Pairing Off by Elizabeth Harmon
Red Hot Russians #1
February 2, 2015
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. Blacklisted from competing in America, her career is over…until she receives a mysterious invitation and is reunited 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 see her again…never mind skate with her.
When what starts as a publicity stunt grows into something real between them, 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?
The Top 5 Reasons Winter is The Most Romantic Season
By Elizabeth Harmon
Say what you want about summer love, but for me, romance heats up when the temperatures plunge. Maybe that’s one of the reasons I decided to locate my debut contemporary romance in one of the coldest places you could imagine; Russia, in the wintertime.
“Pairing Off,” the story of two pairs figure skaters training for the Winter Olympics, is perfect for a snowy setting. Though Carrie and Anton train indoors, they find time to get outside too. One of my favorite scenes is when they skate together on a frozen pond in Moscow’s Gorky Park, under moonlight. Later in the book, he carries her piggyback through the snow to visit a secluded chalet, where he says she might see these:
Even their long-ago first meeting as teenage figure skaters takes place in one of the world’s most romantic wintertime cities, Amsterdam.
In a shout-out to all things frozen, here are my top five reasons why winter is the most romantic season.
1. The holidays. Aside from the year’s biggest day for love, Valentine’s Day, winter’s other holidays pack plenty of potential for romance. A 2004 Conde Nast Bridal industry study discovered that the December holidays are the most popular time for engagements. New Years Eve is also a popular engagement day. For newer couples, Super Bowl Sunday makes a great date.
2. The music. We associate most of these songs with the December holidays, but there’s no reason we can’t enjoy “Baby, It’s Cold Outside,” “Marshmallow World,” “Walking In A Winter Wonderland” and “Let It Snow,” into January. Anyone brought some corn for poppin’?
3. The food and drinks. Quick…which of these choices is the most romantic? Decadent dark chocolate or popsicles? A champagne toast, or light beer from a can? Fondue for two, or hot dogs? ‘Nuf said.
4. The clothes. A European study determined that men seem to find women’s’ bodies more attractive during colder months. The researchers’ concluded that the more bare skin men see, the more opportunity they have to compare. Actually, this doesn’t surprise me at all. Be honest, who besides a supermodel actually looks better in less clothing?
5. Gettin’ close. What’s not to love about snuggling up together in front of the fireplace, or in heating things up in the bedroom, as the snow flies outside?
Happy winter, everyone.
About the Author
I love stories that give a fresh take on classic themes, and feature characters and locations not often seen in romance. Give me a lovable, if less-than-perfect heroine, a gorgeous hero with a heart of gold, take them a little off the beaten path and I’m a happy girl.
I read a variety of genres– romance to horror and just about everything in between. I am a member of Romance Writers of America. I have worked as a freelance journalist for a number of local publications and am a contributing writer to Romance Writers Report.
When I’m not writing, I love to ice skate, bike ride, hang out at the beach or on my front porch. I love vintage homes, adventurous cooking, spending time with my family and traveling.
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Brooke, thanks for hosting me today. Here in my part of the world, winter has us in it’s grip. Schools are cancelled and it’s too cold to go outside. What better day to stay in and read?
Hi Elizabeth! Thank you very much for stopping by. 🙂 I’m in Ohio, and we haven’t had school all week. Our temperature tonight is -9. I’m totally over winter, but glad there are hot reads like this to keep me warm.
Tasty Book Tours
Thank you for hosting today!