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Publisher's Summary

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 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?

©2016 Mariana Zapata (P)2016 Tantor

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  • 4.6 out of 5.0
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THIS IS HOW WRITING IS DONE!!! 5 STARS!!!

Mariana Zapta has a devoted fan in me. Her stories are relevant, interesting and more importantly very well written! The story of Vanessa and Aiden is not a love at first sight story. It is what she referred to once as a "slow burn". Non-the-less you will love this story if you are a die hard reader and love a good story based upon a solid relationship that was not easily built and not based on sexual attraction alone.

21 of 22 people found this review helpful

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Good slow burn

I've listened to 4 of Zapata's books. The slow development of the attraction between the characters is what I appreciate most. Usually other authors will throw a couple together with immediate attraction, and they fall into bed shortly thereafter. Not Zapata. The protagonists initially don't care for each other, and the changes in emotion is accompanied by the development and increased depth in the characters. I'm falling in love with them as they fall for each other. The story was long, but at the end I wished it wasn't over, which is the sign of a truly good book.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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I couldn't help myself

I buy audio books for my in-between reads. I like to listen to audiobooks when I’m catching the train to work, baking or exercising (which I should do more of). Well, there was a slight problem with The Wall of Winnipeg and Me, it was too good. I couldn’t bring myself to stop listening. What normally would have lasted me a couple of weeks lasted me a couple of days. I was sucked into the story from the very first minute. The narrator had a voice that was easy to listen to, the characters were engaging and the storyline was interesting. A lot of readers refer to Ms Zapatta as the Queen of the Slow Burn, which honestly I’d have to agree with. What I think makes her the Queen is her ability to distract you from missing it. I think this was the first audio where I haven’t had to hide my face while listening on the train. I wasn’t squirming, blushing or turning the volume down hoping someone wasn’t overhearing the sexy times. Oh, there were a few sniffles when harsh words were spoken or we look back into painful past experiences but more times than not it was the big grin I wore that showed what I was feeling.

Now, in regards to the story…Vanessa is a woman who has had a very hard life. Her family ABSOLUTELY SUCKS!! What makes her such a great character though is that she’s moved on from her horrible family and made a success of her life. She was the PA/Housekeeper/Servant to The Big Guy, Aiden. He plays football and is one of the defence players…I think (I'm not really in the know about football). Her role and job aren't great but it pays well and it gives her the opportunity to be around Aiden who she has a little crush on while also saving to start her own business.

Aiden is the most focused football player I’ve ever read about. His whole life revolves around the sport. Considering his size, surprisingly he lives a vegan lifestyle which means he has to eat a lot, a lot and a wee bit more. Aiden is definitely serious about his job and his single-minded focus means that people don’t really matter to him. He is abrupt, rude and very unemotional. Having Vanessa as his assistant makes his life easier but unfortunately, for him, he doesn’t realise her value until she’s had enough and resigns.

What follows for Vanessa and Aiden is a parting of ways for a very short time. Aiden wants her back but Vanessa is starting her own business and isn’t interested in taking on the old role. Aiden needs her for a more important role this time. A role where they will have to make vows of commitment, live together and share their lives…on paper only.

I really enjoyed the story and loved the way the characters developed. I did think that Aiden acted like a douchewaffle in the beginning but enjoyed seeing him realise that there is more to life than solely focusing on football. I really struggled with Vanessa at times. She acted like a doormat and put up with Aiden for way longer than I thought was healthy. There is this underlying feeling from the very beginning that she puts up with it all because she doesn’t know any better. My struggle was that I knew that her history made her that way, but at other times you can see her strength and courage. I just wanted her to speak her mind more often and not have to have people beg her for information, demand the truth or trick her into sharing her feelings.

Well, the slow burn was REALLY slow and I thought that maybe it might end up being non-existent. Funny thing is when we did get it (eventually) it was intense and definitely blush-worthy. I loved Aiden and Vanessa together and I'm so glad that they were able to finally let down their walls and share their feelings. The epilogue was sweet and very cute.

