Read Taking the Lead by Cecilia Tan Online


The first book in a steamy new rockstar series that will appeal to fans of New York Times bestselling authors Sylvia Day and J. Kenner.Ricki Hamilton and her sister have just inherited a vast estate in the Hollywood hills. Unfortunately, with that legacy comes the most exclusive club in Hollywood history, a secret BDSM establishment where only the rich and the naughty comeThe first book in a steamy new rockstar series that will appeal to fans of New York Times bestselling authors Sylvia Day and J. Kenner.Ricki Hamilton and her sister have just inherited a vast estate in the Hollywood hills. Unfortunately, with that legacy comes the most exclusive club in Hollywood history, a secret BDSM establishment where only the rich and the naughty come to play. Ricki wants nothing to do with this business, and is trying to find ways to get out of having to run it . . . until she meets Axel―a sexy enigmatic rock star who makes her want to submit to needs she didn't know she had....

Title : Taking the Lead
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781455533633
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 322 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Taking the Lead Reviews

  • ✰ Bianca ✰ BJ's Book Blog ✰
    2019-05-25 03:43

    Ricki and her sister Gwen are Hollywood royalty.They inherited their grandfather's billions ...but the weirdest part of their inheritance is their grandpa's beloved secret BDSM sex club. A club where kinky Hollywood A-listers have been living out their fantasies for decades.Besides trying to keep the club a secret, Ricki is busy working for a film company - she has to work somewhere else for three years, before she can take over her grandfather's movie empire.No time for relationships.That's when she meets Axel - Rockstar newcomer with his band The Rough.Instant attraction. But her friend Sarah thinks Axel might be a possible client for her club. Not the kind of person Ricki is interested in. Or shouldn't be interested in.....Axel is completely infatuated with this Ice-Queen, a name that doesn't fit her at all, he thinks.She submits to him and his sexual fantasies, just like she was made for him.But she can't admit that being submissive what she wants too.What will happen with Ricki & Axel?Will there be a kinky Happy Ever After?Or will there be a horrible Cliffhanger?I'm not telling you that of course ☺ok - no Cliffy ☺ it's a standalone romance!!═════════════════════════════════I really enjoyed the book!As soon as I read the word #ROCKSTAR in a blurb, I'm in.Ever since Kellan Kyle, I've been the biggest #RockstarRomanceFangirl.And I really enjoyed this book, BUT - there were so many things wrong with it too :/The blurb sounded really interesting: sexy & rockstarish.But the reality of the story wasn't as amazing as the blurb led me to believe.I don't really want to get into what I hated, there are lots of points for me that didn't work, but that would be too much to write down, and I don't want to stop future readers from enjoying this book.... so let me tell you what I liked, other than the blurb.Hm, now that I think about it, I don't know where the 4 stars come from. Because there's much more to hate than to like about this story. But I still give those 4 stars, because it was an okay rockstar-romance.Lots of sexy and adorable and funny and interesting moments. And I'm excited to see what and who book #2 will be about. Maybe it will be a bit better than the first.Now that I think about it - maybe I should mention what I's not that I hated everything about the book - I gave those 4 stars after all. It really had some good parts... ☺OK, now about the negatives... and please remember that those are MY negatives. Most people probably won't have a problem with most of those things. ☺The whole Hollywood royalty background could've made the book really amazing. But the way Cecilia did it, it just bubbles along in the background. Could've been anything, anywhere else. It gets a bit better toward the end though....The worst thing about the book is Axel's name. For me the name Axel is just horrible (no offense intended to all you Axel's out there!) But every time I read that name in the book, I automatically had a 2015 version of Axl Rose in my head....and that is not something you want in your head!!!!!I can live with Axel's last name: Hawke. I just wish people would've called him that more often.Also Ricki's name is not a real great heroine name for me :/ Sounds like a boring 1980's person.Or for german people, Ricki immediately makes you think about the singer in Tic Tac Toe - and how Anke Engelke - the comedian - always made fun of her!!! Hilarious by the way - you might want to youtube that. ☺The sex-scenes! I'm a huge fan of sex scenes. I'm even a fan of too many sex scenes. I always hear people complaining about books with too much sex in them...pffff. I like that.BUT - here - the sex.....The first two sex scenes. Limo and bathroom sex.They were just weird. There was nothing sexy about it for me. It wasn't disgusting or anything. But it was weird. Again, it gets a bit better with time.And the whole BDSM thing. I don't know ... it just doesn't fit this book at all. Even though the main part should be about the secret sex club. But somehow the author just talks about it and the heroine is weirded out about it, even though she grew up with it. It's all so very weird in my opinion.Axel the Dom!! Ridiculous. The way he talks, or thinks about things. He sounds like a shy 16-year-old high-school GIRL!!! Once the clothes come off, he's a bit the dom, but his weird romantic thoughts are so not dominant!That brings me to the writing style of Cecilia.It's my first Cecilia Tan book. And I'm sorry to say, but I don't like the writing.Cecilia is supposed to be american. And the characters are too - and the story is set in Hollywood. But there are expressions and words in this book that scream british! And I hate that! I don't hate english stories, just british english in american stories!!!Also, there are too many words in this story. Some good editor should've cut at least 50 pages. There's so much talk about nothing. Redundant repetitions...But please don't let my weirdness about weird things stop you from enjoying this book.Every reader has to make up their own mind about books!!!I just went in with too high hopes. I normally don't do that, because you can only be disappointed that way...but I really hoped this #RockstarRomance would be rockstarish amazing... ☺TAKING THE LEAD was a nice, kinky Hollywood Rockstar Romance!I'm excited to see what and who book #2 will be about!!!(ok, I might already know that it will be about Ricki's sister and Axel's domish bandmate Mal!!!)

