This Chick Read: When Gracie Met the Grump by Mariana Zapata

Gracie Castro was raised by her grandparents, always on the run and changing their names. After their death, Gracie is living in a small, nowhere town tutoring ESL to her online students when a man drops out of the sky into her front yard. Not just any man but one of the Trinity. A surly superhero who seems to have lost his powers and needs a place to recoup. Gracie is fascinated and despite knowing she has been living in that small town too long, she stays and helps him gain back his strength. This is their story.


Mariana is an auto-buy for me and after a long drought I was eager to read her new novel. Verdict? I was disappointed. I don’t have a problem with romantic fantasy novels so a superhuman / heroine in jeopardy novel is right up my alley. I had trouble liking either of these characters. Gracie has a mysterious background that isn’t really explained until whoever she is running from finally catches up. I didn’t count the pages but it took a good portion of the novel to get to this point in the story. Prior to that more riveting portion of the novel it was just a grumpy superhero who deigned to grace Gracie with his presence. Other than how handsome he was, and that was brought up quite a lot, almost like the author was trying to persuade us to like him for his looks, there wasn’t a lot to like. Now, I’ve read every single one of MZ’s books multiple times. I own the audiobooks as well as the e-books and I know that she likes a surly man and a down on herself heroine, but there was very little relief up until the above incident where Gracie’s past catches up to her.

When her past finally caught up to her I was like- YAY! This is now going to turn into a thriller with Lexi using his superpowers, coming to the rescue, etc. That is what should’ve happened, but the author just let the whole thing kind of peter out. Yes, Lexi did get them out of there but it was kind of anticlimactic. But I keep reading. I’m thinking that this book just has to get better! I am doomed for disappointment. Despite their close contact their is very little chemistry- other than his good looks, of course, and Gracie is doom and gloom about her future. It’s not until the very end that we get a hint of chemistry, but it’s more like auto-love and I’m really kind of turned off by this point. So disappointing.

This novel had all of the elements of being a great “trying a new genre” MZ novel. She gave hints of what she was trying to accomplish but never went for it. If you’re going to have a superhero character, let’s actually see him in action. Let’s see what makes all of America love this guy besides his looks! Through his actions we could have fallen in like with him, aka Wall of Winnipeg, Luna and the Lie, even Kulti! She didn’t give us a very good look into his character, so I didn’t buy into the romance. I wanted to, but I just really couldn’t talk myself into liking it very much. I do have a hard time giving her a horrible rating though so When Gracie Met the Grump is getting a 3.0 average rating. It’s really more like a 2.5, but I’m going to give her the benefit of the doubt. I will take another look at it when the audiobook comes out. Maybe I’ll like it better the second time around. ❤️❤️❤️

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