The Wall of Winnipeg and Me
by Mariana Zapata
The Book Blurb
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?
I really **really** enjoyed this book. Yes, this is technically a sports romance, and while this was a part of the narrative, it wasn't necessary to know about football. (Otherwise, I probably wouldn't have liked the book so much.) Basically, we see Aiden's love and dedication to the game, which was even better (in my opinion). The game is all he cares about (or so it appears). Vanessa is just done with being put down. After being his assistant/cleaner/maid/every other job he doesn't have someone for, she's ready to embark on her own journey, creating digital designs. She saw her work environment wasn't a healthy one, so she left. (I mentally cheered when she left.) Aiden kind of wouldn't let her leave, which made me happy. He may not have always vocalized his thoughts, but they were there. He showed his appreciation in his own Aiden-like way. Needing a green card, he proposes...a deal. I think everyone who has ever gone or looked into college understands the student loan situation. Even if you don't have them, you know college is expensive. Aiden offers to pay off Vanessa's debt. This is understandable; maybe not totally ethical, but, hey, $150,000 plus dollars is a lot of money. If Vanessa marries him, and stays married for five years, he will buy her a house and pay off her debts. All she has to do is not fall in love with her husband. Easy, right?
This is the slowest burn romance I've ever read. Spoiler Alert! The two characters don't have their sexy time until the 98% mark according to my Kindle.
My favorite part of the entire book was when Vanessa bought Aiden a dog for Christmas. My heart melted. This big hulk of a man holding a puppy was the cutest thing ever. He held him like a little baby too! I went "AWWWWW" out loud while reading. Aiden doesn't say much, but he's a great character. He's the epitome of the strong silent type. I highly recommend this book. The plot is well-done, the characters had well-thought out and explained backgrounds (they read like real people, not characters). The dialogue was witty, and there were lots and lots of details contributed to the narrative as well as the representations of characterizations; it was just an all-around great read.
4.5 stars rounded up to 5.