  • Michelle
    2019-05-21 05:35

    ARC provided by author in exchange for an honest reviewTaking The Lead by Cecilia Tan is an erotic charged romance that centers on discovering your sexuality and finding yourself. Although this book dealt with sex and BDSM, it also explores the concept of taking the lead emotionally and what society expects a woman to be in today's business world.“While he fucked me Axel became my everything. My absolute everything. And in the moment that felt so right, so good, so noble and true.”When Ricki Hamilton and her sister inherits their grandfather's vast mansion and estate, they didn't think that they would also be inheriting a secret and exclusive BDSM Hollywood Club. As part of their grandfather will and clause, they must maintain running this exclusive BDSM club that caters to Hollywood's rich and elite. Well for Ricki, she wants no part to do with the club or be associated in running it that is until she meets Axel Hawke. Will Ricki find herself getting down and dirty in the club? Can this heiress let go and submit to a man and explore her sexuality? Will Ricki let another person take the lead of her wants, needs, and pleasure? “Okay, I admitted to myself that Axel Hawke had been hot. And sexy. And cute. And good at what he did. He’d gotten through my armor to the lonely girl inside.”Overall, Taking The Lead was just okay. It was not great but it wasn't bad. I think my opinion and rating of the book dealt mainly with my issue with the heroine. I just couldn't connect to Ricki at all. She was portrayed as this ice queen which I didn't mind at first in the beginning but I didn't see any character growth on her part towards the end. All she did was give me whiplash with her back and forth emotions with Axel. But I will say that Axel saved this book because he was so patient and understanding with Ricki. With that being said, this book was just okay since the storyline didn't really gravitate and pull me in. Review can also be found on Four Chicks Flipping Pages: http://fourchicksflippingpages.weebly...

  • Aly is so frigging bored
    2019-05-31 03:26

    It was a fun, easy read.

  • Angel
    2019-05-19 10:34

    Copyright Night Owl Reviews Review coming soon. Releases 1.26.16

  • Steffi
    2019-06-12 02:30

    Den Anfang des Buches fand ich eigentlich noch ganz unterhaltsam, aber dann nahm es leider immer mehr und mehr ab.Die Geschichte um den geheimen Club, das Erbe von Ricki und ihrer Schwester fand ich eigentlich interessant, aber die Art und Weise wie die Geschichte gestrickt wurde fand ich einfach nur einfallslos und langweilig. Es gab kaum Spannung oder Höhepunkte (von den sexuellen mal abgesehen) und vieles wirkte komplett unglaubwürdig.Die Charaktere waren ziemlich flach und ohne Persönlichkeit. Auch zusammen wirkten Rickie und Axel auf mich gar nicht, Chemie war leider ebenso keine zu spüren. Sexuelle Anziehung war da, aber mehr auch nicht.Ganz schlimm fand ich auch den Schreibstil, der war selbst für ein Erotikbuch unglaublich platt und niveaulos. Bei einigen Formulierungen, wie zum z.B. wenn er "ihn fürs Einlochen" vorbereitet, war einfach nur Fremdschämen angesagt.

  • Kahea
    2019-05-24 06:38

    Cecilia Tan is an author that has popped up on my various news feeds for a while and I’ve always told myself that I’d pick up one of her books when I had the time, but as is typical when it comes to my TBR list that had not happened. So when the opportunity to not only read something by her, but that it was also a first in a new series about an heiress who is in charge of a secret BDSM club but doesn’t want to and a rock star with Dom inclinations who has decided that he’s found his perfect woman I had to bite. And while I found it to be pretty damn smexy and enjoyable, I didn’t love it as much as I thought I would and that, unfortunately has to do with one of the main characters.It’s always a bummer when one of the MC’s just doesn’t do it for you and in the case of Taking the Lead that fell entirely on the shoulders of Ricki Hamilton. I honestly couldn’t warm up to her. Her constant need to maintain her ice queen image got on my last nerve. It wasn’t that I didn’t understand, nor disagree with her reasons why it was necessary, it was her reactions to the mere suggestion that her reputation may be tarnished that had me wanting to reach out and smack her. Then there is the issue she has with BDSM and the “club”. Again, I could see how she felt the way that she did, BUT, and this is really the kicker for me. She never once tried to truly understand the lifestyle for the majority of the book, she just disregarded it and that bothered me more than anything else. Her best friend is a Domme and even when Sakura tries to explain things to her she just cuts her off. Axel, I actually liked him though I will say he is a very different rocker than what I’ve experienced, not that it’s a bad thing, just different. Though he draws you in, it’s not because he is all intense and broody, it’s more that he actually is a normal guy with vulnerabilities like your average job, it’s just that he’s a rock star, but then he goes into Dom mode. Axel as a Dom is pretty damn hot and that’s when his intense and dominant nature comes out.To say that I’m tepid about their relationship and HEA is to be expected with how I feel about Ricki. I give Axel a lot of credit for his determination at getting the girl, because I don’t know if I could’ve done it. Ricki’s constant freakouts and assumptions grated my last nerve, but I will say that when she did submit to Axel it was pretty damn hot.There is a lot going on in this book and the majority of it revolves around Ricki. Her career. Her issues with the club. Her issues with her family. I honestly could have done without some of it, but I can say that we do get a lot of insight into Ricki’s life. We do get Axel’s story, but his ends up being quite normal in comparison, and there is a part of me that wishes we had more from him other than him working to get Ricki to admit that she has feelings for him. What, or I should say who, saved this book for me were the supporting cast of characters. Gwen, Ricki’s baby sister, Sakura, Ricki’s best friend as well as friend to Axel, and Mal, Axel’s bandmate and friend, were all really well written. They were all so much more likeable and centered that I looked forward to when they made an appearance.The Bottom Line: Though I didn’t care for the female lead this was still a decent read and with the tease of the next book that came at the end, which was about two of my favorite supporting characters from this one, I’ll more than likely check it out.~ARC provided by Rock Star PR LC via Forever (Grand Central Publishing) and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review ~

