Publisher: Mariana Zapata

Book Boyfriend: Dallas Walker from Wait for It by Mariana Zapata

Posted December 21, 2018 by Rowena in Books, Features | 10 Comments

This feature keeps changing because I’m trying different things out but I think I’m going to stick with this format from here on out. Thanks for coming along this ride until I figure out what the hell I want to do here. LOL.

Book Boyfriend: Dallas Walker from Wait for It by Mariana ZapataWait for It by Mariana Zapata
Published by Mariana Zapata on December 7, 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Point of View: First Person
Pages: 670
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Add It: Goodreads
four-half-stars

If anyone ever said being an adult was easy, they hadn't been one long enough. Diana Casillas can admit it: she doesn't know what the hell she's doing half the time. How she's made it through the last two years of her life without killing anyone is nothing short of a miracle. Being a grown-up wasn't supposed to be so hard. With a new house, two little boys she inherited the most painful possible way, a giant dog, a job she usually loves, more than enough family, and friends, she has almost everything she could ever ask for. Except for a boyfriend. Or a husband. But who needs either one of those?

As we close out the year, I’ve been thinking back on the books that I’m reading and the characters that have wormed their way into my heart over the year and Dallas Walker is definitely a part of my favorites list. I loved that he was mysterious and sexy and broody and just everything that I love in a hero. I loved the dedication he showed with the boys, the baseball team and the patience he had with what he was feeling for Diana. There were loads of complications between him and Diana and he took the time to make things right before he took that step with her. The slow burn was real in this one because Dallas made Diana wake and seeing them become friends before moving further was a treat.

Dallas was a protector and caring man that came into both Louie and Josh’s lives. I loved that he stuck around to be a father figure to Josh and how he really loved being there for them. He loved helping them and needing them as much as they needed him. Dallas was an overall great guy and just my kind of hero. Diana was lucky to have him but he was also really lucky to have them. What a great guy this one was!

“Don’t put me into that position because I know she”-he tipped his head toward me-“only bites when she has to, and I will always take her side. Are we clear on that?”

This scene right here got me right in my feels. Diana was having a hard time with the parents of the boys on Josh’s new baseball team and Dallas, the coach, got things right this time around. Gah, so freaking good! I feel a re-read coming on.

His book is pretty damn good too so if you haven’t read it, you should. Don’t let the length of the novel scare you. I read the entire thing in one sitting, it was that good. The story moves fast and the characters will take up residence in your heart. It’s such a great read and you can read my review of the book with my buddy Ames here. So good, I promise!

Hero Casting

This is who I pictured whenever Zapata described Dallas with his too short haircut, his stocky build, his overall sexiness.

Buy the Book

AMAZON || BARNES & NOBLE || THE RIPPED BODICE

Have you read Wait for It by Mariana Zapata? Did you love Dallas as much as I did? Share your love in the comments!

four-half-stars


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Buddy Review: Wait for It by Mariana Zapata

Posted November 15, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 10 Comments

Buddy Review: Wait for It by Mariana ZapataWait for It by Mariana Zapata
Published by Mariana Zapata on December 7, 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Point of View: First Person
Pages: 670
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Add It: Goodreads
four-half-stars

If anyone ever said being an adult was easy, they hadn't been one long enough. Diana Casillas can admit it: she doesn't know what the hell she's doing half the time. How she's made it through the last two years of her life without killing anyone is nothing short of a miracle. Being a grown-up wasn't supposed to be so hard. With a new house, two little boys she inherited the most painful possible way, a giant dog, a job she usually loves, more than enough family, and friends, she has almost everything she could ever ask for. Except for a boyfriend. Or a husband. But who needs either one of those?

Wait for It is a follow-up novel to The Wall of Winnipeg and Me and Kulti. It follows Vanessa’s best friend, Diana, as Diana finds her soulmate and falls head over heels in love with him. Things aren’t easy for Diana because when she meets and even when she falls in love with Dallas, there are complications. Complications of the “he’s married” kind. But a friendship blossoms between Dallas and Diana when Diana moves in across the street from Dallas with her two nephews, that are for all intents and purposes, her kids.

She’s much too busy to entertain the idea of her and Dallas but Dallas is hot and he’s always around offering his help so it was inevitable. Dallas is a lot older than Diana and doesn’t have time for another relationship with a woman who takes and takes and takes. He’s busy trying to untangle himself from a marriage that shouldn’t have happened in the first place but he can’t seem to stop wanting to be there for Diana, Josh, and Lou. Before either of them know what’s what, love happens.

