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Luna and the Lie

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The problem with secrets is that they’re too easy to keep collecting.

Luna Allen has done some things she would rather no one ever know about. She also knows that, if she could go back in time, she wouldn’t change a single thing.

With three sisters she loves, a job she (mostly) adores, and a family built up of friends she’s made over the years, Luna figures everything has worked out the way it was supposed to.

But when one of those secrets involves the man who signs her paycheck, she can’t find it in her to regret it. Despite the fact that he’s not the friendliest man in the world. Or the most patient.

Sometimes there are things you’re better off keeping to yourself.

628 pages, Kindle Edition

First published December 12, 2018

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Mariana Zapata

16 books44.7k followers

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 5,145 reviews
Profile Image for Christy.
3,761 reviews32k followers
May 31, 2022
5+ stars!!

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Mariana Zapata is one of my favorite authors. I've loved most of her books, but her last few haven't been five star favorites for me. That fact made Luna and the Lie that much sweeter. I have to say, this is one of her very best books and Rip is an amazing hero! I loved Luna as well. Together... they were just everything! It's been a while since I've had an epic 5+ star read from this author and this book really hit the spot for me! 

Luna is the only woman working in the auto shop she paints at. She has a good life, three sisters she loves and cares for, a few good friends, and is trying to be as content as she can be. Her life hasn't always been good, but she doesn't like to focus on that. One of the things she loves the most is going to work. She loves the guys there, the owner is like a father to her, then there is her other boss. Ripley. Luna has had a little crush on Rip for as long as she can remember. He's a little on the hard side, not so chatty, and keeps to himself. But he trusts Luna with his secrets and even though he can be hard on her and they have a lot of back and forth banter, you can tell deep down he likes her. Maybe even more... 
“What am I going to be doing tomorrow?” He was still walking backward as he told me, “I’m bringing you lunch tomorrow too.” What was happening? What was happening? “You don’t have to bribe me to be your friend! I’ve been waiting for this for years, Rip,” I hollered after him, ignoring the way my stomach had just felt like we’d started a descent from a steep roller-coaster ride. I’d swear I heard a chuckle as he answered, “Get to fucking work and come get me if you’ve got time to help me out.” We were friends. We were.

Luna and the Lie was long, but it didn't feel long. I binge read it in less than 24 hours. It's such a great feeling to be that all consumed by a book that there is nothing you'd rather do that read. I loved everything about this book. There isn't anything I would change. Aiden Graves is one of my top book boys of all time, and I loved Rip the same as him. That is really saying a lot. Mariana writes the best broody heroes. She has a formula, and it works so well. Luna and Rip have both been through so much in their lives. I loved how positive Luna always tried to be. It was refreshing to see. These two are a great match. I loved them together so much. Obviously it took a while for them to really be together, but once they were- it was well worth the wait. 
“You kill me, girl,” he murmured in the roughest voice I’d ever heard. “I swear to God, you’re a fucking puzzle I thought was all in the box, but every damn day I find a piece or two hidden all over the place.”

Mariana Zapata is the queen of slow burn romance. This was the most delicious slow burn/forbidden love story. It also had a bit of enemies to lovers/friends to lovers- pretty much EVERYTHING I love! It was sweet, funny, heartbreaking, heartwarming, and gave me all the feels. I can't recommend it enough. Something just got bumped right out of my top 10 favorites for the year because this book is towards the top of that list! A must read!!!!
“You’re too young. You’re too sweet. You’re too good for me. But I’m done standing around trying to suck up all the goodness you make me feel without you even knowing, Luna. You are my girl. Just you. Nobody else ever has or will be.”

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Profile Image for Val ⚓️ Shameless Handmaiden ⚓️.
1,809 reviews28.5k followers
October 5, 2022
4 Stars

Mariana Zapata is the Queen of the Slow Burn, and this book was no exception.

In fact, this book is VERY slow burn and what some might call super - super - slow in the extreme, but I personally love it.

Zapata authored one of my favorite books of ALL time, The Wall of Winnipeg, and if you haven't read that book yet, I encourage you check out my review on it and then read said masterpiece ASAP.


No, seriously, go read (or re-read) that review really quick so I don't have to repeat myself.

I'll wait here.


Perfect, well done.

As I said in that other review (literally - I'm copy and pasting this in here because lazy efficient), it's almost like you have to earn it in Zapata's books. And, like anything in life, the things you earn are the things you appreciate the most. And you seriously appreciate this love story by the time you get to end.

I will say that this book doesn't reach the pinnacles of Winnipeg for me - but alas, I doubt anything ever will - but it was still an enjoyable read. Again, it might be too slow for some people (even some Zapata fans) as it's probably the slowest one by her I've ever read, but I still dug it.

I personally love Zapata's character driven meandering. The small visual details and nuanced characterizations you get in a Zapata book are, in my opinion, worth every paragraph.
Profile Image for Penny Reid.
Author 105 books20.5k followers
January 8, 2019
I bought it as soon as it released. I read it in two days while hiding from my family. I have NO REGRETS!

Loved it. Every single minute.
Profile Image for  A. .
1,163 reviews4,114 followers
August 2, 2020
DNF @80%

I am so PROUD of myself. This time I made it to 80%.

Not that I wasn’t tempted to quit it sooner. Because I so was. I wanted to ditch it more times that I can count. But I sucked it up and kept going. I was desperate to see what was so special about Zapata's books.

I still am. Sadly, I’m not even curious enough to see how this one ends. You see, I don’t have a problem with the number of pages. I prefer longer books. I don’t have a problem with the slow burn either. The slower the better.

What I do have a problem with, however, are endless copy-pasted sentences, inconsequential details and spending too much time in a naïve, whiny heroine’s head.

Overall, this was one loooong, tedious journey to the Land of Boredom.

Half the time I wanted to reach into the book and slap-senseless the heroine. Call me heartless but the more the story progressed, the less empathy I felt for her. In the end, I just saw her as a naïve, clueless eternal child-woman suffering from the martyr complex.

