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Publisher's Summary

Some days, all you need is a message from a stranger. 

Ruby Santos knew exactly what she was getting herself into when she signed up to write a soldier overseas. The guidelines were simple: one letter or email a week for the length of his or her deployment. Care packages were optional. 

Been there, done that. She thought she knew what to expect. 

What she didn't count on was falling in love with the guy.

©2017 Mariana Zapata (P)2017 Mariana Zapata

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    815
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    284
  • 3 Stars
    107
  • 2 Stars
    30
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    16

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    914
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    193
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    47
  • 2 Stars
    9
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    11

Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    253
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    35
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    21
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Two thumbs up 👍👍

I already loved this book, however, the way it was brought to live by the narrators made that love enter a new dimension.

Their voices became Ruby and Aaron and they fit the personalities of the characters to a T.

Two thumbs up to Mariana Zapata, Callie Dalton and Ted Hamilton for a job well done.

22 of 22 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Wonderful premise

Narrators were perfect for this very believable story
Mariana did it again!

JB Naples FL

13 of 13 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Mixed feelings

I loved the narrators but this is where good or even great narrators can't help a book that I struggled to get through. Everyone raved about this book but apparently, I'm in the minority because I couldn't stomach it. This book is mainly told through email/letters and then later told through texts. For me, it was kind of awkward. It lagged in places where it should have sped up and in places where it should have lagged it sped right through to almost an ADHD pace. I couldn't wrap my mind around the fact that the author who wrote The Wall of Winnipeg and Me - wrote this book. It almost seemed unbelievable! I loved that book and I guess my bar was set really high, so for this to be so different just made me sad. I love Teddy Hamilton and he really was the saving grace on this. I don't think I want to keep this because it was that bad for me. I will still keep my copy of The Wall of Winnipeg and Me though because that will always be my fave.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Really Good

The only thing I didn’t like was that the first few hours of the book you listen to two different voices. One male, one female. Then the story transitions (without giving anything away) and the girl does both the male and female voice. I really enjoyed having the male character with a male voice, not the female trying to be male. Especially once you get used to the male characters voice.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Love love love

I couldn't wait for this audible to come out and I wasn't disappointed! I love Callie Dalton, didn't know as much abt Teddy. I was excited to see how this was going to sound and flow because of the format. Gotta say it sounds great! Only part is I wish there was a little more Teddy in this. Such as, if he could have read some of Aaron's dialogue that would have been perfection to me also even if he would have read some of the back and forth abt Ruby's virginity as well, but Callie always handles everything well.Over all I love it I am a Mariana Zapata fan, she's the only author I follow. Also Callie Dalton always one of my favs now Teddy! Great job guys! Well worth the wait! I will be re-reading and listening! If you want a great story funny slow burn this is perfect for you! Mariana is alway A one click buy so glad Callie is her go to!! BUY THIS BOOK AND AUDIBLE

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

5 ++++ stars

OK, I really love everything by Mariana Zapata! it's always a bonus then to listen to Callie Dalton read it to me. I loved the slow burn love story (I am totally a sucker for military men) and the narrators, both Callie and Teddy Hamilton performed beautifully. I highly recommend these narrators and of course anything by Mariana Zapata. I am a full on book junkie and read hundreds of books a year. This author is one of my faves! Great story, great performance!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Interesting

I was surprised by how much I liked this book considering the format was mostly dialog. It was well written, thoughtful, funny, and delightful.
#Heartwarming #favorite author #tagsgiving #sweepstakes

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

If I Could Give this Zero Stars I would

This is a great book - if your a 10 year old.

Actually, I think that when I was 10, I would still think it was excruciating. There were so many elements that went in to making this book excruciating but to save you the long read, I'll mention only my top three.

