Hands Down
Before he was Big Texas, he was Zac the Snack Pack.Bianca Brannen knows time—mostly—heals all wounds. Including those your once loved ones might have unintentionally given you. (Those just take longer.)She thinks she’s ready when a call has her walking back into her old friend’s life. Or at least as prepared as possible to see the starting quarterback in the National Football Organization. Before the lights, the fans, and the millions, he’d been a skinny kid with a heart of gold. Waltzing out of Zac Travis’s life should be easy. Just as easy as he walked out of hers.

Hands Down Details

TitleHands Down
Author
ReleaseJul 2nd, 2020
Rating
GenreRomance, Sports, Contemporary Romance, Sports Romance, Contemporary

Hands Down Review

  • Val ⚓️ Shameless Non-Snowflake ⚓️
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 Stars, Rounded DownThis was my ninth read from Mariana Zapata and, unsurprisingly, I enjoyed it. In fact, here was my status update at 46% through:"I’m smiling like a jackass as I read this right now. And being that I suffer from chronic resting bitch face - we are talking cement-grade resting bitch face, people - that’s quite a feat, lemme tell you." But anyway. Suffice it to say, I actually giggled out loud AND felt my mouth open and twist upward. #smileforrealBut I digress.If you've read 3.5 Stars, Rounded DownThis was my ninth read from Mariana Zapata and, unsurprisingly, I enjoyed it. In fact, here was my status update at 46% through:"I’m smiling like a jackass as I read this right now. And being that I suffer from chronic resting bitch face - we are talking cement-grade resting bitch face, people - that’s quite a feat, lemme tell you." But anyway. Suffice it to say, I actually giggled out loud AND felt my mouth open and twist upward. #smileforrealBut I digress.If you've read any Mariana Zapata before (or read any other reviews of any of her books, ever), you know that she is the slow burn Queen. Everything is just slooooooow. The romance development...the story....everything. There is never any insta-anything. Her scenes and characters are detailed and - sometimes - seemingly superfluous...and yet, just REAL. And this book was no different.Did I love it as much as my beloved Winnipeg? (People are already asking me). No. But then again, I don't think that perfection will ever be met or surpassed and I try not to go into MZ's new books expecting that. I mean, that book is truly in my top five favorites of ALL time. It's like a unicorn, really. But back to this book:I didn't like that so much hinged on what amounted to a big...miscommunication of sorts (it felt a little contrived for an MZ book, if I'm honest)...Bianca's refusal to stand up for herself so often annoyed me...and Zac and his charming flightiness weren't really my jam (but I tend to like sterner, more enigmatic male leads, so that's totally on me)...But anyway. Still a decent read from one of my favorite authors. I think most other MZ fans will enjoy this too...although I can also righteously see it not hitting the spot for many others as well.
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  • mel
    January 1, 1970
    3.25 starsever since i read wall of winnipeg and we were introduced to Zac, i humbly proclaimed him as the ✨chosen one✨. i knew- i just knew that he was gonna be a future MZ hero so i was so excited to read this.though, since y'all know this book long af, this was me for the past few days trying to finish this participating on team no sleepbut anyways. as with any MZ book, y'all ready know that this is gonna be a slow slow burn where you know, they don't become a couple till the very end but hon 3.25 starsever since i read wall of winnipeg and we were introduced to Zac, i humbly proclaimed him as the ✨chosen one✨. i knew- i just knew that he was gonna be a future MZ hero so i was so excited to read this.though, since y'all know this book long af, this was me for the past few days trying to finish this participating on team no sleepbut anyways. as with any MZ book, y'all ready know that this is gonna be a slow slow burn where you know, they don't become a couple till the very end but honestly, i was all for it because emotional connection with good development >>> physical attraction and relationship that only focuses on sex is superior. okay so a little backstory, ⤷ Bianca Brannen haven't seen Zac Travis for 10 years or so because Bianca thought Zac wanted nothing to do with her anymore as he "ignored" her texts back when she was 17 and he was busy because he was a professional american football player. they were both childhood best friends, though, there is a 7-year age gap and her cousin is also Zac's best friend. and now 10 years later - Bianca (27); Zac (34) - they have reunited once again, though, Bianca is still a bit salty since she thinks Zac didn't want to be friends with her anymore so that's why he ignored her. aaand because she was also in love with him for a couple of years back then so she was extra hurt. but after a while Bianca slowly let Zac in her life and once again become best friends.so as y'all can see from above, this has the childhood bffs, friends to lovers, unrequited love, slowburn with a little bit of forbidden romance. characters i honestly liked both characters. MZ is really good at writing realistic characters and this is one of the reasons why i love her books. i actually liked reading about Bianca's vlogger (she has youtube - sorry i mean watchtube - channel where she cooks and bakes food) lifestyle because she was so ambitious and she's so goal-oriented and then there's me likeadd this with a book in my hand and that's 100% accurate. as i was saying, i felt connected with Bianca but not with Zac and it's mainly because she just went on and on and on about herself, especially in the beginning. no shade tho. i just felt like i don't really know Zac. i feel like i knew him more in wall of winnipeg as he seemed like he had more depth there than in this book. he seemed kinda dull here but like, the goofy, sweet kind of dull character. he stood out for me in wall of winnipeg but not in his own book. i don't know why. romance ehhh. this is where it gets iffy. even though im used to the whole heroine not knowing hero has feelings for them but we readers know they're crazy about them that MZ does, i just did not feel anything. im sorry!! but their relationship felt really platonic and more of a sibling type of relationship which felt weird. y'all wanna know why i feel this way?? hmm? well, it's because Zac keeps calling her "kiddo". like come on. that's not romantic at all. my own father calls me that which makes me feel even more weird. i don't know... i just didn't feel any chemistry. sometimes i did, but most of the time i didn't. i guess i just wish there were more scenes where they actually have romantic sexual tension without Zac calling her "kiddo".i did like some scenes where i felt some sexual tension tho. i liked the haunted house scene, the whole quince chapter with the whole back scratch, the part where Zac was a part of her video, and the last 90% when he finally confessed. i thought those were cute but yeah... sometimes i really did cringe with how their banter was especially when that fart bomb attack came up. drama (spoilers) there was a bit of OW drama here where Bianca thought Zac ditched her to go to a club and she saw a picture online where a woman was sitting on his lap but it was fake. also, there were times when Bianca felt jealous/insecure about other women because Zac was kind of a playboy back then. also, there was a confrontation with one of his exes that basically ruined their friendship.* * * this wasn't bad in any sense as i did like some parts but yeah... it took me till after Bianca finally confronted him about how hurt she was (35% ish) about him "ignoring" her to get into the book. i just didn't feel the romance, wasn't connected to Zac, the writing in the beginning was repetitive because Bianca went on and on about their past, and the "kiddo" nickname threw me off as it wasn't romantic in the slightest. all in all, i just needed more from these two i guess.also seeing my babies (Aiden and Vanessa) with their kids and them talking about Zac's ass which made me think about captain america's ass (was reading this in 4th of july) which then made me think of chris evans (my husband) and him and Zac have similar features and now i can't unsee chris (my husband - gotta mention this twice) as zac... well, this revived 2020 for me. ___________________________________07/05/2020currently reading — this book >>>> 3 10-page paper that's due next week 😅worth it tho. ___________________________________06/22/2020OHHHH MYYY GOD ITS ZAC excuse me ms. zapata but
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  • Eva
    January 1, 1970
    This book is gold! I had the biggest smile on my face the entire time I read it.
