The Wall of Winnipeg and Me – Mariana Zapata

 

I read these books backwards.  When I read Wait for It, which I loved, I realized there was a story before that one.  So I searched and found Vanessa’s story.  Vanessa appears in Wait for It as Diana’s best friend since childhood, married to a football star and heavily pregnant with her first baby.  I was intrigued so looked it up. I am loving this author’s writing style! Ms. Zapata writes such compelling characters that you get invested in their life and want to experience it with them. I followed this journey of Vanessa and Aiden and loved every minute!

Vanessa had a crappy childhood. Her mother was an alcoholic and her three older sisters were three wicked bitches that constantly attacked her. She had a younger brother whom she loved fiercely and practically raised, given the absence of her mother. The mother would abandon them to go out with boyfriends or drinking binges. At some point, Child Protective Services took them away and placed them in foster homes. Luckily, Vanessa ended up with her little brother in a great foster home and a better life.

She went away and got an incredible college education at a very expensive university, but now she has a hefty student debt. She goes to work with Aiden as his PA, with a cushy salary, and saves like a demon, so she can start her business. Aiden was a difficult boss, he was cold and indifferent, and very demanding. Once Vanessa had saved enough to start her money, she gave Aiden notice, but in a moment that Aiden was especially demeaning, Vanessa upped and left.

Later Aiden comes looking for her and asks her to come back. After some convincing, she comes back as his wife. You readers need to read the book to find out why they married! Once again, living at Aiden’s house, she starts her graphics design business. Aiden had to make do without her PA services. As time goes, you notice the changes in Aiden’s demeanor, the increase in friendship and intimacy, the loyalty and support they gave each other.

I loved Zac, Aiden’s roommate, who stayed to live with them. He turns into Vanessa’s bestie and they start training for a marathon after Zac has a major career fail. I loved the day of the marathon, after the end of the run, where Vanessa climbs into Aiden’s arms and hugs him like a monkey, with arms and legs, and wails that she needs him to buy her a Sedgwick because she’s ever walking again. I totally get it, being a runner myself, and that’s how you feel when you get to the end. Plus, it was a sweet moment in which Aiden expresses his pride and approval.

The secondary characters are also very important to the story. Zac becomes a very close friend of Vanessa. Their scenes are mostly comic relief but very heartfelt. Then there’s Diana, Vanessa’s bestie since they were children, who understands Vanessa like no other because they share a childhood together. Vanessa shares all her doubts and feelings with Diana and her answers are sometimes hilarious, other times, very wise.

In summary, a very well written book , heart warm, entertaining, and very heartfelt.

About Luisa Rivas-Martinez

Newly retired, lover of romance novels. I've been reading since early childhood, loved those fantasy tales with Princes and Princesses. As I grew, my love for romance blossomed into romance novels, beginning with Harlequin romances. I hope that through this page, I can share my experience and joy on reading my romance novels and make friends.
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