Published by Tantor Audio on May 10th 2016
Genres: Sports Romance
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?
The Wall of Winnipeg and Me
By Mariana Zapata
I couldn’t help myself…
I buy audio books for my in-between reads and enjoy listening to them 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 Wall of Winnipeg and Me and loved the way the characters developed. Aiden acted like a douchewaffle in the beginning but I 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.