REVIEW: All Rhodes Lead Here by Mariana Zapata

Posted May 7th, 2024 by in Blog, Contemporary Romance, HJ Recommends, Review / 7 comments


In All Rhodes Lead Here by Mariana Zapata, As Aurora “Ora” De La Torre was putting her life back together after her long-time relationship imploded, it somehow felt right to return to her hometown of Pagosa Springs, Colorado. Some of the best (and one of the worst) times of her life were spent in the rustic town. And even her childhood best friend Clara still lives there. But things don’t start off well when Ora rolls back into Pagosa. Mainly, it’s the mix up with her short-term rental of an apartment above the landowner’s garage. It turns out that the person she’d been communicating with–and paid money to–was the owner’s teenage son, Amos. Not Tobias Rhodes himself. And Ora isn’t sure if the grumpy game warden will honor her contract after all.

‘Something that had to be affection nipped at my chest, and I couldn’t help but smile at him even as he scowled. Rhodes was pretty cute even while he was mad.’

After some pleading on both her and Amos’s part, Ora is allowed to stay. For now. With everything she’s been through over the years, she knows she can handle hunky Rhodes’ curmudgeonly attitude because he’s obviously a nice guy underneath it all. But Ora didn’t realize how quickly she would come to care about Amos, Rhodes, and even the locals in town. Pagosa soon becomes a place that works its way even deeper into her slightly broken heart. As does Rhodes and Amos. Before long, Ora realizes that she’s not leaving anytime soon. And she hopes the future she plans on building there will feature the two guys who now mean everything to her.

“You’re mine, just as much as Am is… You are a part of us,” he said gruffly. “I don’t know how anybody would let you walk away, and it isn’t going to be me. Not today. Not tomorrow. Not ever. Are we clear?”

It might have taken me until the reissue of ALL RHODES LEAD HERE was released to sit down and read this slow burn romance, but I will now be forever shouting from the rooftops how much I absolutely loved these characters–and Mariana Zapata’s storytelling.

‘I found a place where I belong. A place with love that feels like home again.’

CW: View Spoiler »

Coming in at around six hundred pages, ALL RHODES LEAD HERE should have seemed long and overwhelming. However, it was anything but. I enjoyed every single moment and every single scene with these memorable characters Mariana Zapata created and honestly could have read a whole lot more about them. Rhodes and Ora’s story was simply incredible. And unputdownable. Even with all the issues in their way, the past trauma they needed to overcome, and the odds stacked against them, this book was the equivalent of a hug to me. The warmth of the people Zapata wrote about, and their picturesque community just wrapped me up right from Ora’s first day back in Pagosa Springs.

Speaking of Ora, there was no way I wasn’t going to adore her. She did have times where she acted younger than her age (early thirties) and made a blunder that caught up with her toward the end of the story, but she was most definitely the Sunshine part in her and Rhodes’s Grumpy/Sunshine pairing. As Ora’s traumatic past slowly came out, I thought it was quite amazing how she held it together over the years. She did have some wonderful, supportive people around her thankfully. But it was her own grit and determination to stay positive and kind that wowed me.

Same goes for Rhodes. He’d had his own tough childhood and issues to deal with, but the silver fox was one of the most lovingly protective, humble, and thoughtful heroes I’ve read in a long time. Yes, he was grumpy. And he didn’t say much most of the time. But Rhodes loved *deeply* and would anything–absolutely anything–for those he loved. Ora quickly became one of those he watched out over. And it was so heartwarming to watch him open up to her, seeing his playful side come out as well as the sweet, romantic conversations he eventually had with her.

Rhodes’ son Amos as well as Ora’s best friend Clara, among other ancillary cast, were a great addition to an already well-rounded story. I think readers will love the scenes where these two particular people pop in and how much of a difference they made in Rhodes and Ora’s lives.

QOTD: Ora goes on some epic (and epically bad) hikes. Are you a fan of hiking or other outdoor activities?


Book Info:

Publication: Published April 1st, 2024 (First published April 1, 2021) | Avon |

New York Times bestselling author and the Queen of Slow Burn Romance Mariana Zapata’s fan favorite All Rhodes Lead Here, a story about finding love when you least expect it—now with new exclusive content!

The people we lose take a part of us with them…but they leave a part of themselves with us too.

Aurora De La Torre, or Ora to her friends, knows moving back to Pagosa Springs, Colorado, a place that was once home and is now full of bittersweet memories of her late mother, isn’t going to be easy. Starting your whole life over probably isn’t supposed to be.

But after breaking up with her longtime famous musician boyfriend, hiding out in a small town in the mountains might be the perfect remedy for a broken heart. And checking out her landlord who lives across the driveway just might cure it, too.

Only Tobias Rhodes didn’t rent out the apartment to her, rather it was his teenage son, Amos. Fiercely protective of his family and distrusting of strangers, gruff and grumpy Rhodes initially keeps little miss sunshine Ora at a distance. But over days and weeks, long hikes and fireside chats, Aurora breaks down his walls and soon an unbreakable friendship blossoms into a once-in-a-lifetime love.



7 Responses to “REVIEW: All Rhodes Lead Here by Mariana Zapata”

  1. Amy R

    QOTD: Ora goes on some epic (and epically bad) hikes. Are you a fan of hiking or other outdoor activities? No
    Thanks for the review.

  2. Glenda M

    I am a fan as long as they don’t have epic elevation changes and the weather cooperates. Thanks so much for the review

  3. psu1493

    This sounds like a great story and I am eager to read it. Not a fan of outdoor activities due to bugs.

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