Review: Hands Down (Mariana Zapata)

Hands Down
Author: Mariana Zapata
Publication Date: July 2, 2020
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Sports

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

Before he was Big Texas, he was Zac the Snack Pack.

Bianca Brannen knows time—mostly—heals all wounds. Including those your once loved ones might have unintentionally given you. (Those just take longer.)

She thinks she’s ready when a call has her walking back into her old friend’s life. Or at least as prepared as possible to see the starting quarterback in the National Football Organization. Before the lights, the fans, and the millions, he’d been a skinny kid with a heart of gold.

Waltzing out of Zac Travis’s life should be easy. Just as easy as he walked out of hers.


Sigh. I am so happy Mariana Zapata wrote Hands Down. I didn’t know I needed a story about Zac (The Wall of Winnipeg and Me) or Bianca (The Best Thing), but I am so glad I got one. Hands Down was a happy place for me. It was a a slow burn romance that I wanted to keep burning. I loved the way it combined friendship and love. There was also a great family aspect. This was one of those books that had it all. pussy888official

Now, if you’re familiar with Zapata’s writing you will understand what I’m talking about next. There are times this book is a little too wordy. There are times the words and thoughts feels redundant. I knew this was the way that it was going to be, so it was easy to look past for the amazing characters and their story.I just went with the flow, got lost in the story, and forgot that things could be a little repetitive and predictable. I did that, and I fell in love with this book.

I did have one big beef with this book in the form of nicknames. How many nicknames for a character are too many? I have never thought about this before, but one. One nickname is more than enough. There were WAY TOO MANY nicknames in this book. For Zac: Big Texas and Snack Pack. Probably only needed one of those, but I guess both worked. It was Bianca’s nicknames that killed me: Bibi, Little Texas, Blanca (just a jerky boss, but added to the number), and kiddo. Yes, KIDDO. That one right there is what killed me. Zac called Bianca “kiddo”. Yes, it was leftover from childhood, but STILL. They hadn’t seen each other in 10! years! That one needed to go. At least before they began a relationship. ICK.

Anyways. After finishing Hands Down, all I could think was that I wanted another new book by Mariana Zapata like now. I enjoyed this one so much, and finishing left me feeling both happy and sad. I think I’m going to have to either re-read this one soon or another one of hers.

10 thoughts on “Review: Hands Down (Mariana Zapata)”

  1. Wonderful review!! I think most of us had issues with all the nicknames. But like you, I’m already excited to read her next one.

    1. Thank you! I hope we both love the next one even more. I would love a book about CJ or Enzo.

  2. I know what I’m getting with a Mariana Zapata book. Yes, it will be too wordy and it could probably be edited down a touch, but it is always enjoyable. And I love that we’re seeing characters from past books in this one. Always good to see secondary characters getting to play a starring role (although now I feel like I need to do a reread to refresh myself on them).

    1. EXACTLY! I think you will be okay without a re-read. So much came back quickly to me. You’re going to love it!

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