  • Giorgia ~ Reads
    January 1, 1970
    4 Stars Where do I even start? I've been wanting a book about Zac ever since I've read and re-read The wall of Winnipeg too many times to count. Overall I'm happy to have read this story but to be completely honest I wanted something more and for lack of a better word.. better. As per usual, I liked the writing style, the slow burn, the very real feel to the characters, their inner musings and rationalisations BUT that being said, just like in her last book before this one The best thing, ther 4 Stars Where do I even start? I've been wanting a book about Zac ever since I've read and re-read The wall of Winnipeg too many times to count. Overall I'm happy to have read this story but to be completely honest I wanted something more and for lack of a better word.. better. As per usual, I liked the writing style, the slow burn, the very real feel to the characters, their inner musings and rationalisations BUT that being said, just like in her last book before this one The best thing, there was a lot of repetitiveness. The number of times Bianca was talking about letting go, forgiveness, forgetting her bitterness and resentment as well as her reasons for it.. my God, I kept getting dizzy spells. She was also very insecure in her friendship with him and with people in general. Whenever he asked her to spend time together, her first response would always be you don't really have to if you want to do something else or if you're too busy I understand - GIRL, he is the one that keeps asking you!!! She also does this with others who offer to do things with her or for her. She kept saying to herself how she is so much more confident and loves herself and her life but her actions speak to a deeper insecurity that even she isn't aware of. Another thing to mention is that I felt there could have been more to the story. I didn't feel as though there really was any kind of conflict there and while I'm fine with the small slice of life moments, conversations and actions, I did need just a little something more. A spike in heart rate, an emotional reaction that touches deeper than just surface level, I don't know.. I'm left feeling unsatisfied in that regard. Now onto Zac, he was a sweetheart. A genuinely good guy, and if he did something unpleasant at any point it was very clear that it was never his intention or that he clearly recognises his actions and apologises accordingly. I liked his personality and easygoing attitude even when we can clearly deduce that he is unfulfilled in a way and even he doesn't understand why or what he can change. I got the feeling that his mantra in life is going with the flow, doing your best, be a nice, honest person and see where it all takes you. We didn't get his point of view and unfortunately, I have to admit that throughout the whole book I was eagerly wanting more of Zac. To get into his head more, to understand him better. I don't know why, which is absurd because he was the main character so of course he was heavily featured. But this was more Bianca's book than anything else and there's nothing wrong with that, but I didn't love her as much as him, not even close. Some other things I liked were the side characters. As per usual, we got some great interactions and were introduced to other people who might be featured in future books, who knows?!Trevor was redeemed in a way and I loved his parts in this book. He was the same surly, no-nonsense, type of guy but here we got to see that he does have feelings.. shocker?!For a while, I thought Gunner was gonna be a potential Aiden type, for a future book. And I still think he might not have been that bad because we didn't get his side of things and thought process. Some people can appear outwardly mean and act unpleasantly but that doesn't make them bad people. His refusal to leave the hospital when he drove Bianca there, tells me he's got his own set of morals. CJ and Amari, were again featured quite a bit and I liked their parts not so much to say I'm as intrigued as with Gunner, but I would like to read more of them.Now Bianca's family was hilarious and I loved their interactions. The book wouldn't have been the same without them. We also got a small appearance from the Graves team so that was a plus. Overall, there were a lot of good things to love and enjoy in this one. And also, a lot of laugh out loud or at least giggle to yourself type of scenes and dialogue. I honestly loved reading it, although it will not feature among my favourites from Zapata. To conclude, I would say you'd enjoy this more if you were are a fan of The Wall of Winnipeg and loved Zac in that book, otherwise, this might not live up to whatever expectations we usually have from Zapata. (this is a standalone so there's no need to have read the book I mentioned, I'm only saying that because if I hadn't, I probably wouldn't have given this one a 4 star rating)
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  • Christy
    January 1, 1970
    5 stars If you’ve read Marina Zapata, you know she writes the absolute best secondary characters. My favorite book of hers is TWoWaM, and my favorite secondary character was Zac. When I heard Zac was getting his own story I was thrilled! And then I heard his heroine was a minor secondary character from ‘The Best Thing’. You know I had to immediately re-read both. It’s not necessary to do that, as this can be read as a complete stand alone, but it was nice to have a refresher. I still 5 stars If you’ve read Marina Zapata, you know she writes the absolute best secondary characters. My favorite book of hers is TWoWaM, and my favorite secondary character was Zac. When I heard Zac was getting his own story I was thrilled! And then I heard his heroine was a minor secondary character from ‘The Best Thing’. You know I had to immediately re-read both. It’s not necessary to do that, as this can be read as a complete stand alone, but it was nice to have a refresher. I still loved him. Not for a second had I ever not wanted the best for him. There hadn’t been a moment in my life that I hadn’t rooted for him despite him outgrowing me and then leaving me in the past. Bianca Brannen has been in love with her childhood best friend Zac Travis, her entire life. Even though they haven’t talked in years, she’s still thought of him and watched his career from a far. Zac is a pro-footballer player and a busy guy. When Bianca is sent by her cousin, Zac’s best friend, to go to his house to get him for a family emergency, she goes. From there on out, Zac and Bianca became friends again. Best friends. It’s like no time has passed at all. And even though Bianca is a little insecure about it all, slowly she starts to come around. Bianca does have some trust issues and after you learn why, it makes more sense why she feels like she’s a bit of a nuisance at times. I loved watching Zac and Bianca’s friendship grow into so much more. Zac was so sweet and supportive. I adored him. Watching him and his football friends go on Bianca’s ‘Lazy Baker’ channel was awesome and seeing them in a haunted house made me laugh so hard because, relatable. Another thing I loved about this, which I mentioned as a common theme about Zapata’s books, is the secondary characters. Bianca’s cousin and sister were fabulous, as well as Zac’s roommate CJ. Surprisingly enough, the secondary character I loved the most was Trevor. Yes. That Trevor. I couldn’t believe that someone I couldn’t stand in a previous book turned out to be someone I liked so much. Also, getting past characters tied into this story was a joy. Especially Aiden and Vanessa. Hands Down is another five-star favorite from the queen of slow burn, and one I know I’ll be re-reading in the future! I have read ALL of this authors books (and re-read most of them on audio because they are truly the most re-readable books) and this wasn’t my favorite but definitely one I loved lots. If you’re looking for a friends to lovers romance that will leave the biggest smile on your face, pick this one up! “My whole life, I’ve felt like I was missin’ somethin’, tryin’ to find somethin’. I don’t know how to explain it, and now, it feels like I found it… It was right in front of my damn face all along.”
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  • Lacey (Booklovers For Life)
    January 1, 1970
    Zac and Bianca were... adorable. Reading about them made my heart so happy. They have such a wholesome reunited friends to lovers romance. And I LOVED that Bianca is a famous youtuber! I don’t think I’ve read that in a romance before. Zac is the most precious guy (cowboy hat and all, though I did get tired of him calling Bianca kiddo all the time) and I was just so happy to read about him again. And YES - we do get Aiden and Vanessa cameos! 👀 AND Jasmine and Ivan too. They made my LIFE.*****IT'S Zac and Bianca were... adorable. Reading about them made my heart so happy. They have such a wholesome reunited friends to lovers romance. And I LOVED that Bianca is a famous youtuber! I don’t think I’ve read that in a romance before. Zac is the most precious guy (cowboy hat and all, though I did get tired of him calling Bianca kiddo all the time) and I was just so happy to read about him again. And YES - we do get Aiden and Vanessa cameos! 👀 AND Jasmine and Ivan too. They made my LIFE.*****IT'S OUT and I just started!!! https://amzn.to/3gpowq2Reasons why I know I’m going to love this book:1) Zac2) ZAC3) possible Vanessa and Aiden cameos???4) it’s MZ5) FOOTBALL ROMANCE6) ZAC IS GETTING HIS BOOK!!!!!!
