Published by Mariana Zapata on February 1, 2018
FINAL DECISION: A true slow burn, this book was exactly what I needed to read right now. A substantive relationship with characters that have depth and interest. New author to me, but I look forward to reading more.
THE STORY: Jasmine Santos is a talented but struggling figure skater whose career has hit a rough patch. She is dealing with the pressures of her sport, financial difficulties, a bad last partner, and trying to reconnect with her family. She has been floating since separating from her last partner but keeps skating even as people begin to see that her career is over and she should consider teaching. Enter Ivan Lukov, the brother of one of Jasmine’s friends. Ivan is a skilled, successful skater who has been pushing Jasmine’s anger buttons for years. Despite their history of clashes and differences in personalities, Jasmine and Ivan agree to become skating partners out of necessity — but only for one year. Along the way, the relationship between the two changes as they develop a complex and evolving relationship that goes beyond the ice rink.
OPINION: This is the first book by this author that I have read, but it won’t be the last. It eschews the overdramatic and grounds itself so deep in reality that I felt that I could meet these two characters at the local ice skating rink. Jasmine is such a complex character: prickly, caring, a perfectionist, a bit of an emotional mess. At first, I wasn’t sure about her, but the book does such a great job of bringing the reader into her life that I quickly began to love her quirks.
Ivan — oh, simply adorable. The way the book is structured, readers don’t know his thoughts in the book. Therefore, we only get to know him through his actions and words and how Jasmine views him which changes as the book progresses.
The relationship between Jasmine and Ivan builds slowly and felt so real. The book really builds from the characters and doesn’t rely on cheap dramatic tricks to draw the characters together. Instead, it is the small things — helping after a car won’t start, babysitting that builds the relationship. The best part of this book? By the time the book ends, there is no question that these two are perfect for one another.
The family dynamics were amazing here as well. Jasmine has a lot to learn about her family. This book serves as her catalyst for finding what her role is in her family. By the way, I loved Jasmine’s mom and her siblings. They are devoted to Jasmine but also funny characters. It really felt like a great family.
I just loved this whole universe of characters, and I thoroughly enjoyed this book.
WORTH MENTIONING: Great for fans of ice skating.
CONNECTED BOOKS: FROM LUKOV WITH LOVE is a standalone.
STAR RATING: I give this book 5 stars.