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RNAA Rating – Five Roses
Title: Pairing Off
Author: Elizabeth Harmon
Genre: Sports/Figure Skating/Contemporary Romance
American figure skater Carrie Parker’s Winter Games dreams were dashed when her philandering partner caused one of the greatest scandals in skating history. Blacklisted from competing in the United States, her career is over…until she receives a mysterious invitation and is paired with the most infuriating, talented—and handsome—skater she’s ever met.
Russian champion Anton Belikov knows sacrifice. He gave up a normal life and any hope of a meaningful relationship to pursue his dream. And he’s come close—with a silver medal already under his belt, the next stop is the gold. All he needs is a partner. While he’s never forgotten the young American skater he seduced one long-ago night in Amsterdam, he never expected to be confronted with their past…never mind share the ice with her.
When what starts as a publicity stunt grows into something real, Carrie and Anton’s partnership will test their loyalties to family, country and each other. With only a few months to train for the competition of a lifetime, can they master technique and their emotions, or will they lose their footing and fall victim to the heartaches of their pasts?
What I Loved About this Book:
This was one of those books where I found myself getting annoyed when I had to do other things when all I wanted to do was sit down and read! I absolutely loved this sweet and sexy romance. Anton is my favorite kind of romantic hero; strong, sweet, and protective of the woman he loves. This book was engaging from the very beginning with well-developed characters and a nice, steady pace. Lots of conflict and drama and, for the most part, the author avoided the whole “most of the conflict is based on a misunderstanding” plotline. There were plenty of opportunities in this book for her to go that route, and I was pleasantly surprised that she didn’t.
What Could Have Been Better:
There was very little that I didn’t like about this book. I will say that (SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER AHEAD!) was that the ending was just the tiniest bit too perfect. Carrie’s father had a pretty sudden change of heart and her being pregnant with twins was just a tad over the top. That being said, I wanted a happy ending and that’s what I got.
Sexual Content: Yes, but not super-explicit.
Overall: A highly engaging read and one of the best books I’ve read in quite some time.
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