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  • Corina
    January 1, 1970
    I somehow knew this was coming.My last MZ book was a 5 star, going by my track record, this one was destined to be just an ok read for me.I have a couple thoughts about this book, but I'll wait a few days until I know what I want to be saying.___________________________________I think part of the problem is that I'm not a fan of the friends to lovers trope. I don't know why it doesn't work for me, just that I don't enjoy it. And I felt that Zac and Bianca were stuck in the never ending friends z I somehow knew this was coming.My last MZ book was a 5 star, going by my track record, this one was destined to be just an ok read for me.I have a couple thoughts about this book, but I'll wait a few days until I know what I want to be saying.___________________________________I think part of the problem is that I'm not a fan of the friends to lovers trope. I don't know why it doesn't work for me, just that I don't enjoy it. And I felt that Zac and Bianca were stuck in the never ending friends zone.I also felt that there was not much happening in the novel, and I mean plot wise. Most of the plot was about Bianca thinking about Zac, and then there was Bianca and Zac talking about the same things again and again. They hashed it out mentally and verbally, then went over it a couple more times - but other than that nothing else happened. (Also I don't know why, but I was expecting a sports romance, but there was no sport in it 😳)And then there was kiddo!!! And Snack Pack, Bibi, Big Texas, Little Texas. Too many nicknames. And I actually rolled my eyes every time Zack used kiddo. It's like he was talking to a younger sister - just NO! I already had a hard time shipping these two, his usage of kiddo didn't help.The cameo of Aiden and Vanessa was GOLD!!! Loved it to pieces.I actually warmed up to Trevor - miracles happen :DAnd I loved the idea of The Lazy Baker, would have loved to read more about it.So, all in all the book ended up just being a meh read. I skipped and skimmed some of Bianca's many internal monologues. And skimmed even more the further I got into the book. The result is a book that missed the spot. BUT this is nothing new to me. I love some of her books, and others are just ok. I move on. And honestly I'm already excited about her next book, because sooner or later she'll write another 5 star for me. :D___________________________________Find more reviews and book recommendations on my blogFollow me on Bookstagram
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  • Nilufer Ozmekik
    January 1, 1970
    Choo choo sound of disappointment train mixes with extremely mad red woman’s screams( yes, it’s me or Jessica Chastain who plays my character!) You may ask the same question after reading this book: what was dear Zapata’s editor thinking? And why the hell dear Zapata decide to write something as boring as last thirty minutes of Meet Joe Black ( at least we had young and hot Brad Pitt at those never ending, monotonous, soul torturous scenes) ?At first when I realize this is spinoff of Wall of Win Choo choo sound of disappointment train mixes with extremely mad red woman’s screams( yes, it’s me or Jessica Chastain who plays my character!) You may ask the same question after reading this book: what was dear Zapata’s editor thinking? And why the hell dear Zapata decide to write something as boring as last thirty minutes of Meet Joe Black ( at least we had young and hot Brad Pitt at those never ending, monotonous, soul torturous scenes) ?At first when I realize this is spinoff of Wall of Winnipeg and one of the adorable characters has its own book: I liked Zac and I was so keen to read his own story. But I think during the process of story building, something happened to him: he lost his spine. Nope, not literally, but metaphorically he turned into a man with no character. Maybe he had a secret trauma that hasn’t mentioned in book so he stuck in his early childhood times because his interactions with heroine reminded you of underage little boy’s attitudes. Yes, I’m talking about those irritating, unstoppable, disastrous nicknames! The author may have thought it was cute but unfortunately I’m not laughing and gritting my teeth it’s not good for cavity problems! And Bianca: oh boy she’s jaw dropping heroine! No, you got me wrong: she’s not thrilling or she doesn’t have shocking personality. She is just BORING! I yawned so much when I read her parts and I thought because yawning too much, my jaw may drop at any second. So the romance book you’re looking for cannot be found this moment because....This is not slow burn romance, this is just slow, repetitive, flat story without romance.There is no chemistry, sexual tension or any affection, love, romantic interest between characters. I force myself to read till the end but I was bored to death. My eyes were keep closing so as result I offered my husband to solve his recent insomnia problem by reading me the last chapters aloud. Thankfully we got the best sleep at night and the book finally finished. I missed the kissing parts of the characters before I dozed off. Thankfully my husband dearest who starts to hate bad romance books right now informed me about that meaningless kiss in and last blah blah parts in the morning. Overall: this is the first I’m giving a Viva Zapata book two stars but I don’t have another choice.Kulti is one of my all time best romance stories and I wish I will read something as good as that memorable book from the author. But this book was one of the big romance books disappointments of the year.
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  • EmBibliophile
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 starsThis book contained,68 kiddo80 darlin’14 honey10 little Texas57 peeweeAnd those numbers are accurate, So don’t yell at me for not remembering the heroine’s name, okay?Now despite how frustrated I was with all those nicknames specially that “kiddo” thing that was driving me crazy, I have to say that I didn’t hate this book. It was...okay? Kinda cute and enjoyable to read, Just not as great as I hoped it would be. Comparing this book to the wall of Winnipeg and me wouldn’t be fair, becaus 3.5 starsThis book contained,68 kiddo80 darlin’14 honey10 little Texas57 peeweeAnd those numbers are accurate, So don’t yell at me for not remembering the heroine’s name, okay?Now despite how frustrated I was with all those nicknames specially that “kiddo” thing that was driving me crazy, I have to say that I didn’t hate this book. It was...okay? Kinda cute and enjoyable to read, Just not as great as I hoped it would be. Comparing this book to the wall of Winnipeg and me wouldn’t be fair, because that book is one of my all time favourites. However, it was still kinda enjoyable to read despite a few issues.I don’t mind slow moving romances, but the plot in this one was so repetitive with no real conflict and with them not having a real mature conversation. Still this was a really decent read and I actually enjoyed reading it, even if I couldn’t completely connect to the characters. There were actually some cute parts that made me smile and I loved when Ivan and jasmine then Aiden and Vanessa made an appearance, because I freakin love those two couples. And surprisingly, I think I won’t mind having a Trevor’s book? Never thought I would like him but I think we are getting there!
