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. ❤️❤️❤️

Click this link to purchase!* When Gracie Met the Grump

Copyright 2022 The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

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This Chick Read: All Rhodes Lead Here by Mariana Zapata

Aurora has been driving around the country searching for the perfect place to land. What she doesn’t realize until she gets there is that the small town in the mountains she grew up in would be the perfect place. Renting an over the garage apartment from the teenage son of a surly silver haired fox is just the start to her homecoming. Getting a job at the outdoors store of her childhood friend may seem like a stretch since she doesn’t know a fishing lure from a fishing hook but she wants to connect and fill the time in her day. He whole life has changed and this is the start of her new one.

When Aurora rents her place she doesn’t realize that teenage Amos did it without his father’s permission and he is NOT pleased at the surprise. Rhodes (the silver haired hotty) is uber protective about his privacy but he gives her a trial run which of course turns into permanent occupancy. Aurora wants to get along with her neighbor but the reason she’s back in these hills is because she wants to retrace her mother’s steps. She had hiked all over these hills and it gives Aurora a connection to her, something she’s needed since her disappearance many years ago. She is also using this connection as a way to hear after her break-up with her long time boyfriend and country music star.

I am a big Mariana Zapata fan and I was ultimately happy with Aurora and Rhodes story. She typically writes pretty surly unapproachable men (Zac being the exception) and her female protagonists are always uber cheerful and determined to be friends. Aurora was maybe a little more cautious than past heroines but she followed the same format that has worked so well for Zapata in the past. What I liked the most about this novel though was Amos and how he really brought out the best in his dad. He was a bridge between Aurora and Rhodes. A bridge that was only used briefly but it worked as a plot point and got their arc moving pretty quickly, thank goodness.

Ultimately I enjoyed All Rhodes Lead Here. I liked all of the characters, especially Amos. I was only a little disappointed that once Aurora’s past was revealed that her talent wasn’t left in the past as much as it was. I’m not the author and don’t know why she would have chosen to give her a talent that she leaves in the past. I would’ve wished for her music to be part of her future more than was written in the ending of this book. Other than that I was ecstatic to have a new Zapata book to read and happy with the characters and story. I’m hoping Amos gets his own future love story, he was my favorite. ❤️❤️❤️❤️

Click this link to purchase!* All Rhodes Lead Here

Copyright 2021 The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate- if you purchase this book through the above link I’ll receive a small stipend.

This Chick Read: Hands Down by Mariana Zapata

Possible SPOILERS Ahead! Read at your own risk.

Zac Travis and Bianca Brannen used to be best friends but ten years have gone by since the last time they spoke. When her brother Boogie, the third leg in their friendship, asked her to swing by Zac’s house to give him a message about his grandpa she sucks it up and does the right thing. When he doesn’t recognize her? It’s devastating. Now that she’s back in his life, Zac is determined to not let her leave.

I was beyond thrilled that Mariana Zapata was releasing a book about one of my favorite side characters, Zac “Big Texas” from the Wall of Winnipeg and Me. I’ve read Winnipeg about 8 times, so Zac is a very familiar character. His aw shucks attitude and sweet charm makes him super easy to like, but that doesn’t necessarily translate to a main character hero. For me, that usually depends upon the leading lady, which in this case is also a side character but one that barely blipped on my radar. Bianca was the receptionist at the Maio House gym in The Best Thing. She was pretty minor but as I was reading Hands Down I admired how Mariana Zapata, again, tied the characters from her books together.

As I was reading this novel I found myself getting restless. For me, that’s never a good sign and meant I had some reservations about these characters love story. What was it that bothered me? I believe in love at any age, so the age difference between Zac and Bianca wasn’t that big a deal (it’s an 8 year difference). After all, I married a man 5 years my junior and it’s the maturity of a person that matters, not the age. Part of Zac’s charm in Winnipeg was his aw shucks attitude, which was on overdrive and may have been a bit overused in Hands Down. His nicknames of “sugar” and “darlin” were part of his identity, but there was one nickname that he used with Bianca specifically that I disliked. Well, at first I was ok with it, but after their feelings developed my feelings changed. Zac called Bianca “kiddo”. If this was a story about a brother and sister I’d think that was sweet, but at the end of the book he was still saying “I love you kiddo” and well, I found it kind of creepy. Why didn’t the author change that nickname like he did when he started calling her Bibi? I felt like that would’ve been an easy resolution. Insert “Bibi” wherever he says kiddo as his feelings had started to change. This may seem like a very small point but for me it’s one that would’ve made a huge difference in how I felt about the characters.

