Mariana Zapata is a contemporary romance author who writes slow-burn relationships and diverse characters in terms of race, ethnicity, and body type. Some of her famous books include “The Wall of Winnipeg and Me,” “Under Locke,” and “Kulti.” Her writing style shows real-life situations. That’s why she has a dedicated following of fans who enjoy her stories for relatable elements.
Colleen Hoover and Mariana Zapata are my top favorite authors of all time. I have spent the entire time finishing up the books I had to read from her to make this guide unforgettable for you. There are no spoilers in this article, but if you want to skip the part about how they all connect, you want to be surprised. So I’ll leave that at the end so that it’s easier for you to skip.
Why is Mariana Zapata a popular romance author?
Why should you read Mariana Zapata’s books? Is it worth it? There are many questions readers ask me frequently. I’ll answer them now. Here are several reasons:
Writing Style: Mariana is popular for her slow-burn romance style, which is engaging, emotional, and relatable.
Character Development: She creates memorable and complex characters that are easy to connect with, and readers enjoy watching their journeys and growth throughout the stories.
Unique Tropes: Mariana incorporates fresh romance tropes such as sports romance, friends-to-lovers, and forbidden love. These keep readers coming back for more.
Good pacing: Her books are well-paced, and the storylines develop gradually, reaching a satisfying conclusion.
Diverse representation: Most of her books represents diverse characters, including people of color and LGBTQ+ characters, which diversity and appeals to a wide range of readers.
These factors combined make Mariana Zapata a popular romance author, and her books are worth reading.
Mariana Zapata Books In Order (Books list by ranked)
First and foremost, let’s discuss reading order. Many people have different opinions on what order you should read Mariana Zapata’s books. Let me grab the books for visual reference for my visual learners. This is a release order, and it’s the best way to do it because you do not miss any connections or little references and get the full experience.
A list of Mariana Zapata books in the order of publication:
- Lingus (2012).
- Wait for It (2014).
- Under Locke (2014).
- The Wall of Winnipeg and Me (2015).
- Kulti (2015).
- Rhythm, Chord & Malykhin (2015).
- All Rhodes Lead Here (2016).
- Wait for It (2016).
- Dear Aaron (2017).
- Luna and the Lie (2018).
- The Best Thing (2019).
- Break Me (2019).
- Hands Down (2020).
However, they are all standalone, so you can read them in whatever order you want, and it will be fine. If you want to see the little references and understand the connections, this is the order that I would go in. But once again, not necessarily all standalone. So if you want to pick whichever interests you, feel free to do so.
Even if you’re reading only the ones that interest you, I would still try to go and release the order. Now that we’ve discussed reading order, I’ll tell you a little bit of what they’re about, a little summary. Let me say that every single one of these is from the female’s point of view.
So there’s one POV in my books: all slow burn. Be ready to wait for the couples to get together. If you are not in the mood for that, wait to read an empty book until you’re ready. If you don’t like slow burns, you might not enjoy these as much. Now, I’ll discuss some popular books by Mariana Zapata by my reading order. If you like her, you’ll love it. Let’s do it!
Chekout My Wishlist: Mariana Zapata Books List
The first book, Lingus, has an exciting plot. I have never seen another book. We follow a girl, Kat Berger, who goes to an adult convention because she loves it. She meets a guy who makes her laugh, feels very comfortable, and instantly connects with her.
However, he happens to be a pornstar, Robbie Lingus. This book is more romantic comedy vibes than slow burn and angst romance. Yeah, it falls more into the comedy category. The relationship was rushed, and I did not connect with the characters. The love interest was cool but nothing too special.
Kat was the most annoying main character ever. Something that I did enjoy about this book was the excellent epilogue. It’s Mariana’s first book. You can see the evolution as the books go. Some parts were funny, which was why I rated it to Star.
