From Lukov with Love
From Lukov with Love audiobook free
There is no one who does slow burn better than Mariana Zapata. At this point I’m just stating facts, honestly.
I loved this book soooo much I feel like I can’t even put into words how happy this book made me feel. Right now I have the biggest grin on my face and my heart feels full, like when you finish the best love story and you just know that they’re going to be happy together for the rest of their lives. It’s how I feel about Jasmine and Ivan. Because if there were ever two people who were meant to be, it’s those two.
I love that this was a enemies to friends to lovers romance but I loved even more was how they pretty much weren’t enemies at all but it was all foreplay to what everyone could see but Jasmine. I won’t even say Ivan because it feels clear to me that from the very beginning, Ivan has been interested in Jasmine and she was the only one clueless to his affections towards her. And that fact that he’s been waiting around for her for freaking YEARS makes me love him so much but also makes their romance feel that much more soulmate worthy.
I loved pretty much everything about this book but I especially loved Jasmine. I love how perfectly imperfect she is. I love how she is so unapologetically herself and how many would call her an unlikable heroine and she wouldn’t give a hoot about it. She is who she is and she never apologizes for it and I loved that about her sooo much. She has worked so freaking hard for her dream, it honestly hurt me that she she kept failing while everyone else around her was succeeding. But what is so great about Jasmine is that she NEVER gives up, not on herself and not on the things that really matter. This book was very much centered on Jasmine’s journey as a ice skater and as a person; I would even go as far as saying it was about her journey first, and the romance second.
Though as a side note, that one sex scene we got was SO. FREAKING. HOT.
Like seriously, hot.
Their chemistry was off the charts and that one scene alone made me wish on all the stars in the sky that Mariana would have more sexy times in her books because hot DAMN.
So if I loved this book so freaking much, why only 4 stars? Well there were a few things that bothered me:
1. I felt like the writing at certain points was a bit awkward and confusing. For example, many times throughout the book she would say things like “the woman standing next to me said,” or “my mom’s fourth husband said” and it was just so…weird? We know their names, she literally said them one line before so why did she have to keep referring to them through this characterization quirk? (I don’t even know if that is a thing or if it makes sense but I’m going with it for now). It became annoying after a while because I just wanted to shout, “JUST CALL THEM BY THEIR DAMN NAME ALREADY” and at one point in the beginning when she’d done it with their Coach Lee I was genuinely confused when she’d refer to her as “the other woman standing next to me” because I thought maybe I’d missed something and there was more than one coach in the room and I had to keep rereading the paragraph or page over.
2. I feel like I complain about this all the time but while I love how she’s so amazing at the slow burn, I feel like she forget that she needs to actually show us them as a couple. Don’t get me wrong, I felt their connection and could feel that they’d be perfect together as a couple and they’d last for the long haul but once more it took until 95% for them to actually get together and that didn’t really leave much room to show us them together as a couple. And I don’t know if it’s just a me thing, but while I want the slow burn, I also want the satisfaction of seeing them date and be a couple too. I feel like it gets tricky in this book because technically even though they weren’t together and Jasmine was acting oblivious to what was in front of her, they were pretty much acting like a couple for the last quarter-ish of the book. I knew that Ivan was in love with her well before he admitted it and I knew that she had feelings for him too even if she hadn’t realized it yet, but I wanted to see them be together longer than half a chapter. I’m not trying to be harsh or mean but it’s clear that the author has a formula that has worked very well for her in the past. Hell, her next five books could follow the same formula of: slow burn to the max and then last five precent showing them finally admit their feelings and I’d still buy every single one of them. But at the same time, it’s going to get old. And just because something has worked for you before doesn’t mean you shouldn’t grow as a writer and try new things. I’m not saying she needs to stop doing what she’s doing because I love her for it so much but I’m saying maybe tweak it or throw in a curveball or two to keep us readers on our toes every once in a while.
3. And my final complaint would be that I felt like the writing was drawn out. It’s not that I didn’t love it and I wasn’t completely hooked from beginning to end, because I was. But when I was reading, she would take three pages to say one thing and I got the distinct feeling she was just being wordy to be wordy. For example, I didn’t need 3-4 pages of inner dialogue about how she was sad that her mom was sad, especially when it felt like it was in a constant loop of the same thing being said four different ways. This kind of ties into my point two where you could’ve used those extra words/pages or whatever to show us them as a couple instead of feeling like you needed to draw things out for the simple fact that it’s kind of what you’re known for. Again I don’t mean this in a catty or nasty way because I genuinely love this author and her writing so freaking much it’s not even funny. But it was just the impression I got a few times while reading.