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  • Ambriehl Khalil
    January 1, 1970
    ⭐️ [1/5 Stars] ⭐️I’m upset. I love MZ so much and a good chunk of her books are golden. I loved loved loved Zac in Winnipeg but holy FUCK. This was unbearable. I’m about to unload two days worth of frustration so hold on tight. No hate to MZ - but what the fuck is this? Seriously? Where was her editor? If you’re wondering what happened in this book, let me tell you: nothing. Absolutely fucking nothing. There was no plot whatsoever, no chemistry, nothing. It was pages and pages of nothing. I want ⭐️ [1/5 Stars] ⭐️I’m upset. I love MZ so much and a good chunk of her books are golden. I loved loved loved Zac in Winnipeg but holy FUCK. This was unbearable. I’m about to unload two days worth of frustration so hold on tight. No hate to MZ - but what the fuck is this? Seriously? Where was her editor? If you’re wondering what happened in this book, let me tell you: nothing. Absolutely fucking nothing. There was no plot whatsoever, no chemistry, nothing. It was pages and pages of nothing. I wanted to dnf so badly but I forced myself to continue for the sole reason that I respect MZ and usually love or at least partially enjoy what she publishes. I just ... can’t with this book.Let’s start with the names and nicknames. They were terrible. It actually made my eye twitch. I really don’t like the name Boogie and like ok, that’s not a huge deal breaker at all because whatever, it’s just a name - it’s something I can ignore, but then you add in the nicknames and I’m out. Bibi? Bubba? Kiddo? Snack Pack? Fuck meeeeeeeee. If I ever ever EVER hear or read the word ‘kiddo’ again, it’ll be too soon. Let’s play a drinking game; every time that word pops up, take a shot. You’ll be guaranteed a trip to the ER to get your stomach pumped. There was no chemistry between Bianca and Zac at all. Like, not even a little bit. It was so platonic and unbelievable that when the ‘I love you!’ finally came around, I deadass rolled my eyes. I was yawning while they kissed. How tf am I meant to believe you want to fuck someone you continuously call kiddo and old man? Lmao no.This had promise - I love stories where they knew each other as kids and have history, they’re some of my favourites but this was just blah. It was a basic case of miscommunication and pettiness and being plain stupid. Bianca was unbearable and so insufferable, I genuinely couldn’t stand it. Normally MZ is so good about writing powerful female leads but Bianca’s insecurity drove me up the wall. She was insecure about everything to the point where it wasn’t normal and she had really no reason to be. And she was so dumb. Like - Zac is sitting there having a conversation with her cousin that’s about HER but her brain is the size of a fucking pea and she still didn’t register that the conversation was about her. Why would he be talking about me? What? Huh? What? Huh? What? HUH? GAH. I’m sorry. I’m so annoyed. I nearly cried so many times because of how frustrated I was.On top of that - the humour was not there. I personally don’t find fart jokes and toilet talk to be entertaining. Like it’s just not good source material? The things that Bianca and Zac laughed about weren’t even the slightest bit entertaining and it just made it more difficult for me to believe that there was anything romantic going on there. I love a good slow burn but this went on for too long. Nothing happened. No sexual tension. She filmed a video, talked about eating and food, saw Zac, went to work, complained about work, and then repeated. Her reasoning for not leaving her shitty job was stupid and ridiculous, especially with how miserable it made her. There was no progression. I wouldn’t have minded this if we saw some personal growth with Bianca. Maybe if she started off insecure and grew into a better and more confident person, I would have liked this, but she didn’t. She was still questioning and being annoying until the end. I could continue on for hours about how annoyed I am, but I just want to get to the thing that frustrated me the most and that’s the repetition. Again; where was MZ’s editor? Every second page we were reminded of something we’ve been told a million times before. “My old friend” “my cousins best friend” “the man I used to love” blah blah blah. It went on and on. It wasn’t only that though, oh no, it was everything. Everything was repeated over and over again. If you took out the repetition this book would probably be max 30k words. The conversations that went on for three pages were the same thing! “I don’t want to bother you” “you’re not” “but I’m inconveniencing you” “no you’re not” “I can leave” “please don’t” “I don’t want to annoy you” “you’re not” LIKE ??? Stop? I don’t need to be reminded that you saved his life when you were kids approx. 600 times. I don’t need you to tell me that you used to be friends or that he’s your cousins best friend. Say it once or twice and we’re good. That’s all a book needs. A small amount of backstory and wrap it up, move on. Give us content instead. I’m just tired And upset. And disappointed. Really, truly disappointed. I was so excited for Zac’s story but in the end, even he started to piss me off. He had no balls and again, I didn’t believe in their relationship. He was a sweetie, but that’s about it. It was sad, especially because he had such shining character in Winnipeg. I didn’t like anything about this book. The one star was for the way too brief mention of Ivan and Jasmine. That’s it.Anyway. I’m done. I’m going to go reread my favourites from MZ and pretend this doesn’t exist.
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  • Antonella
    January 1, 1970
    I could dismiss the fact that nothing happens in this book if I cared about either of the characters. Zac is flat and Bianca is exhausting. But by the time they kiss, I wish they didn't because there is NO chemistry between them. So that was cringeworthy. Which negates all that is a slow burn romance. A slow build-up...tension.. and romance... Nothing there is nothing of it here... There were a lot of nicknames but that kiddo bullshit that Zac called her until the very last page - drove me crazy I could dismiss the fact that nothing happens in this book if I cared about either of the characters. Zac is flat and Bianca is exhausting. But by the time they kiss, I wish they didn't because there is NO chemistry between them. So that was cringeworthy. Which negates all that is a slow burn romance. A slow build-up...tension.. and romance... Nothing there is nothing of it here... There were a lot of nicknames but that kiddo bullshit that Zac called her until the very last page - drove me crazy!!
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  • Phuong ✯
    January 1, 1970
    – 2.75 starsIf I'm going to see "Kiddo" one more time, I'm going to commit a felony. HANDS DOWN. WHAT DIDN'T WORK FOR ME: ↳ KIDDO as an endearment. It works when a parent says that to their children or an older sibling to his younger one, BUT NOT when you're talking to your love interest. "I'm so damn in love with you, kiddo, and I wanna be where you are." and "You're the love of my life, kiddo" IT SOUNDS FREAKING CREEPY TO ME. Every time Zac said it to Bianca, I got shivers down my spines. I – 2.75 starsIf I'm going to see "Kiddo" one more time, I'm going to commit a felony. HANDS DOWN. WHAT DIDN'T WORK FOR ME: ↳ KIDDO as an endearment. It works when a parent says that to their children or an older sibling to his younger one, BUT NOT when you're talking to your love interest. "I'm so damn in love with you, kiddo, and I wanna be where you are." and "You're the love of my life, kiddo" IT SOUNDS FREAKING CREEPY TO ME. Every time Zac said it to Bianca, I got shivers down my spines. It just sounds wrong. 68 times I had to read it, a nightmare.↳ The repetitive writing. I don't know how many times Bianca mentioned that Zac and her have a past together, that they grew up together, were basically best friends until he went to college and then they lost contact for the last decade, because he stopped replying to her text messages. It's all Bianca was thinking about in her inner monologues and it was so tiring to read. The amount of times she had to tell herself that she's not bitter about Zac not texting back, even though she tried repeatedly to get in contact with him until she thought he didn't want to do anything with her and gave up. We get it, you were in love with him and it was soul crushing that he didn't reply back. We really get it, but please move on. That fact came up so often, that it's already a third of Bianca's whole personality. ↳ The drama why Zac and Bianca lost contact in the first place. It was annoying. Bianca was sure that she texted Zac without a reply back. Zac was sure that he texted Bianca, but never got a reply back. And then it was because some ex-girlfriend was jealous and changed their phone numbers. Yeah no, I'm not having it.↳ Bianca puts Zac on a pedestral since childhood that she forgives everything he's done so easily. Not that he has done anything outrageously wrong, but Zac only trying to do the bare minimum to contact Bianca in the last years - sad, but he was a busy football player. Then in the present when he invites her to hang out at his place, but spends an hour talking to his manager - no problem, he is a busy football player. Girl, it's okay to be pissed at him. He is human after all and they make mistakes.↳ Bianca's insecurity when it comes to Zac. When Zac and Bianca reunites in the present, Zac invites her to hang out with him all the time. Bianca is hesitant, because she doesn't want to take up his time, cause "he has more important things to do and probably wants to do something with his other friends". It's the same conversation over and over again. Zac would ask why she didn't call him, Biance would reply that he has other stuff to do, then Zack would need to assure her that he would never be too busy to spend time with her. ↳ Because of the aforementioned points, the 'romance' between these two was pretty meh. Romance is in quotation marks, because Zac and Biance never left the 'friends'-zone for me. With previous MZ books I never had a problem with only having the heroine's POV, because I could see a change in the Hero's behaviour towards the heroine, but in Hands Down I wanted to have a Zac POV so badly. Zac was nice at the beginning when they saw each other again for the first time and Zac was so freaking nice at the end of the book. There was no change. Nothing. They worked well as best friends, but when it came towards the sex scene at the end, I really wanted to skip it bc of how weird it was with all the kiddo talk and bc I don't see anything remotely romantic between them. WHAT I LIKED: ↳ IVANJASMINE & AIDENVANESSA cameos! I loved every single one. The Ivan & Jasmine one is a brief one, but I was fangirling right with Bianca cause girl same. Vanessa & Aiden have 'bigger' scenes and to see them happy with their kids, it was everything. The kids were adorable. ↳ Bianca, Zac and Boogie's friendship. They make a great trio. The friendship between Bianca & Boogie and Zac & Boogie is so cute. They know each other so well and feel comfortable around each other and I just loved reading these healthy relationships. MZ has the talent to write amazing family dynamics. ↳ Bianca & Zac's friendship. I didn't like them so much as a couple, but as platonic friends they worked well. They had some cute banters and hilarious conversations. ↳ The side characters. Besides the family dynamics, they were my highlight. CJ, besides Boogie, was one of my favorite characters in this book. Overall a lot of things didn't work out for me, but I have a soft spot for Zac because he was such a good friend to Vanessa in The Wall of Winnipeg and Me. When you exchange the name Zac with a random name with no past, I'd given this book a lower rating if I'm being honest.
