Also by this author: The Wall of Winnipeg and Me, Luna and the Lie
on January 19th 2014
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Format: ebook
Source: Amazon
Buy on Amazon

He was my boss, my brother’s friend, a Widower, an ex-felon, and a man I’d seen casually with a handful of women. But he was everything that gripped me, both the good and the bad. Worst case scenario if things turned awkward between us, I could go somewhere else. I’d gotten over epic heartbreak before, one more wouldn’t kill me.

After moving to Austin following six months of unemployment back home, Iris Taylor knows she should be glad to have landed a job so quickly... even if the business is owned by a member of the same motorcycle club her estranged father used to belong to. Except Dex Locke might just be the biggest jerk she’s ever met. He’s rude, impatient and doesn’t know how to tell time.

And the last thing they ever expected was each other.

But it was either the strip club or the tattoo shop.

… she should have chosen the strip club.


by Mariana Zapata

It’s official and I know I’m late to the party: Right on time for RARE Rome my Mariana Zapata cherry has been popped! And what a pop it was! No idea what I’ve been waiting for until reading a book by the Queen of Slow Burn.

I’m partial to a great biker romance. Something about the heroes’ ruggedness and fierce loyalty and the heroine’s spunk and sass in them are so incredibly compelling so I found it fitting that this would be my first book by this author.

In the first couple of chapters I found myself reminded of Kristen Ashley’s Sweet Dreams. We have a class-A asshole of a biker, Dex, who gives our sweet, a little quirky heroine, Iris, a job at his tattoo studio. Dex isn’t the most patient of bosses and on day 2 Iris overhears him talking smack about her. Sound familiar? Yeah but this is pretty much where the similarities end.

To say Iris’ life has been hard so far would be quite an understatement. She lost her mom to cancer before her own battle with it. Her dad left her family to fend for themselves and she found out that her sperm donor’s wild oats fell on fertile soil elsewhere. At a young age she became responsible for her brother. Now she’s run out of money – she leaves her home in Florida and moves in with her half brother Sonny who helps her get the job at his friends tattoo parlor.

“Right then, in that moment, Dex The Dick grinned. Grinned. And sweet mother of God, it was devastating. So completely catastrophic I just stood there and absorbed the nuclear bomb going off in front of me, defenseless.” 

Iris is the sweet, a little naive young woman who grows with every experience but meeting Dex and his changing moods makes the sass and firecracker come out. I loved how she found the courage to stand up against the bulldozer that was Dex when he had one of his fits. And oh lordy did he make me mad when he told her “to get over it.” He had my stomach in knots because I was so angry a couple of times. However…

“Seen a lot of things in my life – But you” His nostrils flared “my sweet, sweet baby, have gotta be my favorite by far”

Gah I love a redeemed asshole. In general they make the best heroes and this is definitely the case with Dex. His loyalty, always having Iris’s back, his sweetness with her when he started to open up to her made him so very lovable and his possessiveness and intensity so so sexy and that let me look past his tempter tantrums.

He squeezed me to him, tight. “But you don’t gotta worry about anything. There’s only a few things I’ve ever given a shit about. Everything else… is seasonal, as Ma would say.” He pressed his mouth to my temple, whispering, “Then there’s you.”

This book isn’t for the impatient. I was aware that this would be a slow burn and I didn’t mind at all, I never got bored or wanted their relationship to progress faster. The build-up was deliciously drawn out and made the last 30-35% explosive. They had serious chemistry. Yum.

My first experience with Mariana Zapata was a blazing success, I LOVED this story. Now I am very much looking forward to reading The Wall of Winnipeg and Me and every other book by her in my library.

“Look at you. I never stood a fuckin’ chance.”


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  • I had a blast with this book as well…it was my first Zapata book and so dang good. Its slow burn, but I listened to this one which made it easier. You definitely need to know she writes SLOW SLOW burn romances before picking her up. but glad to see that you enjoyed it.

  • Love me some MZ! I’m still moving down my list of her books to read (next up Kulti!), but I’ll get to this one too for sure! Great review Astrid!

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