The Slowburn Romance Lover’s Guide to Mariana Zapata

So, you love slow burn romance or you’ve heard about Mariana Zapata, but you don’t know where to start?

I’m here to help.

I’ve read every single Mariana Zapata book she’s written and I adored them all. MZ is probably my favorite contemporary romance author and it’s even better because she’s an indie author as well.

MZ comes out with around one book per year, which is totally understandable considering all of her books are SUPER long. They all are around 500 pages of slow burning goodness.

If I had to pick one book that I would recommend to anyone who likes slow burn romances or wants to start reading Mariana Zapata, I’d probably choose The Wall of Winnipeg and Me.


This was my first Mariana Zapata book and it is still my favorite.

The Wall of Winnipeg and Me is for you if you like:

  • Enemies to lovers
  • Marriage of convenience
  • Sports romance (football)
  • Quiet, misunderstood hero


If you think a hero couldn’t get away with sleeping with other girls, I challenge you to read Lingus. It’s a porn star romance done so right.


Lingus is for you if you like:

  • Friends-to-lovers
  • Hilarious meetcute
  • Dogs!
  • Great cringey moments


Next up… one of MZ’s steamier books.


Under Locke is for you if you like:

  • Motorcycle clubs
  • Tattoo artists
  • Bad boys
  • Enemies-to-lovers
  • Workplace romance
  • Brother’s friend


Another super popular MZ book…


Kulti is for you if you like:

  • Sports romance (soccer)
  • Female professional athletes
  • Fame
  • Heroes with accents (German)


This next one was my least favorite, but I still really liked it!


Rhythm, Chord, & Malykhin is for you if you like:

  • Rockstars
  • Forced togetherness
  • Brother’s friend
  • Travel


This book stars the heroine in The Wall of Winnipeg and Me’s best friend.


Wait for It is for you if you like:

  • Neighbors-to-lovers
  • Kids
  • Baseball


The book that I would highly recommend if you loved The Hating Game by Sally Thorne.


From Lukov with Love is for you if you like:

  • Enemies-to-lovers
  • Hilarious banter
  • Animals
  • Misunderstood heroes
  • Sports romance (Figure skating)
  • Forced togetherness
  • Caretaking scenes


One of MZ’s most uniquely written books – the entire first half is written completely in correspondence.


Dear Aaron is for you if you like:

  • Military romance
  • Long-distance relationships
  • Beach reads


MZ’s second to last release…


Luna and the Lie is for you if you like:

  • Workplace romance
  • Grumpy + sunshine couples
  • Brooding heroes


And last, but not least, her most recent release (also my Dad’s favorite!)


The Best Thing is for you if you like:

  • Second chance romance
  • Sports romance (rugby)
  • Strong family dynamics

Some of My Favorite Adult Romance Authors (& My Favorite Books By Them)

If you’re interested in watching my BookTube video instead, you can check that out here:

In choosing my favorite romance authors, I decided to stick to those whose books I read MOST of and who write PRIMARILY romance.

Also, I included some honorable mentions because I’m extra. I’ve accepted this.

Mariana Zapata

I mean… obviously. These authors are not ranked, but let’s be real. Mariana Zapata is my favorite romance author. I’ve read every single book she’s ever written, I immediately purchase and read every book she comes out with the second they are released, I own almost all of her books in every single available format.

Also – she’s my dad’s favorite author of all time. Everyone in my family loves her books, except my brother, but he doesn’t count. My dad, my mom, my two sisters and I all adore her.

| The Wall of Winnipeg and Me
| Dear Aaron
| From Lukov with Love


Colleen Hoover

Colleen Hoover very rarely lets me down. Even when I don’t adore her books, I still really love them. She always has some element in her books that sets them apart from other romance novels.

Also, she writes some of the most lovable characters. (I’m looking at you, Atlas and Ridge.)

| It Ends with Us
| Maybe Someday
| November 9
| Ugly Love


Sierra Simone

Sierra writes some of the most steamy, taboo book, but damn, she’s an amazing writer. There is something to be said about an author who can take a super taboo topic and make it beautiful – Sierra does this amazingly.

| Priest
| New Camelot series
| A Lesson in Thorns


Lauren Rowe

Reading Lauren Rowe books is so comforting. I think because I know what I’m going to get: amazing banter, charming humor, and epic chemistry.

| Misadventures of a College Girl
| Ball Peen Hammer


Mia Sheridan

I’m slowly, but surely making my way through Mia Sheridan’s backlist, but I feel I’ve read enough of her books to determine that she’s a favorite. Though none of her other books have quite lived up to Archer’s Voice, they’ve all come pretty damn close.

| Archer’s Voice
| Savaged
| The Wish Collector


Christina Lauren

Christina Lauren writes such diverse books. Anything from YA to Women’s Fiction to Contemporary Romance – and they’ve done all genres justice.

