Review | Luna and the Lie by Mariana Zapata

Luna and the LieLuna and the Lie by Mariana Zapata
Contemporary Romance
December 12, 2018

About the Book:

The problem with secrets is that they’re too easy to keep collecting.

Luna Allen has done some things she would rather no one ever know about. She also knows that, if she could go back in time, she wouldn’t change a single thing.

With three sisters she loves, a job she (mostly) adores, and a family built up of friends she’s made over the years, Luna figures everything has worked out the way it was supposed to.

But when one of those secrets involves the man who signs her paycheck, she can’t find it in her to regret it. Despite the fact that he’s not the friendliest man in the world. Or the most patient.

Sometimes there are things you’re better off keeping to yourself.


I’m the kind of person who needs to understand. I don’t just want to know something, I feel a need to be able to rationalize it. If I can’t, it will haunt me.

Here are some examples:

At work, I’m teaching someone how to use a new computer function/process. No matter what I say, they can’t grasp it. Yes, on the surface I know we all don’t have the same skills, but I can’t for the life of me understand why. There should be a logical reason for everything, and if I can find it, I can solve it.

My husband is not a reader. I know we all have different interests, but my heart says it only takes the right book for everyone to be a reader. When it doesn’t work, my brain cannot fathom why. I can’t find “logic”. (I admit, I can be obnoxious.)

You’re probably wondering where this is leading.

Basically, I cannot figure out the “why” of fellow romance readers who don’t like Mariana Zapata. I know, on a level, our likes and dislikes are subjective. I know that. Diana Gabaldon wrote my favorite book of all time, Outlander. I understand why people struggle with the story. It’s got triggers. It’s got a LOT of detail on everything. People say it should be trimmed, and while I think it’s perfect, I understand why they say that.

With Zapata, I think maybe it’s that there are romance readers out there who don’t like slow-burn love stories? And Mariana is the slowest of slow burns. She is, I totally get that. Their opinions aren’t wrong, I’d just like to understand why. Why don’t people like a slow burn?

Reading a Mariana Zapata book is like shaking and shaking and shaking a bottle of soda, then taking the lid off. The spray finally explodes out of the container with force. That’s how she makes me feel. She develops these relationships and slowly, so so slowly, reveals little glimpses into much deeper feelings between the characters, tantalizing us and teasing, until our emotions have expanded behind our ribcage, making us breathless, finally culminating in a shower of hearts and sparkles all over the place when the characters finally give in.

How can someone not also love that?

It haunts me.

Luna and the Lie was another perfect read from my newest favorite author. I think I figured out what makes a Zapata story teeter between 3-4 stars and a 5 star read for me. It’s the Brooders.

And I’m not talking about chickens.

Brooding men. I love them. I’m not sure what this says about me, but I adore them. I have a favorite, and it’s the brooding alpha male who snarls at everyone else but gives only sweetness to their women. Every single time Rip called Luna “baby girl” or “baby” or “his girl” I would swoon. Yes, it’s caveman behavior, but damn it I love me a caveman!

Also, I loved the contradiction between Rip’s roughness and Luna’s sweetness. Luna was so good. Yeah, she’d do dirty if she had to, but she wanted to love and be loved so badly. She didn’t waste time on sadness or anger, and always instead filled her life with happiness and goodness. Ripley said she was the sweetest thing in his life and wasn’t just romantic, it was the truth. We as the readers knew it was true. Luna was good.

I feel really strongly that, for a fan of slow burns, had Luna and Rip just immediately hopped in bed together I wouldn’t have felt their connection so strongly. By the end, I knew that whether they were lovers or not, their feelings for each other were deep. Deeper than just sex or attraction. God… it was perfection.

Just when I think maybe I need a Zapata break,
she reels me back in.

Plus, all the paternal love in this story was above and beyond. Luna had a hard life, her biological family were all shit. The family she found, built, they were everything. I would devour the story of Mr. C and Lydia. Mr. C was a perfect father. Grandpa Gus, 100 million yeses. I already have a soft spot for books with great fatherly connections, and Luna and the Lie checked that box.

It checked all my boxes.I loved Luna and the Lie so much, it’s hard to imagine anyone feeling differently. Which is why this review is a rambling mess. *shrug*

To anyone reading this who doesn’t like slow burn romance;
I’d love to hear your thoughts. I’m genuinely curious.

About Birdie

Don’t look for her in any bar, club, crazy raging party, or anywhere there may be a large gathering of strangers. She’s more likely to be found tucked into the corner of the couch watching one of her favorite shows, or preferably under a comforter with her current novel.

8 Responses

  1. I get what you’re saying, but I think I know the issue for some. It’s the repetitiveness of her characters thoughts and how long they make the books. It doesn’t bother me, I’m invested in her stories. I just know some can’t handle it. I think a lot of people weren’t fans of this specific book, but I loved it. I’m glad to hear you did, too!


  2. I just glanced over your review, because I haven’t read this one yet. But I do plan to. I’m glad you enjoyed it!

    I love slow burn romance, but I’m going to introduce another topic in my comment. Keep in mind, that I have only read The Wall of Winnipeg and Me by this author, and I loved it! Having said that…I didn’t consider it slow burn. I know a lot of people did, and it confuses me as to why. To me, slow burn indicates a longing and desire on both sides throughout a chunk of the story, and…


    The romantic feelings Vanessa and Aiden had for each other weren’t introduced into well over two thirds of the book. So I do think the romantic relationship was a slow build, and as I loved the book, I appreciated that very much! But I don’t think it was a slow burn, so to speak, because I didn’t feel the burning need for each other between the characters that I associate with that. And again, I have only read Winnipeg. So she may well write what I would call a slow burn in other books. I just didn’t see it there.

    Sorry to derail your review. 😉


  3. thebrowneyedbookworm

    I LOVE LOVE LOVE her books, BUT I have some of hers that are 5 stars for me, others are only 3 stars. I think at this point I’m a lover of slow burn, but I also need to feel attraction and chemistry, and not all of her books deliver this equally.


  4. Slow burn romance is the best kind of romance!! The soda analogy had me giggling, but you are absolutely correct. I was going to take a Zapata break, but I will add this one to my KU account 😂


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