But besides those three things, I absolutely loved this book and felt like I went through the best freaking journey with these characters. Mariana Zapata is easily one of my favorite authors and I love that I can count on her to make me fall so in love with her books, no matter what. I also want to point out that I love her immensely for always having diversity in her books; she is one of the few romance authors that I can say that has multiple books with WOC heroines and I love that she consistently gives it to us. Not only that but she gives diversity in so many other aspects to, like in the topics covered in her books. Her characters are not one dimensional and they very much feel like real people, people who I could know and be friends with. Overall, if you are a fan of this author’s previous books you will 100% love this book so hardcore. And if you haven’t read anything by her yet you need to jump on the Zapata train and pick up this book asap.
From Lukov with Love audiobook Series Teddy Hamilton
I did not plan to read this book as fast or as soon as I did 🙂 I got it as soon as it came out, because I own all other Mariana’s books… although so far I read only one… well, with this one that number have gone up to two 😉 anyway… 😉 I love her writing style, so buying her other novels wasn’t even a question… 🙂 so I bought this one, but had a whole other plan of reading… but then… this one… it’s about figure skaters you guys… 🙂 I loved that sport when I was younger… I watched it in the middle of the night if there was a live transmission of world championships and such… but I’ve never read a book with main characters who do it 🙂 by the way, if you have any other recommendations like this, definitely let me know 🙂 but back to this book 🙂 *sighs* my brain is all over the place today 😉 so even though I was suppose to read something else… my mind kept coming back to this one… and it took me like one day to decide to dive into it… I figured that I can just check it out, read a few chapters and just see if it’s something I will enjoy at that moment… yeah… I devoured this book practically in one day… and it’s quite long 🙂 I just couldn’t put it down 🙂 so let me tell you more about the overall plot of the story and our main character and then I will get into all the reasons why I adored it so much 🙂
Audiobook From Lukov with Love by Mariana Zapata
Everyone knows MZ is the queen of slow burn, bu5 she’s also the only contemporary romance authors I’ll reliably (and excitedly) read single POV from. I love that you can piece together what the male lead is thinking and feeling, his motivations, etc – even when our narrator can’t, lol – without spelling every little thing out.
Totally loved Ivan. MZ’s dudes are often a bit stoic so it was lovely to read such a dynamic personality. (Spoiler ———) Also loved his boyishness and his sweet puppy love (in his own way) for Jas.
Jas was deeply relatable for me with her extreme sense of duty and fear of failure, fear of disappointing or letting down those who love her. Some of her spirals or thoughts didn’t make a lot of sense to me – a few times it felt like there were pieces being scattered for a puzzle that never actually was revealed. Her motivations and thoughts felt a bit messy and forced sometimes. However a most of it was very compelling and definitely struck a cord with me (even though I’m nowhere close to any sort of athlete)
Audio From Lukov with Love narrated by Callie Dalton
The only reason I’m giving it 4 and not 5 is because I had to skim through the first 100 pages. Jas is so much in her head, overthinking and over-analyzing everything that a simple conversation takes pages after pages to unfold, and it lowkey drove me nuts. 100 pages and nothing of substance had happened apart from her partnering up with Ivan.
However, once we got over it, it was a really good read. I like how there was no horrible miscommunication trope, and no drama just before the end because they didn’t need it.
The spice was okay, not the steamiest but because the slow burn was more emotional rather than physical, it didn’t bother me at all. Some descriptions were a bit cringy for me, but eh, who cares what I think 😜
Free audio From Lukov with Love – in the audio player below
20 pages in I had a feeling this book wasn’t for me. 60 pages in and I hate Jasmine. She’s sworn about 50 times already and her internal monologue is painstakingly boring and unnecessarily long. If she’s thinking about the answer to a question, I’ve pretty much forgotten what the question is after a 500 word discussion going on in her head so I have to go back and look at what the question was. The final straw was the quote: ” He’s out with friends” the redheaded woman who had given birth to me explained quickly’ Erm, who the frick talks about their mum like that?! No way am I going to get through 500 odd pages of this. This book reminds me of when you start using pointless sentences to help reach a 5000 word limit on an essay.
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