This Chick Read: Lingus by Mariana Zapata

Kat is your average ordinary twenty something young woman. She teaches grade school, has had a few boyfriends, has a group of very close girlfriends, and has a wonderful relationship with her father. She also loves porn. Yep! You got it, porn. Kat gets dragged to a porn convention by one of her best friends, and although she is constantly looking over her shoulder to make sure no one she knows see’s her, she is having a blast. While waiting for her best friend to get her favorite male porn star’s autograph, she meets Tristan. Beautiful Tristan who is just sweet as can be. They strike up a funny conversation and inadvertently end up eating lunch together. While he is gorgeous with a capital G, it doesn’t occur to Kat that she is at a PORN convention and that Tristan could be a porn star. Not until she see’s him signing his own autographs at a table later on that same day and he beckons her over asking if he can see her later.

Except for the porn aspect of this novel, this is your typical Mariana Zapata friends to lovers novel. (I would’ve said “typical slow burn” novel, but porn and slow burn, ewww!) Tristan wants to be Kat’s friend. He doesn’t have girlfriends because he doesn’t think it’s healthy to be doing porn and trying to have a relationship. Well, ok, that makes a ton of sense! However, Tristan and Kat have this incredible energy together and even though it takes a while to get there, they do end up together. What makes this novel so different is that this crisis of sorts is well, porn. That is what is keeping them apart. Told entirely from Kat’s perspective, she agonizes over his job. We see that, we hear her feelings, and we know how knowing what he does disrupts her peace of mind.

Tristan through Kat’s eyes is perfect. Beautiful, great personality, fun, and a really really nice person. His explanation for why he does porn doesn’t really ring true for me, but then I’m not a guy and don’t have guy sexual thoughts, so who knows! Maybe it’s that easy to get into porn! Knowing what he did for a living would be a deal breaker for me, but Kat and Tristan are just friends, and one of her other best friends is in that industry. So, even though it’s kind of common to Kat, it’s still strange to me, but I kept reading. LOL.

I’ll give the author some kudos for making me like her writing enough to pick up a novel where the lead characters meet at a porn convention. The friends to lovers story rang true and their friendship did not revolve around porn. (thank God!) I loved both Kat and Tristan and rooted for them to find their happy together. They were quirky, the dialog was fun and just as with her other novels, Ms. Zapata delivered! ❤️❤️❤️❤️

Lingus Click this link to purchase! Lingus Copyright 2018 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

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This Chick Read: Wait for It by Mariana Zapata

I’ll admit that I’m a pretty recent convert to Mariana Zapata’s style of writing. She believes in the build up of a relationship more than the outcome, the cake more than the frosting if you will. Her strength is in character development and this novel Wait for It delivers because by the time Diana and Dallas get together, we are so enmeshed in their strengths and weaknesses, so taken with their feelings, that we are sitting on the edge of our seats waiting for that moment to happen.

Diana’s story was unique. It wasn’t until about a 1/3 of the way into the novel that we finally realize that she is raising her brothers two sons and not her own. I mean, I know enough Spanish to know Tia is Aunt, so I got that clue, but I didn’t know the story of why she was raising these two boys, and when we find out, it is devastating. Diana, isn’t very old, maybe 26 if I’m remembering correctly? To raise two kids, juggle her life and job, as well as getting them to school and practice is an amazing feat that a lot of single parents face. Score one for Ms. Zapata in reaching into our hearts and giving it a good squeeze and also for humanizing Diana, making her easily identifiable.

Dallas is pretty similar to some of Ms. Zapata’s other male characters. Stoic, kind of surly and very good looking. A true Alpha male. However, in Wait for It, the author uses those traits as a shield for Dallas to protect himself just as much as that wedding ring on his finger. When he finally decides to go all in. that shield expands to protect not only himself, but Diana and the boys. Score two for Ms. Zapata! I love to read about a man protecting his woman, even if its from catty remarks and not gunfire!

I don’t want to give away any more of this story because it is deftly told and even though long, the pivotal moments are intertwined so that I would fear giving one moment away would unravel the mystery of how they fall in love. I will say that their story made me laugh, touched my heart and made me feel. What more do you want in a love story?


Click this link to purchase!  Wait For It

Copyright 2017 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

This Chick Read: Under Locke by Mariana Zapata

Mariana Zapata novels are known for a slow burn storyline. Usually our female lead hates the male lead and it takes awhile for him to get back into her good graces until all of a sudden she realizes she is in love with the guy. Under Locke follows this trope, however, even though it takes Dex a little while to redeem himself in Iris Taylor’s eyes, the reader doesn’t have to wait until 90% to get their first kiss. Yeah!

Dex Locke is a biker in an MC, but he’s also a tattoo artist and owns a successful tattoo shop. Iris is down on her luck and flat broke. She is sleeping in her older half brothers spare room and goes on a job interview he sets up for her at his MC brothers tattoo shop. Despite her misgivings for working for Dex, she accepts the job. Needless to say, Dex’s surly attitude and snarly demeanor is not her idea of a good boss, even less so a love interest, and sparks fly. However, she keeps the job and over time, and multitudes of apologies, the two end up becoming friends.

