By: Mariana Zapata
Standalone | 493 pages | Pub. 2018
From Lukov with Love at a Glance
- Overall Rating: ★★★
- Dude: The closest to Evan Lycacek we will ever get
- Girl: One meltdown away from Tanya Harding
- Emotional: Hot guy + giant bunny = too many feels
- Steaminess: There is a long fuse on this firework
Pairs Well With
The Gold Medal
- 1 1/2 oz. Don Julio Blanco or kartel
- 1/2 oz. Grand Marnier
- 3/4 oz. Fresh lime juice and lemon juice
- 1/2 oz. Orange infused syrup
- 1/2 oz. Fresh orange juice
Beware. Spoilers are coming…
I struggled through the first few chapters of this book because the main character, Jasmine is a complete bitch for absolutely no reason. She hates Ivan, but we aren’t given any reason for her hatred for many chapters and when we do get a reason, it’s not even a good one. So he makes fun of her; it wasn’t bully-style and SHE STARTED IT. He wrote notes in her program after her shows with constructive criticism. This is a world class skater, offering free advice and she takes it as an insult. She is so overly defensive it astounds me. You can’t start a fight and then get mad when someone else beats you at it. Jasmine is a complete drama queen through the first half of the book and while I adore broken characters, she was a really tough pill to swallow. And to be fair to Ivan – I don’t think he knew about her disability because she was so secretive about it, but 100% he took that comment too far.
She did; however, win me over toward the end. She goes through a pretty significant transformation emotionally which I am 100% on board with. I love that Zapata gave her a learning disability, but worked it into the storyline beautifully. Her bitchiness becomes an awesome form of sarcasm when combined with her take-no-shit personality. She gets knocked down by people she loves and still gets back up going from uncontrollable crying to my favorite quote of the book.
“I’m back bitches.” – Jasmine
Zapata killed it by addressing the issue of stalking. Most of the time stalking appears in books it is just used as a plot device. They bring it up but convince the person that it is in their head and then get kidnapped by their stalker. Not so in this book. Everyone backs Jas and encourages her to protect herself. Ivan loses it completely in the most heroic scene in the book. He finds the stalker messages and shuts down her accounts, checks her mail and doesn’t let her stay home alone. He, a man, goes full feminist and actually takes it seriously!
PSA: Sending unsolicited pictures of your junk to anyone else is disgusting, will not get you laid, and is sexual harassment. Unless someone asks, keep it in your pants, they don’t want to see it.
“I was no stranger to dicks. But I wanted it to be my choice when I saw them.” PREACH
I truly adored Ivan. Here are the many reasons why: 1. He makes her hot chocolate, 2. He takes stalking seriously, 3. He quotes Mean Girls, 4. He calls her outbreak monkey and takes care of her when she is sick, 5. He puts his dog in time out for giving him sass (crying) 6. He reminds me of Evan Lysacek (swoon), 7. He bribes her with hershey kisses, 8. Mandatory cheesy line – he is always there for her.
“But I got you something too. It’s not the souls of everyone who has ever pissed you off, but…” – Ivan
My favorite character was probably Jasmine’s mom. I think I highlighted every word that came out of her mouth. She has a take-no-prisoners attitude which I loved. Her rant about women’s rights was so on-point that I may go back and use some of it when guys start in on it. Because they always do.
Bravo to Zapata for addressing real issues in an enjoyable way. My rating is only lower because I barely made it through the first few chapters due to Jasmine’s complete unlikability.
I’m a huge fan of Zapata’s novels because they are always a long-game. Sometimes a girl needs a break from the typical insta-love overwhelming cheesy romance novels. And this book does not disappoint – I mean we don’t get a sex scene until the last chapter. Zapata’s love stories are uniquely enjoyable and I’m like just take my money Zapata i’ll read whatever you give me.
Jasmine didn’t annoy me as much as she appears to have bothered others. I like that she’s not a super lovely character all the time. She’s got some issues. But don’t we all? I was 100% here for how sassy she was.
“Some days I deserved a medal for being so patient with idiots.”
Same, girl, same. I mean life is hard when you are surrounded by peasants and the figure skating world can be brutal. Yeah, Jas has some issues, but she works through them and it’s clear she one badass, dedicated b*itch. And she’s a defender. I respect a girl that puts bullies in their place.
“I’m a catch.”
“Yeah, a catch and release.”
I loved the verbal banter between Jas and Ivan. It was like watching Cutting Edge for the first time again and the whole time I relived the toe-pick montage.
While I’ll never understand why Ivan wouldn’t just you know… tell Jasmine that he had feelings for her and wanted to be her partner – I did end up enjoying him. His love for animals had me planning my proposal. But what really won me over was how serious Ivan took Jasmine’s stalkers. I’m so tired of characters in books being blase about stalking and violence against women. I’ve read so many books lately were the male characters are like “aw that sucks, but it happens.” No. Absolutely. Not. Asshats need to understand that just because it happens a lot does not mean its okay and something women should just shake it off. Ivan’s response is a step in the right direction and he won points in my book. And to all the trolls out there who send unsolicited dick pics, I will give you an unsolicited punch in the face. Stop it.
What I was 100% not her for was Ivan making fun of Jasmine for her learning disability. Nope. That shit is never okay even in jest. And Jas’ dad has a whole bunch of issues that dude needs to sort out but #1 is a better understanding of learning disabilities and the experiences of those who battle to learn every day.
“Mom wasn’t just a cougar, she was The Cougar. All other cougars hailed to her.”
Get it, girl. I bow down to Jas’ mom’s abilities and want her to adopt me. Her monologue about women’s rights and sexual rights had me screaming YAASS QUEEN and startling my cat.
Let us know what you thought of From Lukov With Love in the comments!