Title: From Lukov with Love
Author: Mariana Zapata
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Published: February 1, 2018
Reread: Three Times
Review - From Lukov with Love
Mariana Zapata is a queen of slow-burn romance. I’ve read almost all the books by her, and although some were a hit and a miss, I’ve got a few that are on my re-read list.
For me, From Lukov with Love is a masterpiece slow-burn romance by Mariana Zapata (And I don’t declare things lightly). I have read this book a lot many times, and each time, it still stands strong as my favorite comfort read.
This is a sports romance in which the main characters are involved in figure skating, and they aim to win the championship. All the while, their relationship evolves from enemies to friends and, eventually, lovers.
If you’re a fan of this trope, this book is an absolute must-read. Even after several re-reads, it still has the power to make me laugh, cry, and fall in love with the characters all over again.
Ivan Lukov is one of my favorite book boyfriends, and as I review this book, you’ll know why.
The story in the first POV follows Jasmine Santos, an ice-skating athlete, who is down on her luck. She’s sassy, blunt, short-tempered, and known for her foul mouth. After getting dumped by her partner for a competitor, she’s approached by Ivan Lukov’s coach. She wants to pair her up with Ivan, another well-known figure in ice skating.
There’s one hitch in the plan though. Ivan Lukov is her childhood friend and nemesis and they do not get along at all. They call each other names and basically hate one another. But Jasmine has always wanted to win a championship, and Ivan is a good enough bet.
Thus begins an unlikely (or is it likely?) partnership between the two.
And to be honest, this is the part where you just have to read it to experience it. To feel every moment between Jas and Ivan. They are frenemies and they bicker a lot. Their bantering is funny and makes you laugh out loud. Every time they butted heads, I would read it faster, to see who’d win that round.
With every chapter, you get attached to these characters. Their enmity slowly and steadily evolves into friendship (and you just know they were meant to be). They have so many heartfelt moments, so many secrets unraveled, and the transition from enemies to friends is just so smooth and oh so pure.
Their growing friendship is another best part of the story. I love how Mariana allowed them that time to learn about each other and to develop together as partners and as individuals.
Jasmine Santos is one of my favorite heroines. I loved how strong she was. She has had a rough time in the past, but she emerged stronger from all that. She never gave up on her goals and dreams.
While pursuing her goals, she also made sure she gave her family her time and love. And I loved her connection with her family. Speaking of, her family is the best supportive character (just like Sal’s dad in Kulti). Her sister is Ruby Santos, from Mariana’s Dear Aaron. I loved seeing their relationship and the love between them.
Another remarkable aspect of this book – Jasmine’s character development. Her thoughts, and the things she went through, made me cry. It was so easy to relate to her. I loved how she worked on improving herself and trying not to get bogged down by the negativity.
And coming to the man of the hour – Ivan Lukov.
If you’re looking for a hero you want to swoon over, the one who makes your toe curl, who is so supportive of the heroine and very much into her, then Ivan is IT.
Ivan initially comes across as snarky, jerk, and aloof. However, beneath his tough exterior lies a caring and supportive individual.
You cannot see it in the beginning and think they just love to antagonize each other, but Ivan’s always wanted Jasmine to be his partner. The way he is with her is damn heartwarming. He is so protective of her. She always comes first and he only wants what is best for her.
You see it in every interaction in the story. As the plot thickens, as a reader, you see how caring Ivan is, and the way he builds her up. I’ve got so many dialogues highlighted, where he’s just loving on her and she is like oblivious to it.
It’s a slow-burn romance, and in typical Mariana Zapata fashion, Ivan and Jasmine don’t get together until the last few chapters.
Both of them are stubborn and determined. The chemistry between them is undeniable and that long wait was worth it.
Even though the romance takes a long time to build, their budding friendship and trust is something that just tides you over.
They are one of the best couples you’ll ever read about.
I know I have gushed a lot about this book, but for me, it deserves all of that.
It’s a book that I turn to whenever I need a dose of heartwarming friendship, romance, and well-developed characters. Whether you’re a fan of slow-burn romances or simply seeking an enemies-to-lovers romance, this book has it all.
Plus, it’s available on Kindle Unlimited, so there’s no reason not to skate into the world of Jasmine and Ivan. Trust me; you won’t regret it.
Commonly Asked Questions
Are there spicy scenes in From Lukov With Love?
No, except for one explicit scene at the end, From Lukov with Love is not spicy.
What are the trigger warnings in Lukov with love?
References to Cyber-stalking and bullying. Jasmine’s father is unsupportive of her, and she has dyslexia.
Do Ivan and Jasmine end up together?
YES! They do, however, they sure take a long time to get there.
Books like From Lukov with Love
- Kulti by Mariana Zapata
- The Wall of Winnipeg and Me by Mariana Zapata
- The Spanish Love Deception by Elena Armas
From Lukov with Love - Blurb
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.
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About Mariana Zapata:
Mariana Zapata began writing love stories soon after she learned how to spell. She probably shouldn’t admit that she started sneaking romance novels from her aunt’s bookshelves way before she was old enough to even understand what it meant when a man flipped up a woman’s skirt. (Don’t tell her mom.)
Mariana is a native Texan living in a small town in Colorado with her husband and two beloved (and emotionally manipulative) Great Danes, Dorian and Kaiser. When she’s not pretending to write, she’s reading. You can usually find her burning somewhat edible experiments in the kitchen or cracking jokes at the expense of her family members.