Even though this book was unlike her other more sports themed books, I still liked the setup and story. Iris has a really sad back story. She is a rather timid thing, but watching her grow into a little dragon when facing down Dex made me appreciate her spunk and fire. Dex was surly through the whole book, but his moments of tenderness and humor, saved solely for Iris made me root for him. The fact that they reached their first kiss quicker than normal and I got to see their relationship develop a little more, I loved. ❤️❤️❤️❤️❣️


Click this link to purchase! Under Locke

Copyright 2017 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

This Chick Read: Dear Aaron by Mariana Zapata

I have read only a couple of Mariana Zapata novels and I loved them both. When Dear Aaron was released not too long ago I scooped it up hoping for that awesome slow burn romance I’d come to expect. The premise of the story guaranteed that this couple, like most of her others, were going to follow the friends to lovers plotline. Ruby Santos is paired with Aaron Hall through a military organization that organizes pen pals for overseas military. After getting off to a rough start with Aaron not responding to Ruby’s initial emails, they start penning notes to each other and as time goes on, discovering tidbits about each others lives. I actually enjoyed the flow of the book, learning about both Ruby and Aarons lives, however, the depth of emotion was missing, as it would when you are learning about someone through a letter. You learn only what they choose to tell you. This point of view separated the reader and kept me from developing any strong emotional attachment to either Ruby or Aaron for the first half of the book.

When the story advances, Aaron is on leave in the US, and their communication advances to texting and then finally a phone call. Its at this point that the author starts writing in conventional narrative and we get to read from an actual point of view. The Ruby that we saw in email form was only a little different than the Ruby we now know from hearing her thoughts. My problem was that I liked Ruby better in email form. Aaron was solid both in email and in person. I was given a good grasp of his character and it stayed consistent for the entire book. Actually, through Ruby’s eyes he got even more attractive! I think I just found it harder to connect with Ruby because of the email format at the start. I did still enjoy the book, but in comparison with The Wall of Winnipeg and Me and Kulti it paled. ❤️❤️❤️❣️


Click link to purchase! Dear Aaron

Copyright 2017 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

Blog Book Club : Kulti by Mariana Zapata (A three blog review!)

A few weeks ago on my Sunday Commentary I asked for my fellow bloggers to help me choose a book to read off my TBR. That post started a discussion with Donna @ Heron There & Everywhere about the book Kulti. It’s been sitting on my kindle for a couple of years and funny enough it was sitting on hers too! Recently I read and reviewed Zapata’s Wall of Winnipeg and Me and was loving her slow burn love stories. It wasn’t very hard for Donna to convince me to read that book together. We asked if anyone else wanted to join in and Sarah Ferguson and Choppy chimed in and we all decided to post our reviews on the same date, today!

If you would like to read all of our reviews, click on each name.

Donna @ Heron There and Everywhere

Sarah @ Travels with Choppy

This Chick’s review of Kulti by Mariana Zapata

Sal Casillas grew up idolizing star soccer player Reiner Kulti and dreaming of one day playing pro soccer. She works hard for that dream and when the story starts she is in fact an aging (at 27!)  pro soccer player whose team just hired Reiner Kulti as their assistant coach. Sal is beyond excited, never believing she’d get the chance to meet her idol in person, and be coached by him. Well, things don’t start off that well. Kulti comes to all the practices but doesn’t interact with the team at all, he’s actually kind of an ass! One day, her dad comes to watch her play, excited that he has the chance to meet Kulti. Sal hadn’t had the heart to tell her father how awful Kulti was being to the team. When Kulti is rude to her father Sal hits the wall. She walks up to him and very precisely, and with the utmost respect (he was her coach after all!) tells him off. After that moment something changed in him and they slowly started to become friends. Until they became more.

First I have to exclaim over how much fun it was to read a sports romance where the female protagonist was the pro player! It gave a whole different vibe to the story. We were given some backstory about Sals rise up through the ranks of pro soccer and a ton of backstory between she and a girl on the National team. I won’t spoil the story but I will say ” what a bitch!” I wanted to give Amber a big kick! Growing up playing soccer myself, and having those same kind of dreams about going pro I wonder if that is part of the reason why I loved this book so much. Then, I’d keep reading and realized I was really enjoying the building friendship between Sal and Rey. Sal was so surprised at their relationship, and the fact that this man wanted to be her friend that she wore blinders to the fact that he was deeply in love with her. Totally clueless and I loved her for that.  And him. After a rough start Rey ended up being my dream guy too.

If, like me, you have put this book on the back burner, PICK IT UP! It will not disappoint!

❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

I’m going to pop on over to Donna and Sarah’s blog to see if they liked this book as much as I did. If you have read Kulti and want to chime in with your thoughts, we’d love to hear them!


Buy this book on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Kobo!

Copyright 2017 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

This Chick Read: The Wall of Winnipeg and Me by Mariana Zapata

Vanessa was hired to be Aiden’s personal assistant. Aiden, known as the Wall of Winnipeg in the NFO (a fictional football league) is as stoic as his nickname makes him sound. He’s built like a wall, all muscle mass, but he has as much personality as a wall as well! Vanessa has worked for him for two years and even though they spend massive amounts of time together, he has never tried to get to know her, be pleasant to her, or even crack a smile. Continue reading “This Chick Read: The Wall of Winnipeg and Me by Mariana Zapata”