From Lukov, With Love by Mariana Zapata

by - August 04, 2019

From Lukov, With Love by Mariana Zapata (2018)



Quick categories

Steamy hatefuck scale: 5/5
  • Jasmine and Ivan cannot stand in the same room without insulting each other. Their dynamic is legendaryone notorious video in-universe features Jasmine telling Ivan to suck her dick at a competition. She calls him Satan. He calls her Meatball. They are absolute children, and if it wasn't for their coach, they'd be at each other's throats 24/7. This. Is. Real. Enemies to lovers in a contemporary setting. And it's so funny! [Bonus: when Jasmine rants to her family about how much she hates Ivan... they're confused because they thought all the fighting was just flirting and they thought she used to have a crush on him. MAMA KNOWS BEST. WE ENEMIES TO LOVERS FANS ARE IN THE KNOW]

Secret softness scale: 5/5
  • When they actually learn to be friends, these two are so incredibly soft. It's also doubly heartwarming because Jasmine is usually a prickly bitch and Ivan is usually an arrogant asshole. But they become the best of friends and quickly learn to care for each other. Highlight reel: Ivan comforting Jasmine with hugs when she breaks down crying, Ivan kissing her nose on national television, and Jasmine crawling into Ivan's bed while vodka-drunk. Yes, they cuddled all night.

I actually gave a shit about other things scale: 5/5
  • Listen. I read this book expecting to just squee over the adorable, lighthearted romance. I did not expect the overwhelmingly painful barrage of feelings. Jasmine, the protagonist, had so many struggles that were just so vividly, personally relatable to me that I cried. Twice. And the crying had nothing to do with her romance with Ivan but everything to do with her as a person: about her career, her family relationships, her own struggles with self-worth. This was so much more than just a romance novel. 5/5 stars for how beautifully realized Jasmine's character is.

For fans of Broody Hero X and Ferocious Heroine Y:
Jasmine is strong, stubborn, and takes no shit from anyone. She's a loner who loves her family to bits. This may be a stretch... but she reminds me of Blue from The Raven Boys. Except that Jasmine is more likely to punch you in the face.

Ivan is arrogant, self-assured, and a bit of a dick... but he hides a soft side. I think I just described every romance novel man ever lmao but he reminds me of Nathaniel from Sorcery of Thorns.

On to the actual review...

Here is the blurb from Goodreads:
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.
And now, let me gush about this book for the entirety of the blog post.


"My mom said I had serious trust issues, but honestly, the more people I met, the more I didn't want to meet more."

Jasmine is strong. Most people think she's a bitch because she's opinionated, she swears a lot, and she doesn't care about what other people think. She's bad at dealing with other human beings. She threatens children who bully other kids. She's also fiercely ambitious and hardworking. Ever since she became an adult, her ice skating career basically went to shit... and yet she never gives up. She's got that insane, incredible drive that anyone who has true passion can relate to... including the harsh insecurity that maybe she isn't as good as she was anymore.

"You don't get to become good at anything without sacrificing something to make time."

Ivan is perfect and he knows it. He's rich, good-looking, and probably the best male figure skater on Earth. He's a dog dad, a rabbit dad, and a pig dad. He seems like he's got everything in life... except that he's so obsessed with figure skating that he pretty much has no other life. No friends, no girlfriend, no hobbies. But no, that isn't entirely a bad thing. It's not bad because figure skating is their dream and their families understand that. It's important to them so it matters. And thanks to Jasmine, he starts caring about something other than his career and his pets.

Ivan is also the one person that helps Jasmine realize just how amazing she is, just how hardworking she is, and how she deserves much more. He's the best romance novel boyfriendhe takes care of Jasmine, doesn't take her shit, helps her grow, and grows along with her. 


Jasmine and Ivan have incredible chemistry. Their banter is so fun to read, and I already adored their blooming frenemy-ship from the beginning. And if that isn't enough to convince you, Zapata included several tropes that will appeal to any romance lover's heart:

1. Hate to love and snarky banter
2. Fake dating (no fake make-outs, but there is shameless flirting)
3. Friends to lovers
4. Sick fic!! (at one point Jasmine gets sick and Ivan takes care of her like the sweetest man ever)
5. Bed sharing
6. Babysitting together (and realizing that they'd make good parents)
7. Slow burn
8. Idiots in love (or: Ivan kisses Jasmine and she's still convinced that he meant it platonically and that her love for him is one-sided, seriously, girl)
9. Meeting the parents (they meet each other's families)
10. Hurt/comfort 

And many, many more. These two have known each other since they were teenagers, although they spent most of their time hating each other. (The first thing Jasmine ever told Ivan was that his costume was ugly, and he never let it go) Even if you aren't an enemies to lovers fan, you'll appreciate the realistic progression of their relationship.

Also, Jasmine's relationships with her family are so, so heartwarming and brilliant. They love her so much. There's a subplot about her terrible dad... and even he eventually redeems herself. Even her familial relationships are well-developed.


The novel takes place over the span of one yearJasmine and Ivan's partnership for the season. It's very episodic and character-centric. I wasn't joking when I said it feels like a fanfic. Their goal is to win the skating competitions (they're both highly ambitious), and much of the novel chronicles their practices together, but it doesn't discuss the actual competitions unless there's a significant relationship development to it. So if you're looking for sports drama or in-depth ice skating stuff, this isn't the novel for you. I have to admit that even if I know little to nothing about ice skating, I still highly enjoyed it!

My only main complaint is one that I've seen mirrored on Goodreads. Jasmine's voice is incredible, but it does get dragging. She spends too much time inside her own head (something her coach has even commented on). So much of the novel consists of monologues upon monologues. So I skipped over a lot of narration and thinking. But otherwise, it's fantastic! The relationship segments make up for it ;)

Also, that smut scene at the end... <3

It's hot but it also made me laugh.


When I said I cried twice I wasn't joking. Jasmine has to face some serious internal struggles... and they hit me straight, bulls-eye, even if I'm not a figure skater. I'll just list them down quickly, and if you relate to these... well... please read this novel. It really makes you think.

Themes that hit me hard and made me bawl:
1. Loving your passion above everything else and sacrificing your life for it... only to "fail" and not be as good as others in your field.
2. Working so hard that you end up neglecting your family, friends, and personal relationships. Isolating yourself because of an obsessive need for perfection.
3. Having your parents (accidentally or on purpose) belittling your life goals and passions, assuming that this creative output is just a hobby and that you should get a "real" job.
4. Fearing that you've wasted everythingyour life, your youth, your friends' and family's supporton something that you aren't even good at.
5. Being good but not good enough. Becoming nothing but wasted potential.

Ouch, right? I sobbed along with Jasmine. And it made me realize so many things about myself that I never even thought about before. Thank you, Zapata.

TL;DR If you are an enemies to lovers fan, read this book right now. If you're a twenty-something struggling with creative goals and self-worth, read this book right now. If you enjoy slow burn romances with characters that grow along with the relationship, then read this book right now. It. Is. Great!!

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