Nothing impressive about the hero either. At first I thought this one-syllable grunting giant was hot as sin. Silent and grumpy, me likey. Then he started acting weird so I suspected he was bipolar. It would have worked for me too. But no. After that theory went down the toilet, I thought maybe he was just… slow. You know, slow as in the pace of this story not exhibiting intellectual or mental quickness. He sure blinked a lot.

Why exactly this Moby Dick of a book is so special and exciting remains a mystery to me. For me, this book was too long, too repetitive and incredibly tedious to read. Obvious twists, boring descriptions, uninteresting characters, lack of coherent plot...

I’m sorry, I still don’t get it.
Profile Image for Belle.
503 reviews515 followers
July 15, 2022
5 / 5 stars

"You want someone to be your best friend and your fucking partner? I'm right fucking here, baby girl."


I feel the need to preface this by stating that I am, and have been for a while, a die hard Mariana Zapata fan, and would feel generously blessed to read her grocery list. But I’ll let you know, this was a lot more interesting than a grocery list.

This book blew me out of the park, from the first chapter I knew without a doubt this would be a five star read (said premonition undoubtedly came true), and now it has firmly planted itself in a tie with my previously named ‘top trio’ (Wall of Winnipeg and Me, Wait For It & Under Locke) of MZ books.

Luna Allen is a twenty-six year old woman, who despite her abusive and neglectful upbringing, had managed to pull herself and three younger siblings into a beautiful life. She had decided early on to be grateful for every blessing in her life—reminding herself that she was loved. When her beloved boss at Cooper’s Collision and Customs takes on a co-owner, Luna tries her best to get onto Ripley’s non-existent good side.

MZ’s formula has always been spot on for me, and this was no exception.
● age gap
● super surly hero
● resilient & hardworking heroine
● slow burn love
● hilarious inner-monologue
● addictive angst & drama

I could not get enough of Rip and Luna throughout this book; their troubled pasts and the slow creation of their relationship. Luna was a bright character who expressed her emotions and rarely held a grudge, but Rip was rough and impossible to understand. The way you watch his character evolve and see the effort he puts into bettering himself, the more you fall in love with him.

Luna and the Lie definitely had strong Under Locke vibes, with both men having anger issues and super surly dispositions.

The family relationship between the side characters was beautiful, because of Luna’s horrible biological family, she had created and found unconditional love in the work family at CCC. I was never bored reading the interactions between the side characters and the daily life at CCC, all characters were fully dimensional and hilarious.

Not even going to lie see what I did there? ha, the age gap aspect of the relationship was one of my favourite things, and MZ writes it so well. I loved how it was briefly mentioned by family and friends that Luna had dated older men (only) but it wasn't apart of the drama, it was accepted and just apart of the story. There were so many little details that just took this story to the next level, and I can already see myself reading this a ridiculous amount of times.

And Rip's hidden soft side?

'His smile was slow and honestly heartbreaking. "Luna, he threatened to quit on me a hundred times in the first year he came back."
I blinked.
"He hasn't stuck around because of me, honey."'

That epilogue? Just take my heart already, I'm holding it out for you. Do yourself a favour and read this book.
Profile Image for Em Lost In Books.
859 reviews1,730 followers
January 8, 2019
Ms. Zapata is one of my favorite romance author. I usually read her books as soon as they are released and I also keep rereading my favorites by her. She announce her books out of nowhere and I keep checking her page regularly for these announcements. So I was so happy when I saw this on her page, kept checking the releasing date and read it as soon as it got out. Such is admiration for her stories but this book was such a disappointment for me.

This book is very much similar to her previous books. Girl meets boy, nurse a crush on this not so talkative guy, save his sorry ass when he's in real trouble, and we came to know in the end that he was in love with her since forever. This is pretty much every MZ story. So what makes Luna and the Lie epic fail for me? I will point out few things that really bothered me about this and failed to impress me.

From start to finish I tried very hard to like Rip, but I just could not do it. He tried very hard to impress Luna (and in turn me) but his tries always fell short on my scale. I did not find the chemistry (if they had any) between Luna and him interesting. The affection that I associate with Zapata couples was missing here. At times their interaction felt forced. One moment he was angry with her and the next moment he was confessing his love for her.

Ms. Zapata took too long to develop the relationship. I think when she the saw number of pages she has written to build up this, she just wrapped up things in a hurry. Add to this long torture the hot and cold behavior of Rip, this was an ordeal to read.

The only thing I liked about this book was Luna's backstory. I think she is only female lead in Zapata world who has family issues. But I liked how she came out as winner in a dysfunctional family and made a life for her. And that's the only thing I liked about her.

Perhaps I expect too much from Ms Zapata and paid the price for my high expectation. I would recommend this book to new Zapata readers as fans of her novels will not get anything new from this.
Profile Image for Corina.
778 reviews2,116 followers
January 27, 2023
3.5 stars

Having to admit it out loud hurts - but Luna and the Lie didn't work for me as much as I hoped it would. Let's be honest here, I hoped for a five star read. Nothing else would have satisfied me. Maybe I need to stop putting poor Mariana on this insanely high pedestal, but who am I kidding - I love MZ!!! I'm also not giving up on her just because Luna wasn't THE book for me.

It’s going to be hard to pinpoint exactly what didn’t work for me. I think it was mostly the plot. I didn’t get enough romance, and I KNOW that her books are slow burn, but still I would have loved more interaction between the couple, just more Luna and Ripley. And I mean more sweet Luna and Ripley. Because much of Luna and Ripley’s “relationship” was this back and forth that was annoyingly exasperating at times.

The issue I had with Rip and Luna was that he rarely showed his feelings, and Luna always second guessed everything (which made kind of sense based on her backstory – but still) but especially Rip, and the back and forth just drove me nuts.

All in all I just needed more warmth I think. Especially between Luna and Ripley. All of the romance (and we all know MZ doesn’t do burning romance) felt one-sided for most of the book. I just didn’t FEEL it. There were some sweet gestures here and there, but they mostly were like little sparks, popping up but were easily snuffed out by the overall feel.

