Book Review

Book Review: Wait for It by Mariana Zapata

Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆
Audience: Contemporary Romance
Length: 670 pages
Author: Mariana Zapata
Publisher: Self-published
Release Date: December 7th, 2016
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

If anyone ever said being an adult was easy, they hadn’t been one long enough. Diana Casillas can admit it: she doesn’t know what the hell she’s doing half the time. How she’s made it through the last two years of her life without killing anyone is nothing short of a miracle. Being a grown-up wasn’t supposed to be so hard. With a new house, two little boys she inherited the most painful possible way, a giant dog, a job she usually loves, more than enough family, and friends, she has almost everything she could ever ask for. Except for a boyfriend. Or a husband. But who needs either one of those?

ANOTHER FAV.

Reading my third Zapata book it really hit that I might have liked The Wall of Winnipeg and Me more if I had fully grasped the way that these stories are constructed. I am reallllly loving the way the plot moves and gives a longer timeline that by the end has you satisfied that every end is finished.

I love the neighbor trope!! Another trope I didn’t know I enjoyed so much. Many casual run-ins and helping each other out leads to love y’all. And I ain’t mad about that. This book was the epitome of it’s title with the way Dallas and Diana moved in each other’s orbits. I appreciated the way Dallas handled his own situations while reaching out a hand to Diana. And wow did I love Diana!! She was incredibly strong and brave, facing an uncertain future and trying to do the best by her nephews. And of course I’m going to mention Josh and Lou too, BECAUSE THEY WERE ADORABLE. I found myself laughing at the intricacies of life and the stellar comebacks that came out of those kids mouths. I loved it. I loved them. I love this mashed up family unit that made my heart burst.

I found myself intensely invested in the emotions of this story. This is my current second favorite and I am now finding myself want to deep-dive into all of these books. I crave the beautiful slow burn romance that’s full of life and love.

Overall audience notes:

  • Contemporary romance
  • Language: very strong
  • Romance: kisses to one open door scene
  • Violence: physical altercations, house fire
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: Divorce, loss of loved ones difficult parents, remembrance of a physically abusive relationship, suicide (recounting of a character off page), bullying

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Book Review

Book Review: From Lukov With Love by Mariana Zapata

Rating: ★★★★☆ (4.5)
Audience: Contemporary Romance
Length: 538 pages
Author: Mariana Zapata
Publisher: Self published
Release Date: February 1st, 2018
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

If someone were to ask Jasmine Santos to describe the last few years of her life with a single word, it would definitely be a four-letter one.

After seventeen years—and countless broken bones and broken promises—she knows her window to compete in figure skating is coming to a close.

But when the offer of a lifetime comes in from an arrogant idiot she’s spent the last decade dreaming about pushing in the way of a moving bus, Jasmine might have to reconsider everything.

Including Ivan Lukov.

BRB SWOONING.

AHHH.

Every dang time Ivan Lukov started talking to Jasmine you bet I was SWOONING. Holy cow that man can give a loving speech. He can hype me up any day. I loved him. I loved his support and sweet and small ways he cared for Jasmine. Building up that friendship and partnership into something more. My heart can’t handle that many skips in one book!

In typical MZ fashion there’s a long wait for the pay-off with this one. Dare I say a bit too long? At least for me the first 100-200 pages were a bit slower than usual. There was a loooot of hatred and disgruntlement that were the crux of Jasmine’s life. And at last, once she started taking small steps back towards her ultimate goals things started to open up.

Wow do I love a sports romance and this was no different. I love that this was about figure skating!! I felt like I learned a lot about the sport and it was the perfect counter balance against the romance. One didn’t outshine the other. Another wonderful MZ read. I’m slowly working through her books and now that this has been my fifth, I’m still in awe at how addicting these stories are.

Overall audience notes:

  • Contemporary Romance
  • Language: very strong and often
  • Romance: one open door
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: fatmisia and body shaming, misogyny, sexual harassment, stalking, bullying

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Book Review

Book Review: All Rhodes Lead Here by Mariana Zapata

Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆
Audience: Contemporary romance
Length: 551 pages
Author: Mariana Zapata
Publisher: Self-published
Release Date: April 1st, 2021
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Losing people you love is hard.