Rowena: Wait for It was another hit for me so THANK YOU for suggesting we read this one for this month’s buddy review. I liked this book so much that I read it all in one sitting. ONE SITTING. There are 670 pages of story in this book and I read them all in one night.

So, what did you think of this one?

Ames: I am so glad you enjoyed this one! As you know, I love this book and it is right up there with Kulti as one of my favorite books ever. LIke I re-read this book almost as much as I have Kulti. Diana and Dallas are quite the pair. But they definitely get off to a rocky start, what with Dallas being wary of her and thinking she wants him so he acts like a jerk. I love that Diana had to keep telling him she didn’t want in his pants. LOL

I know when you saw the page count you were a bit hesitant to start this, but didn’t it pay off? I love the way Mariana Zapata writes relationships. Sometimes with current contemporary romances characters are so quick to jump into a relationship. I like the slow burn MZ creates. She builds up a solid foundation for her characters. And she invites us into their lives. Not just the relationship. Like we get to see Diana and Dallas’ friends, the neighbors, their families. How Josh plays baseball and Diana’s interactions with the other players’ parents. I like that.

Rowena: Yes, that was probably my favorite part of the reading experience as a whole. That we were invited into every aspect of their lives and not just their romance. I loved that we got the day to day stuff, the good and the bad, and were able to rejoice in the good times and hurt along with them in the bad times. Mariana Zapata is really good at pulling emotional strings for the reader to latch on to and ride out throughout the entire book.

I loved that we see both Dallas and Diana meet, get to know each other and then fall in love with each other. I loved that they both acknowledged the complicated mess that a relationship between them would be with Dallas’ situation and yes, like you, I LOVED that Diana was forever reminding Dallas that she didn’t want in his pants.

This was just a great contemporary romance that I adored from beginning to end and honestly, didn’t want to end. I thought Zapata wrote this story exactly right and I was here for it all.

This definitely gets a 4.5 out of 5 for me. What about you?

Ames: Another thing I liked were the boys! Its such a heartbreaking topic Zapata handles with these two little guys and I thought she was very realistic in the way she wrote their story and how Diana stepped up for them. I loved them! The way Lou was with Dallas just made me love the story even more. And how loyal Josh and Diana were. Dallas was right when he called them savages. LOL

I agree with your grade. 4.5 out of 5 from me. I highly recommend. And now I need to find me a Dallas!

Final Grade

Ames: 4.5 out of 5
Rowena: 4.5 out of 5

Other Books Set in this World

four-half-stars


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Buddy Review: Kulti by Mariana Zapata

Posted September 11, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 2 Comments

Buddy Review: Kulti by Mariana ZapataKulti by Mariana Zapata
Narrator: Callie Dalton
Published by Self-Published, Mariana Zapata on March 20, 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Point of View: First Person
Pages: 570
Format: Audiobook, eBook
Source: Purchased
Add It: Goodreads
four-half-stars

16 hours and 13 minutes

“Trust me, I’ve wanted to punch you in the face a time or five.”

When the man you worshipped as a kid becomes your coach, it’s supposed to be the greatest thing in the world. Keywords: supposed to.

It didn't take a week for 27-year-old Sal Casillas to wonder what she'd seen in the international soccer icon - why she'd ever had his posters on her wall or ever envisioned marrying him and having super-playing soccer babies.

Sal had long ago gotten over the worst non-break-up in the history of imaginary relationships with a man who hadn't known she'd existed. So she isn't prepared for this version of Reiner Kulti who shows up to her team's season: a quiet, reclusive shadow of the explosive, passionate man he'd once been.

©2015 Mariana Zapata (P)2015 Tantor

The moment has arrived! Wena has read Kulti, my number one most favourite book of all time! LOL

So the story: Salome Casillas is a professional soccer player on a west coast team. Soccer super star Reiner Kulti, after he retires from professionally playing, is hired on as an assistant coach for her team and Sal’s girlhood dreams come true. The number one player she always idolized will be coaching her team! Except Reiner Kulti is an asshole. He doesn’t talk to the players, he’s mean to Sal’s dad at a game and at first Sal was willing to let his behaviour go but after the incident with her dad, she decides to bring it on. Sal is fiercely loyal and her dad is the best man she’s ever known so there’s no way she’s letting that slide. When she confronts him about his behaviour it starts a chain of events that leads to a friendship she didn’t expect, but also puts her professional career in jeopardy.

Ames: Ok, going into this read Wena, I know you knew this was one of my top favourite books but I tried to deflect any expectations you may have had by saying I hated this book. LOL Did it work? Did you have high expectations, were they met?

