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Pairing Off (Red Hot Russians #1)

3.71  ·  Rating details ·  343 Ratings  ·  94 Reviews
A scandal-plagued American figure skater's last chance at gold means pairing up with Russia's sexiest male skater...who happens to be the first man she ever loved.

"The Cutting Edge" with a Russian twist.

American pairs figure skater Carrie Parker’s Winter Games dreams were dashed when her philandering partner caused one of the greatest scandals in skating history. Blacklis
Published February 2nd 2015 by Carina Press
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Rating details
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Mar 16, 2015 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Angie by: Li
Originally reviewed here @ Angieville

I have my pal Li to thank for steering me in the direction of Elizabeth Harmon's debut novel Pairing Off. She clued me in to its existence, pointed out that it featured Olympic figure skaters, and well . . . that was all she wrote, folks. I am a huge figure skating fan. And while I actually haven't read many books that focus on the sport, there was simply no way I was going to not read a book billed as "The Cutting Edge with a Russian twist." I adored that mo
Jennifer Comeaux
Oct 25, 2014 rated it really liked it
As a HUGE fan of figure skating, I was super excited to see a new skating romance hit the shelves, and Pairing Off didn't disappoint. The majority of the book is set in Russia, and Elizabeth Harmon painted such a rich picture of the country and its people. I truly felt like I was in the story with Carrie and Anton. And let me swoon over Anton for a moment. I love me some beta heroes, and Anton was a wonderfully sweet, thoughtful, and patient guy. I really appreciated how much family meant to him ...more
Jan 11, 2015 rated it liked it
3.5 Russian/American Pairs Stars * * *1/2

This had:
The love of Ice Skating
The feel of Russia and the beauty of its people, land and history.
The complexity of politics, family, secrets and hurt.
And the understanding of love for one another can be your home.

A gifted copy was provided by publisher via NetGalley for an honest review.

For more Reviews, Free E-books and Giveaways
Jul 28, 2015 rated it really liked it
I was so invested in this couple--their tentative interactions, their growing friendship, the sexual tension that laced their every look--and the backdrop of ice skating in Russia only added to the romance of this novel. Admittedly, I will say that though I enjoyed this one a lot it did veer on the slightly dramatic edge towards the end, but it was never over-the-top and I appreciated that the drama did not exist between the leads but rather from outside sources. I would, for sure, recommend thi ...more
Laura Hannaway
Jan 27, 2015 rated it really liked it
This was great!

Very Minor Spoilers...
The writing was excellent and the characters of Anton and Carrie were lovely. I particularly liked Anton, who combined being a gentleman with kindness and a wicked sense of humour. Carrie was lovely as well, though more emotionally damaged than I expected, her innate kindness and open hearted nature had me invested in their relationship from the opening pages. I also liked the insight it gave into the world of pairs figure skating (particularly issues of nati
3.5 stars. While this started off a little slow, I enjoyed it overall. Carrie is a disgraced ice skater after her previous partner was found sleeping with a judge to get placement. Anton is a Russian skater who wants her to be his partner, not realizing they met before and she's the girl who he met years ago and had been infatuated with. The writing is good and makes me want to check out her other books. Their relationship starts off bristly and slowly warms up so that you believe their story. T ...more
A Klue
At 50% into, the hero still has another girlfriend. To top it off, that relationship is not exclusive. He admits to the heroine near the end he never stepped out on Olga but was with OW when they would break up, which you get the impression was quite often. Olga was selfish and crazy, but he kept running back to her. It wasn't until about 60% he ends things with Olga. It's hard to have a romance when you aren't even in the picture, folks. The heroine is sitting on the sidelines though a big part ...more
Colleen Davis
Lunges, pivots, turns, spins, Salchows, loops, flips, Lutz jumps, axel jumps, singles, doubles, and triples. It’s okay if these terms don’t mean a whole hell of a lot to you. I’d consider myself a casual fan of ice skating. When I see a skating competition on television, I definitely watch. Plus, watching The Cutting Edge throughout the ‘90s was a formative romantic and figure skating touch-point—as it was for the earlier SBTB reviewer, and our author, Elizabeth Harmon, who specifically pitched ...more
Rosario (
Carrie Parker's promising career in pairs figure skating collapsed in a scandal when her arsehole of a partner was caught in bed with a judge. Most people just would not believe she had nothing to do with his transparent attempts at cheating. So when Carrie receives an invitation from a Russian trainer to compete for that country, she decides to accept. She's shocked to discover her prospective partner is Anton Belikov, one of Russia's best, and the man with whom she had a one-night stand severa ...more
Mar 20, 2018 rated it it was ok
I liked the skating, but the romance was tepid. The antagonists were very flat characters, and I don't even have words for how over the trope of 'other girls are threatening and evil' I am. I'm sure there are plenty of people who could enjoy this for what it is, but it really wasn't for me beyond the good descriptions of ice skating.
Mar 04, 2018 rated it really liked it

