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The Wall of Winnipeg and Me

4.31  ·  Rating details ·  102,246 ratings  ·  10,503 reviews
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
Kindle Edition, 537 pages
Published February 28th 2016
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Charlie Reina I agree! Even though they repeatedly say that he didn’t care about her before, at the end I still expected him to admit that he has always loved her. …moreI agree! Even though they repeatedly say that he didn’t care about her before, at the end I still expected him to admit that he has always loved her. And I kept grasping at hints that this was true. For example:
* He would have fired his agent before firing her. Four times!
* He’s a tyrant probably to test her and to keep her at a distance, while still keeping her close.
* He knows she is secretly flipping him off...because he knows her minute expressions as much as she knows his!
* He doesn’t react when she tells him she’s leaving, except—he’s grumpier than ever! Because he doesn’t want her to go.
* He does notice the tiny things she does for him that’s why he throws a tantrum when she doesn’t leave his favorite peppermint on his clean sheets as usual.
* He glowers and tells her, “You can go now” when he sees the creep Christian talking to her because... He's jealous!
* He doesn’t defend her when his agent calls her a dinner roll because he’s not going to admit that he jerks off to fantasies about her.
* He makes an effort to find her and uses any excuse to bring her back into his life. Because he can live without an assistant (obviously), but he can’t live without her.

Of course he doesn’t realize these things and while I liked these hints (all part of the slow burn), I still expected him to admit some things at the end. Not an extended monologue because that’s not his style. But something. (less)
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Slow-burn romance
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Slow romance
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Val ⚓️ Shameless Handmaiden ⚓️

So many re-reads, it's not even funny...


5 "I Would Lick the Sweat Off Aiden's B@lls All Day, Every Day" Stars

After reading 2014's Under Locke and 2015's Kulti, I knew I enjoyed Mariana Zapata's shit.

But after reading this one I am officially so fucking #TeamZapata #TeamAiden #TeamMuscledHunkofSexyManMeat #RidiculousInstagram-likeParagraphofIdioticHastags that I'm going to make up my own nationally organized sport league (cause you know NFL...
Jun 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
5 'Team Graves' Stars!

 photo 19029712_10103880525063538_8564933586234311876_n_zps6d2eoe9y.jpg

The Wall of Winnipeg and Me was a seriously addictive slow burn romance. Once I started the audio, I couldn’t stop listening. It was over 16 hours long, but I finished it within 48 hours. There was nothing about this book I didn’t love!

Vanessa Mazur has worked for pro football player, Aiden Graves for 2 years. Aides is quiet, curt, and drives Vanessa crazy. She’s his assistant, but she wants more than that. So, she decides to quit and follow her real passion. Aides is
Reread: July 13, 2020


Just finished this two hours ago.

And you know what I've been doing since then?

Eating crow.

Well not for real, obviously.


You know, eating crow. As in admitting I erred. Trying to be humble because I made a mistake. Screwed up. Put my foot in my mouth.

[By the way, the said phrase with that godawful bird is disgusting. No offence, my English speaking friends, but the equivalent phrase in my native language does sound slightly better (literal translation: dust oneself
I listened to the audiobook version of 'The Wall of Winnipeg and Me' and it was fantastic! Talk about a terrific, slow-burn romance! I was completely sucked in to this story, little by little.

Aiden Graves is the formidable top defensive player in the National Football Organization. His single-minded focus on the sport has made him the best. He eats, lives and breathes football, paying little mind to anything or anyone else.

Accordingly, he is kind of oblivious to the goings on around him that do
Jennifer Kyle
Dec 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites

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In the same vein as her hit book Kulti, Mariana Zapata delivers a SLOW BURN story of a personal assistant, Vanessa Mazur who has finally saved enough over the two years of working for the NFO’s best defenseman, Aiden “The Wall of Winnipeg” Graves to quit.


Throughout her two years of working for Aiden, he doesn’t even return a hello or appreciate her in slightest. To her surprise, when this man of few words shows at her doorstep asking for her to return working f
Amy Harmon
Jun 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This one just really hit the spot for me. Great characters, slow burn romance, funny interactions, and when the heat finally hits, it's delicious. I read straight through the night and have thought about Aidan all day. ...more
• Jodi Bibliophile •
*10TH RE-READ* - 19th December 2019. I LOVE THIS BOOK!

It's 3:39am and I've just finished one of the best books I've EVER read.

Seriously, I'm laying in bed bawling my fucking eyes out because I'm so fucking happy and so fucking sad at the same time cause it's all over.

Since October I never thought I would feel this way about a book again.

I don't even have the right words to express my feelings because my words just won't do this beautiful story justice.

Van & Aiden are EVERYTHING.