I caught myself skipping – I’m shocked to admit it. I’m one of her biggest fans, but I’m also a big believer that not every story works for everyone and in this case LATL did not work for me.

20% of the book was REALLY, REALLY awesome, 80% just ok. And just to point it out – this is my opinion, I’m pretty sure I’m in the minority here, which I’m happy to be. She deserves all your love – because she still has mine.

So, would I recommend LATL? Not really!! Not to a new reader to all things Mariana Zapata. I rather would suggest Wait for It, Winnipeg or Kulti – my three favorites.

BUT on the other hand I can see how LATL will speak to many readers that love her style and aren’t as picky as I am.

So, let’s end this with me hoping that you’ll LOVE Luna and Ripley to the moon and back!!!

Profile Image for EmBibliophile.
478 reviews1,087 followers
December 14, 2021
I think this is the slowest slow burn that I ever read by her, which also make it the slowest slow burn that I’ve ever read in my life. At times it got really annoying that I was thinking that if I were reading a thriller it would’ve had more romance in it than this and other times I was like yeah give me more of those unnecessary details!

Luna was such an interesting character, but to be honest she wasn’t my favourite. I understand her positivity and constantly assuring herself after all she went through, but at times I thought it was too much and I just wanted her to stand up for herself more. I still felt that urge to protect her tho.

The found family trope here might be my favourite thing about the book. I loved mr Cooper, Lenny, and all the guys at the car shop. I loved how they were all there for Luna. It took me some time to get into the book and to start liking the characters, but we managed to get there eventually. Also, I really didn’t like how that thing with her sisters was resolved?? Because yeah I wouldn’t have forgiven them like ever.

Overall I liked it. I’m just a sucker for painfully detaileed romances I think, specially the MZ’s kind. This has many sweet memorable moments. Yes it dragged at times and yes it got really repetitive, but I still enjoyed it.
Profile Image for Emma.
122 reviews90 followers
December 26, 2018
The only book I enjoyed by Zapata because of the romantic relationship between MCs, was The Wall of Winnipeg and Me (the first I read by her), I gave it four stars. I can't say the same about her other books because even though the characters and the no-romance elements, like sports, fighting for something, friendships and family bonds were good, there was always little to no romance. And that's ok, there are many books I rated higher because of the no-romance elements. Still, I always struggled with her writing because of the slow pace and repetitiveness. Every small thing or activity is written in a painfully detailed description, so I always skip-reading a big part of her books, careful to not miss plot related things. That helps me enjoy the interesting parts without getting bored and ending up dnf the book. I'm impatient like that.

I had the same issues with Luna and the Lie. It drugged a lot. Very slow and too much repetitiveness and long pages of irrelevant, mundane things. I didn't like the MCs, or more like they were too dull to be the mean characters in a very very long book. My attention span is low so a book that long needs action and things happening to keep me interested and not only boring monologues that were too long to the point of making me forget what's happening. There's no chemistry, the male MC's nagging and grumpy ways made him look like an old man while she was that little girl who's trying to please everyone around her, the age gap didn't help. That's never a good thing in a romance. The worst thing is, the book felt like a bad copy of her other books, plot and characters. And again, it is in a serious need of editing. To sum it up, I was not impressed, so, I did not finish it.
December 29, 2018
Okay okay, I've been trying to avoid making the review but I guess I have to come out of hiding now
and, I didn't like it

I know I know, *groan* how could I, a die-hard MZ fan not like the book I had been eager anticipation? Here's why.

Luna is unlike any of her other heroines MZ has written, she was a doormat heroine and I wanted the claw my eyes out after the 3rd time she said "I was loved" I hated the fact that she was nice to people who clearly didn't return the favor.

I figured out the plot twist that within the first 50 pages and patiently waited for events to roll out like all other MZ books, but no, NO they did not. I could see a sudden plot twist from 20 miles out, for example, I knew Luna's sister was a

I blew up and had to cool down when Luna got butt hurt after Rip repeatedly told her to leave 20X in the hospital and gave him the silent treatment. That was so childish. I hated that she needed other people to validate her. I would think that someone like her would be better at loving herself.

I wanted to see more of her father to draw my own conclusion of him after he came out of jail, but someone *cough* Luna *cough* will take shit from everyone else but her father in order for me to see the reformed him. What her sisters did was a bitchy thing and it did nothing to endear me to them.
Profile Image for Holly.
288 reviews58 followers
December 14, 2018
I'm a fan of Zapata, but I have to say that I'm so fed up with all the repetitive plot lines. Her recent releases haven't been the greatest and are all the same. It's a combination of her previous books. Luna and the Lie is all of her books combined. It might sound like a joke, but it's actually the same thing over and over and over and over again. Like seriously, Zapata, can't you think of something a little more different? I mean, I get it. She's well-known for her slow-burn romances, but damn, not every single book has to be the same format. Some variety is good, you know?

This book is nothing new. If you're well acquainted with her previous novels, nothing's a surprise. This books follows typical Zapata formula. Guy hates main girl, girl is oblivious and naive and then something drastic happens to the heroine that requires the help of the hero, they spend time with each other and then the hero realizes he has feelings for the heroine. And let’s not forget about the traditional sex scene at the end of the book (she’s done this with The Wall of Winnipeg and Me, From Lukov with Love, and I think with Kulti? And maybe with Dear Aaron? I don’t know, Dear Aaron was a wreck of a book).

Before we talk about the issues of this novel, let me just say, why are Zapata’s novels so darn long? This book was over 500 pages?!?! WHY?!?! There’s literally paragraph after paragraph of useless information. Or paragraphs that could’ve been shortened to a sentence or two. I know sometimes more information is better, but at this point, I’m sick of all this useless writing and dragged out scenes that do not serve the plot. We don’t every single darn detail. Like come on, don’t include the mundane things. It slows the pace. I don’t like trashing author’s writing style, but damn, where’s the editor? It feels like she just published the book with zero editing.

