Slow Burn


The Wall of Winnipeg and Me

by Mariana Zapata
Genres: Chick Lit, New Adult, Romance
Format: E-Book


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?

“I don’t know,” I stuttered, “Do you love me?”
His gaze was so intent the entire world seemed to stop. “You tell me. I never stop thinking about you. I worry about you all the time. Every beautiful thing I see reminds me of you. I can’t finish my practices in Colorado with out wishing you were around,” he said in a steady tone. “You tell me what I feel.”


What did I think:

This is a slow burn romance story. If you are wanting immediate gratification and a love connection, then this is not the book for you. 

I wouldn’t normally pick up a slow burn love story, because I am impatient and want a happy ending from the get go! This story had the perfect pacing from “oh I am giving up on these two” to “Yaaaaaaaay they are making progress”.

The romance didn’t really start until about 63% through the book. That was when the first ‘moment‘ happened. Then it was all on from there! I loved the banter and dialogue Aiden and Vanessa had with each other. It was funny, witty and snarky all at the same time.

I was cheering for them as they each grew as people and started to become more than friends. It was quite a large sized book for a romance, but I read it all in one sitting. I couldn’t put it down.

The writing style is very thorough. The author has an amazing attention to detail, any questions I had while reading were quickly answered. She leaves nothing to the imagination, which was quite refreshing.


  • The book is downright funny!
  • The molesting fan scene was hilarious
  • Aiden is extremely over protective and overbearing from the get go
    • I love this because you know he is going to turn into a softy at some stage
  • I picture Aiden as a hotter Gronk 
  • The way Aiden tells the receptionist that Vanessa is his wife was amazing!
    • But MUFFIN…nobody likes to be called muffin…ever
  • The halloween scene was sooooooooo cute.
    • I am not a Dragon Ball Z girl, I am a Pokemon girl
  • That thunder scene
    • OMG! This was about 63% into the book and is the first real moment that sets the rest of their relationship in motion. More of these scenes please.
  • Zac is the perfect best friend and room-mate. He is funny, good looking, supportive, loyal and everything a girl could ask for. He is like an older brother figure to Vanessa.
    • If there was a sequel, I would want it to be all about Zac. 
  • The moment when Aiden finally admits how much he knows about Vanessa was a moment I had been waiting for from the beginning. We get hints that he is really attentive and since he doesn’t talk much…ever, then we know he is surely observant. He didn’t me down.
  • Goofy smile is permanently plastered on my face when Aiden and Vanessa talk to each other
  • The kneading of her muscles…lord help me! 
  • Aiden is always there when it counts
  • Silly questions for the win!


  • Why is he such a dickhead in the beginning?
    • He was so damn hard to like 
  • Those child abuse scenes are so hard to read. I wanted to reach through the pages and shake some sense into Vanessa’s mother and sisters. The writing being so thorough meant that those scenes were written with such raw emotion and detail. The scene that hit me the hardest was the closet scene.
  • Cain – not sure about him, he is to interested and creepy
  • It was so obvious he was thinking past 5 years. Vanessa kept putting her foot in it and after awhile this was getting really annoying
  • I felt like there was no need for kids to be introduced. I get that it is nice to see that their relationship progressed but you wrote this beautifully slow burning romance only to rush it at the finish. It was far too cliche and I would have preferred it to be taken back a step and hinted at a baby bump or buying a crib.

“I need a friend—I need you.”



This is centered around Aiden Graves being this amazing football player. Although he is a football player and the book talks about games, training’s, teams and the process of being drafted it didn’t seem as authentic as I had hoped. Obviously the book is ultimately about love story between Vanessa and Aiden, I would have loved if they did include more of the football.

This year I really got into watching Football and I was excited that I would know all the terminology and references, but they were so surface. I wanted a bit more!

“It was right then, in that instant, that I realized I might be a little in love with Aiden. Not in a way that was anything like the easy crush I had on him in the past, but different. So, so different.”



What would your price be to marry someone that in turns means your committing a felony? I would totally marry for student loan debts and a house, hell I would marry for the student loan debts! 

I am a real fan of this book troupe. I love the boss/worker type romance. Especially because they Boss is usually quite dominating and then has to let his guard down.

Why in these books do they always make the woman so afraid to use the male love interests money. They would tell you no or not let you have access if they were worried. Drives me nuts!

I wanted more football.

Dream Casting:


Rating Report
Overall: four-stars