The Wall of Winnipeg and Me by Mariana Zapata

Summary of book: Vanessa Mazur goes from being an assistant to NFL player Aiden Graves to being married to him in order to keep his citizenship. This is only a business relationship that they both intend on keeping that way but soon feelings become involved and she’s’ faced with one of the biggest decisions of her life; What do you say to the man who is used to getting everything he wants?

“Life was all about choices. You chose what to make out of what you had. And I wasn’t going to let it make me its bitch. I could be a mature adult who knew her limits. I could be a good person. Maybe not all the time, but enough.”

This is the first book that I’ve discovered what ‘slow-burn’ is and if that’s what you’re looking for, not only read this but read anything by Mariana Zapata. She’s the slow-burn queen and no one will ever take her title.

“I would have done just about anything for you back then, even when you got on my nerves. I might have just waited until the last minute to push you out of oncoming traffic, but I’d still push you out of the way.”

I not only fell in love with the characters but the story as well. It was slowly developed, took on a employer-employee relationship, to a fake-marriage relationship to a real relationship. There was no instant attraction here. In fact, Vanessa actually disliked Aiden at first. But, when he comes to her with a problem that only she can solve, she decided to give him a chance and help him. This starts their fake-marriage relationship that over the course of the next couple hundred pages, developed into something much more and much less fake. The chemistry between them is palpable but when their just friends, you can tell. When they begin to develop deeper feelings for each other, you can feel that as well. Zapata has a way of writing emotions that you can actually feel while reading and that’s one of the things I love the most. This book is well done, beautifully written and just purely amazing.

“I thought broken things couldn’t help but love other broken things.”

Mariana Zapata has a way of crafting these beautifully slow, emotionally building works of pure slow-burn art that makes you wish the book went on forever. You could read any of her books, but most importantly this book, every single day for the rest of your life and still find new puzzle pieces that makes your jaw drop and your heart rate kick up. You cannot read one of her books and not fall in love and I say that as a fact. There’s something magical in the way that she creates these characters that aren’t always perfect for each other but makes them feel as if they are two perfect puzzle pieces that are taking their sweet, slow time putting themselves together.

“He was lucky I had a tiny, itty, bitty crush on him; otherwise, he would have gotten the shank years ago.”

I will forever say that Mariana Zapata’s books need to be made into not only movies but films as well because I need more. I will always need more. There’s no other way to describe her work other than pure, beautiful, heart wrenching art. If you’re looking for a slow-burn romance, you will never, ever go wrong with Zapata’s work. If you’re looking for one of the best sports romance books ever written, then you will never go wrong with The Wall of Winnipeg and Me. 

“Home is where you are. I would go anywhere for you if you wanted me there.”

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Read more about The Wall of Winnipeg and Me by Mariana Zapata here:

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