top of page

The Wall of Winnipeg and Me by Mariana Zapata: FAQs + Books Like It

I'll be the first to admit I have next to no patience for slow-burn romances. I get so frustrated with all the build-up that I end up skimming as much internal monologue as possible until I get to the good stuff (aka something remotely close to spice).

So, why did I pick up The Wall of Winnipeg and Me from the queen of slow-burn herself, Mariana Zapata? Beats me, but I did, surprisingly, I absolutely loved it. (Kindle | Kobo | Paperback)

While I'll never get over the fact that we only got only spicy chapter with Aiden, at least the internal monologue in this book wasn't as tedious as it was in From Lukov With Love.


Now, if you've made it to this article, you're either looking for one of two things: answers to your questions about the book or books like The Wall of Winnipeg and Me to read next. Fortunately, you'll find both of those things below. (Warning: This article contains spoilers)

The Wall of Winnipeg and Me by Mariana Zapata

What Is the Book The Wall of Winnipeg and Me About?

Mariana Zapata's sports romance, The Wall of Winnipeg and Me, is about a marriage of convenience between a grumpy professional football player and his ex-assistant. Here is the official description:

"Vanessa Mazur knows she's doing the right thing. She shouldn't feel bad for quitting. Being an assistant/housekeeper/fairy godmother to the top defensive end in the National Football Organization was always supposed to be temporary. She has plans and none of them include washing extra-large underwear longer than necessary. But when Aiden Graves shows up at her door wanting her to come back, she's beyond shocked. For two years, the man known as The Wall of Winnipeg couldn't find it in him to tell her good morning or congratulate her on her birthday. Now? He's asking for the unthinkable. What do you say to the man who is used to getting everything he wants?"

How Long Does It Take to Read The Wall of Winnipeg and Me?

According to How Long to Read, it will take the average reader approximately 8 hours to read The Wall of Winnipeg and Me.

Is The Wall of Winnipeg and Me Spicy?

Technically speaking, yes, The Wall of Winnipeg and Me is spicy. However, there's only one spicy chapter (chapter 30) and that's the last chapter of the book. So, for those of you who aren't fans of spicy romances, I'd say it'd be relatively easy to read this and enjoy it if you just skip over that one chapter.

How Old Are Aiden and Vanessa? What Is the Age Difference?

In The Wall of Winnipeg and Me, Aiden Graves is 30 years old and Vanessa Mazur is 26 years old. This means there is a four-year age gap between the two of them.

Does The Wall of Winnipeg and Me Have a Happy Ending?

Yes - The Wall of Winnipeg and Me has a happy ending! When Vanessa goes to Toronto for the romance book convention, Aiden decides to show up and surprise her to show his support since he knew she was nervous. Not long after returning to Texas together though, Vanessa receives a call from Diana saying she's in the hospital after being attacked by her boyfriend. Aiden then leaves for two months to go to Colorado, which saddens Vanessa. Fortunately, Aiden surprises her by showing up at the end of her marathon. When they get home afterward, they finally tell each other they love one another and admit they wanted to be in Colorado together. In the epilogue, which is set five years in the future, we find out that Aiden and Vanessa have two sons and that Aiden is retiring from professional football.

How Tall Is Aiden in The Wall of Winnipeg and Me?

In The Wall of Winnipeg and Me, Aiden Graves is said to be 6'4″ and 280lbs.

Is Aiden Autistic in The Wall of Winnipeg and Me?

While there is a lot of speculation about whether or not Aiden Graves is on the autism spectrum or not, it is never talked about or confirmed in the book.

5 Books Like The Wall of Winnipeg and Me

What was it you loved most about The Wall of Winnipeg and Me? Was it the marriage of convenience? Was it the grumpy-sunshine dynamic? Maybe the slow burn or the sports romance? Depending on what it is you're looking for exactly, here are five books like The Wall of Winnipeg and Me that are worth considering for your next read.