I love a strong female protagonist and Bianca had moments of strength but those moments were interspersed with quite a lot of insecurity. I get that she felt like Zac dumped her for his successful career but the number of times she said something like “if you want to” or “if you don’t have anything better to do” or spoke down about herself, got kind of frustrating. It actually frustrated Zac too as he addressed it quite a few times in the book, but when it starts getting on a readers nerves it’s like that tickle in your throat that won’t go away. When attention is drawn to it, it just itches even more. I was never allowed to get past it because it was brought up too often. Would I have felt differently if Bianca had started feeling more secure about herself a little sooner? Possibly.

Despite those two things, I did enjoy reading Hands Down. There’s a safety in reading a Mariana Zapata novel. You know you’re getting a great story, you look forward to seeing how these characters connect to past novels, and when they finally reveal their love for each other after that long build-up to it, it’s just so satisfying. Despite being let down on that last point just a smidge, it was still a nice get away from the stresses of my everyday life which is a win in my book.


Click this link to purchase this book!* Hands Down

Copyright 2020 The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate- if you should purchase this book through the above link I’ll receive a small stipend.

This Chick Read: The Best Thing by Mariana Zapata

Some things are easily forgiven. Other things… not so much.

Lenny DeMaio made herself a promise: she was done.

Done thinking about him.

Done worrying about him.

Done reaching out to a man who clearly didn’t want to be found. 

Too bad no one gave Jonah Collins the memo.

There is nothing better than a surprise release by Mariana Zapata. It’s like Christmas, Easter, Valentine’s Day, and your Birthday all wrapped up in tissue paper. When The Best Thing released, I got a call from my usually taciturn sister. “It’s out! Mariana’s new book has been released!” My sister is not much for fangirling, but Ms. Zapata’s books are worth a little squeal or two. I, even though at work, went to my favorite bookseller site and downloaded that puppy. I was mad I had just started a new novel. I hated stopping in the middle of a book!

We met Lenny DeMaio in Zapata’s previous novel Luna and the Lie. Now, I won’t lie, as much as I love Mariana Zapata, Luna was different than her normal romance novel. It was a little darker and although I loved it, I was hoping that The Best Thing would be a little lighter and our heroine more self assured. Lenny was Luna’s best friend and very self assured, with a nice side of sass. I knew I was going to love her story. A few years had gone by in storyville and Lenny was now running the Maio House, the MMA gym her grandfather started. The reader is immediately thrown into the story. Lenny’s pissed about someone named Jonah Hema Collins so we assume he is our hero. The big surprise is that he’s a rugby player! A new sport for a Zapata novel and one I know nothing about… well, except the word scrum. I know what that is! LOL.

When Jonah is finally introduced to the story in person, I immediately notice something different. He’s so polite and nice! I can’t figure out why Lenny isn’t giving him a chance and even though we are given hints (don’t worry, I won’t give anything away!) I want it explained! Even after the explanation and our journey of watching the relationship develop between Lenny and Jonah commences, my feelings for Jonah don’t change, they just get stronger. He is so freaking nice! Really! He’s quiet, kind of shy, but super nice and unlike tons of previous Zapata heroes, completely likable from the first moment. I like it!

There are so many things to love about this novel. Jonah is wonderful, Lenny has sass and strength, but the best theme revolves around family. Lenny’s grandfather raised her and their relationship is so special. You get a hint of it in Luna, but Grandpa Gus is awesome! He’s cranky, also sassy, and he loves Lenny as much as can be humanly possible. The two of them are everything to each other. So family is a HUGE part of this novel, and their story will wring a tear or ten out of you, promise.

If you’re in the mood for a wonderful story about family, finding love, and friendship then you need to purchase The Best Thing. It’s on Kindle Unlimited if you have that plan, but really it’s worth the few dollars spent on purchasing it. I am an avid re-reader of her novels, so it’s already sitting on my virtual shelf, I’m waiting for the paperback in the mail, and I’m eagerly anticipating the audiobook release in a couple of months. ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

Click this link to purchase!* The Best Thing

Copyright 2019 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate

This Chick Read: Luna and the Lie by Mariana Zapata

At seventeen Luna left her old life behind and disappeared to a new town. She meets Mr. Cooper the owner of an auto body shop and is mentored in everything automobile. The people in that shop become her family and Mr Cooper a father figure. When Mr. Cooper takes on a partner, Luna puts a smile on her face determined to be happy in the face of Ripley’s grumpiness. One day, Luna tells a lie for Ripley and he is determined to return the favor, to even the score. When Luna finally asks him for help it’s the start of a friendship and then so much more.

