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The Wall of Winnipeg and Me

Written by: Mariana Zapata
Narrated by: Callie Dalton
Length: 16 hrs
Categories: Romance, Contemporary
5 out of 5 stars (89 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

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?

©2016 Mariana Zapata (P)2016 Tantor

What listeners say about The Wall of Winnipeg and Me

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

For slow burn lovers

I love the slow burn of this romance. The development of the relationship comes naturally. Vanessa is a strong women, who pushes her self to be better. Aiden is little rough around the edges but you fall in love with him with the way he shows affection. #Audible1

1 person found this helpful

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Amazing! Slow burn romance

I have listened to this book 3x in the past 2 weeks. I never do that I usually move right onto the next book but this book has everything I love in a romance. a marriage of convenience, no love triangle, cute moments, friends first, driven characters who have great character arc's...everything :D

1 person found this helpful

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True Love

I love this book. It is so special for an author to recreate the experience of falling in true deep love with someone. This story is a rare gem as is true love.

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    5 out of 5 stars

Good but needed way more inflection!

I enjoyed the book overall but really struggled with the narrator's interpretation of the male lead. Whatever his emotion, it all sounded the same or strained. There were times I was going to stop listening but the storyline grabbed my attention. I will admit, a fraction of why I purchased this book was simply for the title (myself being from Winnipeg).

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Wonderful

Such a nice story. Worth every penny. An actual realistic slow love story. Very sweet and entertaining.

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Great story of sport and relationships...

This was an enjoyable book, and I loved the characters portrayed in the book. I couldn’t wait for the ending! An awesome way to end!

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Listened four Times

Need I say more??? I live this book and I will inhale it again soon!

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  • catkit
  • 2016-09-30

Good slow burn

I've listened to 4 of Zapata's books. The slow development of the attraction between the characters is what I appreciate most. Usually other authors will throw a couple together with immediate attraction, and they fall into bed shortly thereafter. Not Zapata. The protagonists initially don't care for each other, and the changes in emotion is accompanied by the development and increased depth in the characters. I'm falling in love with them as they fall for each other. The story was long, but at the end I wished it wasn't over, which is the sign of a truly good book.

38 people found this helpful

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  • Denise
  • 2016-05-14

THIS IS HOW WRITING IS DONE!!! 5 STARS!!!

Mariana Zapta has a devoted fan in me. Her stories are relevant, interesting and more importantly very well written! The story of Vanessa and Aiden is not a love at first sight story. It is what she referred to once as a "slow burn". Non-the-less you will love this story if you are a die hard reader and love a good story based upon a solid relationship that was not easily built and not based on sexual attraction alone.

47 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Stacey is Sassy
  • 2016-07-28

I couldn't help myself

I buy audio books for my in-between reads. I like to listen to audiobooks when I’m catching the train to work, baking or exercising (which I should do more of). Well, there was a slight problem with The Wall of Winnipeg and Me, it was too good. I couldn’t bring myself to stop listening. What normally would have lasted me a couple of weeks lasted me a couple of days. I was sucked into the story from the very first minute. The narrator had a voice that was easy to listen to, the characters were engaging and the storyline was interesting. A lot of readers refer to Ms Zapatta as the Queen of the Slow Burn, which honestly I’d have to agree with. What I think makes her the Queen is her ability to distract you from missing it. I think this was the first audio where I haven’t had to hide my face while listening on the train. I wasn’t squirming, blushing or turning the volume down hoping someone wasn’t overhearing the sexy times. Oh, there were a few sniffles when harsh words were spoken or we look back into painful past experiences but more times than not it was the big grin I wore that showed what I was feeling.

Now, in regards to the story…Vanessa is a woman who has had a very hard life. Her family ABSOLUTELY SUCKS!! What makes her such a great character though is that she’s moved on from her horrible family and made a success of her life. She was the PA/Housekeeper/Servant to The Big Guy, Aiden. He plays football and is one of the defence players…I think (I'm not really in the know about football). Her role and job aren't great but it pays well and it gives her the opportunity to be around Aiden who she has a little crush on while also saving to start her own business.

Aiden is the most focused football player I’ve ever read about. His whole life revolves around the sport. Considering his size, surprisingly he lives a vegan lifestyle which means he has to eat a lot, a lot and a wee bit more. Aiden is definitely serious about his job and his single-minded focus means that people don’t really matter to him. He is abrupt, rude and very unemotional. Having Vanessa as his assistant makes his life easier but unfortunately, for him, he doesn’t realise her value until she’s had enough and resigns.

What follows for Vanessa and Aiden is a parting of ways for a very short time. Aiden wants her back but Vanessa is starting her own business and isn’t interested in taking on the old role. Aiden needs her for a more important role this time. A role where they will have to make vows of commitment, live together and share their lives…on paper only.

I really enjoyed the story and loved the way the characters developed. I did think that Aiden acted like a douchewaffle in the beginning but enjoyed seeing him realise that there is more to life than solely focusing on football. I really struggled with Vanessa at times. She acted like a doormat and put up with Aiden for way longer than I thought was healthy. There is this underlying feeling from the very beginning that she puts up with it all because she doesn’t know any better. My struggle was that I knew that her history made her that way, but at other times you can see her strength and courage. I just wanted her to speak her mind more often and not have to have people beg her for information, demand the truth or trick her into sharing her feelings.