  • Christina
    2019-06-02 04:33

    3 Stars – 3 Flames This is a hard one to review. I have mixed feelings about how I feel about, not only the storyline, but also the way it was written. As you can see, I’ve given it 3 stars, so there’s obviously “something” there. I’ll try to write this without too many spoilers. I’ve read my share of BDSM books and this, in my opinion, doesn’t seem right. Yes, the female runs a secret club (thanks to Grandpa), but hasn’t even experienced the lifestyle. Although we know that she’s running the business out of necessity due to her inheritance, it seems as though everyone around her knows the lifestyle, except her. So when she meets the “bad boy” rock star that dominates her, her reaction throws me off and is honestly off-putting for the remainder of the story. The rock star is forced to “portray” an image thanks to his label. And then he makes comments about dominating in the bedroom “for real” after he’s described as a dom. It’s confusing. Even he’s confused, which makes it a little more confusing. Once he embraces the “dom” roll, he almost takes it overboard, especially for someone who didn’t practice it regularly. And dom’s don’t have to “chase” after their subs. He was ALWAYS running after her. While the above mentioned were my issues with the storyline, the flow of the read didn’t work for me. There was almost too much drawn out scenes/sections about body parts and how things were being perceived. Then it was as though other parts were just skipped over and quickly addressed to get to something else. All and all, it was okay. I enjoyed reading some parts, but others I was just ready to call it quits. I think that if the storyline issues I had weren’t so important to the actual story, I could have overlooked the flow issue. *I was given a copy of this book as a gift from The JeepDiva in exchange for an honest review.

  • Tarina Deaton
    2019-06-04 06:40

    If you’ve read one erotic romance, you’ve pretty much read them all. Sure, the sexy scenes vary and change, the plot is different, but ultimately they’re all similar. So instead of waxing eloquently on about how hot Taking The Lead is, I’d like to focus on what sets it apart from all the other erotic romance. What makes me recommend it, other than “it’s a good read”?For me, Taking The Lead explores a topic I’ve discussed with many of my girlfriends on more than one occasion – being a strong-willed woman in a position of authority in every day life and the juxtaposition of NOT wanting to be a strong-willed woman in a position of authority in the bedroom. The conflict that comes from our public persona and our private desires. How does a woman reconcile that conflict emotionally? Cecilia Tan does a wonderful job exploring those issues through Ricki. Billionaire heiress. Head of an exclusive BDSM club. Tormented by the circumstances surrounding her mother’s death and the fear it has instilled in her from childhood. She finds fulfillment like she’s never known with Axel, but her physical desires and her emotional desires are at opposite ends of the spectrum. Can she reconcile who she thinks she needs to be with who she wants to be?So that’s what sets Taking The Lead apart, for me at least. It’s more than just another steamy, erotic romance. It’s an emotional and psychological examination of being a feminist with also being sexually submissive. Who would have thought?

  • Kathryn
    2019-06-11 06:48

    The title says it all. There is an heiress. There is an up and coming rock star. Together they make an explosive story. It's got a bit of angst, it's got lots of, ahem, SEX, it's got love & romance. A strong female lead made this story. The author just "gets it". This is not some wilting flower of an heiress, nope, this is an Ivy League schooled, smart, beautiful woman. Inside and out. But that doesn't mean she doesn't have some issues. Who doesn't? The characters worked for me like butter on toast. It's got a bit of crunch, right before you get to that creamy salty-ness you just love. That has to be the weirdest analogy I've ever come up with, but it worked. Because this story was the butter on my toast.