Some of the problems I had with the book:

1.The Hero (Rip): I’m all up for a good jerk hero, but this one was beyond mean. Like beyond mean. He literally ripped her head off. Like over and over again. He treated her like crap. It was really, really bad. This is not cute. This is not attractive and I’m shocked that Luna forgave him. When Luna was attempting to comfort him, he growled and yelled at her to leave him alone? Why is that when Luna tries to be nice he throws a fit?

Here’s a quote:

I froze. I blinked and I swallowed as a I said, almost woodenly, attempting to ignore the familiarity of what come out of his mouth. “I’m only trying to be your friend.”

And then the jerk replies:

“Does it look like I give a fuck about that right now?”

WHAT!!!! How could anyone accept this kind of treatment? Luna’s trying to be a friend and this how you react?!?! If I was Luna, I would’ve CUT ALL TIES with this complete dick.

And when Luna finally gets the hint and completely backs off, he has the audacity to reply with:

“Can we be done with this? He asked his, voice rough and so loud I could barely hear him.

I held my breath. “With what?”

This incredibly handsome face stayed remote, those eyes…”With the Mister Ripley shit. With that tone. With you not wanting to talk to talk to me or ask me for fucking help.” That chin dipped and I’d swear I could feel his breath on my face in tiny puffs. “With you freezing me out.”

WTH? ISN’T THIS WHAT YOU ASKED FOR? He literally yelled at Luna to leave him alone and then when she does, he completely throws another fit. You can’t have it both ways. This guy is so hot and cold. This guy is not boyfriend material. Heck, he’s not even friend material. Which explains why he literally HAS NO FRIENDS. Because he treats everyone like crap.

2. The Romance: Ugh, I honestly don’t buy into this romance and even if I did like Rip, this book does not transition well. Rip yells at her a lot and then suddenly out of the blue starts her calling her “baby girl”????? What?? And let's talk about how slow Luna was to realize that Rip liked her? Like seriously? HOW DO YOU NOT KNOW THAT THIS GUY LIKES YOU? He shows up during your dates, doesn’t accept the favours and keeps asking for new ones and sometimes calls you baby girl? I swear I’ve never read such a stupid character before. She’s acts all innocent and spends quite some time, wondering why he’s hanging around all the time? Like gee, Luna, maybe he likes you?! Like damn. How hard is that to comprehend?

3. The Obvious Plot Twist: Ripley is Mr. Cooper’s son?! *GASPS* This was literally so obvious from the beginning. Zapata kept dropping hint after hint. I don’t mind finding out the plot twist early on, but the way Zapata set it up, it was like she kept dropping it for us as if we’re I’m dumb or something? It’s literally so obvious that it’s almost impossible to miss.

4. Thea: There was part in the novel where Thea, Luna’s sister, was hiding a secret from Luna. I’m not going to say much, but the way Zapata solved it was through A LETTER. Not an actual conversation. No two-way communication. It was like Zapata was rushing to ties all the ends and decided to throw some crappy letter for the Thea issue. Yeah...no. That’s a cop-out at its finest.

Honestly, this book would’ve been a decent 2 stars - or maybe 3 stars if I'm being nice? - if I hadn’t seen this plot line before and Rip wasn't that much of a dick. I do not recommend this book at all. Especially if you’ve read Zapata’s previous books.
Profile Image for Ceki.
375 reviews87 followers
December 14, 2018
I have a love-hate relationship with Mariana Zapata. I enjoyed some of her books, such as Dear Aaron, From Lukov with Love, The Wall of Winnipeg and Me, and Lingus... but I hated the rest.

She is known as the queen of slow-burn (which is my favorite type of romance), but she is also known for doormat-ish and pathetic heroines. Sometimes she doesn't go overboard so I don't really mind, but sometimes I just can't stand it.
For example, does this ring a bell? The hero acts like a real asshole and then the heroine sulks, sulks, and sulks... then apologizes like 20 times for something that isn't even her fault. Well, this was the case in Luna and the Lie. Ripley did apologize (not properly though); however, it seemed to me as if Luna/the author did all the job for him, he did 0 groveling. The proof of this is the fact that Luna spent pages to explain to Rip how he hurt her and what he did wrong while all he did was grunt and blink. A few soft words and Luna is ready to push everything behind her and just fall into his arms. Yeah right.

I also found Luna a bit daft. I mean, Rip follows you to every date and even scares away one of the men but you still don't get why? And you also don't get why he insists on returning the nonexistent favors? I mean, can you get any more stupid... :/

Another thing that bothered me is the age gap. Ok, this is just my personal preference, but I believe in something that is called a generational age gap, so I wasn't really convinced in a relationship between Luna who is 26, and Rip who is 41. I mean, that's 15 years. I also found the fact that Rip has NEVER had a girlfriend or any kind of relationship (night stands do not count) for 41 years incredulous. This brings up some serious emotional and commitment issues because he is not only unable to form an emotional relationship with the opposite sex, but also his coworkers. For example, he doesn't have any friends. I wouldn't find this too incredulous if he was 31, but 41? Nah, too weird.

The biggest issue I had with this book is the lack of closeness, skinship, and relationship growth. Yes, this IS a slow-burn, but the point of a slow-burn is that it leads to a romantic and sexy setting that lasts for some time, whereas in this book we only get the glimpse of it in the last chapter. I enjoyed the scene but that was it. I honestly found the romance underwhelming. There was not enough chemistry for me to buy it.

And last but not least... I got the huge "plot twist" in chapter 2 lol And the author made it pretty obvious in chapter 4.

So, 2/5 disappointing stars. I was really looking forward to this release. The first 3rd of the book was enjoyable enough but after that everything went downhill.
Profile Image for h o l l i s .
2,375 reviews1,836 followers
September 3, 2020
Take a shot for every time you see the word sighs (seventy four), blink (ninety one), boss (one hundred fifty eight), smile (two hundred seventy four).. yeah, eventually I stopped word searching. Also thank goodness I wasn't drinking or I would be dead.

