Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Review: The Wall of Winnipeg and Me ~ Mariana Zapata

The Wall of Winnipeg and Me
Mariana Zapata
Contemporary Romance
February 29, 2016

Vanessa Mazur knows she's doing the right thing. She shouldn't feel bad for quitting. Being an assistant/housekeeper/fairy godmother to the top defensive end in the National Football Organization was always supposed to be temporary. She has plans and none of them include washing extra-large underwear longer than necessary.

But when Aiden Graves shows up at her door wanting her to come back, she's beyond shocked.

For two years, the man known as The Wall of Winnipeg couldn't find it in him to tell her good morning or congratulate her on her birthday. Now? He's asking for the unthinkable.

What do you say to the man who is used to getting everything he wants?

I just finished listening to the audio book, narrated by the talented Callie Dalton. I'm in shock at how much I loved this romance! It's a long book; 16 hours in audio format, 673 per Amazon listing. But it was so good I didn't want it to end! But it did end and left me utterly happy, complete with a smile on my face. : )

Vanessa has a dream that she is determined to follow. That dream does not include working as an all-around assistant for the demanding Aiden Graves. So when she leaves to follow that dream, Aiden has his own plans. As much as Vanessa wants to say no to Aiden, he makes a compelling argument and convinces her to say yes to his plans. The story is told from Vanessa's POV and her internal dialogue is both honest and amusing. She is a smart and witty heroine and I found her thoroughly enjoyable.

This is not a typical romance. The romance is subtle. It has a slow build-up with Vanessa and Aiden's relationship moving from boss/employee to friends to lovers. You see what both Vanessa and Aiden do for each other rather than saying words filled with hearts and flowers. They take their time about admitting their feelings first to themselves, then to each other and neither seem to be in a hurry to take that final step. There is also some miscommunication on both Vanessa and Aiden parts. Vanessa admits to herself her feelings for Aiden, unfortunately we don't get Aiden's POV so his feels are not as well know until he admits them out loud. Although Aiden is so closed-mouth that he knew how he felt about Vanessa long before he told her. Vanessa, while physically attracted to Aiden, because she has a pulse, talks herself out of thinking there could be anything more because he just annoys the heck out of her!

This is a funny, sweet romance even though Aiden does not seem overly romantic. When he does something that seems out of character to Vanessa, you can see it's really his way of showing her how much he cares for her. Vanessa too notices but thinks it's rather odd behavior since it conflicts with her previous experiences with him. Aiden is extremely driven when it comes to his career. He is so incredibly focused on being the best football player that he can come off as self-centered and egotistical. When in fact he is being honest but sometimes to the point of coming off rude at times. Aiden has no use for wasting time being tactful. He simply says what he thinks needs to be said. He also expects this from others which I liked. If he were a real person and asked if he thought he was a hero, I think he'd say no. And most likely think it a ridiculous question. And yes, he would tell you so!

The interactions between Vanessa and Aiden continued to take me by surprise. Just when I thought Aiden would start wooing Vanessa in a more traditional way... he didn't. But that would have been out of character and he didn't need to change because he was perfect for her just the way he was. I also liked that Vanessa didn't change who she was. Her actions towards Aiden changed as she began to have more romantic feels about him but her core values didn't change. And she didn't need to either. They completed each other.

Rating: A-


  1. I picked up this one because of the buzz and Ames... and it just didn't work for me. Can't put my finger on why, but yeah :(

    1. Too bad! Have you read anything else by this author? I have a few on my tbr pile to read from her.