Oh fucking hell I
Dec 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2021, 2020
RE-READ: April 5, 2020: Me re-reading this like:


I wasn’t about to waste my life away, upset, because I was raised by people who couldn’t commit to anything in their lives. All they did was show me the kind of person I didn’t want to be.

Now this, this is the slow-burn romance I crave.

After two years, Vanessa has had enough of Aiden “The Wall of Winnipeg” Graves. For a while now, she’s thought about quitting her job. She knows it isn’t t

Five words can sum up this book for me…

“Ovaries. Where are my ovaries?” – Vanessa

Usually, when a book is recommended to me and a lot of people seem to love it, 95% of the time I’m like the black sheep of the group, the one who doesn’t understand the hype. So I was a little reluctant to try this one out. But I am so freaking happy to say I loved this and completely get why it has been all over my Instagram and Goodreads feed and recommended multiple times.

I’m usually not a fan of slow burning
Nov 09, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: romance
Since I’ve started reading more romance, I find it’s harder to rate than other genres. 2 stars for other genres would mean I didn’t enjoy this book. Which isn’t true. I was okay reading it - I just saw a lot of flaws and felt it could do with some serious editing.

This book could have been shorter. So much is filler. I get it - it’s slow burn romance. But I would have been so much more engaged had there been more interactions between the characters. Even a hint at romance didn’t start until 60%
Mar 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this slow burn romance. And it was a SLOW burn, but the payoff was perfect - I constantly had a cheesy grin on my face. The characters, the story, it was all simply wonderful.
mel ☽
reread (july 2020)5 stars

vanessa admiring aiden's ass while there's me wanting to visit paris to go to the eiffel tower because of aiden and zac..

i said what i said
Em Lost In Books
Scratch four, this deserve five stars. Third reading and nothing has changed. Magic is intact and if possible I am in love with this story more than ever.

"Yeah, my throat and tongue thought they were the Sahara. My eyes on the other hand wanted to be the Amazon. I didn't even realized I needed to sniffle until I did it. As much as I'd been telling myself over the last two days that I'd imagined being a wee bit in love with him, my heart held on to the truth. I hated it, but I was. I recogniz
Arini ~ Miss Casually Reading
2nd read, September 2021

4.5 stars

i forgot this book is utter perfection. i mean, i know Aiden Graves is THE man, but like - the way the relationship between him and Vanessa evolved in this book should be THE blueprint that romance novels adhere to. you feel me?

(read as an audiobook)


1st read, June 2019

4 stars

it is because of a man like you Aiden Graves that i still have faith in the male generation. 🤪
Sep 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 5-stars
Re-read #2 (6/29/2020) I’ve been wanting to re-read this book for a while and now that we are going to have Zac’s book I finally have the perfect excuse to do that! This time I tried the audiobook and it was just so good. let me tell you that a sixteen hours long audiobook is nothing and nearly not enough if you’re enjoying your time. This is still hands down my favorite Mariana Zapata’s book. Zac is such an interesting charismatic character, I’m glad that he’s getting his own book!

5 ‘Team Grav
Sophia Triad

I didn't sleep much last night, but it was worth it...

Aiden Graves the so-called:

The Wall of
I… impressive
N… not-open
N… noteworthy
I… irresistible
P… plant-eater
E… enormous
G… grumpy

The “You say it best when you say nothing at all” kind of guy. I loved him!

Vanessa Mazur, the girl who makes most of the noise when she is thinking and overanalyzing things. I felt for her. I really did.
It was not easy to be assistant/housekeeper/fairy godmother/ mother/ vegan cook/errandgirl/

Read #9854

So the first time I read this book, I didn't write a review as I didn't know how to explain how much I loved this book in a short review but there is no way I'm not writing a review this time.

Me, both the times I read this book:

'The Wall of Winnipeg and Me' is a slow burn romance novel by Mariana Zapata.

I'm a sucker for a nice book with the whole marriage-of-conviniance and slow burn trope so I didn't hesitate to pick this book up and lets just say...

Aiden is a football god and Va
3. Stars

Overall Opinion: This was ok. I know I'm the minority here, but I didn't find their connection all that moving. I honestly felt like it was one sided through the whole story and I just didn't get the swooning feeling that I think I was supposed to feel when he finally confessed his love at the end. I didn't find him all that likeable either. I wouldn't say that she was a doormat (thank goodness), but she definitely needs to be nominated for sainthood with all the crap she dealt with. W
Mar 01, 2016 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Mariana Zapata fans, sport, romance
4 The Best Becoming the Best Stars
* * * * Spoiler Free
6/24/2020 4.5 Team Zapata
* * * * 1/2
When I saw Mariana Zapata was doing Zac's book, I knew I needed to re-read The Wall of Winnipeg and Me. This gave me the excuse as I have always had a soft spot for this book. Re-reading did something more important, though.