Ohhh this was bad. We didn't like this, fam. We actually hated it. The struggle was forking real. I almost DNF'd ten different times.

These aren't short books. We all know it. So I knew for every inch I still had a hundred miles to go -- and every inch took a lot of patience, a lot of grinding of my poor molars, and depleted most of my remaining sanity. Also yes, you don't need to say it, I know; had I just DNF'd I could've saved myself all that pain..

"Ask for a favour."
(repeat thirty times in one scenes but also bring up the same exchange in twenty more scenes)

"You're going to the doctor."
(repeat eight times)

"I'm paying for lunch."
(repeat six times)

Literally, every discussion? Every exchange? Drag it out, hit "once more with feeling!", then drag it out some more. Every. Damn. Time.

"You want a drink?"
"How about some food."
"You really should have something.."
"Stop talking."
(LI loses it, legitimately, MC gets all butt hurt..) <-- dude, honestly? I would want to throw her into traffic. It's incessant and irritating and they both do it to each other, it's not all on her, but she's the only one that gets to be sad about her own stupidity, I guess?

"I'm doing this because I care. Here, watch me finally spell it out because clearly you don't get it."
"I will completely ignore that and classify your actions under this other reason (again, for the hundredth time..) instead of actually dealing with the information you have given me."
(repeat six times, and yet LI somehow still decides to stick around..)

MC has an emotional discussion with someone on the phone/references the police/gets bad news. LI : "you good?"
Obviously not.

(screams into a pillow for eternity)

Seriously, was she channeling KA in this or something with all the cheek twitches, "you goods, I got yous, babygirls.."? I swear..

Listen, MZ has written a few really great books. Two I loved so much I put them on my shelf. But I read those a long time ago and now, after this, I'm terrified to revisit. Sure, not every book has worked for me (LINGUS was a one star, UNDER LOCKE got rounded up/scraped by with two, DEAR AARON wasn't great but it was good) so I know this happens.. but it seems like the majority of MZs that don't work? Really. Don't. Work.

This was one of them.

Off to bleach my brain.
December 14, 2018
Slow Burn romance ...
Old man young woman romance...
Boss romance....

Don’t read this review if you intend to read this book. It might spoil your mood. I am not a fan of slow burn romance. So don’t let my taste ruin your excitement.

Luna (h), 27, works in custom car shop doing auto body paint, detailing and bodywork. Lucas Ripley (H), nearly 41, is her boss.

H is the awkward brooding type of guy. He rarely smiles while the h is the cheerful one.

All we get in the book is that the h works on cars. She has an idiot annoying assistant of a guy who cheated on her lil sis. So she rants about him. Then her broody boss, the H. She is obviously slowly falling for him. Then her other boss, a sweet old father like man, whom she adores and respect. Then she sometimes makes wrong paints or car work. She panics then it’s all over and back to happy. Then she brings cakes for her bosses or coworkers for birthdays or going away party. And blah....

The H is just there to accompany the h whenever she needs to go to funerals or when her sister is in problem.

This book is just about these small things which leads to love. Slow burn romance right?

The h is constantly telling us that the H thinks he owes her.
God knows.
H also keeps asking the h what favor she wants because he owes her. She keeps telling him it’s fine.

This is a safe romance. Very slow. Repetitive. Boring.
I’m sure many people will love this slow burn but I was too bored.
Just not for me.
Profile Image for chan ☆.
1,041 reviews47.7k followers
December 16, 2018
me big sad

i think this is going to go down as my least favorite mariana zapata book. i've read all but 2 of her books, and they were all (i think) 4+ stars. she writes really romantic slow burns with hyper realistic main characters.

but this book was just fucking sad. luna, our heroine, had the worst back story of any of zapata's previous characters. while each of her previous heroine's had flaws and sometimes had lives that weren't perfect... it seemed like she was really going out of her way to make luna's like fucking suck. it wasn't in the past. it kept coming up to bite her. her family treated her like shit, her coworkers disrespected her and one of her two bosses was a complete jack ass. and he was supposed to be the love interest!!!

the romance here was the real deal breaker for me. i am able to overlook pretty much anything a douchebag guy does in a book if there's a good grovel or a good relationship being built. and neither things were palpable to me. rip was just a lugheaded dope. he was a complete ass to the co-owner of the shop, he wasn't EVER nice to luna until the very end of the book... and i wasn't here for it.

i notice similarities between zapata's books, obviously. there's always only like 1 sex scene and there's usually a "hero takes care of heroine scene" and usually i eat the latter up. but i still wanted to punch rip when he was taking care of luna.

you could definitely call this just a case of "it's not you, it's me" since i knew what to expect going into another zapata book. but since 90% of her books work for me...

it's not me. it's you. here's hoping the next one is better.
Profile Image for Aviva’s Library.
239 reviews2,758 followers
September 30, 2022
I stayed up until 2:30am to finish this book so obviously I loved it and couldn’t put down. It was a classic Mariana Zapata book. It had everything I was expecting from it and didn’t disappoint. The slow pacing/build up of the story? Check. Mr. Grump? Check. The feeling while reading it of never wanting to put it down? Check. Check. Check.

But I can see why people wouldn’t rate this their favorite book of hers and it probably had to do with Lunas personality. She was the most positive and upbeat person I have ever read about… but it made her a pushover and therefore, everyone in her life took her for granted and shit all over her left and right. So I can definitely see readers being bothered by her… but it didn’t personally bother me because it was so opposite of my personality that it was interesting to read about someone who thought the way she did… so I just went with the flow.

Also there were a couple of secretive things throughout the book that were all slowly revealed throughout the ending and I totally guessed all of them right from the start. So I would like a pat on the back for my good guess work.

Anyway, it definitely wasn’t my favorite one I’ve read by her but also wasn’t my least favorite. Also, I’m a sucker for a good groveling moment and since this was a zapata book and nothing can ever happen too quickly… we got a really good one at the end of the book that I will be comparing to every other groveling moment I ever read from here on out.