Rowena: Of course it didn’t work. I know you, my friend, so I also know that you’ve reread this book so many times over the past couple of years that it could never be a book you didn’t like. I will admit to being confused when you said that though. Then I thought about it and knew you were lying. LOL.

I didn’t go into the book with very many expectations. The only thing that I could remember thinking was, “Hot damn this is a long ass book” but I went in anyway, and holy cow, Mariana Zapata isn’t playing with her slow burn romances. Sheesh. I listened to the audiobook and it was over 15 hours long and at the 10 hour mark, they were still just friends! I wanted to push the two together already, sheesh. We finally got some action around the 12 hour mark! You read that right. !12 HOURS!!

Still, I really enjoyed the narrator, the story and Sal. Kulti had to grow on me because I wanted to punch him in the dick so many times in the beginning but man did he win me over. I can see why you loved this book so much though. This is so your kind of book.

Ames: I love slow burn romances as long as I go into it knowing that’s what I’m getting. And I was prepared with Kulti. It wasn’t the first Zapata book I read (I think it was the third) so I was good to go. I loved that we got to see all the little interactions between Sal and Kulti that led to them being friends and eventually falling in love. Most romances nowadays jump into the sexy times pretty quickly and I love that we got to see this relationship develop over time. It makes them coming together that much stronger.

Kulti, he was intense. And hot. I can just imagine him. But the winner of the story for me is Sal. She’s so fierce and loyal and brave and she really was a kickass heroine I can get behind. Yeah she had a few kicks to her self-esteem (Amber and then the news about a trade) but she still kicked ass. And then she was unstoppable with Kulti in her corner. They were a solid team.

Did any parts stick out in particular for you? I love his jealousy over the other men in her life (the other soccer player, the Spanish one, her ex-boyfriend and then Franz). The nicknames for each other and then when he called her on her crush on those older survivor tv show host guys. Those little details really stuck out for me. And hello, when he defends her when they’re playing baseball? Hot stuff.

Rowena: I agree about Sal. She was my favorite part of the book. I loved how close she was with her family, how she dealt with real life issues and how honest she was with herself. She knew that she did a shitty thing (even though she didn’t know that it was a shitty thing at the time) and I loved how she didn’t let that one thing stop her from going after her dream. I also really loved how much faith Kulti had in her playing ability. He was so certain that she was going to be the best player in the world. I loved that Sal took that faith and worked her ass off to be the player that Kulti knew her to be. Gah, so good.

I felt for Sal and everything she went through. From her issues with her siblings to the shit with Amber and then everything she went through with the Pipers, she was put through the wringer and I loved that Kulti was there for her to lift her up, to remind her that she’s amazing and things will work out in the end. Kulti man, I freaking love that guy!

Yes, Kulti’s jealousy over every male that came into Sal’s life was hilarious and their nicknames for each other!! Every single time Sal called Kulti “German Chocolate Cake” I laughed out loud and when Kulti ordered tacos at her father’s birthday dinner, I about fell out of my chair. I really liked the humor that Zapata provided in this book, it added to my overall enjoyment.

The stuff that stood out to me was how much both Kulti and Sal cared about each other. The way that she was always trying to hide him when they went out so that he could enjoy their time together without being mobbed by fans, the way that she kept his secrets and tried to protect him as best as she could (from her doctor, even from her Dad) and then the way that he took care of her. Flying his friends out to help her with her soccer camps, the way that he stood up for her with the higher-ups at her job, the way that he refused to let her buy her Dad some of his shoes for his birthday and then one-upped her and made her Dad’s entire year.

I’m super glad that we chose to read this book for our buddy review this month. It was just flat out the bomb. There’s so much page time given to building their friendship and while I could have done without some of it (mainly to move the story along), I still rather enjoyed this one. I’d give it a 4.25 out of 5. You?

Ames: I have a big smile on my face recounting all the things that stood out for you too. They were all good scenes. I like that Sal also said she was jealous. LOL And she did try to protect him, that’s so true. When they play Uno at the airport? I swear I remember everything about this book.

I even liked when they fought! Remember what Sal’s mom said about the people you fight the most with. So when they take turns ignoring each others texts (during different fights) I like that. *sigh* This book had it all. Seriously.

Kulti gets a 5 out of 5 from me. I know its long and its not perfect but this book is my catnip. I’ve reread this book so many times. Sal and Kulti rank right up there with some of my fave fictional couples. I’m so glad you finally read this one Wena. 😛 Now to get you to read Wait for It. haha.

Rowena: Yes, Sal’s Mom was right! Seriously, this book was great!

Final Grade

Ames Grade: 5 out of 5
Rowena’s Grade: 4.25 out of 5

four-half-stars


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