It gave me insight into More, More of the beauty and smart advice on life Zapata gives us through this story. Really strong survivor lessons and kudos to those who had so much to overcom
Jul 04, 2016 rated it liked it
May 19, 2016

I loved the first 3 chapters and anticipated a swift escalation of Aiden and Vanessa's relationship but in the end, I gave up and chose to not finish the book.

I will say that I did not like Vanessa AT ALL because she seemed angry perpetually, and her introspections were exasperating.

Moreover, she goes from taking care of Aiden 24/7 to not caring if he had a decent meal and he, from a guy who needed sheets changed thrice weekly to not being bothered? These facts bugged me but ult
5 Big Guy Stars

I don’t even know where to start with this review. The tale of Vanessa and Aiden snuck up on me and for that I’m forever grateful.

“You can’t live your life bottling everything up. You need people, even if it’s only one or two, to believe in you, and as smart as that boy is, he doesn’t understand that.”

The slowish start to this story has Vanessa working as an assistant to Aiden’s pro football playing self, a job she’s only mildly tolerating. Aiden only appears to mildly tolerat
Catherine Russell

Book: The Wall of Winnipeg and Me
Author: Mariana Zapata
Type: Standalone
Genre: Contemporary Romance
POV: First Person - Vanessa
Rating: 5 Hearts!

Name/Age: Vanessa Mazur - 26 ┃ Aiden Graves - 30
Setting: Dallas, Texas
Published: February 28, 2016

Home is where you are. I would go anywhere for you if you wanted me to be there.

For those of you thinking this is gonna be a review, please don't bother. This is just me confessing my obsessive, undying, unrelenting and unconditional love for
Amy | Foxy Blogs
Mar 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Amy | Foxy Blogs by: Reanell Tisdale
YES! Loved this one!

Two things got me to read this book:
1) I received a tweet from my best friend Sara telling me that said she had read this book and I needed to read it. The last time she said that to me was for a book I had passed over because the cover didn’t catch my eye. The original cover of 'The Hook Up' didn’t do it for me. Luckily, she told me to read it because it became one of my favorite reads of 2014.
2) Book Babes Unite had a giveaway offering 3 of Ms. Zapata’s books. I enter
D.L. Howe
There’s something about men like Aiden that I adore, even if they don’t deserve it. Perhaps it’s because I’m used to people who don’t acknowledge what you do right and only what you do wrong. But more so it’s about what hides underneath, the reason why there’s no acknowledgement.

So he’s being a bigger asshole after you told him you were quitting. God, I wonder why? 🤔🙄

I seriously jumped for joy when she just walked out! You go girl!!!

“I like you as much as I like anyone.”
“I don’t mind you.”
Maria✦❋Steamy Reads Blog❋✦

Re-read April 2017

➦Well, surprisingly, I loved this book even more the second time around. I'm happy to report that the audio version is excellent!

➦If you love sports romances then this book is a must read! MUST READ!

Original Review:

❤Loved it, loved it, loved it!❤

➦I think it was a first sports romance I've read that showed how dedicated the athletes really are. Football is Aiden's life, his only true love. I loved "watching" Aiden take baby steps and learning how to be in a relationship. And wh
Natasha Polis
Feb 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing

Slow burn. So good. Didn't want it to end. What a romance! I feel like I could watch more football now, I've researched it so much from this book.
XxTainaxX Curvy and Nerdy
May 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
If you're looking for a super sexy read? Well, can't say you'll find it here. Sweet? Well... eventually. Here you will find a very slow simmer. Very slow indeed. There's a lot of monologue and internalizing coming from the heroine. I won't lie and say I loved it all, but I will say that she had an interesting voice. She can be pretty hilarious at times, too. The hero, Aidan, is kind of (or maybe a lotta bit) a douche at first but the characterization is pretty amazing because his transformation ...more
UniquelyMoi ~ BlithelyBookish
There's just something about the strong, silent type that draws me in and melts my heart. Aiden is that kind of guy. This physically intimidating 'wall' of a man has a stubbornness about him that made me want to kick him in the nads - hard - and a vulnerability about him that, at times, made me want to weep and to bring him home and love him until neither of us remembered that a world outside of ourselves existed.

So, so good!

I might write a more in depth review later, or I might not, but I will
Emma Chase
Apr 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Emotional, sweet and real. Enjoyed this so much!!
Ivy Deluca
Edited to add Mariana's inspiration for Aiden because...damn. Thank you Mariana.

The Wall of Winnipeg, aka Aiden Graves, is the premier defensive end for the Three Hundreds, a team in the National Football Organization. Vanessa Mazur is his assistant. For two years, Vanessa has taken care of Aiden’s meals, his home, his emails and social media, everything. Until the day when she was ready to give it all up. She’d had enough. She quits to focus on her dreams and says no more. Then Aiden makes her
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