Aurora De La Torre knows moving back to a place that was once home isn’t going to be easy.

Starting your whole life over probably isn’t supposed to be.

But a small town in the mountains might be the perfect remedy for a broken heart.

Checking out her landlord across the driveway just might cure it too.

I GET IT NOW.

My first Zapata book was, The Wall of Winnipeg and Me, and I thought it was…fine. I think it might have been over-hyped for me so I didn’t know how I would feel about another book. But decided, why not?

ENTER IN ALL RHODES LEAD HERE.

I get it all now. This is clearly the Zapata book for me and I LOOOOVED IT.

Oh my gosh, Rhodes is a new bookisk boyfriend forever favorite. I couldn’t get enough of his quiet, stoic ways. He was incredibly romantic in the best ways. I was wrapped up in every little (and big) way he showed Aurora he was falling for her hard. I don’t know how to better describe this other than it was some of the mest slow-burn romanticness I’ve ever read.

I thought Aurora was a great main character too. I cheered for her, wanted to hug her, she made me laugh and smile. Watching her work through her trials with a sense of hope that the next turn was going to be better was such a light. Aurora’s ability to smile and continue to love was fantastic.

All of these side characters had me wrapped around their fingers too. [Well, all of the positive characters — the terrible ones can go hide in a hole]. They all felt well built and had their own stories that wove well into the over-arching plot.

Even though some of these hikes went sideways, this book gave me major wanderlust. I would love to travel to some of these areas now and see them for myself.

What a gem of a book y’all. I will recommend this up and down if you’re looking to dive into a Zapata book.

Overall audience notes:

  • Contemporary romance
  • Language: strong
  • Romance: kisses/make-outs to one open door scene
  • Violence: hiking mishaps (falling and getting injured)
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: loss of a parent, emotional/verbal abuse, gaslighting and intense manipulation, depression

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Book Review

Book Review: Kulti by Mariana Zapata

Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆
Audience: Contemporary romance
Length: 570 pages
Author: Mariana Zapata
Publisher: Self-published
Release Date: March 20th, 2015
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

“Trust me, I’ve wanted to punch you in the face a time or five.”

When the man you worshipped as a kid becomes your coach, it’s supposed to be the greatest thing in the world. Keywords: supposed to.

It didn’t take a week for 27-year-old Sal Casillas to wonder what she’d seen in the international soccer icon – why she’d ever had his posters on her wall or ever envisioned marrying him and having super-playing soccer babies.

Sal had long ago gotten over the worst non-break-up in the history of imaginary relationships with a man who hadn’t known she’d existed. So she isn’t prepared for this version of Reiner Kulti who shows up to her team’s season: a quiet, reclusive shadow of the explosive, passionate man he’d once been.

A NEW FAVORITE.

All Rhodes Lead Here and Kulti are officially my favorite MZ books.

THIS SOCCER ROMANCE WAS EVERYTHING.

I absolutely loved Sal. The focus was clearly on her and her soccer career. I adored her as a character and the type of person she was. Sal was loyal and kind with a temper. Enter in Reiner Kulti who is silent as stone and immovable in emotions. CHEMISTRY FLIES. I love how they went from barely acquittances, to actual friends, and THEN to a romantic relationship. It all felt so natural and hot dang was fantastic. I love MZ’s ability to make me swoon over every tiny hand hold or hug. Those soft moments when you realize that stone is actually clay and is forming a new bond right in front of your eyes.

You won’t even notice that this is 600 pages. The progression is flawless and the pacing is everything I love about a stellar slow burn. My heart was an absolute puddle in the last pages with confessions and acknowledgements of feelings. A PUDDLE. Wow does Rey know how to lay out some tender words when he wants too. His support for Sal was EVERYTHING.

I really loved this story. It was heavily focused on the soccer season and yet never felt like it was overshadowing the fact that this is a romance book. Both plots wove seamlessly and I am smitten. Not to mention, smitten with the side characters too. Sal’s Dad was a GEM. And made me laugh and smile along with her other friends. I have nothing but good things to say about this book and highly recommend for anyone looking for a sports romance to turn their heart to mush.

Overall audience notes:

  • Contemporary romance
  • Language: some strong
  • Romance: kisses to open door scenes
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: slut-shaming

Instagram || Goodreads