Had a really fun time re-reading this one… it just has so many good things going for it — a really strong grumpy x sunshine, a super protective and jealous hero, a one bed trope, a nightmare scene, and one of my all time favorite groveling moments.

Luna’s definitely not my favorite main character from MZ mostly because I think she’s a bit of a pushover and a tad too nice and optimistic for me to be able to relate to her (since I’m generally a pretty grumpy and pessimistic person)… but it didn’t bother me as much this time around as it did the first time I read it — so that’s something.

I also remember being a bit meh about the whole side plot with her sister the first time I read it… and besides for that one scene we got when Luna and Ripley drove all the way to Dallas for her… I was still meh about the whole thing this time around too… but it wasn’t too bad that it ruined the story for me in any way… I’m just not sure if it was a very necessary side element to throw in there considering there was already enough going on without it 🤔
Profile Image for Nark.
596 reviews776 followers
March 20, 2022
4 stars.

the way Mariana Zapata has me GAGGING for all those little moments. this man tucked a strand of hair behind the heroine's ear and i swear i actually GASPED.

i tend to usually like this author's heroines, and i definitely liked this one. Luna was truly like a little sun, so kind and selfless. as much as i liked her overall, i gotta say she was also a little clueless at times. definitely a little bit of a doormat, and definitely insecure. none of that was surprising considering her past though, which is probably why i didn't find any of those qualities annoying here.

Luna also definitely grew a lot as a character throughout the book. you just gotta admire her strength and amazing outlook on life. the way she always chose to be kind and thankful for what she has first and foremost was beautiful.

i'm not saying MZ has a type, but... the amount of grumpy giant men this author has in her books as the love interests...😶

our hero Rip was definitely one of those grumpy giants. truly such a dickhead. a hot one, but still a dickhead. like the typical bitch that i am, i melted the moment this man started grovelling though. this book definitely had some nice grovelling at the end.

as it's usual with MZ, this was the slowest burn of all the burns, so the characters only get together at the very end. i'm still not a big fan of books ending basically the moment the characters get together, but since i'm familiar with this author by now, it was expected and didn't bother me too much.

to sum up my thoughts overall, this was definitely a nice read. nothing overly complicated plot wise and very easy to read.
Profile Image for ✰ Liz ✰ .
1,348 reviews1,253 followers
November 4, 2022
"Life was a gift—sometimes one you wanted to return, and other times one you’d want to keep forever, but it was still a gift."

Luna and the Lie is a masterpiece. A slow burn romance featuring a spunky heroine and a tattooed alpha male. Luna Allen, a car painter, has done everything she can to raise her three sisters by giving them love and a safe place to live. Working hard to escape the demons of her past, Luna has found solace in a mechanic shop where she paints cars. Her boss Rip is gruff and a man of few words and yet, he is quite protective of little Luna. When Luna finds herself in a disastrous web of trouble, Rip is quick to lend her a helping hand.

“I swear to God, you’re a fucking puzzle I thought was all in the box, but every damn day I find a piece or two hidden all over the place.”
Told in multiple POV, Luna and the Lie is another Zapata five star read. A beautiful slow burn romance full of complex characters, a complex plot, and light action. The unique dynamics between Luna and Rip kept me glued to the pages and I absorbed each and every moment shared between them like it was a precious piece of perfection. Every single Zapata book is long and yet, when it is over, I always find myself desperate for more!
"Me and Rip. I’d take it. I’d take it every day of the year, forever.”
Overall, Luna and the Lie would appeal to romance readers who enjoy a strong heroine and a tattooed alpha male whose friendship blossoms into a passionate romance! Luna is probably my favorite Zapata heroine to date and Rip and Luna together are EPIC! If you haven't read a Mariana Zapata book, I highly recommend checking her out. She is a brilliant storyteller who creates the most brilliant characters living and breathing in a flawed (and yet) beautiful world!

For more reviews/reveals/giveaways visit:
Profile Image for Carol.
1,306 reviews219 followers
March 7, 2022
Picking up an old favorite for a reread.
A perfect reread. Just what I was needing.

Reread 09/04/19 - 09/07/19💗💗💗💗💗
Yeah, this one just really gets to me!!!
It is such an emotional read and I love, love, love this story.
Luna and Rip are two of my most favorite among MZ's cast of characters.


5 "well-earned" stars. 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟
I was feeling so emotional after I finished reading this, still am.
I love this woman's writing. She gets to me all the time with her stunning slow burns.
I am so affected by the characters in all of her stories but Luna and Rip, well they really tore at my heart.
They are both such deeply scarred and complex individuals that over the course of this book I really came to understand them, their motivations and I truly wanted them to find lasting happiness with each other.
There is an inherent sadness to parts of this story that personally moved me so much but I realize from some of the early mixed reviews that this might just be too slow of a love story for everyone but for me it was absolutely perfect and well worth the effort.
After the first few chapters, I binge read this book only to put it down at almost 2am.
I savored the last 10% with my morning coffee.
Sweet epilogue.
we exist GIF
Life was a choice. You get to choose how you handle things. You get to choose how you deal with those things. You get to choose if a rose is beautiful or if its thorns are a menace to your fingers. What I chose was to not let Rip ruin my day. I was going to choose to not stay mad or hurt over this.

💝All of MZ's books are wonderful but this one was really special for me and I have read all of them now. 💝

Since finishing my review. I spotted this one by Jess and it is so in sync with my feelings about this book that I felt compelled to add a link to it. https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...
October 14, 2021
Lucas mf Ripley. wow. every single time this man said “baby girl” I melted away. please picture me with a highlighter just tabbing every time he spoke. Luna was a sweetheart angel babe, and I loved the dynamic of Cooper’s shop. Just overall, yes.
Profile Image for em.
366 reviews1,156 followers
January 21, 2022
"I'm done standing around trying to suck up all the goodness you make me feel without you even knowing, Luna. You are my girl. Just you. Nobody else."
Profile Image for Jessica.
719 reviews610 followers
December 17, 2018
Screw it, I’m DNFing this because GOOD GOD, is this shit boring and repetitive. I’ve struggled with Zapata’s writing before and how she tends to repeat the most random, minuscule details over and over and over again but I don’t think it has ever been this bad.

