by Mariana Zapata
Released: February 1st 2018
Published by Self Published
“A great read, full of laughs, a bit of heartbreak and a lot of figure skating.”
~ Under the Covers
There are a few irrefutable truths about Jasmine Santos, one, she loves figure skating and her family, two, she can’t stand Ivan Lukov. And no one can deny that Jasmine has natural talent and she’s willing to put all the hours in to develop it, only when it comes to competitions, she always chokes. So much so, that she has yet to win a single one. Lukov doesn’t seem to have the same problem, his name dominates pairs skating, which just makes him even more insufferable. However, partnering him may be her last chance at winning and she’s willing to make any sacrifice to finally come out on top…even if she has to work with Ivan Lukov.
For those of you who have read Dear Aaron by Mariana Zapata the character of Jasmine Santos will be familiar as she’s the heroine’s younger sister. Now, she has a book of her own where Jasmine is no longer a young figure skater, but is older and approaching the end of her slightly lacklustre career. She needs a win to justify everything she has missed in pursuit of perfecting her figure skating. That’s when Ivan Lukov, big brother of her best friend and her most hated enemy comes in. He’s one of the best figure skaters in the world and he wants her as his partner. Hence the deal with the devil is made.
Zapata veers slightly from her slow burn friends-to-lovers expertise and instead we have a slow burn enemies-to-friends-to-lovers type of scenario. At first when I started reading I couldn’t see how it would work, the animosity between them was thick. However, the more you read the more you realise that perhaps that animosity was fuelled a little by unrequited feelings on both side and suddenly everything becomes a lot more feasible. It was in turns funny and moving to see how their chemistry changed from some barbed remarks to more playful banter and then to outright flirting.
I predict that some people won’t like the prickly and mouthy Jasmine, however, she is my favourite heroine from Zapata so far. I loved her take-no-prisoners attitude and ambition. Jasmine didn’t take shit from anyone and was single minded in attaining her goals with the only opinions she cared about being those from her loved ones, which mainly consisted of her family. Ivan we got to know in slow degrees as Jasmine let her guard down around him and his arrogant self-confidence in his skating suddenly became more attractive as it became balanced by his vulnerabilities in other areas of his life.
Although the story can be explained with the aforementioned “slow burn enemies-to-friends-to-lovers”, that doesn’t mean it wasn’t a fantastic read. Not only was Jasmine and Ivan’s connection palpable, even when it seemed they just wanted to kill one another, I also loved seeing Jasmine with her family. They were hilarious and heart-warming and I loved being able to check up on Ruby and Aaron from Dear Aaron – although you don’t need to have read it, each book reads as a standalone.
A great read, full of laughs, a bit of heartbreak and a lot of figure skating. I thoroughly enjoyed it and can’t wait to see what Mariana Zapata will bring out next.
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