  • Julia Schlosser
    2019-06-14 05:53

    CoverDas Cover ist genauso erotisch wie der Inhalt und verspricht heiße Stunden beim Lesen. Auch die Farbe des Titels ist stimmig. Ein sehr gelungenes Cover dem man auf jeden Fall einen zweiten Blick gönnt.InhaltRicki Hamilton ist die Erbin des Hollywood-Moguls Cy Hamilton. Sie lebt zusammen mit ihrer Schwester in einer riesigen Villa in LA. Doch niemand ahnt, welches Geheimnis diese Familie verbirgt. Niemand, außer die Eingeweihten.Auf dem Weg zu einer Preisverleihung lernt sie den angesagten Rockstar Axel kennen, mit dem sie ein paar heiße Stunden intensiver Leidenschaft genießt. Doch nachdem das Hochgefühl abgeflaut ist und auch Uhr Kopf wieder in der Realität angekommen ist, stößt sie Axel von sich.Dieser versteht nicht, was plötzlich los ist. Er hatte das Gefühl, dass Ricki auch diese Verbindung zwischen ihnen gespürt hat und die Sexpraktiken mehr als genossen hat.Er versucht immer wieder, sie zu verstehen doch Ricky sendet zweideutige Signale aus. Zum einen sagt sie immer wieder, das sie ihn braucht und trifft sich mit ihm. Zum Reden kommen die beiden dabei nicht wirklich, obwohl sie echten Klärungsbedarf hätten. Mit Hilfe eines Tricks bringt Axel Ricki dazu, sich ihren Gefühlen zu stellen.Die Story beginnt schon total heiß und verliert auch während des Geschehens nicht an Fahrt. Ricki ist bezüglich ihrer Gefühle und Empfindungen sehr verwirrt. Doch im Laufe der Geschichte lernt sie sich immer besser kennen und versucht nicht mehr, sich dagegen zu wehren. Natürlich hilft es ihr dabei auch, dass sie hinter das Geheimnis um den Tod ihrer Mutter kommt. Rickis Figur macht meiner Meinungnach den größten Entwicklungsprozess in diesem Buch durch.Axel ist ein sehr sympathischer Kerl der gerne auch mal seine Managerin auf die Schippe nimmt. Er weiß was er will und nimmt es sich in den meisten Fällen auch. Nur bei Ricki hat er seine liebe Mühe. Doch so schnell lässt er sich nicht aufhalten und greift auch mal zu etwas gemeineren Tricks, wie zB die beste Freundin mit ins Boot zu holen.Im Großen und Ganzen eine tolle Story mit sehr sympathischen und interessanten Figuren. Schreibstil Die Story ist aus Sicht beider Protagonisten geschrieben und wechselt immer zwischen den beiden hin und her. Abgeteilt ist das ganze durch die jeweiligen Namen, so dass man als Leser jederzeit nachvollziehen kann wessen Gedanken man gerade erfährt. Die Geschichte War von Anfang an fesselnd. Durch das Familiengeheimnis und das Drama um den Tod der Mutter wollte ich natürlich wissen, wie es ausgeht und so konnte ich das Buch nicht mehr aus der Hand legen. Ein wenig genervt war ich von der Protagonistin. Sie hat einfach zu viel analysiert und interpretiert. Aber gut, das gehört wohl zu ihrer Figur und im Nachhinein kann ich es auch verstehen. Fazit Eine heiße Erotikgeschichte für die noch etwas kälteren Tage.

  • The Smutbrarians
    2019-06-06 05:24

    Panty Scorching- 5Storyline- 4.5Angst- 1Tissues-0Value-5Overall Rating- 4.5Kindle eARCReviewed by ChristinaHoly...WOW! If you're looking for a HOT and STEAMY read this is so it! It had me adjusting in my seat several times. I know from reading previous books of Cecilia's that the girl loves her Taking The Lead is about Axel and Ricki. Axel is in the biggest up and coming band and getting ass for him isn't a problem. But after sharing a night with Ricki he can't forget her. Ricki is the heiress of a family owned kink club. Only the most elite and famous are granted access. She has a lot of self control and can't show weakness, she has to show the men in her industry that she can run things as well if not better than a man. Axel and Ricki share a steamy night in a limo and find an underlying attraction for one another they can't hide. Axel knows Ricki wants him but keeps pushing him away. She doesn't know how to handle these new found feelings for the rocker bad boy/BDSM kinkster. Axel is determined to make her realize they could be good together. Can Axel get Ricki to let him fully dominate her? Will Ricki let go of all of her inhibitions and submit to Axel? Oh you so want to read to find out!I will be keeping an eye on more from Cecilia and this series. There are so many side characters and I can't wait to see what becomes of their stories. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone that loves a good rocker erotic novel like me, or for anyone that enjoys BDSM. Cecilia does a fabulous job developing characters and bringing their stories to life in a page turner I couldn't put down.

  • Nikki
    2019-06-03 02:39

    DNF @ 24%Zzzzzzzzz.......

  • Juliane
    2019-06-09 07:45

    Ricki ist eine reiche Erbin und könnte eigentlich ein typisches It- Girl sein. Aber weit gefehlt, sie hat an einer Eliteuni studiert und führt mit ihrer Schwester zusammen den Club ihres verstorbenen Großvaters weiter. Doch dieser Club ist eigentlich so gar nichts für Ricki, denn sie konnte der BDSM- Szene noch nie etwas abgewinnen. Bis sie auf Axel trifft, er zieht sie sofort in seinen Bann und plötzlich entdeckt Ricki ihre unterwürfige Seite als Sub.Axel ist Sänger der Band "The Rough" und er tut so einiges um seiner Rolle als Bad Boy gerecht zu werden, auch wenn vieles nur gespielt ist. Als er Ricki trifft tritt irgendwie alles in den Hintergrund und er möchte nichts lieber, als viel Zeit mit ihr zu verbringen. Dumm nur, dass Ricki das ganz anders sieht.Dieses Buch hat mir an sich gut gefallen, die erotischen Szenen waren sehr ansprechend und nicht zu übertrieben. Der Schreibstil der Autorin ist sehr flüssig und lässt sich wirklich gut lesen. Ich vergebe 4/5 Sterne, da mir bei der Handlung etwas gefehlt hat. Ich kann jetzt nicht genau sagen, was es ist. Aber die Story kratzt etwas zu sehr an der Oberfläche. Ich hätte mir bei der Clubszene irgendwie mehr gewünscht, mehr Drama oder irgendwas was mehr Spannung in das Ganze gebracht hätte.Aber sonst war das Buch gut und ich werde auch den zweiten Teil lesen.

  • Louise
    2019-06-17 06:48

    Very easy average read. For a rock star read there was little "rockstar" happening. Could have been a case of "insert any public profile career here". Im going to hope that it is a case of this series just continues from where this one finished because there were certain story threads that weren't even finished. Enjoyable enough but not amazing.

