- File Size: 3169 KB
- Print Length: 537 pages
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publication Date: February 28, 2016
- Sold by: Amazon.com Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B01CDDTGRY
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,778 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
The Wall of Winnipeg and Me Kindle Edition
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|Length: 537 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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Hoping for more development from this promising author.
His gaze was so intent the entire world seemed to stop. “You tell me. I never stop thinking about you. I worry about you all the time. Every beautiful thing I see reminds me of you. I can’t finish my practices in Colorado with out wishing you were around,” he said in a steady tone. “You tell me what I feel.”
Sweet Jesus. This book. This book was absolutely everything I’ve ever wanted in a romance and more. I devoured this story quicker than I’ve ever read a 600+ page book because wow. I truely feel like I connected with this story about NFL star Aiden ‘The Wall of Winnipeg’ Graves and his personal assistant, Vanessa ‘Van’ Mazur, who quits her job to then find him begging her to come back and do one last massive favour for him. The entire book slowly builds you up and keeps you hanging and just makes you feeeeeeel! I felt everything. The words. OH the words. Mariana Zapata is QUEEN of all the words. I could just curl up and read her books until the end of time.
“What no one tells you is that the road to accomplishing your goals isn’t a straight line; it looks more like a corn maze. You stopped, you went, you backed up, and took a few wrong turns along the way, but the important thing you had to remember was that there was an exit. Somewhere.”
From the very first chapter, I could just tell this was going to be a love story to stand the test of time. Because you could feel the hatred radiating off the pages (isn’t it always the way? lol). Aiden is cocky, arrogant and completely clueless when it comes to how to treat people. He doesn’t have many friends and he never does relationships. (Aside from his good looks, he’s literally the exact opposite to what a woman would see in a man).
“Because every relationship will end up one of two ways: you’ll end up breaking up, or you end up marrying the person. And I don’t like wasting my time.”
Told from Vanessa’s POV, The Wall of Winnipeg and Me sees Aidan and Vanessa try and figure out a way to live their day to day life without letting slip their big secret. The big favour he’s asked of her will land them both in jail if it gets out.
I can’t really say anymore about the storyline without giving it all away, and you really need to just live through it yourself but believe me when I tell you that the writing in this book- in ALL Mariana Zapata’s books- is just incredible. It’s hypnotising, really. She writes so effortlessly. I found myself comparing Mariana to the likes of Colleen Hoover. You know, that ‘she makes it look so damn easy’ type of author.
“When I was a kid, I learned the hard way how expensive the truth was. Sometimes it cost you people in your life. Sometimes it cost you things in your life. And in this life, most people were too cheap to pay the price for something as valuable as honesty.”
This is the second Mariana Zapata book I’ve read in the space of a week. And I’m about to jump right into my third (you can read my review of Kulti here), and it will not be my last. I love everything about this author’s stories. They’re real. They’re relatable. There’s no OTT drama, nothing to make me cringe. Just well-written, totally addictive love stories that hit you right in the feels (with the most gorgeous epilogues!). So excuse me while I finish up this review, share it with you and then lock myself up for another week while I live in another MZ fairytale. It’s been way too long between books already.
Just read them. You won’t regret it.
5 ‘Big Guy’ stars
Where to begin really? I'll start by saying I was amazed how well written this book was. I mean, it's not that easy to write this kind of long "slow burn" (as they call it) book and making it so captivating. The whole book is written from Vanessa's POV which made Aiden even more of a mystery. We were getting to see the change forming in him the same way Van did but more over we could see HER and who she is so clearly. Every thought and decision she made felt utterly genuine. It was a JOY reading her POV, It was never boring being inside her head, even when she kept revisited her insecurities and painful past. She is such a strong determined woman, and yet even though she is remarkable, she is also in a way so normal and also flawed with a sad and heart breaking past. Though I don't really have anything I could think of in common with Van, I felt her and connected with her so deeply I couldn't put thinking of her aside the whole day I was at work, wanting to get back to the book, to Van and Aiden, and see the impossible happen between them. Slowly slowly and yet so apparent with every step of the way.
We start with getting to know Van and her life being the PA of the legendary top defensive end Aiden Graves, also known as "The Wall of Winnipeg". Aiden isn't a "bad guy" he is just focused on Football and NOTHING else. Though she is probably the best PA anyone has ever had, Aiden doesn't even notice her or react to her. Not even "Hello" when she comes into the house. Wanting more from her life than being his PA for the rest of her life, she quits when she believes she can make a decent living from her small business of graphic design. She planned on staying until a replacement was found, but being hurt beyond words by Aiden's behavior she leaves him one night never to return again.