Well, the slow burn was REALLY slow and I thought that maybe it might end up being non-existent. Funny thing is when we did get it (eventually) it was intense and definitely blush-worthy. I loved Aiden and Vanessa together and I'm so glad that they were able to finally let down their walls and share their feelings. The epilogue was sweet and very cute.

I’m slowly getting through the backlog of Ms Zapatta’s collection and what I’ve read or listened to so far has been great. I will definitely be reading more of her stories in the future.

20 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2016-05-27

Too long for the content

I feel like this story could have been told in half the time. There was too much time spent inside the narrator's head. The story is good, and the main character is engaging and humorous, but at times it just seems like she is spending too much time thinking and you just want the story to get on with it.

27 people found this helpful

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  • Sarah Camargo
  • 2016-05-12

Not just another jock story

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

If my friend enjoyed a slow build up with a hot football player and a take no crap girl...yes. I loved it.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Wall of Winnipeg and Me?

I don't want to say too much and give it away but I'll say Leo the dog.

What about Callie Dalton’s performance did you like?

Everything.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Of course but I can't give it away and spoil it.

Any additional comments?

I wish there was more time spent with them as a couple but the slow burn of them falling for each other made up for it. This was a wonderful story.

10 people found this helpful

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  • ~Anonymous~
  • 2020-03-22

Team Graves!!!

Sweet Jesus. This book. This book was absolutely everything I’ve ever wanted in a romance and more. I devoured this story quicker than I’ve ever listen to a 16 hour book because wow. I truly feel like I connected with this story about NFL star Aiden ‘The Wall of Winnipeg’ Graves and his personal assistant, Vanessa ‘Van’ Mazur, who quits her job to then find him begging her to come back and do one last massive favor for him. The entire book slowly builds you up and keeps you hanging and just makes you feel! I felt everything. The words. OH the words. Mariana Zapata is QUEEN of all the words. I could just curl up and read her books until the end of time.

This is the second Mariana Zapata book I’ve read in the space of a week. And I’m about to jump right into my third and it will not be my last. I love everything about this author’s stories. They’re real. They’re relatable. There’s no OTT drama, nothing to make me cringe. Just well-written, totally addictive love stories that hit you right in the feels (with the most gorgeous epilogues!). So excuse me while I finish up this review, share it with you and then lock myself up for another week while I live in another Mariana Zapata fairy tale.

My Favorite Quote from the Book:
“I don't know," I stuttered, "Do you love me?"
His gaze was so intent the entire world seemed to stop. "You tell me. I never stop thinking about you. I worry about you all the time. Every beautiful thing I see reminds me of you. I can't finish my practices in Colorado with out wishing you were around," he said in a steady tone. "You tell me what I feel.”

Just read them. You won’t regret it.

Plot. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐stars
Story. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ stars
Narrator.: Callie Dalton ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

This book was included in the escape package!

4 people found this helpful

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  • KJG
  • 2017-09-11

Am I missing something ?

I am definitely in the minority on this one. For me this book was looooong & slooooow, now I am one who LOATHES insta-love and really gets into a slow burn love story. I like to feel that connection between the MC's, but IMO I felt noting - not even a simmer. I liked the whole premise of this story but the writing was not for me it was so repetitive, really bad. I could not count how many times I heard about how big Aiden was, how much he ate, how hard he worked. I didn't like the long pity party style inner monologue style that the book was told from - just not for me. Lastly I really didn't like either of the MC's, Vanessa was kinda annoying and I have no idea really who Aiden was since he barely said a word through the book. So that's that but I must be crazy because everyone else loved this one.

16 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Eddie Lynn
  • 2016-09-06

Slow and steady with a plot twist, good to the end

What did you like best about The Wall of Winnipeg and Me? What did you like least?

This is a story of the evolution of a relationship from ground zero to something more. It is complicated by the personal history of the two main characters. Further, larger issues drive this relationship and make up the plot of this book.

How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

This was a long book and at times it felt redundant. In the authors' attempt to show the gradual growth of the characters, I felt the story slowed. Certainly, she does let the reader/listener see the evolution in the characters, but it might have been condensed a bit.

What does Callie Dalton bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Ms. Dalton is a good narrator who knows the material and performs it well. She has some variation from women to men, uses accents well and paces the material very well. I will enjoy listening to her again.

3 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Sam
  • 2016-06-03

Romance?

Many hours into this and I had to check to see that yes, I did buy it from the romance section. The relationship doesn't change to romantic until the very end, which for me, made the story drag. I did like it, but certainly didn't love it.

21 people found this helpful

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  • jodiod
  • 2016-05-14

I love Mariana Zapata!!

All of her books are so well written with engaging stories and loveable, developed characters. Such a delight. Perfectly narrated. She's becoming one of my favorites...up there with Kristen Ashley and Rachel Gibson. High praise.

9 people found this helpful