  • Lisabet Sarai
    2019-06-08 07:30

    Heiress Ricki Hamilton has it all, or so it would appear: designer gowns, Ivy League degrees, a house-sized wing of her own in the family mansion, a chauffered limo, dozens of staff at her beck and call. She’s as renowned for her icy self-possession as for her intelligence and beauty. But it’s all a mask. Ricki is juggling all sorts of issues. There’s the secret BDSM club in the mansion basement, which her recently deceased grandfather requires she maintain—the global media company she owns but, according to the will, isn’t yet allowed to run—her grandfather’s lecherous, power-hungry second-in-command, who wants to control both her and the corporation—her irresponsible, alcoholic father—the lingering pain of her mother’s death two decades earlier under mysterious, possibly kinky circumstances. Ricki responds to all this pressure by keeping a tight rein on her feelings and shunning publicity. Then she’s kidnapped by rock star Axel Hawke. It’s a media stunt, not a real kidnapping, at the Grammy Awards show where Axel’s band The Rough performs their hit “Kidnap My Heart”. Ricki isn’t even supposed to be the victim. When Axel catches sight of her, though, he can’t resist his sudden urge to change the script. Something about the lovely, untouchable heiress speaks to his dominant side. Going purely on instinct, he coaxes Ricki to pleasurable surrender that astonishes them both. The connection between them is too strong, too real to ignore, or so Axel would like to believe. However, despite the way he has touched her—both physically and emotionally—Ricki believes she can’t afford to have the impulsive, media-hungry rock idol in her already-too-complicated life.This is, of course, a classic romance scenario. No one will be surprised to discover that Axel eventually wins over the reluctant heiress, as well as opening her to her latent submissive urges. It’s so much fun, though, to be taken along for the ride.Axel is a fabulous hero. The world sees him as a sex god, but in fact he’s a surprisingly humble and down-to-earth guy, who, refreshingly, acts his age (mid twenties). He takes his music seriously; it’s a fundamental part of who he is. Fame is new to him, though he’s having fun with the perqs. He’s astonished when his group wins a Grammy. After many enjoyable but fleeting encounters with fans, his enduring need for Ricki both surprises and thrills him. As a Dom, he’s delicious, both challenging and cherishing Ricki. I loved the fact that he doesn’t always know what he’s doing, just following his intuitions. ***I know BDSM takes people to a lot of places in their heads. There’s no guarantee it’ll go where you want it to, though. It’s like jamming with other musicians. You know basically how the song goes but you get ideas while you’re playing, and you try them out, and if you like how it sounds then you and the people you’re playing with can chase after it. Sometimes the chase takes you down a rabbit hole and sometimes it takes you right back where you started.***This is one of the best comments on how kink works that I’ve ever read. Ricki’s a bit harder to believe in. I suppose this is partly because I haven’t met many twenty-four year old millionaires. Still, given that she’s a child of the digital age, her fear of the media struck me as somewhat implausible. After the transcendent, cleansing experience of her early encounters with Axel, would a woman in her position really push him away so resolutely? I wouldn’t! Of course, the plot of a romance requires obstacles. In Ricki’s case, there are so many that it’s difficult to keep track of them—though mostly they reside in Ricki’s mind. These are quibbles, though. What set this book apart, for me, are the love/sex/kink scenes. Ms. Tan’s descriptions of Axel’s and Ricki’s encounters are more than just incredibly arousing. They’re full of insight, emotional nuances, truths to which I can vouch from personal experience. Ms. Tan understands how power exchange works and she brings that knowledge to the page. She also manages to communicate how dominance and submission can offer not just incandescent pleasure but soul-deep healing. Ricki requires the surrender Axel coaxes from her, to balance the warring factions in her personality and claim the strength to manage her complicated life. I might not have fully believed in Ricki’s character, but I had no doubts about her connection with Axel. Love, lust and imagination align to provide both characters exactly what they need.I’ve read, and loved, many of Cecilia Tan’s works in the past, mostly in the speculative fiction, LGBTQ and fantasy genres. Taking the Lead proves that Ms. Tan is equally adept at writing erotic romance.

  • ✰BJ's Book Blog ✰Janeane ✰
    2019-05-18 03:50

    ARC received via Netgalley for an honest reviewI admit it - I am the president of the Fictional Band Groupie Slut Club - tell me there is a book about a rock star, and I am there ready to party.I was excited to get into Taking The Lead - but for me, it just fell flat. There were just things that to me just felt unnecessary.Axel just didn't feel the rock star to me. In the bedroom (or bathroom, or back seat of limo) he came across dom...ish, but other than that, he felt like a lovestruck teenager.Rickanna - Ricki - just.. what? The terms of her employment/will were just weird. The big, bad secret sex club she runs with her sister just didn't feel at all necessary for the story, but we kept getting drawn back there. We never really find out why Ricki hates it so much, why it weirds her out.At times (most the times, when she is not having sexy times) Ricki was just.... meh. She didn't stand out for me. I wanted to shake her to tell her to snap out of it, her flip-flopping with Axel, do I or don't I got a little tiresome for me.I feel that there was just too many different storylines in the book - Ricki and Axel, Ricki's mother, the Hollywood movie scene - that is made everything feel a little glossed over. Perhaps some of these things could have been left for another book, or a novella to give us more details.Now, all these things might just be me, and you might absolutely love these things about our MC's. It would be a boring world if we all liked the same things.But for me, Taking The Lead just fell flat. I wanted to really like it, but instead I just liked it. The last 20% got better for me which saved it for me.This is the first Cecelia Tan book I have read, and I will probably read the next book.

