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Dear Aaron

4.01  ·  Rating details ·  26,894 ratings  ·  3,051 reviews
Ruby Santos knew exactly what she was getting herself into when she signed up to write a soldier overseas.

The guidelines were simple: one letter or email a week for the length of his or her deployment. Care packages were optional.

Been there, done that. She thought she knew what to expect.

What she didn’t count on was falling in love with the guy.
Kindle Edition, 500 pages
Published June 10th 2017
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Average rating 4.01  · 
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 ·  26,894 ratings  ·  3,051 reviews

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DNF @ 45%

I give up.

I love slow burn romances and I love this author but I can’t do it anymore. I’m sorry.

The heroine is immature, self-deprecating, weak and lacks confidence.

The story is boring and uneventful. There’s no chemistry, no delicious anticipation, no excitement, no plot, no feels. Nothing. At least for me.

I couldn’t connect with the characters. And frankly, I don’t care if they get together in the end or not.

But hey, that’s just me. The idea for the book is great. Hopefully you'll li
Jun 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017-four-stars
4 stars!

 photo 19399144_10103900294804818_5816197373952128204_n_zpsxn4nk95n.jpg

“Ruron forever.”

Every Mariana Zapata book I’ve read, I’ve LOVED, so when this book went live, I one-clicked it and started reading it straight away. What I love so much about MZ’s books is that they’re long, but they don’t feel long. I flew through this long book in a day and a half.

Dear Aaron has MZ’s signature slow burn quality, but it was a little different to me. Aaron and Ruby start out as friends, or pen-pals to be exact. They don’t have the animosity and ‘rub’ to start w
Val ⚓️ Shameless Non-Snowflake ⚓️
Oh my God, when can I have it, when, when, when, when...

Jun 11, 2017 rated it liked it
I love Mariana Zapata. She is hands down one of my all time favorite authors. Her last three books have all been amazing and 5 star reviews. I love her unique style, the slow burn, and all of her books have been devour-in-one-sitting kind of books. I think what makes her books so unique is her way of writing about real people and her characters are so easy to connect with.

I’ve known since the author announced it on FB that this book would be different. I didn’t know exactly how different it wou
Jennifer Kyle
Jun 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
5 Stars

"Dear Aaron, My name is Ruby Santos, and I'm your new pairing through the Help a Solider Foundation."

Even though my rating is high, I did have a few issues with this story. I did think that the heroine was a teenager until her age was revealed and honestly at times those letters and conversations were slightly boring...


Regardless of my gripes, I still one hundred percent LOVED this story!

"Him as a person was beyond by expectations."

4.45/5 ⭐

Full review on my Blog: The Dacian She-Wolf 🐺


And. It. Hurt. Right. In. My. Ticker!

When I thought that From Lukov with Love is my favourite MZ book, I had to reconfigure and add Dear Aaron up there on the highest step of the podium together with From Lukov… because it was nearly perfect.

Yeah, nearly, you heard me right, I don’t believe in perfection, suck it up.

The structure of the book is very interesting – it consists of letters/emails/IMs
Alex ♈
Jun 12, 2017 rated it liked it
2.5 stars

Interesting idea, good writing.


The female protagonist…. *shudder*

Sweet, but childish and weak and uncertain and whiny, whiny, whiny….
Everyone was bad or/and unfair: her aunts, her friends, her brothers, her sisters - the whole world…
Poor girl, no one made her life easier :-( *let me wipe my tears*
Not that she was a bad person; she was just über-whiny and acted pathetic.
Child-woman is not my coppa.
I’m a complete opposite of it and couldn’t connect. Not at all.

Male protagonist was ok
Dec 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-2018
Dear Ruron,

You have given me impossible standards to even consider getting into a relationship.

With love (and maybe a little envy),
A fangirl

Although the epistolary exchange was only about 40% of the entire book, I loved it more than Ruby's POV. She was perfectly nice, but the e-mails were more articulate, a lot less biased and had a quaint charm to it. And definitely added a zing to their budding romance. Also, it was good to read about Aaron's side of things since there's no other chapters fr
Nissa | Of Pens and Pages Book Blog
5 stars!

Audiobook Review at Of Pens and Pages.

Overall Rating: 5 stars
Story: 4.5 stars
Performance: 5 stars


Ruby Santos and Aaron Hall’s friendship is one that starts online and is purely coincidental. When Ruby signed up to a soldier pen pal program, she gets paired up with a guy named Aaron. What starts out as puns, movie and gaming talks turn into so much more as Ruby and Aaron become comfortable with each other. They tell each other things they’ve never told anybody e
Aisling Zena

Dear Aaron,

I love you! I love you so much I could burst!