I love the Winter Olympics. I love Winter sports. I'm Canadian and we are winter! This was the first time in a long time I really got to watch a lot of the events so naturally, that led to me wanting to read something Olympic themed. There didn't really seem to be many fictional books about the Winter Olympics, this one has it briefly and the plot sounded cute so I thought YES WHY NOT (though lol Lake Placid? I know there was an Olympics there in 1980 but this isn't a period piece. But I guess i
Jan 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: romance
Recommended to me by Randee!

This read was perfect timing - with Tonya Harding and the upcoming Olympics in the news, I was ready to dive in to the world of professional ice skating. I loved the quiet and brooding hero Anton, but did find that the 'stunt' they do a bit forced. Overall a really fun read!
Clever Girl
Jan 04, 2015 rated it really liked it
Anton and Carrie's story begins in Amsterdam, they're both teenagers, young athletes at a party, sharing neither language nor their names, but sparking a connection. They're brought back together years later when both Anton and Carrie have been treated abominably by their skating partners, by switching partners and with a scandal that destroys Carrie's career as an American skater respectively. They both have a second chance to achieve their dreams though by working together. Their journey is ro ...more
Apr 04, 2016 rated it liked it
I love figure skating, so figure skating + romance = :-)

After her pairs partner is discovered sleeping with a judge, American Carrie Parker finds herself in the midst of a scandal—and minus a partner. Who will ever want to pair with a reputed cheater?

Turns out one hot Russian, Anton Belikov, does. Carrie travels to Moscow to meet her new potential partner, but is ready to had back to Georgia (the state, not the country) when it turns out that Anton is the drunken boy she gave her virginity to s
I was so excited after finding Pairing Off. FINALLY, a contemporary sports romance centered on a sport I actually care about: figure skating! The plot however was filled with way too many of the types of conflicts I loathe to read about i.e. political mumbo jumbo, annoying exes and douchey parents.

I did like Anton and Carrie and how they pushed each other out of their comfort zones. Anton stopped letting the wishes of others dictate the way he lived his life and Carrie learned to let go of the d

I think there were too many stories that got rushed at the end and didn't come together with enough time to do them justice. I enjoyed the romance a lot, but I was left a little disappointed by the last 10-15%, particularly based on Carrie's family, since her father is Pretty Much The Worst and I don't buy (view spoiler)
Feb 10, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Enjoyable pairs figure skating romance, perfect for reading with the Winter Olympics on in the background. The author obviously knows her topics, figure skating and Russia, and the characters are likeable.
Nicole Luiken
Mar 09, 2018 rated it liked it
I love figure-skating so when I saw this I had to give it a try even though I read very little contemporary romance these days. I found the characters sympathetic: Anton especially was a sweetheart. I enjoyed the Moscow setting.

Quibble: It took Anton too long to break up with Olga IMO.
Feb 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This book is described as "The Cutting Edge with a Russian twist" and it's an apt description as it engendered in me the same heartwarming, feel-good feelings as the movie. From its immensely likable main couple to the colorful cast of secondary characters to the vivid depictions of the rigors of ice skating I was fully immersed in this story from the first page to the last. The descriptions of Moscow further enhanced my engrossment in this story and as an homage to the city it was a beautiful a ...more
Blue Falcon
Dec 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This review is of “Pairing Off”, book #1 in the “Red Hot Russians” series by Elizabeth Harmon.

The book begins with a hook-up between a man and a young woman in Amsterdam. That hook-up will play a significant role later on.

Seven years later, at the World Figure Skating championships, the American champion pairs team of Carolyn Ann “Carrie” Parker, the heroine of the book, and her partner, Cody DeWylde, are stripped of their gold medal due to a scandal. Humiliated, Carrie flees to Russia to become
Lassarina Aoibhell
How did I not know I needed this book in my life?

I am a lifelong fan of figure skating, and also a long-term fan of Russian figure skaters (and gymnasts), and of romance novels. One thing that combines all of this? YES. PLEASE.

