iced or hot.

And on its heels, I sent, For just hot, flat white.

Then I got nervous that I might be sounding like a goof.

So nervous my thumbs couldn’t seem to stop tapping letters, and I therefore texted, I assume you want to know what I want right now, rather than all that I like. So just to say, I tend to be a coffee explorer, since I like coffee. And caffeine on the whole. That means the list is kinda long. But if you’re asking for right now, which you are, because it’s chilly this morning, flat white.

After I sent that, I realized that I was absolutely sounding like a dork in sending it, all of it, including the three before. As such, I watched in agony as Rix’s three dots cycled and cycled and then they did it some more.

Until I got, How much coffee have you already had?

This would have been funny if it wasn’t so mortifying.

Just one, I responded miserably.

Try to cycle down cuz you’ll have another when you get to work. Later.

I decided I’d texted enough, so I let that lie.

It didn’t lie for long.

Rix showed at my desk at River Rain (which wasn’t going to be my desk at River Rain for very long, it’d be my desk at Trail Blazer since we were moving the next day, Judge’s office furniture, mine, and some unused stuff they had sitting around was all going to the new offices for temporary use because the telephones and Internet were being hooked up that day and it was time to occupy Trail Blazer).

Rix set my flat white down while I valiantly attempted not to blush, he made no attempt whatsoever to hide he totally did not miss I failed at this endeavor, smiled a smile that I wanted to think was friendly, but instead it seemed sexy, this thought being exacerbated when he muttered under his breath so I almost couldn’t hear it, “Only you could make a rambling coffee order adorable.”

I sat frozen.

Rix winked at me and said in his normal voice, “Bottoms up, Alex.”

With that, seeing as he was in his chair that day, he wheeled away.

Since there was a lot going on with packing for the move and tech hookups and such, I only had to deal with Rix in passing for the rest of Monday.

However, Tuesday morning, I was shoving stuff into my bag at home, preparing to head down the mountain to dig into the move, when my phone chimed.

OK, I have ten minutes, explain today’s coffee order.


Another text from Rix.

A startled laugh escaped from me because he was being funny.

I then texted back, You don’t have to buy me coffee.

To which he texted, I know I don’t.

Then I sent, I’m just saying, we’re good. We had a blip last week. But now we’re great.

We’re great?


Why did reading those two words texted by him make my breasts swell?

Good. Great. I mean, things are fine. You don’t have to butter me up with coffee.

So coffee is a way to butter you up?

Oh God.

What was that?

Was it flirty?

Or was it just being funny and friendly?

Or was it just a kind of getting-to-know-you, valued co-worker, but in a jokey fashion?

Tell him what you want and stop texting, Alex! I admonished myself.

I did not stop texting.

Well, yeah. Kinda. Like I said, I like coffee.

You did say that, so maybe you’ll tell me what kind you want this morning.

Time to get beyond this.

Iced Chai.

That’s tea.

Oh my God!


Or jokey?

I’m feeling tea today, I replied.

Right. And then he sent, That only took five minutes. I’d fill the other five by asking you what kind of donuts you like, but we got a lot to get accomplished today. I’m sure I’ll enjoy your dissertation on that, but I’d prefer to sort out my office so I can start doing the shit I’m getting paid to do.

He one hundred percent did not need my views on donuts then.

Therefore, I noted, Good call. He sent a smirk emoji, which shared the impossible.

Rix could even make emojis sexy.




Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

Alex and Rix are co-workers and friends. She has been crazy about him for years, but he hasn't really noticed her. Then one night while they were out together with their friends, he begins to notice her and starts to really see her. But then it all goes to hell in a handbasket real fast. So she goes back to crushing on him in silence.

John 'Rix" Hendrix finally has his life back on track after a tragic accident and he loves his life. He has guilt and pain from his past, but he deals with it the only way he knows how. He likes Alex but he can't let her get too close or he will hurt her.

Alex and Rix are made for each other, and it will take other people, namely her family and his ex-fiancée, to make them see that they belong together. This story is filled with pain, fear, fun, hero, heroine, kindness, forgiveness, and finally love. It is worth reading and I highly recommend it and the others in this series.

This is the third book in the series, and I think you would be well served to read them in order, although the story is certainly strong enough to stand alone.

Rix and Alex are about to embark upon an amazing new project which will pitch them together far more than in the past. This worries Alex, as she has liked him forever, but seems to be entirely invisible to him. He is certainly a difficult character to like in the beginning. As we get to understand better his viewpoint, it is easy to see why he behaves as he does, even if it continued to grate at times. Alex is such a genuinely good person, that his harsh assumptions are unfair – something he has to learn for himself.

I loved the time we spent outdoors with them, when they are at their most relaxed and real, learning what makes both of them tick. It made the differences between expectation and reality all the clearer, and explains why they need to call their relationship a fake one to prove themselves to others. I still felt that Rix got the better deal at the end, which for me is unusual in an Ashley novel, but I definitely enjoyed the story, and look forward to the next installment very happily.

I’d been really looking forward to reading Taking the Leap and reading Rix’s story and reading about a hero with a disability. And I have to say I think generally, it was handled well. The first time we see Rix emotionally vulnerable is when Alex sees his legs for the first time, and it helped me connect with him to see under his macho exterior. Until that point, I didn’t think much of Rix as a hero. He treats Alex poorly very early on in the story and it look me a very long time to warm up to him even though he was saying and doing all the right things

I’m not a big fan of fake relationships in books but I find it can work best in a romcom setting; for me, it didn’t really work here. It just felt too juvenile for two people who seem like mature adults. Thankfully, this portion of the story doesn’t last too long but it did keep me from really connecting with the story. I really liked Alex and I wanted to see her happy. I loved the way that she loved Rix even when I didn’t, and it is great how this quiet and shy woman wasn’t afraid to ask Rix questions about himself or about his disability. She is a lot stronger than she initially appears.

For me, Taking the Leap was an enjoyable romance with all the usual things you expect from a Kristen Ashely story, macho men, fun gal pals, and lots of description about very cool homes. But for me, this story really picked up in the last quarter or so when the couple travel to New York to attend her sister’s wedding. Alex’s drama-filled family provides plenty of entertainment. They also provide the most epic wedding scene I’ve ever read. It was brilliant and this story is worth reading for that scene alone. Seriously, I cheered while reading it was so great.

Overall, I’d give Taking the Leap three stars because at the end of the day, it is a good romance.



Author Bio

KRISTEN ASHLEY is the award-winning and New York Times bestselling author of over sixty romance novels. She’s a hybrid author, publishing titles both independently and traditionally, her books have been translated in fourteen languages and she’s sold over three million books.

Born in Gary and raised in Brownsburg, Indiana, Kristen was a fourth generation graduate of Purdue University. Since, she has lived in Denver, the West Country of England, and she now resides in Phoenix. She worked as a charity executive for eighteen years prior to beginning her writing career.

Connect with Kristen

Facebook  ~  Twitter  ~  Instagram  ~  Website  ~  Goodreads
Facebook Group: Kristen Ashley – Rock Chicks Group!


Hosted by

Social Butterfly PR.

Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Taking the Leap (River Rain #3) by Kristen Ashley to read and review for this tour.

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