Mariana Zapata is the queen of slow burn romance novels where the build up of the relationship is 90% of the novel. Luna and the Lie didn’t detour from Zapata’s norm however it is a little bit of a darker novel than she usually writes. I wasn’t surprised by Ripley’s character. He is gruff, grumpy, and talks by grunting a lot. Pretty typical of her alpha male hero’s. What was surprising was how he had to overcome Luna’s, dare I say damaged (?), persona. Luna is determined to be happy and live the life she has always dreamed about. When I say determined, I mean she hangs onto that emotion with a fierceness I am just not used to seeing in a romance heroine. Ms. Zapata writes sassy, independent women, which I love! Luna is sassy and independent, but she also lives in her head a lot. Reminding herself of how she is loved, has a good job, and is happy. Repeatedly. Like she is talking herself into those things. When the relationship between Ripley and Luna finally happens, I am so happy that she is finally getting that dream that she’s been pursuing, and with a man that will love and protect her at the risk of his own life. 

This novel was one of my most anticipated releases in the latter half of this year and it did not disappoint. It did make me think. Ripley was an interesting character and although Luna’s thoughts and dreams revolved around him, he wasn’t the heart of this novel. Luna was. Ms. Zapata did such a great job of portraying Luna’s despair and hope that it was those emotions that I felt when the novel concluded. Yes, despair that the book was over and hope that she’ll write one quicker than the last, but also that hope that those who need love and security from others will find what their heart needs. Not all do in life, but in fiction we can write our own happy endings. The despair part is still sitting in my gut. This is a novel that will stick with you for a little while. It was wonderful, but it was also hard to read and yet I want to pick it up again immediately because I believe that’s what I need to exorcise these feelings.


If you’ve read this novel I’d love to hear if you had the same visceral reaction I did. Let me know!

Click this link to purchase!* Luna and the Lie

Copyright 2018 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate

This Chick Read: Rhythm, Chord & Malykhin by Mariana Zapata

Gaby Barreto doesn’t know what she’s going to do with the rest of her life. She just finished college and her boyfriend broke up with her. When her twin brother calls from the road to ask if she’ll come on tour and sell their merchandise for them she says yes and gets on a plane to live in a bus with her brother Eli and his two bandmates. Oh yeah, she’ll also live on the bus with 4 more guys from another band. Gaby has always been fun, funny and one of the guys, but when she meets Sacha Malykhin she wants that friend zone to turn into something else but she’s determined to play it cool.

Gaby is that girl you’ve always wanted to be. Self assured, funny and pretty. The girl that everyone is comfortable around. She grew up listening to her brothers music and has even toured with their band before back in the days when they got around in a beat up bus. I loved her camaraderie with all of the guys, but especially with Sacha. She had just broken up with her boyfriend but when she and Sacha meet there’s laughter and a twinkle to their connection. It just seems to be really easy for them. Even though they don’t get together for a really long time, you can tell that the connection between them, even as friends is real.

This is not your typical rock star romance. There isn’t any drama (well only a tiny bit) and there’s tons of laughter. These people really don’t have a lot of baggage. Maybe that’s why I could relate to them so well? They were an easy couple to see together. I also really enjoyed Gaby’s interactions with all the other guys on the bus, especially Eli and Mason. Eli is her twin so they have that special connection, but Mason is that brother from another mother. He was hysterical!  I’d love to see him have his own story, but he’ll probably have to live in my fantasies instead. ❤️❤️❤️❤️❣️

Rhythm Chord

Click this link to purchase! Rhythm, Chord & Malykhin

Copyright 2018 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

I am an Amazon Associate and receive a small stipend if you purchase through the above link.

