Review: Hands Down by Mariana Zapata

Review: Hands Down by Mariana Zapata
Hands Down
Book Info

Released: July 2nd 2020
Genre: Contemporary Romance

“Escaping into a book was a great relief and escaping into this book was a joy.”
~ Under the Covers

When an old friend (and childhood crush) walks back into Bianca’s life after accidentally stomping on her heart when he walked out of it she thinks she’s prepared. He may be Zac Travis, a big football star, but he’ll always be Zac the Snack Pack to her. But, keeping him at a distance is harder then she ever expected and her heart appears to be in danger of being trampled on all over again.

A Mariana Zapata release is always an exciting time of the year for me. Around the release and me reading this book I was having a really hard time. My mental health was really sneaking up on me and stabbing me in the back. Escaping into a book was a great relief and escaping into this book was a joy. It’s funny, warm hearted and the delicious slow burn was just what the doctor ordered (as well as some CBT!).

Although this book is a standalone, if you have read Zapata before you will recognise the characters. All Zapata’s novels, all of which are standalones, exist in the same world so you’ll find characters and places from previous books will pop up. Zac is an important side characters in The Wall of Winnipeg and Me, and Bianca works in the gym that is the central location in The Best Thing. There’s no need to read either of these books to understand this one, but I love how all her books are entangled.

If you’re not a fan of slow burn, I feel like I should be completely honest and let you know that you’ll probably not like this book. Bianca and Zac don’t get together until the end. However, that doesn’t mean you never see them together, one of the aspects of this book, and all of Zapata’s books, is seeing the relationship grow and evolve. The last time Zac and Bianca met they were really young, so it was interesting to see their former childhood friendship reconnect and grow as adults, with the addition of mutual attraction and a little distrust to spice things up.

If you’ve read Zapata before, then you need to pick this up. She builds up the relationship between Zac and Bianca in her usual slow burn, friends to lovers style and plenty of goofy humour. If you haven’t read her before, I would pick up The Wall of Winnipeg and Me first, which is where you first meet Zac. It isn’t essential to understand this book, but it’s an excellent read and you’ll understand a bit more of Zac’s background.

Another really enjoyable read by Mariana Zapata and I can’t wait to see what she brings out next.


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About Mariana Zapata

Mariana Zapata began writing love stories soon after she learned how to spell. She probably shouldn’t admit that she started sneaking romance novels from her aunt’s bookshelves way before she was old enough to even understand what it meant when a man flipped up a woman’s skirt… don’t tell her mom. Luckily, she stuck to stories about princesses and princes for a while.
In her teens, she wrote boy band fanfiction (there’s still a website up somewhere on the internet with those masterpieces), and in her early twenties, she picked it back up again with Sookie Stackhouse and Twilight. Eventually, her significant other finally told her to do what she wanted to do and she began working on her original work. Her novels tend to include potty humor, bodily functions, and bad words.
Mariana lives in a small town called Pagosa Springs, Colorado with her husband/best friend, Chris Letchford, and their two well-beloved (and emotionally manipulative) Great Dane children, Dorian and Kaiser. When she’s not pretending to write, she’s reading sci-fi, fantasy, steampunk or historical romance novels. You can usually find her harassing her dogs, being a hermit at home or cracking jokes at the expense of her family members.


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  1. I have to be in the mood for a slow burn so thank you. I do like that while her books are in the same world, they can be read as standalones.

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