We don't know what goes on in Aiden's head. Not then and not really any step of the way. He is closed off as sure as you'd expect a wall to be, but truthfully I couldn't hate him, I was always trying to see what he's hiding and through his awkward sentences I could see he was sometimes trying really hard at something he sucked at.. If there is something that could be said about The Wall of Winnipeg is that he is stubborn and persistent. That's what it takes to get to the top and so when he realizes he has lost Van he comes after her, doing his best to convince her to return. Van wasn't going to return no matter what, and yet in the end Aiden "won" when he offered her the one thing that could change her life situation in a way she could have never worked herself off. But in order to do that she needs to be more than his PA, she needs to become his wife.
Becoming Aiden's wife isn't something Van takes easily which I could really appreciate. She understood how serious what she was doing and the consequences as well. All of them. Yet she finally agrees but not before stating they clearly need to become friends in order for this to work, for them to work as a (fake) couple. For Aiden it's not that easy. He doesn't really have friends. Okay, he has three friends, one he is lives with but doesn't talk to much and two who are VERY far away most of the time, and there is his high school coach - the closest person he has in his life (whom he sees several times a year). But he does his best and he accepts the vows they declare for one another as genuine ones. While they are married he intends to honor those vows even if they are still no more than friends.
When they say this book is a "slow burn" they mean it. It takes FOREVER for them to even exchange a hug. Though I was craving for it to happen, it all happened just at the right timing. Aiden needed time, and Van needed to forgive Aiden and be able to start trusting him and in him, not something so easy for her. I loved the way their relationship was building, so slow and exactly because of that - so realistically. I have a feeling Aiden cared a lot about Van even when she thought he didn't, or even when it looked like he didn't, but we don't get a time-frame to when he realized the woman in front of him is the one he wants. We just see the little changes he makes in his life, baby steps really, but every one noticeable to anyone who knows him or like us followed him and Van this whole way.
Both Van and Aiden have a sad family story, I think it's one of the things that brought them together without them even realizing it. Though Aiden acts as though he put those things behind, it made him who he is, the closed off cold man who would never let anyone near him. Van changes all that with how much she cares for him. She inserted herself into his life and meant to do her damn best for him and in the end he DID appreciate all of that. I know a lot of people would find it hard to be sympathetic for him in the beginning, but I guess because I knew this is a romance novel I was basically waiting to see the change and I got exactly that in the most realistic way. It's obvious Aiden hasn't been happy for years, but having Van made him at least content, and then she was gone and he had to get her back. That's how I see it, though there is no proof as to what exactly made Aiden chase Van until she accepted his surprising offer.
Though this is Aiden and Van's story, it wouldn't be what it was without Zac and Diana. Daina being Van's best friend from childhood and Zac (Aiden's roommate) her "2nd best friend" after Diana. These two evolved as well throughout the book, while being supportive and caring for her (especially when Aiden wasn't).
I loved everything about this book. EVERYTHING. The pace was EXCELLENT, though if you're here for the sex, you won't get it till the very end.. Yeah it takes them THAT long. I loved that it wasn't about the sex even though Van was clearly VERY attracted to Aiden (who wouldn't be really???). I loved the baby steps Aiden made and the painful struggle Van was going through to try and trust Aiden and somehow to keep her emotions at check when he kept surprising her. I loved Aiden for being the flawed creature that he was. For doing the best and being his best when it concerned the game and knowing NOTHING of how to make Van stay, to make her WANT to stay, with him, for him. I loved their banter, how stubborn they BOTH are. How strong willed Van is, to make herself succeed no matter what she sets her mind to do even when she has her misgiving and fears she has one hell of a backbone and an iron will. I have more than respect for her, for who she is, for who she made herself to be even with the "bad start" she had in life.
PERFECTION. Grab it and read it ASAP!
I'm going to add EVERYTHING Mariana wrote to my list, and make my very best to schedule them the soonest I can. Thank you Marinan for this INCREDIBLE book.
Tags: Contemporary MF Romance
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Top international reviews
I am honestly heartbroken that I have finished the first read of it because it is always the best and this book blew me away. If u are thinking about buying it u really freaking should. Honestly jealous that u get to read it for the first time.
