I finally took the plunge, and this absolutely lives up to the hype – I ADORED it! This one’s for those readers who have the patience to follow little breadcrumbs scattered throughout the story, tiny moments of romance that slowly (SLOWLY) build into something truly beautiful. I loved that build in intimacy, the steps that this couple takes along the way. If you look at the contrasts between their relationship at the start of the book and where they end up by the final page, the emotional payoff is definitely there. It just felt so incredibly romantic, and my heart was bursting at the seams. We only get the heroine’s perspective, but I really felt like I knew (and loved) our hero by the end – he’s such an interesting character, and he certainly had me swooning once he got his head out of his… you know.
The story follows Vanessa, a woman who can’t wait to quit her job. It’s not that she hates her boss, but she’s ready to dive into a career that she actually loves, and his moodiness has only gotten worse in the months since he suffered an injury. Aiden’s whole life is centered around his sports career, and Vanessa once admired his commitment. But now Vanessa sees how self-centered and selfish Aiden is, and that means she doesn’t feel bad about leaving. Surely he won’t even miss her. But that’s not quite how things go, and it’s not long before Vanessa is seeing her former boss in an entirely new light. As Aiden and Vanessa’s relationship evolves throughout the course of the following months, they grow closer than either would’ve anticipated.
I don’t want to give away all of the great developments in this slow-burning romance if you’ve still got it on your TBR, just know that I LOVED how the story progressed. It’s got a few twists and turns that surprised me, and I’m so glad that I was able to avoid most spoilers. Aiden ended up being SUCH a great character, and the story was more fulfilling because of his evolution throughout. Vanessa evolves too, and I so appreciated that she finds her confidence along the way. There are some fantastic moments between them, and I’m grateful that their relationship was front and center throughout the entire story. Yes, sometimes the slow burn was painfully, torturously slow, but the romance is central to nearly every interaction. It’s all important. I can certainly see the influence of this story on many of the books I’ve loved in the years since it came out, so I’m really happy that I finally made the time to read this. I’m going to have to read more vintage Zapata now too, lol. If you’re a reader who loves quiet moments between characters, trying to puzzle out the hero’s inner thoughts/feelings, and watching a couple slowly make their way towards each other, then this is a powerhouse of a read.
Eh, the audio was fine. Audiobooks have come a long way since this was released, and it shows. The story is also told exclusively from Vanessa’s point of view, so we only get a single narrator. Callie Dalton is not one of my favorite narrators, but I’ve gotten used to her voice over time, so I didn’t have any trouble listening to her. Her voice is soft and somewhat relaxing, which is good for a book as long as this one. I wanted to soak up every moment of Aiden and Vanessa’s interactions, so I did not speed up the pace at all and I ended up switching to the text version whenever I really wanted to absorb something. That’s just how I read. So it took a full two days for me to read this, but it was well worth the time I spent with these characters. The overall vibe and slow-burning romance worked perfectly for an office setting, especially the first day. There is a little bit of steam, but it takes hundreds of pages to get there, lol. Yeah, not kidding. So the audiobook helped make the reading experience a little less cumbersome, and I was able to seamlessly transition to the ebook once I was fully immersed in the story.
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?
About the Author:
Mariana is a New York Times, USA Today, and #1 Amazon best-selling author and reached #7 on Amazon’s Author Ranking in 2016. Her book The Wall of Winnipeg and Me was a #1 Amazon Overall Best Seller, and was chosen as a 2016 Goodreads Choice Award nominee and also included on Amazon’s Best Books of 2016 for Romance. Wait for It reached #2 on the Amazon Overall Best Seller list and stayed in the top 100 for six weeks; it was chosen as a 2017 Goodreads Choice Award nominee in the Romance category. Dear Aaron was a top 10 Amazon Overall Best Seller and stayed in the top 100 for six weeks. From Lukov with Love was a top 10 Amazon Overall Best Seller and a finalist in the romance category for the 2018 Goodreads Choice Awards. Luna and the Lie became a #1 Amazon Overall Best Seller. The Best Thing was a top 10 Amazon Overall Best Seller and a 2019 Goodreads Choice Awards nominee in romance. Her latest novel, Hands Down, was also a top 10 Amazon Overall Best Seller.
Mariana Zapata began writing love stories soon after she learned how to spell. She probably shouldn’t admit that she started sneaking romance novels from her aunt’s bookshelves way before she was old enough to even understand what it meant when a man flipped up a woman’s skirt. (Don’t tell her mom.)
Mariana is a native Texan living in a small town in Colorado with her husband and two beloved (and emotionally manipulative) Great Danes, Dorian and Kaiser. When she’s not pretending to write, she’s reading. You can usually find her burning somewhat edible experiments in the kitchen or cracking jokes at the expense of her family members.
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