This Chick’s Sunday Commentary: An Exclusive Book Signing with Mariana Zapata at the Inn Boonsboro

A few weeks ago I received a text from my sister saying that she’d put us on a waiting list for an exclusive meet and greet with Mariana Zapata at the Inn Boonsboro in Maryland.  Someone had dropped out and there was one room available. Did I want to take a few days off from work and go? I had just finished Mariana Zapata’s newest novel From Lukov With Love and loved it so I really didn’t have to think that hard. Umm, yeah!  Let’s do it!  This was a twofer! To get the chance to meet with one of my favorite authors and also stay in Nora Roberts Inn Boonsboro? What a treat!

Inn Logo

The Inn Boonsboro is only a little over an hour’s drive from Baltimore, the airport we flew into. On our arrival, we were given a tour of the Inn. A small library filled with bookshelves full of fiction and a couple of arm chairs in front of a fireplace was right around the corner from our room. I knew I was going to be making myself comfortable as there was also a Keurig in the corner where I could make coffee, tea or hot chocolate while looking at all the books on the shelves. There was also a small dining room, with delicious cookies on display, as well as a parlor where we were told our book event with Ms. Zapata would be taking place in another hour. When we were led to our room, we passed themed rooms with plaques identifying which romantic couple that room’s theme portrayed. My sister and I were placed in Eve and Roarke! As a huge fan of J. D. Robb’s In Death series I was thrilled at the decor, a mix of modern and historical pieces really gave it a unique vibe. The picture below shows the outside of the Inn that evening and our room before we totally wrecked the space with our stuff.

Inn Eve & Roarke

I noticed on the desk in the corner a notebook and curious, I opened it up. It was for guests to sign the page and to write their thoughts about their stay in that room. Look who wrote in the first page!

Nora signed

Later that evening I peeked into a couple of the other rooms and took quick photo’s, just so you could see how the themes were so different from each other and really lovely! They spared no expense in the creation of this Inn.

Inn rooms

To see more details about the Inn Boonsboro as well as their upcoming author events titled A Novel Adventure please click on this link to go to their website. Inn Boonsboro

Next up is YA author Cambria Hebert on 6/18. If you live in the area or are a short plane ride away, I really recommend this experience!

Mariana logoMariana Zapata is the author of multiple best selling novels such as Wait For It, Kulti, The Wall of Winnipeg and Me, etc.

At 5pm we were told to gather in the parlor for a two hour cocktail and conversation with Mariana Zapata. I brought my copy of Kulti and my sister had her copy of From Lukov with Love and we entered the parlor, not really sure what to expect. There were drinks, appetizers and a few desserts and only a few people. We saw Michelle, one of the Innkeeper’s and asked her how many people she expected and she said 13 in total. My sister and I looked at each other in shock. Wow! This really was exclusive! Mariana and her assistant Eva were the last two to arrive and the rest of us ladies were seated in chairs around the room.

My first thought was how Mariana was so sweet and young! She was small in stature, but she was outgoing, waving at everyone and asking how we were all doing. She had a purple (kind of orchid in color) rinse on her hair and started up conversation with the people on that end of the room. We were told that she’d sign our novels first and then we’d spend the rest of the time asking questions and she’d answer them willingly. As she signed our books she chatted briefly about where we were from and really I think I talked more about myself, forgetting to ask her any questions! LOL. My sister and I asked if we could have our photo taken, see below!

Mariana and us

After she finished signing all of our books she sat on an ottoman across from where my sister and I as well as a few other ladies were sitting Mariana signingand naturally started answering our questions. I will admit, I did not take notes, however my sister helped me recreate the questions and conversations and I will try to be as detailed as possible without too much embellishment. (Please take note, this is not a verbatim conversation.)

Q: Where do you get your inspiration with books? For Kulti, her inspiration came from watching a women’s soccer game, for Wait For It she was inspired by American History X, and Sons of Anarchy for Under Locke. Her husband is a musician and Rhythm and Chord was easy for her to write because of that. The group chimed in about Eli and Mason from Rhythm and Chord saying they’d love for them to have their own stories, but Mariana was pretty firm about not wanting to write another book about a guy in a band. I asked her about what inspired her to write Lingus, as romance novel about a porn star. She said she was watching a documentary about people who go to porn conventions and how normal they all looked. The idea intrigued her. Would writing a romance novel about a porn star work?

We also talked about the popularity of Alpha Males in some other authors books. She said she liked an Alpha Male but didn’t want to always write about one. It was really important for her to have each of the men in her novels be different from each other.They were all strong characters, but individual as well.