The Fantasy League by Meg Reading

1. The Fantasy League by Meg Reading

When I set out to make these lists, I never expect (or necessarily want to) find exact dupes. Sometimes they find me though. The Fantasy League by Meg Reading is about as close to The Wall of Winnipeg and Me as it gets. That's not to say it's as good though. In fact, many of the readers who left reviews and said they read it for that reason, were left disappointed. Despite this, I've included it in case that's exactly what you meant by books like The Wall of Winnipeg and Me. Here's the description: "Tight end. Boss. Neighbor. Certified jerk. Abel Abbott was many things but he certainly wasn't in need of a girlfriend. So, you could imagine Scarlett Sawyer's surprise when he asked her to go from personal chef to pretend girlfriend on the day of her resignation. She still had every intention of walking away from her ungrateful, ill-mannered boss until he made her an offer that she couldn't help but consider. Not only would it bring her financial security, but it also had the power to make her one and only childhood dream come true. The only problem is that the lines between ruse and reality are blurring beyond recognition."

Blind Pass by Teagan Hunter

2. Blind Pass by Teagan Hunter

Now that we've got the exact dupe out of the way, let's get to some of the stronger recommendations, starting with Blind Pass by Teagan Hunter. Like The Wall of Winnipeg and Me, this is a football romance about a marriage of convenience between a grumpy-sunshine couple that has solidly positive reviews on GoodReads. Here's the official description: "What happens in Vegas doesn’t always stay there. I would know. I’m coming home with a brand-new ring on my finger. My wife? Ryan Bell. We’re polar opposites. She’s sunshine and happiness. I’m grumpy and scarred - literally. We could get it annulled and no one would be the wiser. Only problem? We posted about it online and it’s making headlines. I can’t afford to get any bad press right now and Ryan needs my help too. So, we make a plan - stay married and divorce amicably at the end of the year. Should be fine since there’s no way the beauty is going to fall for the beast. Right?"

Terms and Conditions by Lauren Asher

3. Terms and Conditions by Lauren Asher

While it might not be a sports romance, Terms and Conditions by Lauren Asher has a lot of other things in common with The Wall of Winnipeg and Me which makes it the perfect follow-up read. Just read the description and you'll see what I mean: "I’m destined to become the next CEO of my family’s media empire. The only problem? My grandfather’s inheritance clause. Fulfilling his dying wish of getting married and having an heir seemed impossible until my assistant volunteered for the job. Our marriage was supposed to be the perfect solution to my biggest problem. But the more we act in love for the public, the more unsure I feel about our contract. Caring about Iris was never part of the deal. Especially not when breaking her heart is inevitable."

The Marriage Effect by Karla Sorensen

4. The Marriage Effect by Karla Sorensen

One of my favorite types of books to recommend are the ones that aren't splashed all over BookTok or Bookstagram. While these books might be lesser known, oftentimes they make the perfect follow-up reads and have fantastic reviews on GoodReads. The Marriage Effect by Karla Sorensen is a good example of that. Like The Wall of Winnipeg and Me, it's a football romance with the marriage of convenience trope. Here's what it's about: "Logan Ward doesn’t want any more women in his life. Being a football player and legal guardian to his four younger sisters means his playbook is full. However, one of them just landed in the hospital, which gives his brother the shot he needs to challenge Logan for custody. Legal counsel says there’s only one thing Logan can do - find himself a wife. Enter Paige McKinney. Unfortunately, this simple solution creates a whole new problem: Logan and Paige aren't as different as they seem. The reluctant groom has fire inside him, and his impetuous bride is about to light the match."

The Hardest Fall by Ella Maise

5. The Hardest Fall by Ella Maise

Last but not least, like The Wall of Winnipeg and Me, The Hardest Fall by Ella Maise is a slow-burn football romance. That's about all the two have in common though because in other ways it's totally different. For example, it's a friends-to-lovers romance. Here's what it's about exactly: "I’m extremely well-versed in rambling nonsense and, unfortunately, rather highly skilled at making a fool of myself in front of guys I’m attracted to. So, when I met Dylan Reed and made a fool of myself, I didn't think it mattered since I’d never see him again. Turns out, I was wrong. He's the star wide receiver of the football team and now I see him all over campus. He smiles at me and tells me he finds me fascinating because of my quirks. I can’t even tell him that I think my heart beats differently whenever he’s around. He thinks we’re going to be best friends. I think I have a big thing for him, and the more I get to know him, the more I don’t care that I’m not allowed to be his friend, let alone fall for him. The thing is, that’s exactly what I’m doing—what we’re doing, I think. Falling. Hard."


bottom of page