If you’ve been following my posts recently, you know that I’ve been having this little problem. I’ve been unable to finish some books recently. Most of the books are romance and, in a previous post, I did a short analyses on why I can’t seem to finish them. In general, it’s usually due to poor writing, a quick climax, dislike for the characters, or a combination of the three. It’s a very frustrating situation for someone who reads about a book a day. I’m constantly searching for the next best book and/or author but these disappointing books keep creeping into my Kindle library. Nevertheless, I persisted and with my perseverance came a discovery, a wonderful discovery.
Now, I’m not new to reading romance. I know the difference between good and bad sex scenes and I know that I like a strong heroine who takes a while to fall for the hero. What I wasn’t fully I aware of is the existence of slow burn romances. Obviously, I’ve read romances that take the whole book to get to the climax. I think I read more of them when I was younger and couldn’t really appreciate the build up to a satisfying declaration of love. But now that I’m older, and in a relationship of my own, I definitely appreciate a good slow burn romance. And I’ve discovered an author and several of her books that I adore!
All hail the queen of the slow burn, Ms. Mariana Zapata! I discovered Ms. Zapata quite by accident. I was scouring Goodreads for sports themed romances when I came across The Wall of Winnepeg and Me. It looked good so I decided to give it a chance despite my recent romance setbacks. I have to admit, the beginning was a struggle and I almost gave up on the book, only a few chapters in, for two main reasons: 1) the writing and 2) the lack of editing. Now, I’ve given up on many books before for these very reasons. But Ms. Zapata has a gift, a gift for creating engaging, lovable characters who make up for the disconnected writing and poor editing. This is really hard to do in my opinion; generally, when the writing is sub-par, the characters are also sub-par and I have a hard time connecting with them. But these characters are so real and alive that you can’t help look past minor, and a few major, flaws in the publishing process.
The romances in The Wall of Winnepeg and Me and one of Zapata’s other books, Kulti, are both delicious yet realistic (or as realistic as professional sports romances can be). The heroines are both strong young women who have had to overcome different hurdles throughout life. The heroes are beautiful and brooding, both with their own issues and in need of saving. I love that neither of these books is super in your face insta-lust. Sure there is a bit of attraction but that’s only natural. Zapata takes the time to make sure the reader knows and understands the characters before jumping into any heavy material or attraction. And when she does jump, it’s slow motion with all the steamy details included. I truly can’t say enough about her character development, it’s the writing and editing that need some work. But Zapata managed to make me look past the silly typos and poor sentence structure to the beautiful, slow-burn diamonds in the rough.