Carrie was on track for the Olympics as a pairs skater, until her partner was caught in bed with a judge. Her partner was banned, and she was in disgrace. No one wanted her. Except Anton, one of Russia's top pairs skaters, whose own partner and sometime girlfriend Olga jus
Jan 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I was looking for an intriguing sports romance when I came across Pairing Off from new to me author Elizabeth Harmon. The majority of this figure-skating centered novel takes place in present day Russia, and by the end of the book, my knowledge of the country and its language greatly increased. This story is about the unlikely union of two pair skaters, American Carrie Parker and Russian champion Anton Belikov. Due to circumstances beyond their control, they both find themselves without a partne ...more
Apr 25, 2016 rated it really liked it
For more reviews click HERE

Actual rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

*I was provided a copy by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

As you might or might not know I love to watch figure skating and every time I have the opportunity to read a book or watch a movie that includes figure skating I know I’ll want to read/watch it. That’s why I decided to request this book from NetGalley.
I did enjoy the story but I still had a few problems with it. I enjoyed the characters and what I lov
Jan 28, 2016 rated it it was ok
Oh dear. It had all the elements, but just wound up an overly tense mess. I loved the skating, and the details about the skating world feel true to life. I've lived in Eastern Europe and the details about that felt very true to life as well. Plus, the hero in this story is lovely, lovely, lovely

So what went wrong? Partly it was the bad guys - in particular the heroine's parents and the hero's girlfriend - because they were such stock characterizations that they could have come from any number of
Ruthie Taylor
Feb 26, 2015 rated it really liked it
"I received a free copy of this book to read and review for Wicked Reads"

As someone who always wanted there to be 'more' between Torville and Dean, this did a very good job of satisfying my need for a pairs skaters' romance! It was a huge bonus to get so much insight into life in Russia and the world of skating too. Anton is a swoon-worthy gentlemanly lead, and Carrie is well portrayed, given her background and upbringing. I was so keyed up, that pages just kept turning and it was very, very lat
Jan 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing
OMG I loved this book
This book has everything. A great love story about meeting up again with your first love. The characters are beautifully written and very real.
The 2 main characters anton and Carrie both have amazing back story's written into the book, it really helps to define how the characters are today.
The story is set in the world of competitive pairs skating. The writer describes everything so well keeping it very interesting.
The book is set in Russia and that also was very interest
Samantha Brody
4.5 rounding up: I was pleasantly surprised by this one? I don't know if I went in just without any expectations or if I was particularly in the mood for this flavor of romance, but this was a really wonderfully well written, deserving romance of its RITA nomination. The attention and detail paid to Russian culture and the world of ice skating, the slow and steady burn to the romance - with just enough angst to keep it going, the depth behind each characters' tragedies and backstories ...more
Mar 16, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: contemporary, romance
I've loved watching figure skating for years, so when I saw this book had a romance between two skaters, I knew I'd want to try it. Am I ever glad I did! Carrie and Anton's lives aren't easy and when they come together it's explosive. In a good way! :) Their chemistry is sizzling. I loved all their interactions, especially on the ice. Ms. Harmon described the skating scenes so well it was as if I were out there skating with them. I loved that! There were a couple plot points that I was not expec ...more
Nov 07, 2016 rated it really liked it
This book was awesome! Just what I was in the mood for. Who knew there was a genre out there of figure skating romance books?! I'm so glad I stumbled upon it. I loved how slow-burning this romance was - Harmon took the time to fully flesh out the characters and their relationship with each other. My only issue is that nearing the end it got a little cheesy. Once they were together it wasn't quite as good. It was okay and I liked the rest of it enough to still call it awesome. I'm definitely inte ...more
3.5 stars

I liked this! I liked that the moving to a foreign country parts felt that way (I could be totally wrong about that, of course, but they still felt that way.) I liked the relationship between partners. I could have done without the drama surrounding Carrie's mother and her death; it just added a level I didn't need. And I didn't need the epilogue, but it's definitely not the worst flash forward I've ever read.

Definitely worth picking up if you like figure skating romances!
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Elizabeth Harmon loves to read and write romances with a dash of different. She is the author of the Red Hot Russians sports romance series, and her debut novel, Pairing Off is a 2016 RITA Award Finalist.
A graduate of the University of Illinois, she has worked in advertising, community journalism and as a freelance magazine writer. She feels incredibly blessed to have a career that allows her to s
More about Elizabeth Harmon

Other books in the series

Red Hot Russians (4 books)
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