Your lovemuffin xoxo


This book definitely gave The Wall of Winnipeg a run for it's money! And it came close! The only complain I have and why I didn't give it the full five stars is because I wanted a longer epilogue. It's not that the epilogue we got was bad, I just simply wanted more. We spend most of the book reading about how they are getting closer, building foundations, connections, friendship and ultimately love. This book
Feb 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing

4.5 Stars

Ruron Forever!!

My first Mariana Zapata read, and I adored it!!

I will warn you, one does need the “patience of Job” to get to the nitty-gritty passionate part of this romance, but for me, it was so worth it!

Although this was the S.L.O.W.E.S.T. slow burn I have ever read, the characters, the dialogue (lots of dialogue), the premise of the storyline and Ms. Zapata’s writing style is superb! My anticipation for the HEA was all consuming!!

I also have a weakness for a man in uniform, especi
Leila bibliofagos
Review before reading the book:
Oh my god.
Did you guys know???
That this was happening???
New book from Mariana Zapata?
Can I have this now, please?

Review after reading Dear Aaron:

I'll try to be nice because... Mariana Zapata.
Now, I'm sure you know how much I love her previous works 'Kulti' and 'Winnipegg'. The characters are intricate and layered. Their problems are multifaceted and in general the slow burn romance was believable and to die for. Not only that but, the female characters were strong
Rachel Reads Ravenously
Oct 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ebooks, romance
4 stars!

Full confession, I totally went into this book knowing mini spoilers. By that I mean I knew the majority of the first half of the book was in epistolary form aka written in emails, IMs and texts. I think it helped knowing that going in, because if I hadn't I think I would have quit this book, and that would be a damn shame.

Dear Aaron is a love story between a soldier and his assigned pen pal. Ruby and Aaron meet via email when he is deployed in the Middle East through a letters to sol
Angie - Angie's Dreamy Reads
So .. here's the thing, I'm not going to do a huge review. I'm just going to jot down a few random thoughts on this book because I don't know what to rate it. I wouldn't consider this a huge spoiler review, however, I don't like knowing ANYTHING about a book before I go into it, and if this were me reading this review, I would say LIGHT SPOILER ALERT in paragraph 2! OK? Okay!

Firstly, this was my first Mariana Zapata read and I. FREAKING. LOVED. THESE. CHARACTERS. I really want to give this book
✰ Liz ✰
"Everything is going to be all right."

Dear Aaron is another Zapata winning read with slow-burn passion, complex characters, and a heartwarming romance! Ruby Santos was thrilled to have made a new friend through an "adopt a military" penpal program. Aaron, a military man, and Ruby begin emailing and a friendship is formed. When feelings begin to bloom between the two, both are anxious to meet. When they finally come together, there is nothing or no one that could tear them apart.

Dear Aa
Em Lost In Books
My least favorite MZ book so far...
Wil Loves Books!
Jun 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: audiobook

Mariana Zapata books are freaking addictive, once I start one, I just want to binge read until I’m done, seriously! I still haven’t found a book by her that I don’t absolutely love. She’s the queen of the slow burn, and she’s a master at it. Everything about it always feels so right, the purpose, the anticipation, the non gratuitous sex. It’s just perfect!

So, I kinda made the mistake of reading/listening to From Lukov With Love before reading Dear Aaron. I didn’t know there was a con
bella farren
Jun 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
4/5 stars


God damn, I am officially obsessed with Mariana Zapata, every book this woman puts out is world class, slow burn romance. I devour these books in a day and the second I finish them, I want to start all over again.

Ruby Santos is a twenty three year old seamstress, she has lived under the thumb of her family for years, being considered the ‘baby’ of the family and the fragile one. After her older brother comes back from the war, she signs up through the Help a Soli
2.5 stars

Ah well, this didn’t go as planned. I know that Zapata’s books are slow slow sloooow burn romance but in this case the overall pace was just too slow for me. The first part of the novel is entirely written in an email style format, which was fine in the beginning, but by the time the 25% mark had rolled around, I was starting to grow quite bored.

I’ve seen this working in other novels, you know, where you manage to fall in love with the couple and swoon over the guy just because of thei
Amy | Foxy Blogs
Jun 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017-books
Dear Ruby,

My name is Foxy, and I’m writing to you because I just finished reading your love story in Dear Aaron and wanted to let you know I, too, know what it’s like to have a relationship built on personalities. Twenty-three years ago I flew across the country to meet a guy I had known only via the internet. Today we are happily married with kids and fur babies to round out our family.