Q: Why didn’t people react well to her novel Dear Aaron? (If you haven’t read Dear Aaron most of the book is told by letters or emails between the two main characters, Ruby and Aaron). She thought it was because Ruby was not as in your face as Sal from Kulti and Diana from Wait For It. Ruby had her own strength but it was quieter. She still grew as a character, but for some reason readers just didn’t connect as much, she didn’t really understand it.

Q: I bet you hear this all of the time but I have to ask about the Toolbox in Wait For It. Why didn’t you ever resolve that part of the story in the book? Mariana seemed a little confused. She said she felt like she had resolved Dallas’s reaction. (The toolbox was her dead brother Rodrigo’s and her friend Vanessa painted it pink with flowers on it.) She said Dallas was upset when he saw the toolbox because he felt she should have someone who could fix things for her, but he wasn’t in the place where he could be that man for her, yet.

Q: When did Ivan and Jasmine in From Lukov with Love actually fall in love? Mariana actually never answered this question. She said she likes her readers to get what they need from a novel and she doesn’t like to spell things out for them. I mentioned to her that I felt like they fell in love after they became skating partners, but that my sister felt like Ivan had always loved Jasmine and was just waiting for his chance. It’s interesting how reading is so subjective and we can all get something different out of reading the same book. She nodded, seeming pleased at our reactions.

Q: Do you have a writing schedule? She said that yes, she does, but she learned pretty early on that she had to make sure she had a life. Make time to make dinner and eat with her husband, work out, etc. When asked about her next book, she didn’t give a whole lot of details other than that she liked to alternate between fun and serious books. She said Dear Aaron was a fun book, although people didn’t seem to agree. My sister and I tried to map out her books and we think it’s one funny to two serious? If that’s the case, the next one may be a serious novel because Lukov was serious.

Q: How did you start writing slow burn novels? She said that she finds the relationship much more interesting than the sex. If she reads a novel where the characters jump into bed too soon she ends up skimming those scenes and loses interest a bit. How they get to that point is so much more interesting isn’t it?

There were so many other topics of conversation but you can see from the above conversations that they ran the gamut of all of her novels as well as a little bit about her writing habits. She was charming and entertaining and very honest. This was an experience that I won’t forget and will hopefully be able to have again. I’ll be keeping an eye on the Inn Boonsboro’s website for future guests! Here is a group photo- you can see how small the group was!


Oh, one last thing! Did I mention that Nora Roberts lives close by and her husband owns Turn The Page Bookstore across from the Inn? Here are a few photo’s of the bookstore and the Nora Roberts/JD Robb room inside.


img_2221  img_2220

This was a fun one!

Until next Sunday,


This Chick Read: From Lukov with Love by Mariana Zapata

When Jasmine Santos first stepped on the ice she felt like she had somewhere she belonged. When she finds out her skating partner dumped her for another her life falls into a tailspin. Trying to gain back her confidence she keeps up her training schedule of early hours on the ice, and afternoons waiting tables. When she is approached by Gold Medalist Ivan Lukov and his coach to be his new partner, she is floored. She has known Ivan for years, and while he is adored by fans, there is no love lost between them. He is her best friend’s brother and has been in her life for years, but they are frenemies at best. Can they make this partnership work? She is determined to take this last chance at a career she loves and agrees to put their hate aside… on the ice.

From Lukov With Love was told entirely from Jasmine’s perspective and at first she made it really hard to care for her.  She was very prickly! The more I learned about her history the easier it was to see through that wall she put up and start rooting for her. Since we were reading this story through Jasmine’s eyes, we were never given any insight into Ivan’s actions, only Jasmine’s interpretation which was not always correct. To give her credit, Ivan did seem to be a bit of a snobby jerk, but as the novel went on actions spoke louder than words and that snobby jerk turned into Jasmine’s white knight making not only Jasmine fall in love, but also the reader.

This was a classic enemies to friends Zapata romance novel. The majority of the novel builds their friendship before turning that friendship into romance. Sometimes in that trope, the man or woman already loves their partner, but in this one I got the feeling that although Jasmine misinterpreted Ivan’s actions throughout the years, their love story really started as they got to know each other better by learning to trust their partnership. That slow build up created a perfect climactic moment when they revealed their feelings to each other. It was perfect. ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

From Lukov

Click this link to purchase! From Lukov with Love

Copyright 2018 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

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

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

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