1. The Crybaby

The number one most painful issue I had was the main character "Ruby". We have to like our lead right? No such luck here. Unless you like a grown woman crying like a baby at the bus stop cause she thinks her friend isn't meeting her. "Ruby" was the constantly whiny, wimpy, self pitying, self-loathing. I think I counted about 1 zillion times she said "sorry". "Sorry, I shouldn't have said that. Sorry, you might not want to answer that". "Sorry Aaron, I'm such a looser". "Sorry Aaron, I'm such an idiot". "Sorry Aaron, why am I so stupid". "Why, why, why do I do this all the time! I'm such an idiot". "This always happens to me, why don't I never learn!!". And can you guess what Aaron's says back to her in response? You guessed it "You're not stupid" OVER AND OVER AND OVER again! In real life he would have said, "Forget this chick, she got a problem". I mean, I've never been painfully embarrassed by the lack of confidence and self loathing for a fictional character before, but if she were my friend I would sit her down and seriously tell her to seek professional help. And if that didn't work, I'd end the friendship. I mean who needs a woman constantly talking about what a looser she is in almost EVERY sentence?

2. Beyond Repetitious.

Spoiler - (I'll try to not give everything away) (but then again, I would STRONGLY recommend you not buy this so I'll be doing you a favour)

In the middle of the book, Aaron asks Ruby to meet live in person, and yes, we were all waiting for that moment and saw it coming, so you can imagine my irritation when the entire chapter, and I not exaggerating here, has her saying "What??!!! Noooo what if you don't like me?", "What? Noooo...why?", "What nooo, I can't, I just can't" And Aaron repeating the same answers. An ENTIRE CHAPTER!

I was on vacation taking an 8 hour train trip when listening to this chapter and it so repetitive, I decided to amuse myself by seeing if I could have a chat with a fellow traveller and and still make no progress on Ruby and Aarons conversation. And guess what? An hour later after, having the volume very low in the background I turned it up to hear the exact same conversation! Ugh! " Noooo, Aaron, but why should I come???" I wanted to much myself in the face!

3. The Change In Narrative (which I usually like, but it soooo didn't work here)

The only reason why I continued listening to this book was because even though it started out slow, it was somewhat entertaining and did keep my attention. It began with letters and emails back and forth and the readers did a fantastic job with their acting and had wonderful voices. I'm sure they wanted to cringe with the challenge of reading such a poorly written book but they did their best with the worst material they probably ever had. And as soon as the narrative style switched half way to another point of view, dropping the letters, to Rubys POV, it went down hill. And fast.

Ok, I know I said 3, but I'll add one more issue that went into making this an excruciating read.

4. What's So Freaking Funny?

Ruby is supposed to be HILARIOUS! Aaron constantly comments on how much she makes him laugh but she says NOTHING funny. The writer continuously mentions how Aaron purses his lips and tries to hold back fits of laughter and I'm like - "but there isn't even a joke here. I don't get it." I even rewound a couple of times to see if I missed the joke. But there wasn't a joke or even a quirky funniness to her character. Nutin' ya'll.

So there you have it.

Yesterday, whilst walking down the street and listening to this book I noticed my eye rolls occurred every 5 minutes - the book was actually getting worse, so I threw in the towel and gave up. No one can say I didn't try.

Honestly, how do books like this get published? Didn't this writer have an editor? What a painfully horrible novel.

Don't waste your money friends.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Dear Aaron

Loved the book until the end it threw me off. Mariana usually gives a brief statement of what happened to the characters to get them to this end. So only the end I am not happy with. I would have loved to see her family's reaction to Aaron and if Aaron really did hit Hunter for what he did to Ruby.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Laugh, Cry Enjoy!!

Loved this book when I read it and loved it even more listening to it. Both Callie and Teddy were awesome as narrators. Brought the story even more to life. Thanks Mariana for this beautiful gift. Couldn’t stop listening, laughed, cried and cheered.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Jen
  • 02-05-18

a great audio

I wondered how this book would work in audio as the start is done through emails. the 2 narrators worked great with this storyline.
the story itself was so well done. the sloew and cautious connection of 2 strangers through emails. we see the barriers break down and the friendship build and then the slow burn of a classic Mariana Zapata romance. we also have a great supporting cast of characters. I can certainly relate to Ruby's relationships with her siblings and mum.
I highly recommend this book for a fun read, I was going to say light read but there is too much going to say that. The book is long but you don't feel like you are ever waiting for something to happen, each chapter is fully relevant to the story.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Payana
  • 08-07-18

Nice little story

A very enjoyable little story, absolutely worth to hear if you like romance...
Performance of the narrator not bad at all..

