REVIEW: The Wall of Winnipeg and Me by Mariana Zapata

Posted September 8th, 2023 by in Blog, Contemporary Romance, HJ Top Pick!, Review, Sports Romance / 5 comments


The Wall of Winnipeg and Me by Mariana Zapata: After working for the man known at The Wall Of Winnipeg for the past two year Vanessa is just about done with his grouchy, non-responsive behavior, the day has finally come to quit! Too bad Aiden Graves is having none of this! After going out in a blaze of glory telling Aiden Grave just how done she is with him, Vanessa expected him to show a bit of remorse or shame at the very least, what she did not expect however was for him to proposition her with a marriage offer! Aiden needs a wife -one that he can trust- inorder for him to get a greencard so that he can continue living in the States, his offer is simple and really works more in Vanessa’s favor, all she has to do is fake it with him for a few years and he will pay of her student loans in full. This really is the perfect opportunity for Vanessa to build her own business, not worry about student loans and really what are the chances of her falling for the Wall Of Winnipeg? Right?

Well let me just start by saying I’m definitely team Graves. The Wall Of Winnipeg And Me was an absolute treat to read, I loved every single moment of this cute opposites attract, fake dating, sports romance. I mean how can you not love a book with a grumpy hero and a sassy leading lady that take their sweet time to finally realize their true feelings for each other.

Aiden Gaves is a man after my own heart, this guy was easily one of my all time favorite heroes. At first he comes across as this grouchy, cold, arrogant and stubborn rich guy but the more we get to know the man behind the wall, well simply put he was a total sweetheart. The thing that I really loved about Aiden was the fact that once he learned that he had messed up and upset Vanessa he made it a point not to just smooth things over but rather tried to become her friend. There really were so many things about this guy that melted my heart but his unconditional love for the puppy Vanessa got him was just the peak of cuteness. All his life Aiden has been a lone isolated island that is until Vanessa came into his life like a storm of feelings and emotions, finally getting the big guy to open up and feel. I just loved getting to see Aiden’s character slowly grow and develop.

Now for our leading lady Vanessa, well she was a fire cracker and I just loved her to bits. She was a well rounded and complex character that I found easy to relate to. I will say that I loved the fact that she finally decided to stand up for herself especially when it came to dealing with her family. But gosh did her mother annoy me, infact her entire family was pretty horrible. The thing that I liked the most about Vanessa was the fact that she genuinely cared about the people in her life, even if they had not been all that kind to her.

“Aiden . . . uh . . .”
“Did you just call me Muffin?”
“I figured it was too soon to call you Dinner Roll.”

I absolutely ate up the slow burn connection between Aiden and Vanessa. These two had one of the most satisfyingly slow burn romances ever, I just loved getting to see them go from no relationship to dancing around each others feelings and finally getting that final push into love. I loved that these two just got each other, they understand each others small flaws, fears and insecurities. I just loved that they gave each other such thoughtful gifts, Aiden giving Vanessa the night lights because she is scared of the dark and Vanessa giving Aiden a puppy because he has always wanted one.

The supporting characters in this book were something else all on their own. I loved that Aidens team were so welcoming and supportive of Vanessa, so much so that they had already created mini friendships with her even before she ‘got together’ with Aiden. However I think it would be safe to say that Zac stole my heart, this guy was just the cutest! I loved that he was Vanessa’s biggest supporter so much so that he trained for the marathon with her.

All in all The Wall Of Winnipeg And Me is a total MUST READ!! This book was the perfect combination of slow burn romance, stubborn grouchy marshmallow hero meets fun loving lively heroine, all wrapped up in one fake dating love story.


Book Info:

Publication: July 4, 2023 (First published February 28, 2016 | Avon |

Vanessa Mazur refuses to feel bad for quitting—she knows she’s doing the right thing. The thankless job of personal assistant to the top defensive end in the National Football Organization was always supposed to be temporary. She has plans for her life, and none of them include washing extra-large underwear one more day for a man who could never find it in him to tell her good morning, congratulate her on a job well done, or wish her a happy birthday—even when she was spending it working for him.

The legendary “Wall of Winnipeg” may be adored by thousands, but after two years Van has had enough.

But when Aiden Graves shows up at her door begging her to come back, she’s beyond shocked. Mr. Walled-Off Emotions is actually letting his guard down for once. And she’s even more dumbstruck when he explains that her job description is about to become even more outrageous: something that takes the “personal” in personal assistant to a whole new level.

What do you say to the man who is used to getting everything he wants?



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