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Hands Down

– tekijä: Mariana Zapata

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näyttää 4/4
The slowest of the slow burns... ( )
  Stacie-C | May 8, 2021 |

It's basically best friends little sister troupe, except it's the heroines cousins best friend but they are like brother and sister.
It's well written and has some very funny moments.
I did feel at the start it was a bit rambling, loads of ins and outs about her situation, job, family and connections and history.
It gets going after the Hero and heroine reconnect.

The heroine has a cousin who is in it alot and referred to alot and his name is Boogie. I didn't like the name or its variations. Irritating names. Peewee. Snack pack, maybe it's me, I know they were childhood plus friends but it was annoying.

For the safety gang.
10 year separation.

When they meet again there is a bit of mystery concerning how they lost touch.
She felt she was in love with him but as far as she is aware he didn't know.

"And really, more than any other question, so what if he hadn’t responded to any of my calls or texts for years? I was over that, and I had been for a long time. I didn’t resent him for being busy."
In some ways this works, people start careers and live in different places and make new friends so they loose touch, but there is more to it.

'So what if one of the last times I’d seen him in person, his girlfriend at the time had crushed my precious, fragile self-esteem into tiny little pieces with her fake-ass smile and harsh words? I wasn’t seventeen anymore. I didn’t weigh my self-value against other people’s opinions.'

So I assume as he is a bit older he dated and she witnessed it which is later confirmed.
I will say there is no details about him with other girls or women just that he was.

When they meet he is having a party, she has arrived after work to pass on a message from his family about a sick relative.
Zac is sitting between two women, chatting and basically charming them, no real detail.
Later in a conversation with the blonde woman she tells the heroine he has gone to his bedroom to make a phone call and points to where so the heroine assumes she knows where his bedroom is.
Heroine finds his phone for him and looks at the screen
AMY BLONDEWAITRESS OKC: [picture message]
And below that, there were older notifications.
STACY BROWNBANKER OKC: Just heard about…
VANESSA: [two new messages]
AIDEN: Call me.
Amy. Blonde Waitress. OKC.
Keisha. Blonde? Divorce attorney. OKC.
Stacy. Brunette banker. OKC.'

So are we assuming the pic messages are nudes?? Not sure but these are some of the women who have given him their number to contact him should he feel the need and it's later confirmed that he did.
They are identified by area they live as he doesn't really know them and there are so many.

Then later referring to the time during separation.
"Back in March. “They said you were in the Bahamas.” That and I’d seen the pictures he’d posted on his Picturegram account. There was one of him on a yacht surrounded by greenish blue water with two teammates and five women."

But I’d still scrolled and lingered over some of his pictures, especially the ones where he carefully cropped out whatever woman was sitting beside him. It was always obvious."

So I think it's implied he's a bit of a player, though no details.


After they meet towards the end.
"“Some girl posted a picture of them together, okay, nosey? She was sitting on his lap. It hurt my feelings, but we aren’t together. At all. He doesn’t even like me like that. I told him, and he started to say something about how he wished I wasn’t your cousin, Boog. So there. He didn’t do anything wrong. I don’t want to stop being friends with him. If anything, I just need to remember what kind of friends we are, and that’s platonic, and I’ll be fine in no time. ”"

But it's an old picture. Not a recent event.

His reply concerning other women is His frown got even more fierce. “Not since before you showed up. Longer than that.”

He is sweet and a bit lost.
The heroine has learnt to stand up for herself so she has a backbone.

No intimate scenes other than the Hero and heroine.
We don't witness any flirting or intimate touching on his part past or present though he has a smile and charm for everyone as part of his professional persona.

Secondary characters introduced that could have stories of their own.
Previous characters from previous books by this author appear esp Van and Aiden and Trevor.

Epilogue. ( )
  izzied | Oct 29, 2020 |
Loved this book!! Was introduced to this author byJess at peacelovebooks and she does not disappoint! ( )
  Jessmit0304 | Sep 9, 2020 |
Mariana Zapata's latest book Hand's Down is the much anticipated Zac's story. Zac Travis first appeared in The Wall of Winnipeg and Me as a supporting character. He is a quarterback who has had trouble finding his stride in the professional arena. In Hands Down, Zac is again between teams and looking for a new one to pick him up while the commentators are saying he is old and used up. The female love interest is Bianca. She and Zac have known each other since she was three years old and he is her cousin's best friend. When the book begins, they hadn't seen each other for ten years. The story progresses in typical Mariana slow burn fashion. I would consider this a friends to lovers and maybe a little of a second chance romance.

My thoughts..... I loved The Wall of Winnipeg and Me and it remains my favorite Mariana book. That being said, I wouldn't say that I was dying for a book about Zac even though I enjoyed his character in WOW. In both books, Zac would act out and make unwise choices that made it seem like he was immature, but was more likely a sign that he was insecure and didn't feel like he could live up to what was being expected of him. We know little about Bianca and learn about her as Hands Down progresses because she is the narrator. Another staple in Mariana Zapata books is the narrator going through a lot of internal monologue. We learn about the struggles the character is going through as she sorts through her feelings and looks back on past events. I like knowing the thought processes of characters when the author chooses to write this way. I did think, however, that the first 50% of Hands Down was a little heavy and repetitive on the introspection with Bianca going over and over many of the same points in her head. The second half of the book flowed better and I enjoyed it much more. I loved the little cameo with Aiden and Vanessa making a visit with their children. I loved Bianca's relationship with her sister and their banter. There is also a cute scene where Bianca, Zac and a few other football players went to a haunted house.

Regarding the romance, I wasn't as into it as I wanted to be. We see Bianca's feelings re-emerge as she spends time with Zac. Even though they hadn't seen each other for 10 years, she had never really lost her feelings toward Zac. Zac was a little harder to read. He was super sweet to her and kept reassuring her that he wanted to spend time with her, but I didn't really see as much evidence of his falling for her even though he was sweet, had little pet names for her and was supportive of her career. I would have loved for this book to have been from dual points of view. I would have loved to have known what he was thinking when she admitted having crushed on him as a teen for example.

Overall, I liked the book and will recommend it along with other books from Mariana Zapata that I love. She has a unique way of writing and I will continue to read her books as they come along. ( )
  sdbookhound | Jul 6, 2020 |
näyttää 4/4
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