Review: From Lukov With Love by Mariana Zapata

From Lukov With Love

Date Started: 19th January 2019
Date Finished: 20th January 2019
Time taken to read: 2 days
Rating: 3.5 stars

By the time I’d busted my ass five times in a row, I figured it was time to call it quits.

From Lukov with Love is a story based around the world of competitive pairs figure skating. Jasmine Santos is considering her future in the sport given that she is 26 years old and she is about to have to sit out another season due to her lack of partner. Her reputation has done her no favours in finding someone new to skate with her that is until Ivan Lukov, a man that she has hated for years (but who is a highly successful and decorated skater) asks her to fill in for a season whilst his partner is out.

This novel was marketed to me as a romance, so I was honestly unsure how I would feel going in – I enjoy romance as a subplot to other genres, but I have generally struggled with adult romance/contemporaries where the relationship is the primary focus. (Especially if there a lot of over the top smutty scenes). I was therefore pleasantly surprised that a large focus of this story was actually based around figure skating and the build up to a competitive season.

As a non-skater, I cannot comment on the accuracy of the technical elements, but I enjoyed the depth of the sport that I felt was portrayed. The additional perceived research definitely elevated this story above the sports AU romance that I have definitely read for free in fanfiction.

A large majority of the arcing plot was predictable – so someone who reads a lot of stories within the genre may not get as much enjoyment out of it as someone newer to it as myself. However, it has been said that (with the exclusion of perhaps a mystery), a good book should keep you hooked even when you know what is going to happen.

The romance element was also definitely a very slow burn, so anyone approaching this novel wanting a lot of sex scenes or a quick move into the romance territory may also be disappointed. As someone who quite likes a build up in a story rather than instalove, again this was not an issue for me. And in all honesty, I feel this story would have been equally enjoyable had there not been a romantic relationship plotline (again for some regular romance readers this could be seen as a negative). I think in part this is because I enjoyed the family dynamics portrayed, and how they played into the plot.

My greatest complaint in regards to the story is some of the ways that the male character is portrayed. There are some elements of this plot where I felt as though Jasmine was seen as territory to protect, at least in the attitudes to other ‘contenders’ that I was not keen on or that irked me somewhat. But overall, I was hooked to this story, and I am definitely considering trying more novels that are given the genre label of ‘romance’.

TLDR? Such a slow burn you’ll get frostbite, but in the best way – definitely one for anyone who likes their romance between pro athletes.

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