I’m slowly getting through the backlog of Ms Zapatta’s collection and what I’ve read or listened to so far has been great. I will definitely be reading more of her stories in the future.

9 of 10 people found this review helpful

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I love Mariana Zapata!!

All of her books are so well written with engaging stories and loveable, developed characters. Such a delight. Perfectly narrated. She's becoming one of my favorites...up there with Kristen Ashley and Rachel Gibson. High praise.

9 of 10 people found this review helpful

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loved it

I don't want to repeat what other have already said - slow-burn, sweet, funny, etc. - because it's all that and it works wonderfully.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Slow and steady with a plot twist, good to the end

What did you like best about The Wall of Winnipeg and Me? What did you like least?

This is a story of the evolution of a relationship from ground zero to something more. It is complicated by the personal history of the two main characters. Further, larger issues drive this relationship and make up the plot of this book.

How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

This was a long book and at times it felt redundant. In the authors' attempt to show the gradual growth of the characters, I felt the story slowed. Certainly, she does let the reader/listener see the evolution in the characters, but it might have been condensed a bit.

What does Callie Dalton bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Ms. Dalton is a good narrator who knows the material and performs it well. She has some variation from women to men, uses accents well and paces the material very well. I will enjoy listening to her again.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Romance?

Many hours into this and I had to check to see that yes, I did buy it from the romance section. The relationship doesn't change to romantic until the very end, which for me, made the story drag. I did like it, but certainly didn't love it.

15 of 18 people found this review helpful

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  • Leah
  • Corrales, NM, United States
  • 05-27-16

Too long for the content

I feel like this story could have been told in half the time. There was too much time spent inside the narrator's head. The story is good, and the main character is engaging and humorous, but at times it just seems like she is spending too much time thinking and you just want the story to get on with it.

15 of 18 people found this review helpful

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Not just another jock story

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

If my friend enjoyed a slow build up with a hot football player and a take no crap girl...yes. I loved it.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Wall of Winnipeg and Me?

I don't want to say too much and give it away but I'll say Leo the dog.

What about Callie Dalton’s performance did you like?

Everything.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Of course but I can't give it away and spoil it.

Any additional comments?

I wish there was more time spent with them as a couple but the slow burn of them falling for each other made up for it. This was a wonderful story.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

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Sweet but Long!

3.75 Stars

I'm having a hard time rating and reviewing this book. While I did enjoy the story, I found myself bored through parts of it too. Some parts had me all excited and I was completely engrossed in their story but I think maybe it could have been shorter and I would have enjoyed it more. Aiden was a grumpy, rude and kind of a jerk throughout 1/2 the book but I sure did like the changes his characters personality went through and I thought the author did a great job at changing him without making it seem to unrealistic. Vanessa was tough and I loved that about her. She had her insecurities but when it counted the most she was not going to be a doormat for anyone. These characters were my favorite thing about this books. I liked the way the story ended, I LOVED Aiden's reaction to the Leo and the end of the marathon, that is what made me finally fall for him. I also loved Vanessa's relationship with Zach!

I was not a fan of the narration, she isn't a bad narrator or anything I just think she was a bad choice for this book because she sounded like she was 15. I had to remind myself a lot in the beginning that she was an adult. Her male voices were great though.

11 of 14 people found this review helpful

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  • Lesley B
  • 11-23-16

Boring??? Hell NO!

Would you consider the audio edition of The Wall of Winnipeg and Me to be better than the print version?

After seeing a review saying 'Boring', I did consider not buying this book, I am so glad I didn't listen to THAT review! OK, different strokes for different folks, but, there's no way this book could be described as 'Boring'!

Who was your favorite character and why?

The characters are well developed, you fall in love with them and care about them. You are invested in their story, I found myself actually laughing out loud or shouting, Nooooo!!!

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

I listened to this in one sitting.. Yep one! I had to finish! Great narration.

