From Lukov with Love by Mariana Zapata
Published by: Self-published
Format: Kindle Unlimited Ebook
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Tropes and Themes: ice-skating romance, enemies-to-lovers, slow slow slooooow burn
Order at: Amazon
Reviewed by: Judith
What to Expect: Slow burn queen, Mariana Zapata, is back with a brand new enemies-to-lovers look into the world of competitive figure skating. You can expect: snarky come-backs, one liners that will make you go, “oooooh”, a big boisterous close knit family, a tough as nails heroine, and the most insufferably hot hero you will ever meet.
If someone were to ask Jasmine Santos to describe the last few years of her life with a single word, it would definitely be a four-letter one.
After seventeen years—and countless broken bones and broken promises—she knows her window to compete in figure skating is coming to a close.
But when the offer of a lifetime comes in from an arrogant idiot she’s spent the last decade dreaming about pushing in the way of a moving bus, Jasmine might have to reconsider everything.
Including Ivan Lukov.
Review: Flat out I will admit: slow burn romance is my jam. If you preface any recommendation with, “Judith, this is a slow burn–“, more than likely I will cut you off before you get any further with my itchy trigger finger just poised on Amazon to make purchases of this sort. Slow burn is a one-click deal for me and when a reader on twitter so awesomely reminded me that Mariana Zapata, my current queen of slow burn, had a new novel out, well, you can rest assured I one-clicked that book in under 5 seconds flat. And dear reader, it was worth it.
Resilient and dedicated figure skater, Jasmine, knows her time performing competitively is almost up. Partner-less and eking out as much practice time as possible between working at a diner, she is determined to make the most of her time on the ice. When the reigning partners champ, Ivan Lukov, needs a partner and sets his sights on her, Jasmine is ready to forget what a jerk he’s been to her since she was a child. He’s insufferable and demanding not to mention honest to a fault and so devastatingly handsome it annoys Jasmine to no end. However once these two begin training and competing as partners, their relationship subtly shifts and the partners deal becomes an off-ice thing as well.
Told in quick moving prose with very little in the way of sex or innuendo, this is one book you cannot miss. The dialogue is captivating and the push and pull of Jasmine and Ivan’s feelings keeps you guessing as to how they really feel about each other until the very end. The organic development of their relationship was so spot on; Zapata could have been even more in depth and I would have been on board.
Bottom line: if anyone ever says slow burn, buy it once you’re sure the premise is for you. However, if they say Mariana Zapata, don’t even wait for that. Just go buy it, no questions asked.
What you might not like/doesn’t work for you: Slowest slow burn that ever slooooooow burned its way into a book. It is deliciously slow so if you’re expecting a quick read with a couple that forms a bond instantaneously? It’s not this. Like, at all. The heroine could be abrasive and her constant drive was so narrowly focused that at times I could not connect with her. However that drive was also what made her such a phenomenal athlete and was the driving force behind her relationship with Ivan.
What you will love: Slowest slow burn that ever slooooooow burned its way into a book. It is deliciously slow and if you enjoy delicately uncovering a relationship, peeling back its layers page by page, this is the book you’ve been waiting for. Also, ALL THE FIGURE SKATING.
Judith is the owner and curator of Binge on Books. She is a frequent books columnist for Teen Vogue, HEA USA Today, and The Mary Sue, and loves when people spontaneously tell her about their favorite current reads.