I am a casual figure skating fan but a year-round enemies to lover fan. So when From Lukov with Love caught my eyes on the socials (Instagram and TikTok), I immediately added it to my Tbr. However, I eventually discovered that I would either have to purchase a copy or read it with Kindle Unlimited. I chose a kindle. Yes, I am back on my Kindle Unlimited binging. Prepare yourselves for some underrated reads.
“Nothing and nobody would ever come between my dreams and me.”Mariana Zapata
But while From Lukov with Love may be an ice-skating romance, it is also a novel about learning to stay stubborn and placing your dreams in a chokehold.
Jasmine Santos refuses to give up her love of figure skating. Although her old skating partner abandoned her and her foul-mouth reputation precedes her, Jasmine continues to practice her skating every day. She doesn’t know when she will be ready to compete again, but Jasmine is stubborn.
Then her arch-nemesis and gold medalist Ivan Lukov offers her the chance to pair up with him for a year. In the end, Ivan will personally help find Jasmine a new partner. Jasmine knows Ivan is the best the figure skater in the world, and she cannot let herself miss out on the chance to win competitions, even if it means partnering up with Satan himself.
Jasmine and Ivan spend every day together, and soon their private lives begin to blend. And Jasmine slowly begins trusting Ivan and seeking out his friendship. But friends can kiss too, right?
From Lukov with Love is written in an intoxicating and comedic way. And by that, I mean Jasmine’s inner monologue is chaotic. Her thoughts range from a burning hatred for Ivan and utter devotion to her family. She’s an internal mood.
“I could have been the bigger person, but fuck it, I was five foot three and I wasn’t built to be that person ever.”Mariana Zapata
From Lukov with Love
The writing style made this novel hard to put down which I loved but I may have been up past my bedtime laughing in my dark room.
Jasmine and Ivan bicker constantly, which is both hilarious and frustrating. At times they felt like two teens with crushes on each other. I can only imagine how infuriating they were when they were teenage enemies. I imagine everyone in Lukov Ice rink constantly side-eyeing them. Take for example, Ivan and Jasmine’s nicknames for each other-Meatball and Satan.
The novel heavily implies that Ivan’s been pining for Jasmine for a long time. However, Ivan and Jasmine never have this conversation which is a shame. I loved when the love interest confesses that much history. However, Ivan’s, “I love you” scene is pretty iconic and I think it’s perfect for this novel.
Although Ivan spends a majority of this novel teasing Jasmine he also spends just as much time reading her body language. But not only is Ivan observant he is also a big lover of animals as it is also later revealed. While Ivan might push Jasmine’s buttons, he is also a big softie especially for her.
Additionally, I wanted to mention that From Lukov with Love is a very slow burn romance. Both protagonists spend more time as friends in this novel than they do as lovers. But I enjoyed this love story because Ivan and Jasmine don’t break up in the last act of their story. I don’t mind the third act break up, although it is predictable. I was pleasantly surprised when this story did not follow that formula. Instead, the climax of this story focuses on Jasmine and her stubbornness to push forward. I am envious of Jasmine’s tenacity to hold onto her dream.
Jasmine’s stubbornness also comes to bite her in the butt as it allows her to dismiss Ivan’s feelings for her. And in doing so she refuses to acknowledge her own feelings for him. There are multiple times during Jasmine’s friendship with Ivan that she describes Ivan’s mouth. While Ivan’s feelings are obvious to the reader, Jasmine continues to see him as her best friend even when he kisses her. I found this both funny and frustrating because I just wanted these two to get together. But I loved this novel anyways.
Something I did not like was that Jasmine’s ethnicity is a mystery for most of the novel. I assumed that Jas was Latina because Mariana Zapata herself hails from Colombia and Jasmine’s last name is Santos. However, at the very end, we get confirmation that Jas is half Filipino. I loved that but I did wish Jasmine’s ethnicity was revealed earlier on. But that’s just my bias because I love to highlight POC characters in novels.
I also wasn’t a fan of all the repetition in this novel. I noticed a lot of phrases get repeated in this novel. And I don’t mean terms of endearment or insults. I noticed that Jasmine or Ivan would say a sentence or an idea and then repeat it directly after a few paragraphs later. It bugged me enough to mention it in this review.
This slow burn was great, and this novel ends with Jasmine and Ivan’s first time. But I wished there were more chapters in this story. Of course, there is a ton to explore in the world of figure skating and one moment I would have loved to see is Jasmine and Ivan flirting at the Kiss and Cry.
I honestly loved this novel. And the characters have taken up residence in my head. So much so that I made them a playlist. Check it out.
And I would a thousandth percent recommend it to romance lovers, enemies to friends to lovers, casual ice-skating fans, and readers looking for an all-consuming romance. If you’re looking for a smutty romance novel, unfortunately this one is not it. The sex scene is great, but the novel is not full of them. If you loved The Love Hypothesis and did not mind the one love scene. Definitely check this one out.
CW: fatphobia, stalking, sexual content, bullying
Okay this novel reawakened my feelings for figure skating competitions, so I’m going to rewatch Yuri on Ice. And old skating competition videos.
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until my next post I’ll be living in libros,
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I’ve been thinking about rereading it lol