The Wall of Winnipeg and Me

The Wall of Winnipeg and Me

by Mariana Zapata


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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?

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780990429241
Publisher: Mariana Zapata
Publication date: 03/01/2016
Pages: 672
Sales rank: 111,439
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 7.90(h) x 1.70(d)

About the Author

Mariana Zapata is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of Lingus, Kulti, and Under Locke. A native Texan, she now makes her home in Pagosa Springs, Colorado, with her husband, Chris, and their two Great Danes. Visit Mariana at

Callie Dalton is an actor and voice artist who loves feisty heroines and brooding boyfriends. She lives in Los Angeles with her own brooding (but not always) boyfriend and her schnauzer, Ella.

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The Wall of Winnipeg and Me 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
lg22 More than 1 year ago
This is one of my favorites!
Neek67 6 months ago
I have read this book numerous times, and I love it even more each and every time I do. On one re read, I added the audio so I could listen and read along, or sometimes I even do a puzzle on my iPad as the big guy is doing his, for moral support. If you haven’t heard of Mariana Zapata and her slow burn books, you are in for a real treat. This one is my favorite of all. I am still team Graves, 100%. Van is the assistant to a VIP. That would be The Wall of Winnipeg who plays for Dallas’s major league football team. She is a determined, smart and sassy girl that knows exactly what she wants with her career, and that’s not working for Aiden Graves. Aiden is a classic MZ male character. He’s gruff, brooding and does not say much. He is so focused on playing ball and being the best defensive end player that he doesn’t know what is right in front of his eyes until she’s gone. Only one thing will make Van consider coming back to the big guy, and it was definitely nothing she thought he’d ask! I loved every single thing about this book. Van’s commentary, her banter with Aiden and Zac, her vulnerability and sensitivity. Of course nothing beats Aiden though. He plays the quiet and solemn hero to a T. Just because he was extremely dedicated to his profession didn’t mean he wasn’t paying attention to what was going on around him when he got a second chance. I know I will be reading this book so many times still to come, and will fall for them both again and again. I can not recommend this book any higher. I also know, once you have read a MZ book, you will appreciate why she is considered the Queen of slow burn romances and why I have enjoyed every single one of her books.
VPV613 More than 1 year ago
I loved this book!!! I definitely recommend this book, and this author.
ShelbyNeal More than 1 year ago
A good slow burn.
lenorewastaken More than 1 year ago
4 stars — I loved so much about this book, especially the characters and the amount of emotion I felt. Like, I can’t even begin to describe to you how much this book made me feel. And honestly, I would have rated this book even higher, but there were a few things about the writing style that just weren’t to my taste. Mostly it was that the book felt wordy I guess…like, particularly surrounding the dialogue parts. I tend to be a bit of an impatient reader, and so when there was quite a bit of internal thoughts going on in between each piece of dialogue, I would find myself reading ahead and *just* reading the actual dialogue to maintain that flow and find out what was going to happen, and then I would flip back and read the bits in between. It’s just a personal taste thing, I find I lose track of what the characters are discussing otherwise. Not sure if that makes sense. Obviously all books have this to some degree, this just felt…a bit more extreme I guess. This book was also just a single POV, Vanessa’s, which worked fairly well in general and really helped me to get to know her. I do tend to prefer dual POV books, but it’s not a requirement for me. Most of the time I was OK with this, but there is a part of me that desperately wanted a peak inside Aiden’s head, especially since he was such a tricky character. Honestly, Aiden was a hard one to figure out. At first I wondered if he was on the Asperger’s spectrum, swear to god. Eventually his interactions settled into a bit more of a normal pattern, but I can’t help but want to know if he has a social disorder or something… I mean, I get that he’s damaged, but even with that I wanted to know what made him tick, because his behavior was seriously extreme. But those are the cons of single POV. My heart did ache for him and what he went through and what we learned of his past. I both loved and got annoyed with Vanessa. She. Was. HILARIOUS. I seriously adored being inside her head sometimes b/c she just made me laugh so much. She was such a strange mix of characteristics — sassy as all get out, endearingly eager, hardworking, caring and sensitive…but also seriously thick at times, which made her hard to love. I mean, it made sense b/c of her f’d up childhood, and how it damaged her ability to trust. But seriously, after a certain point her fear and avoidance and almost willful ignorance got tiring. I did love how uninhibited Van was in her pleasure when Aiden would do certain things…but on the flip side I felt bad that she constantly underestimated him. This was a RIDICULOUSLY slow burning romance…super super duper slow. But because of that we got to see the relationship build up slowly, and that allowed me to really trust their connection to one another. And even though it took the whole book to get there, I really felt their chemistry at the end. It was almost a friendship book as well, because their connection went that deep. There were so many good moments between the two of them. I think my favourite was the whole section surrounding the Christmas present Van got for Aiden…I just about cried. I felt ALL the emotions, and I could picture it so clearly. As for secondary characters, I loved Van’s relationship with her BFF Diana: hilarious. And even though we only got to see a bit, I enjoyed her relationship with her brother Oscar as well. But it was her friendship with Zach that totally stole the show. Can I just say how much I loved that there truly was n
Nadia_Hassan More than 1 year ago