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  • Bhavya Marya
    January 1, 1970
    “I’ve been holding in a fart for the last hour and a half, and my stomach fucking hurts,” Did I stay up all night to read this ? Yup Do I regret it ? Hell noI went into this book already loving Zac so much and came out loving Bianca even more and I didn't think that was possible. She was hilarious and relatable as farts. I think she just became one of my favourite heroines ever. This was Bianca's book.And the banter. THE BANTER, you guys. It was so great that it had me blurting out my laughte “I’ve been holding in a fart for the last hour and a half, and my stomach fucking hurts,” Did I stay up all night to read this ? Yup Do I regret it ? Hell noI went into this book already loving Zac so much and came out loving Bianca even more and I didn't think that was possible. She was hilarious and relatable as farts. I think she just became one of my favourite heroines ever. This was Bianca's book.And the banter. THE BANTER, you guys. It was so great that it had me blurting out my laughter because I actually couldn't believe that Bianca had said that. It was the unexpected kind and that's the best there is. Did I mention how much I love Bianca ?I was smiling from ear to ear when I was reading this.And Mariana Zapata just introduced another great character in this fantastic book and that is Boogie. With a name like that how could anyone not like him ? She added so many amazing and funny supporting characters in this one and I loved each and every one.I thought I was ready for that Aiden and Vanessa cameo and even though I know it was coming, I fucking SCREAMED when it happened. Okay, that was dramatic. I didn't scream. But I was still really excited. Also, Trevor was as amazing as ever.MZ just wrote another great slow burn and totally reinforced her place in my favourite author's list. "You’ve always been my favorite girl, kiddo. Hands down.”
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  • Tears Of Venus, but humans call me Mina
    January 1, 1970
    Someone please tell Amazon to get their shit together!!! My TWOWPAM paperback is still not here AND Zach is LIVE today! Me to all of you people reading this today :06/22This is the perfect excuse for me to re-read The Wall Of Winnipeg And Me. 😈AIDEN, baby,And ZACH, honey, Someone please tell Amazon to get their shit together!!! My TWOWPAM paperback is still not here AND Zach is LIVE today! Me to all of you people reading this today :06/22This is the perfect excuse for me to re-read The Wall Of Winnipeg And Me. 😈AIDEN, baby,And ZACH, honey,
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  • ♛ Mademoiselle Smut ♛
    January 1, 1970
    update: ZAC IS MOTHERFUCKING LIVE! ZAC IS GETTING HIS BOOK! YOU HEAR ME! ZAC. IS. GETTING. HIS. FUCKING. BOOK! update: ZAC IS MOTHERFUCKING LIVE! ZAC IS GETTING HIS BOOK! YOU HEAR ME! ZAC. IS. GETTING. HIS. FUCKING. BOOK!
  • Wendy'sThoughts
    January 1, 1970
    3 Not What I Expected Stars* * * Spoiler Free- A Quick ReviewHands Down, I love Mariana Zapata's writing. She has been a must-read since I discovered her with Kulti. When I learned of this book and Zac, a character from The Winnipeg and Me was getting his own book, I immediately went and reread that book so I would be current on who Zac was, ready for his story. Many wanted Zac's story and the anticipation was huge. This brings me to a few thoughts. I personally think this tale would have been 3 Not What I Expected Stars* * * Spoiler Free- A Quick ReviewHands Down, I love Mariana Zapata's writing. She has been a must-read since I discovered her with Kulti. When I learned of this book and Zac, a character from The Winnipeg and Me was getting his own book, I immediately went and reread that book so I would be current on who Zac was, ready for his story. Many wanted Zac's story and the anticipation was huge. This brings me to a few thoughts. I personally think this tale would have been better For Me if it had been a novella. I felt as if parts went on longer than they needed and the character arcs took too many similar moments to make the same results. There was also the use of nicknames. I can handle a couple but this one had more than a few. Now, these are only My Thoughts on this and there was a perfectly fine tale to be told. It was a slow burn and characters did grapple with issues and learn to accept the love given to them. The essence of best friend little sister and misunderstandings all worked. Mariana Zapata is still hands-down a favorite of mine and I will be automatically clicking whatever she decides to write next.~~~~~ Before Reading ~~~~~X💋X💋X💋X ALL X💋X💋X💋X💋X💋X💋X💋X💋X💋X💋X FOR X💋X💋X💋X💋X💋X💋X💋X💋X💋X💋X ZAC X💋X💋X💋X💋X💋X💋X💋 There Are Many Cliches...One Repeated Over And Over Again...Is "Time Heals All Wounds"...Now That May Be...True For Most...But There Is No Doubt...Each of Us Experiencing Those Wounds...Need To Heal On Our Own Timetable...What Can Make This Even More Complicated...Is When The Hurt Inflicted...Was Never Meant to Happen...That The One Who Did It...Didn't Even Know What They Did...Dealing With All Of These...Past Hurts Will Not Be Easy...Little Do Either of These Parties...Know What's About To Happen...I Know Another Slow Burn is Coming... Hands Down-July 2020 The Wall of Winnipeg and Mehttps://www.goodreads.com/review/show... Hands Downhttps://www.goodreads.com/review/show...For more Reviews, Free E-books and Giveaways
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  • Amy
    January 1, 1970
    God, this book drove me insane. I think I might have to call it quits with MZ. I’ve read plenty of her backlog now and the only book of hers I’ve truly ever loved is “The Wall of Winnipeg,” and every other book since has been a struggle—including this one. Every MZ heroine has the same inner voice. A little grumpy, a little sarcastic, plenty of self-doubt, and a lot of passive aggressiveness too. In fact, what really is the difference between Vanessa’s inner voice, Sal’s inner voice, and Bianca’ God, this book drove me insane. I think I might have to call it quits with MZ. I’ve read plenty of her backlog now and the only book of hers I’ve truly ever loved is “The Wall of Winnipeg,” and every other book since has been a struggle—including this one. Every MZ heroine has the same inner voice. A little grumpy, a little sarcastic, plenty of self-doubt, and a lot of passive aggressiveness too. In fact, what really is the difference between Vanessa’s inner voice, Sal’s inner voice, and Bianca’s? Or Lenny? Or Jasmine? I say this not as a critique of MZ’s writing—because she’s a very obviously good writer and a loving storyteller—but more to comment on how little MZ’s writing has changed or improved over time. Another issue I have is that what gets mistakenly labeled as “slow burn” to me is just an issue with MZ and her editor not being better at editing her stories: Every MZ heroine rambles endlessly—ENDLESSLY—to the detriment of the story. She’ll write about someone ringing a doorbell and then the heroine will monologue for six pages before we actually get to who’s at the doorbell. ?!?!?! This book was more than five hundred pages and there is absolutely no way this book needed that many pages to tell the story between Zac and Bianca’s relationship.Finally, I just didn’t feel *it* between Zac and Bianca. It took way too much time to establish that Bianca is upset that they lost contact over the last ten years, I rolled my eyes at the “misunderstanding” about phone numbers, and this book desperately needed another POV. MZ’s heroes can be a hit or a miss in terms of how expressive they are with their love/affection with the heroines, and I found Zac to be so courteous and polite in general as a human being that I never felt convinced that he passed the line from platonic best friends to romantic love interest.
