Mariana Zapata is at it again with another slow-burn romance in “The Wall of Winnipeg and Me” which you can get here.
In true Zapata fashion, she takes her time to slowly and carefully build the romance between the two characters.
Mariana does a great job developing both characters in Aiden and Vanessa. She takes you on a slowly developing tour to where you might not even think romance between the two is even a possibility!
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The Wall of Winnipeg And Me
Aiden Graves is initially portrayed as a typical entitled pro athlete who is used to getting what he wants when he wants it. And he comes across as being a total idiot.
He is a dominant defensive player in a pro football league and is aptly named “The Wall.” Almost to a fault, Mariana constantly mentions just how huge this guy is. It almost comes off as being a little annoying.
But as the story unfolds, we begin to get glimpses into the possibility of there being a little more depth to him. We see his dedication and focus, having sacrificed EVERYTHING to achieve his professional career. He is completely unaware of anyone else around him and what they may be going through. His focus is completely and wholly on being a professional athlete.
And we see this clearly when Vanessa quits her job as his personal assistant to follow her own dream of becoming a web designer. He is caught completely off guard even though she developed a few websites for other players on his team.
Up until this point, Aiden has completely ignored Vanessa. He can’t even manage a half-decent “Good Morning” when he sees her. Such is the level of his complete self-absorption.
Suddenly, Aiden is in serious trouble of getting deported is his contract isn’t renewed.
So with his pro career in jeopardy, he needs to solidify his citizenship. And the best way he can come up with doing this is to get himself a wife and gain citizenship through that.
And Vanessa could be just the ticket.
Kinda reminds me of “The Proposal” with Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds. But I digress.
But this story does follow along the same sort of story line where they start with a work arrangement and agreement and then it builds into more. Much more.
It goes without saying that Mariana Zapata has much more skill and ability to craft a story than any movie that has a similar, loosely based plot.
Mariana Zapata The Wall of Winnipeg and Me Character Development
I know I’ve briefly mentioned it before, but Mariana Zapata is a master of the slow-burn. And I mean a master.
Other authors should take note if they’re looking to break into this genre.
She takes her time to build things achingly slowly but in the end it pays off with a lot more satisfaction.
I loved how Vanessa’s character was just strong enough to be able to handle Aiden, but she wasn’t overly-strong. She has a healthy dose of self-confidence without trying to be some sort of over-the-top independent woman who is trying to prove a point.
Along the same vein, I liked how Aiden was pigeon holed as a typical jerk jock, but that he wasn’t some sort of womanizer. It was nice that even though he was completely focused on himself that he didn’t abuse his fame in order to chase women. So in that light, it was great that Aiden’s character broke a bit from the typical stereotype.
As with many of these types of stories, I don’t feel that there is much need for an in-depth supporting cast.
Others may feel differently, but I feel the focus needs to be on the main characters without wasting time on trying to flesh out the characters of the supporting cast.
In my opinion, they are merely there in order to help move the story along – nothing more.
Other reviewers of this story seem to think differently, but for me I’d rather have the focus on the main two rather than distracting us with additional details about the other characters.
As For The Negative Reviews
As with most things, there are some negatives that some reviewers tend to focus on.
And a big one that kept coming up were the typos and grammatical errors in the book.
For me, it doesn’t bother me too much but for others, it REALLY seems to bug them.
Maybe Mariana doesn’t have someone edit her books and she missed a few little things that didn’t get caught in a spell check. But we are talking about a romance book here – not some academic thesis or research.
So on that grounds, I would let it slide 🙂
Others complained saying that there was a lot of time that went by without anything happening.
But plenty was happening my friend. Plenty.
Typically I’ve found these sort of comments typically come from those who aren’t a fan of the slow-burn.
And if you aren’t a fan of the style, is it even a valid point to criticize the author on? I’d say not.
Other little complaints were along the lines of saying that the author over generalized a few Canadian stereotypes. They claimed she misused the Canadian saying of “Eh.”
But it’s just a minor detail and mainly semantics.
The Wall of Winnipeg and Me Audiobook
For me, I’m a classicist – I enjoy reading it for myself. I find the experience to be much fuller and I can really devour every little detail. When I listen to audiobooks I find that sometimes my mind can drift and I find that I end up missing parts of the story.
Mariana Zapata Books
In addition to “The Wall of Winnipeg and Me”, here are a few of Zapata’s other books:
- Luna and the Lie
- The Best Thing
- Wait for It
- From Lukov with Love
- Under Locke
- Dear Aaron
- Rhythm, Chord & Malykhin
- The One I’m With
If you like what you hear about Mariana Zapata and her books, you should also read our “Wait For It By Mariana Zapata Review” here.
On the other hand, if you’re looking for something different and not a slow burn romance, maybe check out our “What The Wind Knows By Amy Harmon Review” here.