  • Barbara
    2019-06-05 06:31

    - I received this book from the publisher via a Goodreads giveaway in exchange for a review. As I received this book in a giveaway, it is not a book that I ever would have chosen to read on my own, and hence this may have skewed myoverall impression of this. "Taking the Lead" by Cecilia Tan is told in two alternating perspectives: Ricki Hamilton, the "ice Queen" and recent heiress to a huge fortune, and Axel, the frontman of a major rock band. Meeting through a mutual friend at the Grammys, the two immediately begin a dominant/submissive relationship that quickly becomes tiresome. While I started off thinking I would like this book (the first few chapters include limos, champagne and a trip to the Grammy's- what's not to like?) it quickly takes on a disorganized feel. This book contains random subplots that are never really developed or connected, including: 1- BDSM: while this was supposed to be the main point of the book, the main characters' flip flop on this (is this what Axel wants or is he playing up his image?) and their attitudes are never really clear. 2- Axel's band: for a world famous musician, the band doesn't play a huge role and just becomes another half plot. 3. Ricki's family troubles: her dad's alcoholism is discussed but again not really a factor; as well, the author includes a vague mystery surrounding the mother's death which ends in a really creepy daughter to father promise. 4. Ricki's problems at work and her push towards female centric movies, as well as her problems with the men of her grandfather's business 5. The BDSM parties that Ricki and Gwen are supposed to be hosting and the secret underground society- again, this is supposed to be a main part of the overall plot, but only one chapter actually depicts the party. Of all these, number 3 (the dad's alcoholism and its impact on Ricki's life) and number 4 definitely would have been most interesting, though they are just basically background noise.Furthermore, the overall relationship between the characters was also strange. Suddenly, Axel was so in love, though he was never able to tell his band mate why. Simultaneously, Ricki was so all over the place, and while it seemed like the author was trying to say this was because of all of her deep emotional issues, she randomly got over those with ease.In terms of the actual sex scenes, a lot of them just ended up being gross- who wants to read about him shaving her, or sex on her period? Overall, I obviously had a lot of issues with this book, and maybe that's because I've never really been a fan of the genre. I would only recommend it to the most dedicated romance/erotica readers willing to overlook significant flaws.

  • Lise
    2019-05-18 05:31

    Who doesn’t love a rock star romance? Well, actually, I’d never read one, and I am excited to say that I rectified that problem when I purchased Cecilia Tan’s Taking the Lead, the first in her “Secrets of a Rock Star” series. Kinky erotic romance is Ms. Tan’s bread and butter and rightfully so. Her writing pulses with emotion. Her characters are multi-faceted, complex, and wonderfully appealing. The backdrop of the novel’s setting is the Hollywood film industry and the rock music world. Ricki Hamilton is a young woman with a painful past – and a difficult present. Axel Hawke is a hot young rocker with a kinky bent, poised for greatness. When his band appears at the Grammys a stunt goes awry and he runs out of the hall with Ricki over his shoulder. From that first combustible meeting and the steamy outcome in the limo, the two are tossed on the stormy romance seas, burdened by Ricki’s legacy and her fear her professional life in film will be destroyed if the family secret is exposed (not every wealthy family has a kinky dungeon club run from the family mansion!). The most heart wrenching secret of her past, however, is what keeps her battling to deny her desire to submit to Axel. It’s a hurdle he’s determined to get past, but can he overcome the reason for her fears?The sex is marvelously nuanced, and the kinky elements are honest and build up slowly, wonderfully reflecting the pair’s evolving trust and love, and Tan’s knowledge of the lifestyle makes both the physical as well as the psychological and emotional elements perfect. Secrets are revealed, dreams are realized – and thwarted, and new beginnings beckon.The breadth of characters is terrific with a great secondary cast that runs the gamut from fun to poignant and everything in between. The band’s members and Ricki’s friend and sister may all appear in subsequent novels (I can only hope!) and we’ll have their kinky stories to enjoy as well.Tan’s ability as a writer is exquisite. She can make your eyes fill up, and make you squirm in your seat on the next page. There is intelligence and passion and humor and it is all balanced beautifully with the fun details about the film and music industries, and life in the Hollywood fast lane.Now that I can proudly say I’m not a rock star romance virgin anymore, I can’t wait for the next in the series (looks to be Wild Licks!)Take my word for it. Tan gives good story.

  • Tequila
    2019-06-16 03:37

    I received a free copy in exchange for an honest review. I love this book. Omg I love this book. I usually don't do rock stars, but my gawd I love Axel. I want more Axel. I also want more Ricki. She is so badass. I love me some strong female submissive characters and she does not disappoint. I can't wait for the next book in this series. I seriously want it now. I don't want to have to wait. Thank gawd I still have books to keep me entertained until the next one comes out. And another thing, PERIOD SEX! There is period sex and Axel doesn't make a huge deal or go on about how gross it is. When I read that scene, I was ready to cry hallelujah out loud(I totally did in my head though). Talikg about periods is something you NEVER see in books unless the female character is worried about pregnancy let alone actual period sex. I love how Tan handled this. So. Freaking. Refreshing! This entire book is amazaballs and if you're into BDSM erotica, please, please, PLEASE check this book out.

  • Lynne
    2019-05-31 10:45

    Rock star, uptight film exec, and a BDSM romance. You get all that from the cover blurb. But beyond that, this is a proper romance. Axel and Ricki have to work their relationship out, and deal with all their feelings, and learn to communicate AROUND the excellent sex they are having. Great, well rounded characters who are complicated but engaging three dimensional people trying to figure out how to trust each other enough to match their feelings for one another.

  • Heather andrews
    2019-06-12 09:44

    Axel is quite the understanding guy, “let me be the judge of how sexy you are. If you don’t feel like having sex, that’s one thing. If you think I shouldn’t find you desirable just because you’re having a normal biological thing, sorry, you don’t dictate how I feel.” I liked this book Axel was really sexy.