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  • Nas
    January 1, 1970
    IVAN AND JASMINE DRESSED AS GOMEZ AND MORTICIA?? I NEEDED that-AIDEN CONTENT WITH HIS KIDS??? only smiles around his family?? mz thank you with all my heart-the little boys asking bianca vital questions to see if she's worthy??? amazing-i MIGHT be EXTREMELY attracted to trevor????-zac became jealous because he wasn't asked to be in the vlog??? loved it-cj+amari were hilarious, need their own books!!-zac+bianca honestly served such a LOVELY friends to lovers romance________________________ IVAN AND JASMINE DRESSED AS GOMEZ AND MORTICIA?? I NEEDED that-AIDEN CONTENT WITH HIS KIDS??? only smiles around his family?? mz thank you with all my heart-the little boys asking bianca vital questions to see if she's worthy??? amazing-i MIGHT be EXTREMELY attracted to trevor????-zac became jealous because he wasn't asked to be in the vlog??? loved it-cj+amari were hilarious, need their own books!!-zac+bianca honestly served such a LOVELY friends to lovers romance<33333 ____________________________________omg she has fucking blessed us!!!!! the slow-burn romance queen is back and we get her book in a month??? wow thank you mz for saving 2020and i'm assuming aiden and vanessa might make a small appearance??? i'm so fucking excited, i missed them so much omg
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  • shre ♡
    January 1, 1970
    OH MY GOD.....READING SLUMP ITS OVER FOR YOU
  • Arini
    January 1, 1970
    I predict that by next week my home feed is going to be flooded with updates on this book.I love that y’all romance readers are hyped about this. I don’t even remember Zac, and the tropes here don’t seem like my go to. But I’m pretty pretty excited. I think I’d be happy just by the slightest possibility that there’ll be Aiden in this even if it’s only for a brief moment.Anyway, I’m wondering how long I’ll have to wait until the audiobook is available . . . if any. (To be Read)
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  • Bookadmirer
    January 1, 1970
    Before reading the book I was warned about the endearment "kiddo". Why no one warned me about honey, darling too? It was really frustrating 🤢One big question that when the female protagonist met the male protagonist's roommate, she became very happy that the roommate knew about her baking channel. It was implied few people only recognize her face to face as she wasn't famous. Within a few chapters, it says she has more than a million subscribers. I am confused. Did I miss anything? Before reading the book I was warned about the endearment "kiddo". Why no one warned me about honey, darling too? It was really frustrating 🤢One big question that when the female protagonist met the male protagonist's roommate, she became very happy that the roommate knew about her baking channel. It was implied few people only recognize her face to face as she wasn't famous. Within a few chapters, it says she has more than a million subscribers. I am confused. Did I miss anything?
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  • Pavlina Read more sleep less blog❤❤
    January 1, 1970
    4 STARSThis is the second book I'm reading from Mariana and I really like it!I find it heartwarming!The characters were great and well developed!I adored Zac and Bianca They have a slow burn romance that make me swoon!Zac was fantastic, he felt realistic and I loved him!Bianca was a strong heroine!Together they were great, they started as friends and then in to something strong and heavy!I loved their moments together!I really need to read more books from this author!    4 STARSThis is the second book I'm reading from Mariana and I really like it!I find it heartwarming!The characters were great and well developed!I adored Zac and Bianca They have a slow burn romance that make me swoon!Zac was fantastic, he felt realistic and I loved him!Bianca was a strong heroine!Together they were great, they started as friends and then in to something strong and heavy!I loved their moments together!I really need to read more books from this author!   
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  • peachygirl
    January 1, 1970
    Remember the charming footballer with a perpetual smile and Texas drawl from The wall of Winnipeg and me? Van's support system when Aiden was pretending to be a jerk? This is his story. And he's kinda lame here.Told from Bianca's perspective, this story follows Zac and Bianca becoming friends again after 10 years of not being in touch and subsequently falling in love. Straightforward enough? No. The drama behind their 10 year friend break was so stupid and flimsy, especially for two people with Remember the charming footballer with a perpetual smile and Texas drawl from The wall of Winnipeg and me? Van's support system when Aiden was pretending to be a jerk? This is his story. And he's kinda lame here.Told from Bianca's perspective, this story follows Zac and Bianca becoming friends again after 10 years of not being in touch and subsequently falling in love. Straightforward enough? No. The drama behind their 10 year friend break was so stupid and flimsy, especially for two people with ties like these. A simple misunderstanding, bitchy girlfriend and number swap do not have consequences like this. I get that MZ wanted to show that even though they had loved each other forever, they wanted to respect the other person's wish to stay away, but come on!!!Anyway, these two reconnect due to a family situation and realize nothing has really changed between them. I loved parts of their banter and how supportive they were towards each other's career. But the grand moment of love declaration happens somewhere in the last 50 pages only. There was basically no romance till that point since the girl feels like Zac's little sister most of the time, even if she's been in love with him since 16. It is obviously clear to the readers that he does not see her a sister but a MZ heroine has to be clueless till the very end, doesn't she?There's a pretty cute cameo from two of my favorite couples and decent epilogue, but I was not very invested in Zac and Bianca's relationship to coo over their happily ever after.Some things got on my nerves constantly. Zac and his pewee coming up with lame nicknames was not as cute as the writer intended to be. And the "kiddo" thing made me cringe repeatedly. No wonder the girl thought Zac didn't have feelings for her. One good thing about this book was Trevor acting like a human. Never thought I'd see something like that. Maybe he's a dick just to Vanessa? But I loved this side of him. And I enjoyed Bianca's rapport with her sister and cousin. To summarize this, Hands down doesn't suck. But it probably wouldn't live up to your expectations either. Hope MZ comes up with something swoon worthy in her next book. 3 stars.