Any additional comments?

If you love romance, then yes! yes! Yes! but do not pick it up expecting a Guy de Maupassant Novel, then call it 'Boring'!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Geoli8907
  • 09-28-17

3rd time!!

This is the 3rd time I've read this but 1st time I've listened to it! I love it!

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  • Aileen
  • 08-04-17

Loved it

I loved reading the book so I had to get the audio and I loved it as well I would highly recommend this book you will love it

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  • SEW
  • 07-21-17

Brilliant slow burn

A great slow burn love story! I absolutely loved it! great characters and the narration was spot on.

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  • PatButcher
  • 04-24-17

Disappointing read

Takes for ever and a day for love to blossom.. you'll be waiting till nearly 30 mins before end of story to hear they have finally made advances to be more than friends. Lead character is whiny too. I prefer other stories from this author but if skip this one.

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  • Niamh
  • 04-19-17

loved it

Love the slow build of the relationship. Eventually you will love The Big Guy too

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  • Jodi
  • 02-21-17

BEST. BOOK. EVER!!!

I'm speechless!!

The narrator is the ballocks and I could listen to her all day!

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  • Lulu
  • 12-13-16

Brilliant

I love this authors books.
Great slow burn romances with no Insta love.
The performance was good also with the same Narrator from Under Locke, which is a book I have listened to repeatedly.

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  • hannah
  • 12-01-16

funny sassy and great fun

great story. Love how the story flowed I couldn't put it down. strong main characters. I will buy more stories from this air her. I would recommend it. five stars.

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  • L
  • 10-18-16

Boring

This book was beyond dull with a tedious, whiny, spineless main character that I despised by then end of chapter 2. I really don't know why I even finished it, I guess I just kept thinking it would get better. The narrator was okay, but that's about the only good thing I can say about this book.

1 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Morticia
  • 02-03-17

I loved it.

I'm really impressed with everything I've read by this author so far. Sweet & funny.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Tania
  • 10-08-17

So pleased got this book.

Read all the reviews and decided to get this book. I loved it. Couldn’t put it down. Will have to look for more books by this author and narrator.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 09-18-17

A really sweet read.

A great story. Believable. Well narrated. Had heard the story was good and was not disappointed. Will read more of this author.

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  • JamieBookZealot
  • 04-16-17

An absolute favourite!

Loved the stoic Aiden & delightfully real Vanessa!

Recommend to all Sports Romance readers & all Non-Sports Romance readers because it is just TERRIFIC!

Delicious slow-burn, great pacing. Marianna Zapata is a master!

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  • Richard
  • 10-16-16

wow something really dufferent

loved ut and well worth the money.couldnt put it down. will read it again and im sure will always enjoy

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  • Toni Turner
  • 10-11-16

The Wall of Winnipeg and Me

I read this book a year ago prior to listening to it on Audible. It's actually in my 'favourite books to read' list and I wasn't disappointed with Callie Dalton's voice. She nailed the characters completely. Well done to the author and narrator.

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  • Chloe
  • 09-26-16

Brilliant!

Such and exciting book. Obviously we know how it was going to end but what it took to get there is excellent! I loved it and want more from these two!!!

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  • Pamella
  • 05-28-16

5 Star <3 <3 <3 <3 <3

I literally re-listen to this book over & over & over again. Usually, after re-listening about once or twice I got bored. But this book in particular, I never got bored, I think I re-listen to this book about 8 times and I still have not gotten bored yet.

My money was really well spend.

Like many other narrator they are good (very believable) but after listening to so many audiobooks, Callie Dalton narration does not bore me...

Looking forward to more Mariana Zapata books & Callie Dalton narration.

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  • narda
  • 05-13-16

You have done it again Mariana

Wow another great Mariana Zapata book, a enjoyable story simular to Kulti with reverse rolls and different sport. Callie Dalton did an excellent job with the narration. If you have enjoyed other Mariana Zapata books this one will not disappoint. cheers

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