Getting It Back by Elizabeth Harmon #Review

Getting It Back by Elizabeth Harmon #ReviewGetting It Back by Elizabeth Harmon

Series: #3 Red Hot Russians
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Sports Romance
Published by Carina Press on April 4, 2016
Pages: 243
Format: eARC
Source: Book Tour Provided
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three-half-stars      three-flames

A figure skater going for a come-back and getting a second chance at the one he let get away.  How could I say no?  Love the sport of figure skating and was keen to try a new author and series.  The story ended up not being what I expected-well in essentials it was, but in the details I had to make some adjustments to appreciate what I got.

This was book three in the Red Hot Russians series.  I hadn’t read the others, but I had no problem starting with this one as there was only a loose connection.  I do want to go back for the other stories after getting a little slice of them in this one.

The story opens with high school athletic trainer, Amy Shepherd, getting a call in the middle of the night from a man she thought was out of her life for good.  She thought she was getting married and was in love all the way up until the point she gets a text that he is gone and taking a coaching job in Chicago.  It cut deep and her family’s militant and smothering form of love made it hard to recover.  Now, when she is finally back on an even keel and getting on with life, Misha calls because she is the only one in his life that can help him.

Mikhail Zaikov, once Russia’s most promising figure skating hope and bronze Olympic medalist lost it all.  Injuries and surgery on his back knocked him out of the game, he ran away from the love of his life, lost his first coaching job, and now lies unable to move on his back in a cheap motel room in the middle of nowhere.  In a haze of pain, he calls Amy, the woman he hurt deeply, and she comes.  Her forgiveness and compassion are his undoing.  Amy won’t leave him where he has landed and drags him back with her.

Amy isn’t sure it was wise to bring Misha home with her because her feelings are still there for him, but she can’t leave him there defeated and willing to live in a cheap motel flipping burgers at a diner.  His life is on the ice and he needs it like air.  If only she can get him back in his skates and taking an interest in teaching and coaching.  But what she awakens in Misha leaves her terrified and excited.  He wants it all.  He wants what he lost and he is going for it.  But his back can’t take the pressure of the high level of competition.  He wants her there beside him as his trainer, but she will have to go toe to toe with a militant coach and the demons of Misha’s past to help him fearing that he will always put ambition before love.  And where does that leave her?  Them?

Alright.  This book told the story of a comeback.  I love that type of story and was already prepared to root for it to happen.  The author took the time to show just how far Misha has fallen and also give him and Amy a back story.  The second half of the book went behind the scenes in the world of competitive figure skating in Russia.  I felt I was there.

As to the characters, again, they felt real and their situation felt real.  Their lives were balanced against the sport and romance aspect.  I liked the internal growth, the conflict, and how it developed.  The hero is Russian and half the story takes place in Russia.  Like the characters and the ice skating world, this cultural backdrop was also authentic and fascinating.  I feel that the author put an amazing amount of work into her stories to bring all this about.   I enjoyed Misha and Amy’s romance and they were great together even if they viewed things differently, but I confess that the romance was only one of the elements I loved.

But, this is the part that is hard.  This story felt long and drawn out.  It had all the elements that should have had me riveted, but it just didn’t.  I can’t put my finger on it other than maybe writing style?  Don’t know.  It was an odd tension for me that I wanted to keep reading, but was forced to work hard to stay interested at the same time.  Overall, it was good and I’m glad I read it and I also want to go back for the other books.  Maybe I just need to get used to the writing style.  Still not sure.

So, in summary, I was glad I read this book.  I want more.  Those who love sport romance particularly in the world of figure skating should pounce on this one.  It feels like the real deal and offers up good development, backdrop, passionate romance, and tension.

My thanks to Barclay Publicity for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.

Challenges Met:

Romance Roundabout #140 CR
Books N Tunes #16 Ed Sheeran’s Thinking Out Loud
New to Me #58 author/series

Diversity #26

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I was born and raised near Sacramento, CA. I have read since I was four years old and developed tastes that run the gamut of literature. I went away to college and have a degree in education, a certificate in family history research, and a certificate in social work. I worked for a non-profit agency with low income families for 20 years which included being responsible for the children’s library and promoting/teaching adult literacy. I have lived in Southeast Michigan for the last 18 years and I am currently a book addicted homemaker with a cat and husband who keep me grounded. Recently, I made it a challenge to review each book that I have read as a favor to author friends who said reviews are important. I have done reviews for Good Reads, Amazon, eBay, and Smashwords, but mostly at Goodreads and Amazon.

Latest posts by Sophia Rose (see all)

  • I loved Turning it on but I stopped this on when he took the burger flipping job. It just didn’t hold my interest.

    • There were definitely some slow parts. I do want to go back and read the other two, Nelle!

  • I have only read one book (that I can think of) that has a trainer falling for the trainee. In this case, it’s also second chances, so that is equally exciting. I love the sound of this one Sophia!

    • Yes, that is a unique situation. I enjoyed the dynamics of them being working partners as well as a romance pair.

  • Had me at figure skating. Love that winter sport. But it not sure I like the sounds of slow parts (right now). So, maybe later…

    • Yeah, that was me, too. Figure skating, ’nuff said. LOL

      It did go slow for me through some parts.

  • Sheeeran!

    • Yep! Had to use it. They skate to this song together in an early scene. 🙂

  • Oh well that’s different for sure. Don’t think I’ve read a story with a figure skating storyline.

  • Figure skating is definitely a more unique setting. Very frustrating that you were left with that feeling. I’ve had that before and it always bugs me when I cant quite put my finger on it.

    (and yay Ed!)

    • So annoying. The story dragged at moments, but it wasn’t just that. That would have been a small niggle. It was the other that drove me batty.

      And yes, Ed had to be my choice. They ice danced to this song and the lyrics were perfect for their situation.

  • Dragging can suck, but it’s forgivable as long as it’s worth it. 😀

  • Bah, it isn’t good when the story doesn’t flow well and feels drawn out. Despite that this does sound like an interesting story with developed characters.

    • Yes, it was both and I struggled with that, but I really wanted to get the whole story.

  • I love figure skating. But if you had problems reading it than I know I would! Great review:)

    • It had slow parts, but there was this other thing that also made it hard for me to read it. I wish I could nail down what to call it. I need to read another one to see if it’s present in the other stories.