  • deb22luvsbooks
    2019-06-16 09:43

    This book was OK. I was a bit disappointed in the instant jump into bed. I wish there was a bit more push and pull before that happened. The ending of the book got a bit better in terms that there seemed to be more of a real connection between the two in terms of a relationship. I was looking for more of that from the beginning.

  • Elizabeth
    2019-05-21 08:50

    Reviewed for NetGalley:I didn't really like this. The whole we have to run this secret club so we inherit, seems ridiculous. Couldn't get into it.

  • Laura
    2019-06-03 09:54

    I'd give this more a 3.5/3.75 Rating. I liked the characters, the writing was good, but at times found it rushed especially the ending. Am looking forward to Gwen's story!

  • Ilana
    2019-05-19 05:41

    Title: Taking the LeadAuthor: Cecilia TanPublisher/Year: Grand Central Publishing 1/26/16Length: 277 PagesSeries: Secrets of a Rock Star #1OverviewWhen the rich and famous come out to play, nothing is off-limits . . .Everyone knows Ricki Hamilton as the icy heiress living in a billion-dollar mansion, high up in the Hollywood Hills. But few realize that behind the gilded gates, Ricki is the mistress of LA's most exclusive private club. A place where no fantasy is forbidden and no one goes unsatisfied-except for Ricki. If she had her way, she'd leave the business behind . . . until she meets the one man with the power to change her mind.The hottest rock star in the world, Axel Hawke, has the requisite sexy look and bad-boy reputation. Yet even his biggest fans have no clue just how decadently dangerous he can be. From the moment he meets Ricki, he knows there is no other woman who will satisfy him. He can feel the heat hiding beneath her cool demeanor and he's determined to stoke her flame.Together Ricki and Axel indulge their every desire. The deeper they go, the more she craves. Submitting to Axel opens her eyes, and for the first time Ricki knows exactly what she wants. All she has to do is take it . . .My ThoughtsI'm a huge fan of Ms Tan and i think that i had higher hopes for this first introduction to a new series than what it delivered. The story is sweet and definitely in the right direction, but the depth and complexity that we have seen in Sweet Surrender and like just wasn't here.What we have here is a story of Ricki - a 24 yr old who has come into authority and power after the passing of her grandfather, and being young and a woman means that she's got so much to prove for herself even though she's incredibly smart and capable. the other bit is that in her grandfather's will, there are stipulations on things that she and her sister need to do in order to gain control - so that's another problem to deal with. On top of the fact that their family has a few secrets, the cause of the death of her mother, and the secret exclusive BDSM club in their basement. enter in our leading man though, appropriately rocker like star named Axel. He's up for 'New Artist of the Year' at the Grammy's and that's where he and Ricki cross paths. A stunt that he decides to change mid stride brings these two together and shows that there's insane chemistry and a hint of BDSM, but where they will take it is an big question since Ricki isn't into BDSM at all and wants nothing to do with it. The course of the story is one of will they / won't they ,since we know that Ricki is so afraid of anyone having anything bad to say about her in the press, and how she just wants to be able to prove her self professionally. Axel is in the peak of his career and all he wants is Ricki. So the question is whether their friends will be able to bring them together, or if fear will tear them apart. In true Cecilia Tan fashion, there are some pretty racy scenes between them. I think that they are more 'erotica' than BDSM although it seems like the intention was to skew BDSM given the theme of the book. While i'm not an expert by any means, from all that i've read in the genre, i think that this was the biggest miss - since there's so much more that could have been done to build up the intro to the lifestyle and the nature of the club and what goes on in there. There are a few characters that make you question what's going to happen. Schmitt, one of their grandfather's best friends has his own agenda and is trying to undermine the girls at every turn. Paul (Ricki's assistant) personally gives me pause since i feel like there's something else there but that could be my paranoia, and then there's Sakura and Gwen (the friend and the sister) who all definitely need their own installments, and i think that we'll likely get them in the coming books. That or we'll get to see a lot more of Axel's band. Who...hopefully will give us more of the BDSM that i was expecting since one of his friends has been in the lifestyle longer. Anyhow - decent read - and it won't keep me from continuing on with the series.

  • Jennifer Hendzlik
    2019-06-01 04:50

    Ricki and her sister are Hollywood royalty. They are also the heirs to a secret, high society dungeon that was founded by their grandfather. While running the dungeon is no big deal, Ricki has never participated which is turns out to be a sticking point with the rules of the club...Axel Hawke, the newest hottest rock star with a bad-boy reputation. He thinks he might be a dom and a chance encounter with Ricki proves it but now she won't give him the time of day. Power struggle anyone? Ricki is used to making all the decisions and being at the top of her game in her business endeavors. Reconciling that with what turns her on in with her lover isn't an easy thing and I like that Tan shows us that struggle. I've had Tan on my list of BDSM authors to get to know and the jury is still out. The sex is blow your panties off hot but the story itself felt like there was a lot of plot holes that made it feel like a just ok read.

  • Michaela Behr
    2019-06-15 02:48

    Inhalt: Rikki gehört zur High Society, doch im Verborgenen führt sie den exklusiven BDSM-Club ihres Vaters weiter. Sie ist gelangweilt von ihrem Leben, doch dies ändert sich als sie auf den Rockstar Axel trifft...Fazit: Dieses Buch hat ganz knapp die 4 Sterne verfehlt bei mir. Es lebt hauptsächlich von den erotischen Szenen, welche übrigens sehr gut sind. Die Geschichte an sich könnte schon toll sein, wenn nicht die Wankelmütigkeit der Hauptprotagonistin so sehr im Vordergrund stehen würde. Mal fühlt sie sich wohl mit Axel und was sie tun, dann plötzlich wieder nicht. Das geht einem leider ein wenig auf die Nerven. Beginnt eigentlich schon im ersten Drittel. Und die Szenen im Club haben mir leider so gar nichts gegeben. Der Schreibstil war ganz OK und der Spannungsbogen auch immer gegeben. Man kann es zwischendurch schon lesen, darf aber nichts hochtrabendes erwarten.