The writing is somewhat like this:
I sat down with the container full of food my sister had prepared for me this morning and snuck a peek at Rip. He pressed his lips together. I stabbed my fork into the food my sister had prepared for me this morning and contemplated why Rip pressed his lips together while chewing on the food my sister had prepared for me this morning. Rip glared and pressed his trunk sized thigh against mine while I took a bite of the food my sister had OH MY FUCKING GOD I GET IT!!! YOUR SISTER PREPARED YOUR FOOD!!! AAAARGH!

I’m done. I don’t care for Rip, I do feel sorry for Luna but just not enough to struggle through this to see her getting her happy ending. I’m bored and the love interest does absolutely nothing for me with his big muscles and jerkish ways so...nope.
Profile Image for mel ☽.
365 reviews7,069 followers
December 15, 2018

I love the kind of romance novels that are slow burn, that's LONG but it doesn't feel long or slow because instead, it feels fast and you never want it to end. Well, MZ always has these type of books, so, of course imma drop everything and read this.

So, did I read this book in one sitting instead of studying for my finals? Hell yes.
No regrets, man.

The Hero, Lucas Ripley (Rip), is Luna's, the heroine, boss at Cooper's Collision and Customs. She's a mechanic/painter (sorry, don't really know the title of her job but she does a lot when it comes to fixing cars) and has been working there for almost a decade. She was only 17 or so when the owner of CCC, Mr. Cooper, took her in and basically adopted her.
One of the reasons I love MZ books is because it doesn't just focus on the romance but it also focuses on the character, their familial relationships, and friendships. And we definitely got that here. I was so invested in every character's story and the relationship between the h and everyone around her.

This book definitely has an office romance in a way, and enemies to friends to lovers trope. AND that's all I'm going to say because this book needs to be READ.

I don't want to give anything away and reveal too much about the plot but the main thing is, there's definitely a bit of angst here that I was not expecting and a buttload of romance that develops slowly, but realistically and I'm all for it. Oh! There's a bit of groveling here too and who could say no to a groveling H?

I definitely grew attached to the main leads, so of course, anyone who treats them like shit... imma want to punch em. And there's plenty I wanted to punch here. NO ONE HURTS LUNA. She's honestly the most precious h I've ever read.

Luna Allen is definitely one of my favorite heroines EVER. She is genuinely strong and a badass. Typically, I don't like bitchy heroines AT ALL but I really wanted her to be mean JUST FOR ONCE because this girl is just TOO GOOD and a lot of people definitely deserved to have their asses kicked here.

But did she tell them off and beat them up like I wanted her to?? Nope. She KILLED THEM WITH KINDNESS

She is one of the most mature h I've ever read and even though I wanna beat the shit outta the ppl who treated her like dirt (yes, even some of her sisters) she STILL rises above them in a way that shows how understanding and patient she is. Like GIRL. She's a good person-no, the BEST person- because she doesn't want to treat people the way she was treated her whole childhood. She knows the feeling of being unwanted and unloved and she doesn't want to spread that kind of negativity to EVERYONE, even those who wronged her.

And her being a "mom" to her little sisters since she was 17? Wow. Honestly, her perseverance, selflessness, and hard work are definitely admirable.

There were times I wanted to hug her and offer my shoulder to cry on because this girl went through A LOT. She was hurt (emotionally and physically) and was betrayed so many times that I just wanted to go all Rambo on everyone that didn't treat her like the Queen she is.

Well, good thing Rip was there, eh?

Oh man... Rip? I love this dude. Sure, he was such an a-hole in the beginning and sure I low-key hated how he treated the heroine at first BUT we slowly see his character develop and see all these subtle hints on his true feelings towards the h.

He has got to be somewhere up there in my favorite MZ heroes because even though he really is an a-hole, he's really just a freaking teddy bear with a heart of gold. I love seeing his character develop AND how us readers knew how he really felt without the h knowing.

MZ is really good with all these subtle hints that make the readers KNOW that the H is in love with the h even though the h is like huh, what? He's in love with me? Nahhhh bish.

ANYWAYS, this is definitely worth the read and I have ZERO regrets of prioritizing this first, instead of studying for my sociology final, so, WOO!

I hope her next novel is about Luna's best friend, Lenny. A heroine who kicks ass for a living? Yesss sign me up.
Profile Image for Wendys Wycked Words.
1,550 reviews3,810 followers
December 15, 2018
The Bronx- The Bronx (IV)

I absolutely ADORE this author. Ever since reading one of my all-time favorites " Kulti ". I have been a big fan. Doesn't matter what she writes...I will always give it a go. So I have been on pins and needles ever since this new book was announced. Marianna Zapata doesn't give out publishing dates, so there was a lot of amazon page refreshing going on :P

Afbeeldingsresultaat voor page refreshing gif

When it finally showed up, I knew I was in it for the long haul...because you know what else Marianna Zapata doesn't do...short books...thank heavens ;) There are over 500 delicious pages !! Who needs food or sleep...just some coffee will do !!

Afbeeldingsresultaat voor no food or sleep gif

As the title of this book already states...it is about lies, and I don't want to be the one to spill the beans so I won't be going into the storyline. I think you should definitely jump into this one blind... Figuring out what exactly is going on is half the fun I believe.

Now as much as it pains me to say...I could not give this one 5 stars. I love Zapata's writing style and I adore her slow burn...she is the only one who can get away with it without me bitching. And there was definitely a snail's pace with this one, let me tell you. No the reason I wasn't completely blown away, was Luna....

Afbeeldingsresultaat voor not a big fan gif

Most of Zapata's books have strong and even feisty heroines...It is the reason I have a little girl crush on "Sal". Luna was a bit different though. She has some self-esteem issues and she was very sweet...I bit too sweet if you ask me. There is nothing wrong with being a good person, but Luna was skating the doormat line and...this, unfortunately, annoyed me a bit.

