Review – The Wall of Winnipeg and Me by Mariana Zapata

Mariana Zapata has a wonderful ability to build characters you care about. If you need a break from erotic romance, I suggest you give this slow burn, complete with alpha football hero a shot. ~ Ava, Guilty Pleasures 

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 even 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?


If you’ve never read Mariana Zapata you might be missing out. She has a wonderful ability to build characters you care about. All of her books to date have been written in first person POV from the heroine’s viewpoint.

So, if you don’t know already I’m passionately Texan. And it takes a very strong recommendation for me to read books set in Texas because when people get it wrong, it usually hits my DNF pile. I’m not a quitter… but somethings I just can’t take. 😉 Several of Mariana’s books are set in Texas, her bio states she’s a native Texan residing in Colorado. Anyways, that gave me the confidence to give her a try.

I believe the first book I read was Kulti, and it’s blurb had everything I love – Texas, Soccer, Witty banter. Being the soccer mom that I am, I can seldom find a good soccer sports romance. I mean… have you seen soccer players? All that endurance and those legs! A strong female lead, with a humble background. It was perfect and propelled me into her backlist. I’ve now enjoyed them all.

Her style thus far is slow burn, with characters that start with lot of conflict until they realize their mutual attraction. Heavy, thorough character development, excellent at showing you through scenes and interactions the motivation of the characters. I think this is very important when a book is written in first person, because it gives all the characters the depth they need. Major broody alpha heroes. I love them. So if you need a break from erotic romance, this would be a great choice.

The Wall of Winnipeg features Vanessa a personal assistant to our hero Aiden who is a Canadian National playing defense in a professional football league with the team set in Dallas. He’s a jerk, but he pays well. She’s saved enough money to start her own business (Graphic Design) and quits. Only he suddenly realizes how much he NEEDS her. The premise of the story is amusing, provides plenty of comic relief to the rather difficult relationship dynamics between them. Enjoyable secondary characters. Overall a solid book that I recommend you give a try.

I would encourage Mariana to keep up the good work but try for a different formula with the next book, I found this one similar in the conflict arc to others she’s written, and I know she’s talented at writing interesting characters. I am looking forward to reading the next one. She’s hugely talented, I hope you check out The Wall of Winnipeg and Me and give Mariana’s style a try.


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