2. Under Locke
The story follows Iris Taylor, who has been unemployed for six months. She moves back home to Austin and needs to get a job fairly quickly, and her brother gets her job because he’s part of a motorcycle club. One of the guys in the motorcycle club owns a tattoo shop called Pins and Needles. The boss is Mr. Dex Locke, a grumpy, tattooed hot man. He’s very against Iris from the very beginning.
One of the things I didn’t love about the book was Iris is a little bit too whiny for me because she’s been through so much. Iris is not one of those perfect characters, but I loved seeing that. I suggest you read it and have your own opinion because it’s worth the try. It’s also one of Mariana’s least slow burns.
Kulti is about soccer and follows Sal Casillas, a soccer player. Since she was a kid, she has been obsessed with a soccer player named Reiner Kulti. She loved watching him play and got the biggest crush on him. He was part of why she was so confident in becoming a soccer player. Years later, Sal becomes a professional player, and Kulti becomes her coach. So what do you do when the guy you worshiped as a kid becomes your coach? What do you do when he’s not at all that you expect when he’s the rudest, grumpiest?
There is an age gap, and Sal and Kulti’s relationship was one of my favorites. Also, the book went from enemies-to-best-friends-to-lovers. So take it!
Read more: 5 Books Similar To Kulti
4. Rhythm, Chord & Malykhin
This book is a rock star romance. You have a Gaby who tours with her twin brother, Eli. She goes to be the merch girl, and the band that’s toying with her brother happens to have Sacha Malykhin in it as the lead singer. When Gaby meets him, things get interesting because she is very attracted to the hot-tattooed lead singer of the band. Everybody is all jealous because of the lead singer of the band.
The book goes through three different continents in one tour. They live out of the tour bus. The relationship felt very rushed and felt very insta-love to me. The friend group was a bunch of guys in the band, and the jokes were very aggressive. I loved the rock star setting in the tour bus and going on different continents.
5. The Wall of Winnipeg and Me
My favorite book by Mariana Zapata, in fifth order, is “The Wall of Winnipeg and Me .”The story follows Vanessa Mazur, the assistant to top defensive end Mr. Aiden Graves. She’s his assistant and everything to him. She does everything around the house, all his emails and phone calls, cleans, cooks, and does the whole shebang for him for years. However, he needs to treat her more nicely. He doesn’t even say good morning to her when she comes by. But she still does everything for him until one day, and she says goodbye and quits.
Then a little while later, Mr. Graves comes to her door, begging for her to come back with a proposition that shocks her to her core. When they talk about this book, many people tell you what Aiden wants from her. You could easily search it up and find out if you want to know. He asks something of her, and she doesn’t know how to say no. How do you say no to the guy who is so used to everybody saying Yes? It’s a very slow burn, but worth it.
More similar: 7 Sports Romance Books Like The Wall Of Winnipeg And Me
6. Wait for It
This book is selected for Goodreads Choice Award Nominee for Romance. It follows Diana Cassius, who is adulting and finds it very difficult, the rest of us. She inherited two kids in a very painful way. She has a fantastic job. However, she does not have a boyfriend/husband. But does she need one of those? She thinks that once she meets a next-door neighbor, Dallas Walker, everything changes. This book once again also gets me giddy. Dallas is one of my favorite book boyfriends ever.
The consensus of the books is usually that this one everybody loves. Even if it’s not a top favorite for some people, most still love it. The kids in the book were who help out bringing the story together. You will not regret this one for sure.
7. Dear Aaron
The main character Ruby Santos starts writing letters to a soldier as one of those little programs. She has never met him. Letters turn to emails, and emails turn to care packages. Once a week turns to every day until they are constantly talking, and he becomes her best friend. Then, she starts to fall for him, but they have never met. They don’t even know what the other person looks like. The first 60% of the book is letters, emails, and sometimes texts, which then evolve into a phone call.