  • Yiota
    2019-05-23 07:39

    This barely eked by as a 3. I thought it'd be a little sexier, but it was all about Ricki running away every time she got nervous about liking Axel and liking being a submissive. And the relationship didn't even seem like the focus, but a sub story to a very weird plot. Ricki's grandpa left them a secret BDSM club in the basement in their mansion. Ok. I suppose I can accept that the family talks so openly about their kinky natures, but I got very weirded out when Ricky's Dad tells her to promise him that she won't do any rope play. Whhaaaat? And then the epilogue just ended. Meh.

  • Taz Lozada
    2019-05-18 05:35

    Ricki and Axel are hot hot together. She is a rising power in the movie industry who just happens to get kidnapped during a Grammy performance by hot rocker Axel. She just happens to be hiding a BDSM club in her basement of the family Hollywood mansion. So much is going on in this book in a great way.can't wait to read more in this series.

  • Susan Gottfried
    2019-06-04 03:49

    There’s something about the way Cecilia Tan writes. I love it. Just love it. So much that twenty pages into her newest book, Taking the Lead, I had to stop and send e-mails to half my book friends, telling them they needed to read this, too. Tan gets the world of the rich, famous, and rock star royalty. She knows how the power players work. And it shows in these books she’s turning out. If that’s your thing, don’t miss Tan’s books. Period. That should be my whole review.Except, did I mention she knows how to write a sex scene? Hoo boy, she can write it hot. Susan thinks Lorelei James is the gold standard. For me, it’s Tan.So. Taking the Lead is about two of these power players and what happens when they find each other. Ricki Hamilton is a movie production chick. I’m not exactly sure of her pedigree, but it seems to be there, and I’m really not sure of her passion for movies as opposed to her passion for going to the office. But we hear all about this secret dungeon she’s inherited from her beloved grandfather and she’s got to run it. Except, of course, there’s all sorts of problems including a possessive loser with holier-than-thou issues. He’s a charmer. I hope he gets chained to the Daisy wheel in the dungeon and left upside down for days.Ricki’s partner in lust here is Axel, a rocker who… he just doesn’t seem like much of a rocker to me. He doesn’t have that special charisma and half the time, I had trouble remembering if he was a singer or a guitar player. Axel could have been any other Hollywood player. He just didn’t stick out as a musician/rocker type. And I wanted him to.So Axel and Ricki get together and suddenly, his kinda sorta there dom tendencies show up and Ricki’s all too glad to be his sub even though this woman who owns a dungeon doesn’t know exactly what that means. Axel’s glad to teach her, and in the heat of the moment, she’s glad to learn. It’s when she thinks and gets into her head that the problems begin.Pretty damn normal, if you ask me. I know an awful lot of people who overthink and no, I’m not looking at my Rock of Pages boss here. Nope.That’s their biggest obstacle: Ricki. Not sure she wants this lifestyle, she and Axel talk about it a lot. And that’s a good thing, especially because this isn’t one of those books where they start off with the spanking and end with the anal and it all goes according to script. Nope. This is a new-to-me sort of submission and domination and I bet this is a good representation of it being done right. I love that Axel has some really dead-on instincts about Ricki and they talk about things—well, he talks and she listens—and instead of Axel being a total domineering idiot, he cares about Ricki in a way that most doms don’t—at least in the fiction I’ve read, and I’ve read more than I probably should have. At times, their dialogue doesn’t feel real, especially when they start talking about BDSM using that exact acronym, but what’s important here is that Ricki is open to it, and not just because of the dungeon she never knew about.If anything, she seems to keep what she and Axel do very separate from the activities in the dungeon. I’m not sure if that’s good or bad or how I feel about it because they should be intertwined but they’re not. I’m also not sure how I feel about the idea that being into the scene is genetic, which is pretty much what Ricki learns as she comes to terms with the death of her mother. And, too, the ending, which mirrors what she learns about her mother, bugs me. It seems like too much too soon, more of a neat ending to a book than truth.So I’ve got these gripes, but that doesn’t mean this isn’t the best book I’ve read in a long time. I love that there’s issues of Hollywood gender power games and the dungeon and the legacy Ricki’s grandfather left that she has to fight against. I love that the situation with her father isn’t cut-and-dry, and I doubt we’re done coming to understand that poor screwup of a man. I love the depth of this world that Ricki inhabits, although that’s part of why Axel falls a bit short. It’s a hard act to follow!Like I said, I love that Axel cares about her, that he’s not always the barking-orders type of dom who ignores her needs and tries to bury who she is so that she can serve him better. I love that Ricki gets to be herself, not who Axel thinks she ought to be. I love the sex and how it’s hot and it’s different and I love that scene in the limo, when she puts her hands behind her back and I swear, that is hotter than almost any sex scene I’ve ever read anywhere else. I love how Axel comes to own her, I love that he’s a rocker who thinks and who does rise above most of the usual stereotypes (I just wish he felt more musical). I love that they’re going to be a power couple and this is the first in a series and I really hope we get to see how they evolve as that power couple and how the dungeon changes because of them and how Hollywood changes because of them and maybe somewhere along the way, Axel will rediscover what it is that made him join a band in the first place because right now, I’m just not feeling it and I’m all about Rock Fiction so as much as I like the kinky fiction, I’m even more about the Rock and Roll, so bring it, please.