I wanted her to stand up for herself a bit more. I also think that she took a very very long time processing things...which made her seem a bit dense. Thankfully was a delicious alpha asshole, so he made up for a lot.

Gerelateerde afbeelding

Now don't get me wrong, I really did enjoy reading this one..I just couldn't give it the full 5 stars. I think a lot of people will actually love the hell out of Luna. I am just a bit weird (and harsh) when it comes to heroines.

I look forward to whatever this author has in store for us.

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Profile Image for mich.
647 reviews230 followers
December 18, 2018
I guess at this point I need to call myself a Mariana Zapata fan. I've read a bunch of her books and whenever I happen to see a new one, I immediately download it. (That means "fan" right?)

This book though. Omg. It was like Zapata went on Goodreads, read all the 1 star critical reviews for her books, and then wrote THIS book as a big "Fuck you" to all those readers.

-Like, you think my MC heroines all have exhaustingly repetitive inner voices? Well fuck you I'm gonna write a heroine with the MOST repetitive inner monologues. And that's not all, I'm gonna take that shit to the next level. You want a sample? Here!

I'm fine. I'm loved. I'm totally fine.
I'm not though. But I am.
I'm fine.
That thing is still bothering me though.
But it's okay. Because I'm fine.
I really am. I'm fine.
Except that I'm not.
But I'm loved. I'm fine. I'll be fine.

Pages. And pages. And more freakin pages of this shit. . After awhile, whenever I saw the word "fine" or the phrase "I was loved", I'd start skimming pages at a time. It's necessary if you want to keep your sanity. Trust me.

-Also! You think my books have too many typos and editing issues? Well fuck you I'm gonna have my proofreaders ADD typos to this book. And weird spacing shit in the sentences too.

(Seriously though, what was up with all the typos in this book??)

-And you think my heroes are all kinda the same? That they're all broody, moody, quiet, and don't actually have much of a personality? Well fuck you I'm gonna make the hero in this book broody.
And moody.
And quiet.
And not have much of a personality.

Rip is right there with Dex as one of her crappier heroes. He's also trying to be Aiden-like a bit but it wasn't really working.

--And what's that? You think my books are too long??? Well fuck you I'm gonna make this book just as long as all the others and I'm gonna make sure at least 300 of those 500+ pages are filled with unnecessary repetitive irritating as hell filler.

I thought this book was really bad. This author seems to have embraced and settled into her niche as the queen of the "slow burn" romance, but her stuff's getting stale if you ask me.

Honestly? A lot of that "slow" burn is just plain slow movement in the plot. And it's not like there's any character development happening during that time either. I cannot stress enough how the length of this book is due mostly to unnecessary, irritating repetitive crap.

I don't really have anything good to say about this one. I honestly can't believe I even managed to finish it. If this had been my first read of this author, I doubt I'd try anything else from her.
Profile Image for Júlia.
213 reviews2,632 followers
April 30, 2022
Did you read All Rhodes Lead Here? Did you like it? If you did, this one is for you.

I am glad I haven't given up on Mariana after completely hating From Lukov with Love.

I know what she is capable of, and this is it. All Rhodes Lead here is still my favorite book she has ever written, but this one also has a special place in my heart now.

This was a four star because of the tattooed, 41 year old grumpy man.

Rhodes and Lucas are paternal figure material.

Most Mariana's females don't change from book to book to be honest, they're all extremely nice, sunshiny, obnoxiously optimistic and they let everyone use them/lie to them/treat them badly, yatta, yatta. Luna was all right and I think that is the reason I couldn't give this book five stars.

In all Rhodes Lead Here, both characters were incredible. Aurora (All Rhodes Lead Here) and Vanessa (Wall of Winnipeg) are the only two female characters Mariana has written I love. They are down to earth and they have very distinctive personalities. Luna is more of the same.

Luna next to Lucas on the other hand, is what made this book worth it. His reactions to her and how rude, grumpy and mean he was to her, made this entire thing worth it. The contrast was huge and I adore a mean, 41 year old daddy. He is her boss on top of it all, they work at a car detailing shop and I just loved the vibes of it all. We also have great side characters.

Extremely emotional, sweet, cute, our typical Mariana Zapata slow burn recipe, with the most intoxicating s&x scene at the end. She might drag her books out until the 90% mark and only give us ONE sexual encounter, but this woman definitely knows how to write a s&x scene. Her scenes give me butterflies every damn time.

As usual, I took advantage of my love for our Narrator Gomez and I listened to this on audible. Gomez is the same voice who narrated Rhodes. Panty-melting thick, angry, grumpy voice, who makes the entire audio experience SO worth it.

If you are an audible person, or not, I definitely recommend this one. It was very cute and overall and enjoyable and romantic experience. Good job M!

Profile Image for peachygirl.
267 reviews633 followers
October 6, 2022
It's always a hit or miss with Zapata's books and this one was a huge damn miss for me.
I couldn't connect to any of the characters, the romance seemed forced and the story wasn't memorable in any way. In short, no MZness to make this a tolerable read.
Profile Image for Rachel Reads Ravenously.
1,804 reviews2,158 followers
December 23, 2018
I love Mariana Zapata, but I don't love everything she writes. Luna and the Lie was such a slow start. I don't mind slow starts, but the main characters literally didn't even become friends until 60% into the book. 60% INTO A 600 PAGE BOOK!!! Are you friggin kidding me? Then, the characters kept having the same conversations not once, not twice, but THREE times!!! Why did I had to read several conversations over and over again????

The positives and what saved this to be a three for me was the last 30% of the book or so. There was a decent dose of angst and the storyline picked up a lot. I just wish Zapata's books were all as magical as TWOWAM and Lingus.

Reminder time: Goodreads is where readers go to share their opinions in a safe space. So if I get a bunch of comments about how you love this book and I'm wrong, I'm just going to delete your comments (and possibly you) and keep on living my life.
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