The Wall of Winnipeg and Me by Mariana Zapata – Jenn’s Review

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Every time I looked, someone else was recommending it. I had to see what it was all about.




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 even 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?

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This is not your typical romance novel. There isn’t any insta-love and there aren’t sex scenes every 20 pages. There is no jilted girlfriend, or man-whore alpha male who decides to change his ways after laying his eyes on the girl next door. If that is what you are looking for, then you need to keep searching. This is not that. What The Wall of Winnipeg is, is a gorgeous, unconventional love story where two people, both sharing the same demons, come together in what amounts to a business arrangement. Neither one expecting the reward they could have, if they just let go.

Aiden Graves is the best defensive end the NFO has ever seen. Too bad he’s pretty much a jerk who only grunts out responses when he absolutely must. His assistant, Vanessa Mazur, is the only person who puts up with his grumpy attitude, and mostly because he pays her to. For two years Vanessa has been putting up with the surly football star until she just can’t do it anymore and quits. Finally living her dream of being a graphic artist and making her way in the world on her own, Vanessa is happy. That is until Aiden shows up on her doorstep, asking her to come back.

There wasn’t a ton of dialogue in this book, but this is a completely character driven story that keeps you engaged from the first word, to the last. The reason I am taking off half of a star in this review is the ending. I needed more. So much more; but that’s just me being greedy. I wasn’t ready to say good-bye to these two flawed, frustrating, complex characters. This story is only told from Vanessa’s point of view, but as the story moves along, Aiden becomes so transparent that you are not missing anything. I am a sucker for the moody, broody, jerky guy and this description fits Aiden perfectly.  He tries so hard to be what Vanessa needs, without compromising himself. You really see him open up and become more comfortable in his role in their relationship. I loved watching them slowly find their way together.

There were individual scenes in this book that were packed with so much emotion, it felt like a crater sized hole had formed in my soul. There was so much heart crushing pain at times in this that I actually teared up, feeling the emotion right alongside them.

You must read this and give it a chance. It is almost 500 pages of true angst, and indifference that wants so badly to grow into love. This was a very different love story that I couldn’t turn away from. I simply could not put it down.

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