Granted, I haven’t loved absolutely everything they’ve written, but quite a few of their books make it to many of my favorites lists.

| Sweet Filthy Boy
| The Unhoneymooners
| Autoboyography


Helena Hunting

Helena is an autobuy author for good reason. She wrote one of my favorite series (Pucked) and also many of her other books are favorites as well.

| Pucked series
| Hooking Up


Helen Hoang

Granted, she’s only written two books, but I’ve adored both SO much and I have a feeling I will love all the books she will write in the future.

| The Bride Test
| The Kiss Quotient


Jana Aston

Jana Aston has written a few of my favorite RomComs of all time and she is the queen of CRINGY moments!

| The Wrong Series
| Sure Thing


Honorable Mentions
| Katherine Center – she technically write Women’s Fiction and I haven’t read enough of her books to determine.

| Trisha Wolfe – I LOVE her dark romance novels, but she writes a lot of thrillers, too. Also, I need to read more of her books.

| Talia Hibbert – I’ve only read a couple of her books so far, but I’ve loved what I’ve read! Once I read more I’m sure she’ll make this list.

| Lauren Blakely – I love reading Lauren’s books, but none of them have been all-time favorites. I’ve always just liked them.

| Sally Thorne – She’s only written two books: one is an all time favorite, the other was just ok.

| Kandi Steiner – I’ve loved what I’ve read so far, but I have only read two of her books. I need to read more!

| Laura Kaye – I adore her Hearts in Darkness Duet, but that’s all I’ve read so far.

| Penny Reid – I really, really like her Neanderthal Seeks Human series, but it’s the only series I’ve read of hers.

| Sarina Bowen – She is slowly but surely becoming a favorite author, I just need to read more of her books

| Brittainy C. Cherry – There is no doubt in my mind that she will make this list very soon. I’ve loved all the books I’ve read of hers so far, but I’ve not read enough just yet!

Favorite Author Spotlight: Trisha Wolfe

Favorite Author Spotlight is a new series on my blog in which I highlight my current favorite authors and their books.

Today’s spotlight is focused on Trisha Wolfe.

Trisha Wolfe
“From an early age, Trisha Wolfe dreamed up imaginary worlds and characters and was accused of talking to herself. Today, she lives in South Carolina with her family and writes full time, using her imaginary worlds as an excuse to continue talking to herself.”

I may as well call this blog The Trisha Wolfe blog considering how many times I’ve mentioned her and her books, so I figured, who better to kick off this series with than Trisha?

I’ve mentioned the story of how I discovered Trisha in my review for Born, Darkly (which was, of course, the first book I’ve ever read by her.)

In short, I bought Born, Darkly on a whim after reading a 1-star review of the book. In that (really well written) 1-star review, the snippets of writing that was shared and the premise of the book (a serial killer and a criminal psychologist fall in ‘love’) reeled me in.

And I didn’t stop reeling as I read several more of her books.

I have a HUGE amount of respect for independent authors and I love supporting them. In fact, most of the authors I’m obsessed with are independent.

I also had the chance to chat with Trisha with my book club a few months ago, and she answered my silly questions (such as, “Are you a serial killer, because you’re REALLY good at writing serial killer POVs?”) and her thoughts on writing and her commitment to researching topics was so admirable.

I’m a member of Trisha’s Facebook group, Trisha Wolfe’s Lair, and she’s great about interacting with her fans. I loved fangirling over the audiobooks for With Visions of Red when they came out with her and her other fans.

Most of all? The books of hers that I’ve read are haunting and beautiful and despite being incredibly dark, they are absolute comfort reads that I find myself re-reading over and over again.

Favorite Books by Trisha Wolfe

I can’t just pick one book, I have to go with series. My favorite series by Trisha is a close call between the Darkly, Madly Duet and the With Visions of Red series.

My Previous Blog Posts About Trisha Wolfe

OMG, I’ve mentioned Trisha in so many posts!

Born, Darkly
Born, Madly
With Visions of Red Series
With Ties That Bind Series
Coming Soon: Mini Reviews July 2018

Favorites Posts
Favorite Quotes from the Madly, Darkly series: in which I obsessively shared all of my favorite quotes from this epic duet.

Favorite Reads from March 2018: in which two of Trisha’s series made it to my Favorites of March.

3 Quotes, 3 Days: Day 1: in which I share one of my favorite Grayson quotes.

Current Auto-Buy Authors and My Favorite Books They Wrote: in which Trisha easily made this list.

Reading Lists

Reading List: March 2018: in which I was planning to read my very first Trisha Wolfe book! Eek!

April 2018: in which I’d just finished two series by Trisha and wanted to read With Ties that Bind.

Reading List Wrap Up: May 2018: in which I read and loved With Visions of Red.

Reading List Wrap-up July 2018: in which I reread Trisha’s books.

Discussion Posts
Things I Thought I Hated in Romance Novels and The Books That Proved Me Wrong: in which Trisha made me love suspense and mystery despite thinking I didn’t like those things.

Meet My Book Boyfriend: Colton Reed: in which I confess my obsession with Colton from With Visions of Red

Book Hauls

Book Haul: February 2018: in which I bought my first Trisha Wolfe Book!

Book Haul: April 2018: in which I preordered the With Visions of Red audiobook

Book Haul: March 2018: in which I’d immediately bought Born, Darkly after reading the first book

The Goodreads Tag: in which I list Trisha as a favorite author

I Dare You Book Tag: in which With Visions of Red was my current read.

TeaChat: Misogyny and Book Clubs (Unrelated): in which my “obsessing over” of the month is Trisha.

TeaChat: Playing Hooky: in which I had just started reading With Visions of Red and had no idea how it would rock my freaking world.

Connect with Trisha Wolfe

Goodreads | Amazon | Facebook | Facebook Group | Website