Monday, August 8, 2016

Audio Review ~ The Wall of Winnipeg and Me ~ Mariana Zapata

The Wall of Winnipeg and MeThe Wall of Winnipeg and Me by Mariana Zapata
Narrated by: Callie Dalton
Release Date: May 10, 2016
Genre: Adult, Contemporary Romance, Sports Romance
Source: I received a complimentary copy from Tantor Audio in exchange for an honest review.
Rating: 4.5 Bookworms

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?

Oh my goodness! What a listen! Being a football fan and from Texas, listening to a story revolving around a defensive end playing for the Dallas 300's was a delight! Meeting a feisty young woman working for/crushing on said defensive end? Even better. This was my introduction to Zapata's writing and I'm hooked!

Vanessa is the plucky heroine. I adored that she took such care of Aiden but also didn't let him walk all over her. Most of the time. She's a survivor - made it through a horrible childhood and suffered at the hands of those who should have taken care of her. But she's made something of herself and working for Aiden has afforded her options.

Aiden - I admit that it took quite awhile for me to warm up to him. He's dedicated to his job, for sure. He severely lacked in social skills though. Seriously. Things changed for him when Vanessa quit. And when he got her back and the began getting to really know one another, he had me swooning. The banter between them was so much fun! Aiden is a deep guy which wasn't really apparent in the beginning. I enjoyed seeing Vanessa realize there was so much more to him than she'd ever dreamed.

The secondary cast was excellent - particularly Zach. The "Big Texan" added a lot of depth to the story as well as offering comedic relief often. I hope he gets his own story but since this one isn't listed as being part of a series, I may be out of luck.

There was much more going on than just the romance here. Tough topics, like abuse, were explored and I liked the complexity these topics added. Then emotional growth both Vanessa and Aiden experienced was amazing to witness - especially what they accomplished individually. That individual growth made their blossoming romance more solid. Opening up to one another about themselves served to aid in their personal healing as well as help them grow closer.

I could gush on and on. The story was engaging, well-paced, and a pleasure to listen to. Callie Dalton, the narrator, played a huge role in that. With the exception of Aiden's voice being a bit shaky in the beginning, she did well with keeping the story flowing and conveying the emotion of the characters. She nailed a Texas accent and helped me fall for Zach. *wink* I'd absolutely listen to her again and am keeping my fingers crossed for more from this cast of characters!

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