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  • Rachael*Caribbean*girl*bibliophile
    January 1, 1970
    Spoilers ahead, Random thoughtsBianca, Boogie and Zac have been friends for years...until around 17 her feelings for him changed. Zac goes off and they lose touch until Boogie calls her for her to deliver the news that his grandfather is in the hospital to Zac. After 10 years she's finally face to face with her childhood best friend1) The friendships in this were EPIC! From Zac and Boogie to Bianca and her sister and Bianca and Zac I enjoyed every minute2) I don't understand how he doesn't recog Spoilers ahead, Random thoughtsBianca, Boogie and Zac have been friends for years...until around 17 her feelings for him changed. Zac goes off and they lose touch until Boogie calls her for her to deliver the news that his grandfather is in the hospital to Zac. After 10 years she's finally face to face with her childhood best friend1) The friendships in this were EPIC! From Zac and Boogie to Bianca and her sister and Bianca and Zac I enjoyed every minute2) I don't understand how he doesn't recognize her though, yes 10 years had passed but she was such a huge part of his life for so long and not even s little glimmer of recognition???3) Bianca thinks Zac ghosted her.....but yet she never asks him!!! Chapters upon chapters of how hurt she was but she wasn't going to dwell on it....yet she couldn't say hey Zac how come you didn't keep in touch?? I detest plots that are based on miscommunication!4)Bianca had really really bad self esteem and she was forever apologising for every little thing, always offering to bow out if he had something more important to do....never believing that he actually wanted to spend time with her.....is it really so hard to deliver an h with even the barest hint of self confidence? I mean seriously this is 2020 and the h's have not changed at all. I cringed every time she asked him if he had someone else he wanted to hang with or somewhere else he needed to be...even though he kept reassuring her ,she was like that to the very end. When are female mcs going to stop accepting the bare minimum from these guys? 5) I read this after reading a review that said he wasn't a manwhore.....that reviewer should've added ANYMORE at the end pf that statement. We're told at the end that he hadn't been with anyone in a while, before he even met her again.....yet we get numerous, NUMEROUS references that made him out as the biggest manwhore that ever dragged upon the Earth.... Exhibit A- she walks into a party to deliver the news and he's sitting with 2 women, not only does he not recognise Bianca but one ofwthe women directed her to his bedroom implying shitExhibit B-NEW TEXT MESSAGESAMY BLONDEWAITRESS OKC: [picture message]And below that, there were older notifications.KEISHA BLDIVORCELAWYER OKC: [picture message]STACY BROWNBANKER OKC: Just heard about…VANESSA: [two new messages]AIDEN: Call me.TREVOR: WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU DOING. CALL ME BACKAmy. Blonde Waitress. OKC.Keisha. Blonde? Divorce attorney. OKC.Stacy. Brunette banker. OKC.And a Vanessa.At least he had his way of remembering the… people he met. Wtf???? So if he wasn't with these women why was this happening??? Why didn't he block them? As a matter of fact it's not until he decides he loved the h that he even changed his numberExhibit C- they run into his ex who it turns out was partially responsible for their separation....now this was a woman he'd been in a relationship with for MONTHS....and he doesn't recognize her!!!! What the heck!Exhibit D- she followed him on Picturegram and saw him with many OW over the yearsNow see, at the end he says he hadn't been with anyone in a while so then why was all that even necessary?? I mean we didn't see him having sex with OW but hearing all this shit was still gross AF 6) The friendship between the mcs as they reformed their bonds was cute as hell, they should've stayed as friends. How do you get romantic love from a couple who crack fart jokes, call each other ridiculous nicknames and act like best buds....he called her kiddo for crying out loud! Not to mention peewee!!! How do we get romance from that??????7) Zac came across as really dumb and completely clueless8) I get that this author does slow burn but really?? They meet and I think a month passes before they see each other again, then a couple weeks, then.....it just felt like filler 9)I never got a proper explanation as to why he didn't try harder to find her, now the ex changed the numbers ok fine but he was best friend's with her cousin! We're told by Boogie that Zac asked about her a lot but see they were painted as being so very close one would assume he'd use a little of his millions to track his best pal down 10) The jealous ex swapping their numbers being the reason for a 10 year separation was the weakest plot point ever11) The dynamic between the h/H felt very similar to previous books I've read from this author12) The h had a successful business with her watchtube channel yet she stayed in her job at the gym putting up with an asshole boss because of her friend....but then the friend leaves to help her mother and the h talked about the fact that she'd(the h)been thinking/planning to move to be closer to her family.....so then what was the point? To prove she's a martyr/doormat?12) The secondary characters were all great and I hope they get their own stories told including Boogie whose story seems unfinishedAll in all this was ok as a story of friends.....as a romance? Not even a little bitNo cheating( there's a pic with OW that caused some drama but it was a misunderstanding)Tiny reappearance by his ex Numerous OW mentions for a H that was supposedly celibate for a whileHer ex cheated and she's been single since I believe
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  • Al *the semi serial series skipper*
    January 1, 1970
    Well, there goes time I will never regain. DNF @92%MZ and I have an odd relationship, I struggle to even call it relationship. When I read TWOWAM, I was so in love with Aiden and Vanessa, then I read Kulti and I thought I had a author who's book I will always read. I read Locke which sucked and then Letters from Aaron which sucked even worse. When I saw this book on my feed I decided to bite the bullet and try one of her books again. That was a mistake.This book sucked. I am among the people th Well, there goes time I will never regain. DNF @92%MZ and I have an odd relationship, I struggle to even call it relationship. When I read TWOWAM, I was so in love with Aiden and Vanessa, then I read Kulti and I thought I had a author who's book I will always read. I read Locke which sucked and then Letters from Aaron which sucked even worse. When I saw this book on my feed I decided to bite the bullet and try one of her books again. That was a mistake.This book sucked. I am among the people that called MZ the Queen of Slow Burn, I'm here to tell you, I lied. There was absolutely NO ROMANCE, in this book, slow burn or otherwise. This book read like teenagers playing at love, Bianca was so juvenile, her inner monologue was so boring and did absolutely nothing for me. Zac was a caricature, a cardboard cutout with no personality what so ever, his only in this book was to call Bianca: Peewee, Bibi, Kiddo and little Texas. That's literally all he did, I kid you not..Vanessa and Aiden made a cameo and even they couldn't save the clusterfvck that was this book. The romance started at 88% and it wasn't a romance. The secondary characters kept talking about the sexual tension between Bianca and Zac like I hadn't been reading the same book. Absolutely no sexual tension. No chemistry.At 87% I started skimming because I wanted to see what happened, the tender declarations of love was gag inducing, I decided not to put myself through that and quit while I still can. I would not recommend this book to anyone. Do not spend your money, don't even return the 10th book on your KU to create space for this book, it's not worth it.
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  • Ira
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 stars.Here the things about Mariana’s book, no matter how I felt about the characters or its storyline, her story always managed to pull me in.However, I need to say this; I don’t really like this one.I feel pity and exhausted reading the heroine’s inner dialogues.The hero? A sweet but I couldn’t help thinking, he kind of rather dumb or ignorant guy if he didn’t know how the heroine’s feels about him.Ten years ago? Yeah, that’s possible but after they meet again? And the excuses why he was i 3.5 stars.Here the things about Mariana’s book, no matter how I felt about the characters or its storyline, her story always managed to pull me in.However, I need to say this; I don’t really like this one.I feel pity and exhausted reading the heroine’s inner dialogues.The hero? A sweet but I couldn’t help thinking, he kind of rather dumb or ignorant guy if he didn’t know how the heroine’s feels about him.Ten years ago? Yeah, that’s possible but after they meet again? And the excuses why he was in denial? Silly guy.But, that’s just me.I’m very picky with the book I want to read lately, you probably like it more than I do! 😘Btw, I love to see Aiden, Vanessa and juniors appearance here, not much but sweet! ❤️
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  • Tishni
    January 1, 1970
    Hands down the best read of 2020I have waited for this book for years. Years. Zac was such a pivtol character in the masterpiece known as Wall of Winnipeg and Me. And the fact that he finally got his own book? Outstanding. Mariana is slow burn queen. And this book is slow burn to the max. But it’s so much more. It’s second chances. It’s friendship restored. And most importantly it’s love. So much love. This has got to be one of the sweetest books I have ever read. Bianca and Zac stole my heart. Hands down the best read of 2020I have waited for this book for years. Years. Zac was such a pivtol character in the masterpiece known as Wall of Winnipeg and Me. And the fact that he finally got his own book? Outstanding. Mariana is slow burn queen. And this book is slow burn to the max. But it’s so much more. It’s second chances. It’s friendship restored. And most importantly it’s love. So much love. This has got to be one of the sweetest books I have ever read. Bianca and Zac stole my heart. I was smiling from ear to ear. “You’ve always been my favorite girl, kiddo. Hands down.” I don’t know what magic Mariana conjures up to make ever single book good but this was hands down (pun intended) my favorite read of 2020. This was one of the only good things to happen in 2020. This book was truly so beyond needed. I hope we see some of the new characters get their love story as well. Deepa- for one sounds South Asian like me and I think she deserves her happy ending so much. And yes. Yes. You get to see some of the most loved characters make a special appearance but I’m not going to spoil who. Let’s just say I damn near cried when I read who appeared.I stayed up till 4am to finish this book when I have to be up and ready in a couple hours. But this was worth it. Zac and Bianca were worth it. Zac made me fall in love with him in Wall, but he made me SWOON in Hands down. “Loving you was the easiest thing I’ve ever done and it’s the easiest thing I’m ever gonna do. I just know it.”
