Author: Mariana Zapata
Main characters: Aiden Graves and Vanessa Mazur
I have to say that I rarely read standalone books... not that I have anything against them, it's just that I usually pick up books that are part of a series :) but more often than not those books can also be read as standalones :) and I really like that :) getting to know some people in other books and then reading about their own happy ending in another one :) but I've heard so many great things about Mariana Zapata and her writing style, and from very trusted sources, I have to add ;) that I decided it's finally time to check her out :) and damn... ;) why have I waited so long to do it? :) I am not surprised that one of my #BookBesties named her the Queen of Slow Build Romance :) I absolutely agree with that :) but to those of you who need steamy scenes all over the place... you won't find that here ;) but does that makes this one boring? hell no :) so now let me tell you more why all of you should give it a try ;)
Let's start with our main couple :) and by that I mean I'm gonna have to start with Vanessa :) I am totally #GirlCrushing on her right now :) she was amazing :) I love this kind of heroines the most :) sassy, smart, determined... the kind that actually have plans and goals of her own :) she's such an inspiration :) she studied graphic design but worked for the last two years as Aiden's personal assistant... :) to save up money, all the while working on growing her business :) and Aiden... he's a defense player in the NFO... and he's big... and when I say big, I mean huge :) "the Wall of Winnipeg" is his nickname so you can imagine how big he is :) he's definitely a man of a few words... and not even a few words to be honest... more like grunts and nodding :) at least at the beginning :) he's focused on achieving his goals and dedicated to his work... but both of them are much more layered characters than it seems at the first glance... :) and I have to say that character development in this book was truly spectacular... we got to see the different parts of them in time, but it was all beautifully connected to who each of them are... :) there was no sudden changes, it all unraveled over a long period of time... :) <sigh> soooo good, seriously :)
The book starts when Vanessa was already working for Aiden for about two years, and she finally has the amount of money saved up that allowes her to quit and focus on her own business :) I don't really want to go into too many specific details, but... :) she quits with not so warm feelings about her boss at that moment so imagine her surprise when a few weeks later he shows up at her door and wants her to go back working for him :) again, I won't tell you exactly how and why he gets her back into his house, but it's happening... :) and from that moment we see the changes... slowly things are different between them... :) and I have to say that their whole story was absolutely lovely... :) it was beautiful, and realistic... it takes time for things to change between people :) so it was a nice switch from all those insat-love relationships that are so popular... and don't get me wrong, I have nothing against those kind of stories ;) I actually quite enjoy them, when I'm in the right mood... :) but this story... <sigh> :) it stole my heart... all the little things and gestures that meant soooo much coming from the right person at the right time... <double sigh> ;) it was most definitely not boring :) I was totally mesmerized and could not put it down... :) and I was rewarded with a stunning story and the cutest epilogue ever at the very end ;)
Besides the main couple there were of course a lot of secondary characters, but Vanessa and Aiden definitely were the centre of the story... duh, obviously ;) anyway... ;) there was Zac, Aiden's roommate and Vanessa's friend :) another football player :) very fun and charming guy... and also Diana, Vanessa's long time friend, who coloured her hair in different, interesting shades throughout the book :) there were also some not very nice people... and that is putting it extremely mildly, cause practically the whole family on Vanessa's side is... horrible... yep, let's go with horrible since I still have a no-cursing-in-posts rule ;) but all of those people were just additions to the awesomeness that was Vanessa and Aiden... damn, I loved their story :)
I am absolutely in love with Mariana Zapata and her writing style right now :) it was funny, emotional, realistic and just so... wonderful, fantastic, amazing... you can literally put whatever positive adjective you want here, and it will be true :) I will be definitely reading all other books that she wrote... probably in the near-ish future :) and the fact that they are all standalones as well is actually great, cause I can squeeze them in between different genres I read... cause you all know how much I love to skip between genres... and series... all the time :) but it does keep things interesting for me, and also, because of that, I write different reviews and can introduce you to various authors and books that maybe you haven't heard about before :) but back to the Queen of Slow Build Romance ;) I have to say that I was a bit apprehensive before I started this story, cause I wasn't sure how much I would enjoy something different from what I've been reading recently... turns out, it was fantastic :) different in the best possible way :) I loved the slow build up, the little changes and gestures... this book left me with the biggtest smile on my face and the warmest feeling inside of me... :) you should all give yourself a treat of reading this wonderful gem if you haven't done that already :) and if you did, welcome to the Mariana Zapata Fan Club ;) to all of you who have yet to do it... what are you waiting for? :)
You may be wondering why I have just a few quotes here for you, since I loved the writing in this book so much, but the answer to that is very simple... :) since Aiden is a man of a very few words, the best quotes from him were much too spoilerific to put here... ;) and all the other wonderful exchanges between them were more subtle... a sentence or two here and there... that taken out of context wouldn't show all the meaning behind them... :) so treat these few as just a little glimpse into all the beautiful things that awaits you in this story :) happy reading :)
The very first few sentences of the book and I was in love ;) one of Vanessa's inner monologues :)
"I was going to murder his ass. One day. One day long after I quit, so no one would suspect me."
And another one from Vanessa :)
"The thing with having a terrible day is that a lot of times, you don't know it's going to be a bad one until it's too late; it isn't until your clothes are on, you've eaten breakfast, and you're out of the house, so it's too late to go back to request a sick day... and bam! The signs stare you right in the eye, and you know your day has instantly gone into the shitter."
Part of a conversation between Aiden and Vanessa :)
'What's wrong with your foot?' I just blurted out.
'I sprained it.' That was easy, effortless, no bullshit Aiden for me.
Unfortunately, his comment didn't help or reassure me. I wouldn't be surprised if someone had hit him with a car and the tendon wasn't even attached to his leg any more, and he was insisting it was just a sprain."
And last one from Vanessa :)
"Good lord. My heart pounded as I sat at the chair behind my desk, and I set my palm over it. What the hell was that? That smile was like a nuclear bomb he had within his reach. I mean, I knew Aiden was attractive, obviously, but when he smiled, there was nothing to prepare you for that weapon of mass destruction."