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • jo foster
  • 07-22-18

Addictive

I loved the story and Ruby and Aaron. I gave listen to this book a few times, my only complaint is that each time I am left wanting more, a sequel would be fab please

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • FanaticReader
  • 05-23-18

Really good narration

I really enjoyed the narration. I had read this book before so I knew i liked the story.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 05-16-18

Wow

Totally loved this book ,although I wish the epilogue was longer and would love a follow up

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Kindle Customer
  • 02-24-18

Surprised me

I chose this book in error - definitely not my normal read but I decided to go with it.

The format of email correspondence was surprisingly easy to listen to - made me feel like a teenager. I liked the characters and the story. No twists just a satisfying ending. Would be a good holiday book.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • kimmyjo
  • 12-13-17

really good

it got me hooked from the sample so I had to buy..... at first the way it's told by emails I didn't think it was going to work but it dose and I liked that it goes into a proper book I also really enjoyed the story line ...really good narration too

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • gail
  • 03-02-18

Nice love story

I enjoyed this book, the story was believable and built up into...not going to spoil it for others!

Loved Aaron’s character and felt Teddy Hamilton did it justice. Teddy is a good narrator and his voice was smooth and gave the right amount of humour and as a listener it was easy to listen to.

Callie Dalton also made the character Ruby come alive.

I did get a little irritated with the Ruby character at times as she repeats her insecurities over and over but it was a small irritation and the book was well worth the listen.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Karen D
  • 11-20-17

Another beautiful romance by Mariana Zapata

If you've enjoyed reading and/or listening to Mariana's previous books, you'll love this one too. Narrated beautifully. Loved it!!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 05-08-18

Getting a little tired

This is about my fourth Mariana Zapata book. I enjoyed the way she used emails at the start of this book to flesh out her characters and develope their relationship.

Zapata's seemingly only book format is the slow burn kind which can be refreshing, but for me, this being book four, it makes her writing style predictable and drawn out. Drawn out is one way to descript the process her characters go through on the way to the conclusion.

I didnt finish this book. Stop two chapters before the end. There wasnt much point. I know how Zapata finishes all her books and I'd had enough. Hope that she varies it up in future books and doesnt make a eternal rut for the reader.

Overall, a decent book with some minor annoyances and an ending that could have come sooner.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Lara
  • 01-01-18

Started slow but then I was hooked

At first, I found this to be pretty slow going. At one point, I wondered if I’d even finish it. Then, all of a sudden, I was hooked & listening obsessively. I didn’t love everything, including Aaron’s possessiveness but overall, the characters were likeable. The narrators voices were easy to listen to. The epilogue was a little disappointing but I was happy to have some closure. Haha.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • BeauPeep
  • 06-14-18

Quite a boring, repetitive story

I am generally a fan, have enjoyed the others, but this one did me in. 'Nuff said.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • cecilia chahda
  • 03-23-18

I need more

More, More! I need more!
I felt like the story ends abruptly. I could have done with another 3 or 4 chapters.
very cute story. it takes them awhile to get together but when they do it's hot and steamy and sadly the book ends before anything good really happens. no cliffhanger or dramatic scene very easy read

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • ethel
  • 02-25-18

ENJOYABLE READ

Thought some parts of the book were 'over rambled' but overall it was a great listen.
Enjoyed the narration to

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Anonymous User
  • 12-03-17

Great story!

Loved this, but the audio was a bit ordinary with some weird running noises in the background throughout the whole story which was distracting. But the rest was great!!