Aaron won me over when he first met you and said, “You could’ve told me your mom and sister are the ugly one
Maria✦❋Steamy Reads Blog❋✦

➦Mariana Zapata certainly knows how to write a slow burn friends to lovers romance and while I enjoyed this one, it's not going to be on my 'Zapata favorites' shelf.

➦I think the premise is pretty interesting - a girl writing to a soldier overseas. They get to know each other through the e-mails and later on chatting online. Marina Zapata builds up the characters through their letters to each other. The problem for me (and to some other people, I imagine) was the format of this repetitive delive
Pearl Angeli
Jun 01, 2020 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2020-reads, rants
1 Star

Okay. First of all I don't hate this book nor the author. Hate is such a strong word for it so maybe I could go for resentment over the fact that there was racism shoved in its part and characters even made fun of a Filipino food. Worse is that the heroine herself, a half-Filipina, tolerated it and called the food "gross".

Apart from that, I didn't feel an ounce of connection to the characters. There was no chemistry or a spark between them.

So the story was all about Ruby Marisol Santos a
Jun 12, 2017 rated it really liked it

This story was slow at first, but once it picked up with the details that needed to provide a better understanding towards the main characters, it really did break my heart through every single word and action that was taken upon. I bless Marianna Zapata for writing such a beautiful love story that has definitely brought tears to my eyes in a way that I never thought it could possibly happen.

I will definitely say that I have been inspired to

4.5/5 stars

"I was a goner from the first time you gave me hell."

God, this book was just so sweet, hot, funny, and wholesome. My face hurt so much from grinning like an idiot. I literally spent a day binge-reading the hell out of this book. I gave up sleep, AND I EVEN FORGOT TO EAT BECAUSE I WAS SO ENGAGED WITH THIS STORY. I've read a few pretty fantastic books this year, but it has been a while since I have been able to finished a book as quickly as this one. I just couldn't put it down at a
May 13, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018, in-english
There's no one who is more disappointed than me right now. I love slow burn romances, I don't even mind extremely slow burn romances but Dear Aaron was way too slow and the romance between the characters was... weird.

About the format - I absolutely hated the pen pal format. They were exchanging emails for first 120 or so pages and then messaging for another 100. I am not lying when I tell you that I rewarded myself with one episode of Friends every 50 read pages. Around middle of the book the no
Stacey is Sassy

Some people move on from mistakes quicker than others.

OK, we all know that I’m a romantic at heart. Luckily for me, I found my own romantic hero pretty early in life. It’s a bloody good thing, to be honest. My lifestyle could have killed me. I’m not talking drugs…because drugs are bad…OK (I can still hear the teacher from Southpark saying it). I was a little reckless when it came to drinking and letting my inhibitions go. Every time I woke up after a big night, I regretted it. Did I embarrass my
❦ jazmin
“Everyone deserves hugs and to know that someone in the world still worries about them, no matter what they’re doing, or even if they’re mad at one another.”

Reread #1 Update:
Looking back, I definitely enjoyed this book a lot more than last time, maybe because I knew what was coming? I think last time I hadn’t been exposed enough to MZ and the way she writes, and now that I have, I’m less critical of elements that appear in a lot of her books because I’m used to them.

Nissa | Of Pens and Pages Book Blog
4 stars!

Review at Of Pens and Pages.

Dear Aaron was different from the rest of Mariana Zapata’s books, but fans and readers can expect a sweet friends-to-lovers story with her signature slow-burn romance.

Thanks to the Help a Soldier Foundation, 23-year-old Ruby Santos signed up to write weekly letters to a 28-year-old soldier, Aaron Hall. It was an unconventional start to their friendship but it's one that grew stronger as each mail, IM, and care package was exchanged and delivered. Their corres
veronica(ver) terisa [on major hiatus]
Reading about a woman having the same name as my mother falling in love with um, not my father was err... aberrant; but it was so good mommy.
Sep 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
"Anything can happen any time, Aaron. You have to take what you can get when you can get it."

This is the third book I read by Mariana Zapata and it has consolidated her as one of my favorite romance authors. They make me so happy and I always read them in one sitting, even though they're over 500 pages.

Dear Aaron is about Ruby, a seamstress who has an ex-Navy brother and, because of that, she joins a pen pal system in which she sends letters or e-mails to soldiers. In the beginning of the
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