The Wall of Winnipeg and Me
I know… at first the title totally threw me off. When it comes to this author, I’m always a little perplexed (yet intrigued) by her title choices, and they end up making plenty of sense. But this one makes ALL the sense in the world when you realize “The Wall of Winnipeg” is the nickname of a HUGE 6’4″ 250lb+ football hero (who’s actual name is Aiden). So yes, my friends, we get to fall in love with a sports star, and BOY DO WE EVER!!!!
Maryse: I’ve been hooked from the very start. I LOVE how she writes, I love how her heroine thinks, I LOVE that it’s only from her POV, and I LOVE that he’s true to his grumpiness, and I LOVE that it’s yet another super-slow burn, ’cause it makes it SO MUCH FUN!!!! …I think I like WoW and Me even more than Kulti… BUT!! I’m only half way through so we’ll see. But YEAH I LOVE it!
Lisa: 50% into WoW……perfection. This is my 2016 Hollywood Dirt. Love, love, love.
Cheryl: I finished WoW and loved it. Talk about a slow-burn, and love to hate story. Gave me all the “feels.” Just would have liked a little “more” towards the end.
Robyn: The Wall of Winnepeg and Me was so good! I was reading it so slowly because I didn’t want it to end. That hasn’t happened in a long time.
LisaM: I finished The Wall of Winnipeg & Me. It was so good!!! I stayed up reading late & slacked at work yesterday to finish it. I always feel so sad when I finish a good book as I never want it to end!!!! Aiden Aiden Aiden!!! Hot hot hot & a bit of an beep beep beep!! But You can’t help but swoon over him!!! …Love books about athletes!!
Jillian: I finished The Wall of Winnipeg and Me today and it was friggin’ fantastic. I can’t even take it with her books. THEY BURN SO GOOD! I hope Zac gets a story. I’m so lost now that it’s over. Curse you, Ms. Zapata, curse you for writing such wonderfully tortuous books *shakes fist*
And OMG I absolutely LOVED it!! I want MORE like this! Not by way of “story imitation” but because of the realistic feel of a true connection gradually being built between two people. We LIVE it, with them. Through big events, and small, yet momentous, personal ones.
And don’t mistake “gradually” as boring. There’s still plenty of butterfly in the stomach, and the OH NO HE DIDN’T thrill moments throughout the whole journey. A delicious slow burn, and a good dose of unrequited pining where we get to be HER, and go through all of her emotions with her as she struggles with her love/hate relationship with her boss.
Not just a fleeting moment, or the promise of tension and butterflies via one or two chapters of personal angst, and then suddenly all the tension is gone ’cause they’re together. Nope. Nuh uh. Not Mariana Zapata. She’s the queen of slow-burn, it takes awhile getting there, but it’s so tingly the whole way!
So what’s it about?
Vanessa has some serious student debts to pay off, and ends up selling her soul… er… I mean, becoming the personal assistant to one of the biggest Football stars around. Not just his assistant, though. She’s pretty much his “keeper”. Takes care of his social media, his email, his schedule, his calls, cooks and cleans for him (and no – she’s not even live-in!!) but most of all, deals with all of his constant orneriness. He’s a big hulk of brooding, untouchable, un-cuddly man.
It’s not that he’s mean, per se.
I knew what it was like to be bullied, and Aiden never crossed the line into being unnecessarily mean. He was just a jackass sometimes.
He was lucky I had a tiny, itty, bitty crush on him; otherwise, he would have gotten the shank years ago.
He’s just… indifferent. Aloof. Distant. No holds barred, and if he doesn’t like something, has no qualms in making it known. He doesn’t realize he should feel sorry, because he’s just not sensitive.
For the last two years, my smiles were never returned, my every single “How are you?” went unanswered, and other than that infamous look that made my imaginary hackles rise, there was that tone, that almost smug tone, he took sometimes that just asked for an ass whooping… from someone much bigger than me.
Our boss and employee roles became more and more pronounced each day. I cared about him as much as I could care for someone who I saw a minimum of five days a week, who I basically took care of for a living, but who treated me like the friend of a pesky little sister he would rather not have.