You do not get any storyline besides the letters they are writing each other. You do not even see Ruby’s POV yet what she’s thinking. There is a lot of Grumpy Sunshine in Mariana’s books where she’s very sunshine, and he’s very grumpy. ‘Dear Aron’ is not like that because he is also very sunshine, and you get to get a dialogue with him throughout the book through emails and text.
8. From Lukov with Love
We follow Jasmine Santos, a figure skater for many years. She has constantly been knocked down, broken bones, and lost competitions. So she’s been through a lot in the sport, and she now is doing partner figure skating and has one last chance to make it in this sport. But her last chance relies on someone she’s not very fond of, Ivan Lukov. He is her best friend, a brother, and they have hated each other for as long as she can remember. But he is one of the most amazing, most famous professional figure skaters ever. She cannot pass up an opportunity because she wants to make it in the sport.
It’s not Grumpy Sunshine because they are both grumpy. I love all of these books very much, but the banter in love is the best. They are iconically funny together. They do not get along at all, but you get crumbs of them throughout the entire book, and you start to see that evolve. The figure skating aspect is also incredible. This is one of my best books, and it has been getting a lot of hype, as it deserves it. If you want to start with Mariana Zapata’s best books, it’s a very good one.
9. Luna and the Lie
It follows Luna, who paints and like revamps cars. She works with cars and has a boss named Lucas Ripley, who one day tells a lie for Luna. You get to see a lot more, but I want to ensure everything is good for you. Luna is one of the sweetest main characters I’ve ever seen. Lucas Ripley is very grumpy. You get to see a lot of groveling in this book. If you are a fan of groveling, you will love it.
10. The Best Thing
The Best Thing is about Lenny DeMaio. She works in a gym. Her grandfather owned that gym. It also has a fighting area where they do judo and boxing. She let go of an ex a while ago because he did not leave her on the best of terms. One day he comes back and wants to explain himself. It is a second-chance romance. The epilogue was beautiful, but beautiful nonetheless.
11. Hands Down
Bianca Brennan works at a gym. She has a YouTube channel. She was best friends with Zac Travis when she was a kid. Her cousin was best friends with Zac as well. He is a little older than her, so it was always that crush. That could never be because she loved him, but he only saw her as a friend because they were kids and he was older than her.
Then he cut her out of his life, and she has no idea why. One day he returns and is ready to have his friend back. Everything changes for them. It remains superior childhood friends-to-lovers a period.
12. All Rhodes Lead Here
This book tells a story that may not sound powerful. If it sounds powerful, it’s because the main character (Aurora) is powerful. Aurora is going through a very tough situation in her life and is forced to start all over. So she moves to a small town in the mountains where she used to live when she was little. Her landlord happens to be very grumpy and very hard. Rhodes was grumpy but soft for her, but hard in all the other ways that matter. The book is everything, and it makes sense why it’s a masterpiece.
A guide to Mariana Zapata books by category and tropes
A list of Mariana Zapata’s books grouped by category:
- The Wall of Winnipeg and Me.
- Wait for It.
- From Lukov with Love.
- Holding On.
- With You Always.
- The Wall of Winnipeg and Me.
- Wait for It.
- With a Twist.
A list of Mariana Zapata’s books grouped by romance tropes:
Second Chance Romance: The Wall of Winnipeg and Me, Kulti.
Enemies-to-Lovers Romance: The Wall of Winnipeg and Me.
Sports Romance: The Wall of Winnipeg and Me, Kulti.
Rock Star Romance: Wait for It.
Ice Skater Romance: From Lukov with Love.
Billionaire Romance: Holding On.
Friends-to-Lovers Romance: With a Twist.
Forbidden Love Romance: With You Always.
Those are Mariana Zapata’s books in order. However, you can read Mariana Zapata’s books in order because all of her books are stand-alone. At the same time, some of her books may have recurring characters or take place in the same world. You can choose to read her books in any order you prefer, and I gave you a choice by category and tropes. Happy romance reading.
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