I reread the book in audible form on the anniversary of the day I read it for the first time two years ago. This was my first Mariana Zapata book, but not my last! I loved every part of this book, it was the most pure, sweet and amazing book I had read in a while! I absolutely freaking LOOOOOOVE Aidan and Vanessa, how could you not? What I loved about this book, besides the fantastic character development, the amazing storyline, the phenomenal writing style, is the sloooooow burn, oh gods have I been wanting a really great slow burn. I love that we see them slowly build up their romantic relationship, that is more realistic to me. I cannot recommend this author enough. I mean I would recommend this book as well, but this freaking author, she is talented AF.
Rachelley More than 1 year ago
5 stars I am breathless...whew! A 667 page romance...and I devoured it in 2 days. I feel like I just ran a marathon. Aidan (our hero) and Vanessa (our MC) don't really get along. Vanessa is Aidan's assistant, and he gives her a lot of crap. When she finally gets fed up with his shit, she quits. However, Aidan ends up at her doorstep a month later begging her to come back to work for him. When she turns him down, he eventually makes her an offer she can't refuse..... This is definitely a slow burn romance, and I loved the crap out of every single little detail. Seriously. It has been a long time since I've read a slow burn and not some insta-love shit, and this was just what my little heart needed. The character growth and relationship dynamic between Aidan and Vanessa is fantastic. I loved seeing their work relationship develop into a friendship and then something more. I loved learning more about Vanessa and her story, and I loved picking apart the pieces that made Aidan, Aidan. Watching Vanessa and Aidan get to know each other, their nuances, and their personalities just sucked me right in. Thank you Ms. Zapata for letting your characters actually get to know each other before falling in love. Some nitpicky things though.....the author doesn't let us forget exactly what Aidan looks like. We get his physical description pretty early on in the book, but she never stops reminding us throughout the rest of the book exactly what he looks like. It's not like I forgot in the last 20 pages that he has massive muscles, chocolate brown eyes, scruff, etc etc. It kind of got old after a while. Also, instead of just referring to him as Aidan, the author constantly calls him by his nickname: The Wall of Winnipeg (hence the book's title). That also got a bit old. Just call him Aidan. I know his nickname, and I don't need to be hit over the head with it. There was also a bunch of inner monologue going on in Vanessa's head in the beginning of the book, but it fizzled out some after about 150 pages. Overall though, I really enjoyed it! If you are looking for a slow burn romance, this is right up your alley.
Boundlessbookreviews More than 1 year ago
I am not normally a fan of the slow burn romance.  Yet with Zapata books that isn’t what you get.  At least form the two I have read so far.  The Wall of Winnipeg and Me has such a slow build up to a romance, it is truly a story of a woman falling in love with a man.  The story is beautiful, frustrating, exciting, a bit crushing at times but always, always heart-achingly wonderful, much the way falling in love is.   I LOVED this story, I want to go back and listen to it again I loved it that much.  Zapata is so incredibly talented with her writing and I am a fan.  I am giving The Wall of Winnipeg and Me 5 Huge Boundless stars if I could give it a 10 I would. 
thereadingchick More than 1 year ago
Vanessa was hired to be Aiden’s personal assistant. Aiden, known as the Wall of Winnipeg in the NFO (a fictional football league) is as stoic as his nickname makes him sound. He’s built like a wall, all muscle mass, but he has as much personality as a wall as well! Vanessa has worked for him for two years and even though they spend massive amounts of time together, he has never tried to get to know her, be pleasant to her, or even crack a smile. Vanessa on the other hand, is always cheerful and tries to joke with him, making a challenge out of trying to get him to smile or react. On the inside though, she’s over his uncaring attitude. She is just biding her time until she can save up enough money to take a year off and get her graphic design business up and running. One day, after taking crap from Trevor, Aiden’s manager, and overhearing him insult her and not have Aiden come to her defense, she hits the wall. She quits and walks out of her job. Even though she kind of misses him, she never looks back. Until he’s sitting on her doorstep trying to get her to come back. And boy does she make his work for it. This story was told entirely from Vanessa’s POV and sometimes I really wanted to see inside of Aiden’s head. His stoic stare was the same for every person in his life. But when he finally talks Vanessa back into his life, he let’s Vanessa in a little at a time, and we are given hints of him through those minute changes in expression. Each twitch of an eyebrow or quirk of a lip told his life story, and surprisingly to Vanessa, their backgrounds were pretty similar. This novel was a slow and steady wins the race kind of novel. As the two of them got to know each other better, and Vanessa was able to read him more, you could see a really caring partnership growing. This was a true friends to lovers story, and I ate it up! For me, a great novel is when your main character or characters overcome a personal challenge, and this novel was full of those wins. They both not only had a lot to learn about each other, but they also had to come to grip with a lot of things about themselves. They were both very set in their ways. They both had the same focus in their jobs, Aiden’s was just a lot more physical and so his hours were spent in training. However, they both had to re-map their mind. Aiden, had to learn to let someone in to love, and Vanessa had to learn that love doesn’t always turn into betrayal. When they finally opened their emotions up to each other it was heartrending. That moment didn’t happen until almost 3/4’s of the way through the book! But every moment leading up to it was an important moment in the history of Aiden and Vanessa. I like sex in novels just fine, but I like it a lot more when the heart is truly involved, and it’s not sex, just for sex sake. Theirs was a union of minds, not just of bodies, but that moment when it finally happened was full of fire and I didn’t feel like I was gypped in the romance department at all. The Wall of Winnipeg and Me is not your typical sports romance, and is definitely worth your time. I read an ebook that clocked in well over 600 pages, but those pages flew by. ❤❤❤❤❣
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A great read! Slow burn!You'll lime t!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Amazing story-loved Aiden & Vanessa.