From Lukov with Love by Mariana Zapata

Posted on September 26, 2023 by Nadene @ Totally Addicted to Reading in Reviews / 9 Comments

From Lukov with Love is my first time reading Mariana Zapata’s work. I picked this as part of the Kindle Hispanic Heritage month challenge based on the many positive reviews on Goodreads and Amazon. Its nomination in best romance category in 2018 also played a role in influencing my decision. Zapata is dubbed the queen of slow burn romance and after reading From Lukov with Love I can see why.


From Lukov with Love by Mariana ZapataTitle: From Lukov with Love
Author(s): Mariana Zapata
Narrator(s): Callie Dalton, Teddy Hamilton
Published by Self Published on May 1, 2018
Pages: 540
Length: 14 hours and 55 minutes
Genre(s): Contemporary Sports Romance
Source: Kindle Unlimited, Purchase
Format: Audiobook, eBook
Purchase: Amazon|Audible
Rating: One StarOne StarOne Star
Heat Level: One Flame

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.

This post contains affiliate links you can use to purchase the book. If you buy the book using that link, I will receive a small commission from the sale.

This book may be unsuitable for people under 17 years of age due to its use of sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence.


This was quite the slow burn. The romance, which came out of left field, came into play at around eighty percent into the story. For a book which is over 500 pages/ 14 hours of listening, one would expect the romance would have developed earlier. Of course, at that point, I didn’t buy into this change in their relationship. There was no real development in that area. They had no chemistry, and their interactions lacked the emotions one would expect from two people in love with each other. I never once got the feeling these two liked each other, much less to fall in love. Their constant bickering and name-calling, which was fun at first, became tiresome the deeper one goes into the story one goes.

Now, despite its failure in the romance, From Lukov with Love delivered a lovely story of self-discovery, acceptance and forgiveness. The story shows how the heroine grew throughout the story. She knows what she wants and works hard to achieve her dreams. However, self-doubt and fear of failure held her back. Eventually, she overcame those negatives. I loved the support her family gave her. They believed in her capabilities, even when she doubted herself.

It was interesting seeing the story develop through Jasmine’s eyes. However, it would have nice to get Ivan’s POV. Without Ivan’s POV, the reader couldn’t tell when he developed romantic feelings for Jasmine. As the story was told mainly from Jasmine’s POV, the reader spends a lot of time in her head. From there, one sees her insecurities. However, Jasmine’s character was quite abrasive. One may find it difficult to like her. It took me quite a while to warm up to her.

I am still on the fence where Ivan I concerned. He behaves like a jerk for most of the story. Then, when Jasmine fell ill, his tender side reared up. It felt forced, and personally, I thought he showed that side because he needed her to get better for their competition. The story provided some comic relief at the right moment. It helped to balance out the moments where Jasmine’s inner monologue became tiresome.

Although From Lukov with Love did not wow me, I will not hesitate to try another one of Zapa’s books.


The story’s narration was performed by Callie Dalton and Teddy Hamilton. Callie’s delivery of Jasmine’s wit, passion, sarcasm, and self-doubt was on point. This is my first time listening to Callie, and I thought she did a wonderful job. Teddy’s narration occurs whenever dialogue for Ivan’s character comes into play. He did an excellent job of bringing Ivan’s character to life. 


Story Evaluation
World Building
Writing Style
Narrator (Audio)
Overall: One StarOne StarOne Star

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. Luckily, she stuck to stories about princesses and princes for a while. In her teens, she wrote boy band fanfiction (there’s still a website up somewhere on the internet with those masterpieces), and in her early twenties, she picked it back up again with Sookie Stackhouse and Twilight. Eventually, her significant other finally told her to do what she wanted to do and she began working on her original work. Her novels tend to include potty humor, bodily functions, and bad words. Mariana lives in a small town called Pagosa Springs, Colorado with her husband/best friend, Chris Letchford, and their two well-beloved (and emotionally manipulative) Great Dane children, Dorian and Kaiser. When she’s not pretending to write, she’s reading sci-fi, fantasy, steampunk or historical romance novels. You can usually find her harassing her dogs, being a hermit at home or cracking jokes at the expense of her family members.

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9 responses to “From Lukov with Love by Mariana Zapata

  1. I have been wanting to try her books for a while, but other than adding a couple to my Kindle when they were on really good sale , I haven’t read one. I think I was intimidated by the length of them. 🙂 Wow, no obvious romance to 80% is definitely slow burn. LOL Glad the personal growth part was strong. I’ll get around to her books at some point.