This book is the ultimate slow burn, romance at its very best because it snook up on me and them!
I loved Aiden so stoic and hard and yet a massive teddy bear underneath he literally made my heart melt and I adored him!!
This is a true romance everytime Vanessa got a smile out of Aiden I fell just a bit more in love with this couple. I loved the care he showed for her even before they became friends the gestures he offered were pricelessly sweet.
Vanessa was brilliant, she was snarky and funny and I was laughing at all of her sarcastic barbs. I loved her care free attitude to Aidans wealth and fame she really couldn’t have given a crap and this whole book had a no nonsense feel to it.
As a couple Aidan and Vanessa just worked, they bounced off one another and even though they didn’t have that much banter the conversations they did share were either heartbreakingly sweet or sarcastically funny.
I want to be team Graves too!!! The way they supported each other and were really there for the other when they needed it was just perfect.
Aidan slipped into his alpha male roll perfectly and god that only made him sexier.
This book just worked for me, I loved them individually, I loved Zac and I loved them together.
The Wall of Winnipeg and Me gets 5 stars from me.
Of course, that's not the whole story and when Vanessa resigns Aiden wants her to move back. She refuses but he has another card to play. Aiden wants American citizenship so wants to marry her and stay married for five years and in exchange he'll pay off her remaining $150k student debt and buy her a house at the end of the marriage. Eventually Vanessa agrees to marry him but only if her better, as a friend, and she will not to take on the role of personal assistant again because she wants to focus on her graphic design clientele. She moves into the guest room and bit by bit they become friends, although Aiden takes a bit of time to understand what supporting your partner actually means, after bailing out on a trip to Vanessa's mother's birthday. Both Vanessa and Aiden have unresolved issues with their parents who haven't been great role models.
For people wanting a lot of hot sex, this book isn't full of sex, in fact there is only one real sexual encounter portrayed and almost at the end of the book, but it's very tender and sweet and I much prefer the slow build up of a couple caring for each other and falling in love to the very graphic sexual descriptions in other books. The story is really heartwarming and romantic in the little things they do for each other and it's clear Aiden feels protective of Vanessa. These really are the things that show you care and love someone. Leo's arrival and Aiden's reaction to him was the sweetest thing ever. Vanessa's asides, whether internal or spoken were hilarious. I liked Vanessa right from the start, but it wasn't until they married and he began to relax a little that I warmed to Aiden.
I loved the character of Zac, Aiden's housemate, felt for Vanessa's childhood friend Diana and boo'ed at Aiden's manager, the shark Trevor. I can't say I know anything more about the game of American Football which is fine by me, but I did learn how much training, diet and discipline is involved for these elite athletes. It's an excellent read and is standalone with a HEA. I'd love to read Zac's story if Mariana writes it. There were a few proofreading/editing issues which is a shame as they could so easily be remedied. I originally got this book on Kindle Unlimited but I liked it so much and re-read it several times that I purchased it.
This isn't your typical hot/romantic love story that grips you from the outset, but instead it's like enjoying a fine bottle of wine that you need to sip at to really enjoy the full flavour! It's also the type of read that you really can't fast forward chunks at time to see what happens (which I tend to do sometimes) as you not only spoil your own reading enjoyment but it doesn't really give you anything because it's not that type of book - you simply have to read it at the pace it is set. It is though, the type of book that once you do get to the end, you will want to go back and read it again, because it will be so much better to read again a second time.
Overall I really enjoyed it and would recommend. It will definitely go into my 'read again' collection on my Kindle.
This was my first book by Mariana but it won't be my last in fact I've downloaded another to read later. This book tells of the relationship between Vanessa and Aiden and how their relationship goes from one thing to something completely different it is a slow slow burn but it suits the characters and story beautifully it is a beautiful love story that I really really enjoyed !
A long book butvwell worth the time spent.
One star deducted because the mentions of how big Aaron is and descriptions of his muscles got a little tedious after a time. I got it, he was big.
This was my second read of the Wall Of Winnipeg And Me and I devoured every word just as much this time as the last.
Absolutely LOVE the way Mariana Zapata can write books with such a slow burn and still keep you hooked into the story so well.
I am 100% #teamgraves and love how Aiden and Vanessa carried out their friendship through the book.
Will always recommend this book to others as everyone need to read this!
Mariana will be a 1 click author for me Aslong as she remains an author.