Oh and… there’s not an ounce of “bad-boy” in him. Because there doesn’t have to be. He’s got nothing to prove, because he couldn’t care less. 😉 He’s not into proving his manliness. He doesn’t have to flaunt a thing. He’s not into justifying how tough he is. Oh boy, he doesn’t have to do that either. He EXUDES it.
I didn’t feel guilty at all about getting caught flipping him off. The first time it had happened, I thought I was going to die of embarrassment and then get fired, but now I knew Aiden. He didn’t care if I did it, or at least that was the impression I got since I still had a job. I’d seen people come up to him and try goading him, calling him all sorts of names and insults that made me reel back. But what did he do when people did that kind of stuff? He didn’t even twitch; he just pretended not to hear them.
Honestly, it was a little impressive to have that kind of backbone.
He’s not into endless player-ing. Women want him, but he’s much too focused, for that.
Vacations? He didn’t take them. I didn’t even think he knew what they were. He didn’t have pictures of family or friends anywhere in the house. His entire life revolved around football. It was the center of his universe.
In the grand scheme of Aiden Graves’s life, I was no one really. We just sort of put up with each other.
He’s the ultimate in no-nonsense, alpha-male heroes, and just one look says it all. YUMMY!! That’s so much more fun than “bad-boy” and you KNOW I love me a proper bad-boy hero.
So anyway, after a few years of working with him, and building up her savings enough that she can start her own graphic-design business, she quits. She’s had enough of this thankless job, and his ‘tude is wearing thin. Let alone, his buttonhole of an agent (who’s rude comment about her sends her over the edge), she walks out and flips them both off. LOL!!!!
…before I could talk myself out of it, I mouthed, “I deserve better, a$$hole,” making sure he read my lips as I did it. Then I raised my middle finger up at him and waved good-bye with it.
I hope they both got syphilis.
*snort* This girl. I LOVED her!!! She’s sensitive, and fun, and happy, and hardworking, but when she’s had enough, she goes out in a blaze of glory.
Yet, after a few weeks, Aiden shows up at her door. He needs her back. She is SO uninterested. No more. She’s had enough.
We were as even as we possibly could be. I didn’t feel anything except the barest hum of recognition for someone I’d seen hundreds of times. This guy who I had admired, that I had once respected, who had slightly broken my heart and disillusioned me.
But he’s persistent, ’cause she’s the only one that he can tolerate in his personal space.
The chair Aiden was sitting on creaked with his weight. I didn’t want to look at him. “You don’t get on my nerves,” he noted almost as if I’d cured cancer.
I couldn’t look at him. I couldn’t even look at him. You don’t get on my nerves. I had to set the jug on the counter, and grip the sharp edge of the countertop with my free hand. How did he expect me to respond? Did he want me to thank him for such a heartfelt compliment?
WOW!!!! From start to finish, I loved every single part of this story and not once did I roll my eyes, or get bored, or wonder when it would happen. I was having too much fun getting there, experiencing flutters in my tummy and mini heartaches, and all of the things I read for. 😉
“I don’t have time to bother trying to have a relationship, and I don’t like most people. Women included. ”
I wrung my hands, which were still between our two bodies. “You like me a little.”
“A little,” he repeated with only a small curve to the corners of his mouth.
Awwww!!! GAH I LOVE THIS BOOK!
And I can say that I did love it more than Kulti and you know so many of us here LOVED Kulti. Now THIS is the kind of love story/romance book I want to read. One that takes it’s time, but not unnecessarily, ya know?
Her “realistic character” writing is top notch. The things they say, think, and do, are detailed just right, and her characters are authentic. Their quirks, their fears, their backgrounds. The things that make them smile, and those that make them cry. Just like watching a movie. Or like living real life. Living true love, exploring the dynamic between two people, growing them slowly… together until it becomes something BIG.
If you’re in the mood for romantic tension, frustration (and occasional infuriation), unrequited love, and a potential true closeness to rival all others, then this love story is for you, pacing and all!! It’s not about the steam and sex. It’s about the building friendship, and budding relationship. It’s pure romance-reader indulgence.
I want more please!!!!!