Under Locke by Mariana Zapata
January 19th 2014
So, it turns out Mariana Zapata overlaps her stories. If I’d known I would have read them in publication order. I would have started from the beginning.
In Wall of Winnipeg and Me, the overlapping story wasn’t obvious. I had no idea there was another book. However, in Kulti, the scene at the tattoo parlor felt too important. I know I was missing something. I immediately searched for the tie in book, Under Locke. In completion, Zapata has become my newest favorite author. I feel a big binge coming on.
Expect a lot of Mariana Zapata reviews.
I’m kinda in love.
Under Locke was another really excellent story. For being one of her earlier books, you can still sense the amount of talent she has. Each chapter filled my stomach with butterflies and bumblebees. I adore brooding, gruff, tattooed love interests, so I fell crazy in love with Dex right along with Ris.
When the gruff hero becomes tender, it feels so much more meaningful, I guess. I can tell you, it’s probably the number one reason I love this authors books. She writes about men who show their love in actions, and less in words. It does require the ability to read the subtext though. When Dex says, “You are not a waste of time to me” it’s because he knows it’s what Ris thinks she is. It’s what she’s been made to feel like; a waste of time. She believes she’s an “inconvenience”. He knows those words mean something to her. It was the perfect declaration of love for a woman like Iris.
That’s not to say the story was perfect.
Mariana Zapata has definitely grown in her writing. As much as I loved Under Locke, it did hit a few speed bumps. For instance, Ris is a virgin. That’s fine, of course. Ris had a hard life, with a lot more downs than ups, and without any time for relationships. My issue was in how the author then made her magically good at anything sexual. Her fellatio made Dex want to “kick the ass of whoever taught her”, except we as the reader know she’s never done it… it just felt gratuitous and rarely (if ever) the reality.
Also, there were a few times in the story I thought Dex’s temper went too far, and his half apologies were accepted by everyone, and I can’t get behind that. There was never ever physical abuse, just yelling. Yelling is still damaging. Words can still be damaging. “Grow a tougher skin” is not how you apologize, a$$hole.
I fell in love with him. You know his heart. He still should have had to grovel.
What does all this mean?
Well, I’m not a Zapata professional, but I definitely felt like these weren’t issues I found in Wall of Winnipeg and Kulti, so that feels like growth. The relationships become more balanced, which is a good thing.
Regardless of either issue, I was still addicted to Under Locke. In the end, I would have chosen to forgive him too. I still want Dex and Iris to live on my growing Mariana Zapata bookshelf.
In fact, my new paperback should deliver tomorrow.