The Wall of Winnipeg and Me is slow burn perfection. This was my first time reading a book by Mariana Zapata – and it certainly won’t be my last. I feel like I’m a little late getting to the party, but better late than never. When you’re reading a book that is over 600 pages and you’re completely invested, savoring every word, and dread reaching the final page, you know that you have found your ideal read. I didn’t want this book to end. It could’ve gone on for another 600 pages and I would have been ecstatic.
My favorite kind of romances are the ones that take their time and build the anticipation. Mariana Zapata excels at this. If you’re looking for a quick love story, you won’t find it within the pages of this book. This book had perfect pacing, perfect flow, and kept me completely enthralled with the story from start to finish.
The book is told entirely from Vanessa’s perspective. I loved being inside of her head and thoughts. She was everything that I enjoy in a character. Her feelings were normal, realistic, and relatable. She was a hard-working, goal-oriented young woman who was as feisty as she was caring. Reading the book from her perspective, I was able to put myself in her shoes, experiencing everything right along with her.
Vanessa had spent the last two years working as a personal assistant for a professional football player. If he needed something done, she saw that it got done. She was his go-to girl for practically everything. But despite the decent salary, working for Aiden “The Wall of Winnipeg” Graves was no picnic. He was unfriendly, stand-offish, impersonal, and he was lacking in communication skills. She felt unappreciated and dispensable – with good reason. When she decided that she had earned enough money to focus on her own business, she quit working for the grumbly football phenom. But little did she realize that Aiden wouldn’t be quite so willing to let her go. He needed her for one more important thing...and it would be a difficult proposition for her to refuse.
I loved, loved, loved the tension in this book. From Vanessa and Aiden’s awkward times to their budding attempt at a friendship to their more intense times and chemistry, their interactions were pure gold. I witnessed their whole relationship evolve and it was consuming. The author made me wait, filled me with anticipation, kept me on pins and needles, and made the butterflies flutter and plummet in my belly.
I could go on and on about everything that just worked for me with this book, but it was everything. It was like it was written specifically for me. It was overflowing with all of the things that I crave when I’m reading. Filled with tension, humor, heart, fantastic characters, and plenty of emotion, this book was an absolute pleasure. While I was reading it, I didn’t want to put it down. When I wasn’t reading it, I was thinking about the characters and the story and biding my time until I could continue reading it. I am definitely looking forward to reading more books by Mariana Zapata in the near future.