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  • Apoorva
    January 1, 1970
    I checked for updates, like yesterday and there was nothing! And today you spring on me that it's out today?! TODAY. Wow, I'm gonna lose it.
  • Nina
    January 1, 1970
    ❝𝐘𝐨𝐮’𝐫𝐞 𝐢𝐦𝐩𝐨𝐫𝐭𝐚𝐧𝐭. 𝐘𝐨𝐮 𝐦𝐚𝐭𝐭𝐞𝐫 𝐭𝐨 𝐦𝐞 𝐦𝐨𝐫𝐞 𝐭𝐡𝐚𝐧 𝐚𝐧𝐲 𝐠𝐚𝐦𝐞. 𝐀𝐧𝐲 𝐩𝐫𝐚𝐜𝐭𝐢𝐜𝐞. 𝐀𝐧𝐲𝐭𝐡𝐢𝐧𝐠. 𝐖𝐡𝐞𝐫𝐞 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐠𝐨, 𝐈 𝐠𝐨. 𝐘𝐨𝐮 𝐚𝐫𝐞 𝐧𝐞𝐯𝐞𝐫 𝐠𝐨𝐧𝐧𝐚 𝐛𝐞 𝐬𝐨𝐦𝐞𝐭𝐡𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐈 𝐡𝐚𝐯𝐞 𝐭𝐨 𝐬𝐜𝐡𝐞𝐝𝐮𝐥𝐞 𝐢𝐧. 𝐘𝐨𝐮 𝐚𝐫𝐞 𝐧𝐞𝐯𝐞𝐫 𝐧𝐨𝐭 𝐠𝐨𝐧𝐧𝐚 𝐛𝐞 𝐚 𝐩𝐫𝐢𝐨𝐫𝐢𝐭𝐲 𝐭𝐨 𝐦𝐞.❞⠀⠀ZAC ATTACK IS BACK!!! ⠀⠀zacbianca were childhood best friends to lovers with a slow burn excellence. their soft kisses and gentle touches, theirs soft smiles, their snuggles, and soft hugs ruined me. zac literally giving bianca a piggback ride during the haunted house (the cutest) bianca literall ❝𝐘𝐨𝐮’𝐫𝐞 𝐢𝐦𝐩𝐨𝐫𝐭𝐚𝐧𝐭. 𝐘𝐨𝐮 𝐦𝐚𝐭𝐭𝐞𝐫 𝐭𝐨 𝐦𝐞 𝐦𝐨𝐫𝐞 𝐭𝐡𝐚𝐧 𝐚𝐧𝐲 𝐠𝐚𝐦𝐞. 𝐀𝐧𝐲 𝐩𝐫𝐚𝐜𝐭𝐢𝐜𝐞. 𝐀𝐧𝐲𝐭𝐡𝐢𝐧𝐠. 𝐖𝐡𝐞𝐫𝐞 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐠𝐨, 𝐈 𝐠𝐨. 𝐘𝐨𝐮 𝐚𝐫𝐞 𝐧𝐞𝐯𝐞𝐫 𝐠𝐨𝐧𝐧𝐚 𝐛𝐞 𝐬𝐨𝐦𝐞𝐭𝐡𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐈 𝐡𝐚𝐯𝐞 𝐭𝐨 𝐬𝐜𝐡𝐞𝐝𝐮𝐥𝐞 𝐢𝐧. 𝐘𝐨𝐮 𝐚𝐫𝐞 𝐧𝐞𝐯𝐞𝐫 𝐧𝐨𝐭 𝐠𝐨𝐧𝐧𝐚 𝐛𝐞 𝐚 𝐩𝐫𝐢𝐨𝐫𝐢𝐭𝐲 𝐭𝐨 𝐦𝐞.❞⠀⠀ZAC ATTACK IS BACK!!! ⠀⠀zacbianca were childhood best friends to lovers with a slow burn excellence. their soft kisses and gentle touches, theirs soft smiles, their snuggles, and soft hugs ruined me. zac literally giving bianca a piggback ride during the haunted house (the cutest) bianca literally ready to fight anyone that made ‬zac upset (literally almost cried) i smiled like a dumbass the entire way through this book. they were adorable and cute and my heart couldn’t handle any of it. ⠀⠀now let’s talk about those breadcrumbs...⠀⠀THE AIDENVANESSA BREADCRUMBS OH GOD I LITERALLY HAD A BREAKDOWN DURING THOSE SCENES. AIDEN SMILING AT HIS KIDS AND VANESSA AND LOOKING AT THEM WITH PURE AFFECTION (I LOVE THEM) MY HEART COULDN’T HANDLE IT.⠀⠀BUT ALSO THAT JASMINEIVAN SCENE HELLO??? I WAS NOT PREPARED. I SCREAMED SO LOUD WHEN BIANCA SAID IT WAS THEM AND HAD TO LAY DOWN ON THE GROUND AND CALM DOWN (i also know with 100% certainty that ivan picked those costumes I JUST KNOW IT!!) ⠀⠀and last but not least trevor...i literally forgot about him up untill the point he was mentioned and i literally out loud said “oh boy this mother fucker is back” (yikes) i despised him as much as vanessa did BUT LET ME JUST SAY TREVOR IS REDEEMED. he was an adorable grump in this book WITH THE BIGGEST HEART. that one scene where he called zac his son i literally started crying. miss mariana if you ever decide to write him a book with a cute sunshine heroine I WOULDN’T COMPLAIN!!! ⠀⠀PLEASE Y’ALL NEED TO READ THIS BOOK!!! ⠀⠀
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  • Anne OK
    January 1, 1970
    2.5 StarsI've read some really great reads from this author, but this one was way off. It didn't hit anywhere near what I've come to expect. Major disappointment. And I can see that I'm in the minority -- Zac seems to be the deal sealer -- but not for me. So, his character was kind and generous and likable, but the twangy country hillbilly talk made my skin crawl and didn't feel natural. And his character appeared juvenile and childish at the age of 34 -- soon to be 35 years old. I didn't fall f 2.5 StarsI've read some really great reads from this author, but this one was way off. It didn't hit anywhere near what I've come to expect. Major disappointment. And I can see that I'm in the minority -- Zac seems to be the deal sealer -- but not for me. So, his character was kind and generous and likable, but the twangy country hillbilly talk made my skin crawl and didn't feel natural. And his character appeared juvenile and childish at the age of 34 -- soon to be 35 years old. I didn't fall for the whole "why haven't you spoken to me for ten years" line that was repeated over and over. Especially under the circumstances where so many friends, relatives, etc. were involved. It was too fake and unreal. I needed something solid and meaningful and there was nothing, nada, zip, zero!There were parts that I liked, parts I barely tolerated and lots of places where it just flat out dragged and bored the heck out of me. Too much silliness that I skimmed through. The story would have been better if it were left out completely. I “ain’t” a fan of this one!
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