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Summary

Some days, all you need is a message from a stranger. 

Ruby Santos knew exactly what she was getting herself into when she signed up to write a soldier overseas. The guidelines were simple: one letter or email a week for the length of his or her deployment. Care packages were optional. 

Been there, done that. She thought she knew what to expect. 

What she didn't count on was falling in love with the guy.

©2017 Mariana Zapata (P)2017 Mariana Zapata

What listeners say about Dear Aaron

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    5 out of 5 stars
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great book

This book was great, I really enjoyed it. Got to be honest at the start I didn't think I would as it took a little getting used to the fact the first part of the book is just the messages between the two characters. It then changes to the female point of view. You don't get an insight into their feelings etc. which was strange at first but then I really got hooked. Made you think about what they were saying and form your own opinions.
if you want a good romance that's little different then I'd highly recommend.
I say this after suffering a head injury recently and audio books are the only thing keeping me from boredom. this is probably the 60th book in the past 4 months I've read and trust me when I say to read a book that had me hooked after my marathon is saying something.

2 people found this helpful

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a great audio

I wondered how this book would work in audio as the start is done through emails. the 2 narrators worked great with this storyline.
the story itself was so well done. the sloew and cautious connection of 2 strangers through emails. we see the barriers break down and the friendship build and then the slow burn of a classic Mariana Zapata romance. we also have a great supporting cast of characters. I can certainly relate to Ruby's relationships with her siblings and mum.
I highly recommend this book for a fun read, I was going to say light read but there is too much going to say that. The book is long but you don't feel like you are ever waiting for something to happen, each chapter is fully relevant to the story.

2 people found this helpful

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Loved



Mariana Zapata can literally do no wrong!! I have loved every one of her books that I have read, fallen head over heels in love with them, been left with book hangovers that can’t be cured and I am here for it each and every one of them.

Can I also add that not only have I read this book, I listened to it on audiobook ( Callie Dalton and Teddy Hamilton are the BEST narrators ) I’ve done the same for a few of her books and Callie Dalton never fails.

Okay so this is a slow burn, totally filled with banter, cute moments, almost all of the book is letters or emails between them and I totally loveeee that!

Our two leads are Aaron (obviously) and Ruby, they just get each other, perfectly made for each other and no matter how far part they are the chemistry can be felt!

Aaron is in the army, has been for 11 years he didn’t know what he wanted to do with his life he just knew he wanted to be more than the family business. He is down right handsome, so funny, filled with banter and wit. Protective and cute, I couldn’t get enough of him. He doesn’t realise how much he needs Ruby’s letters until they start coming. She makes him smile and laugh more than he ever has. He’s just gotten out of a bad relationship so at first he is unsure if he wants the connection but Ruby can not be denied, she doesn’t quit.
Can he trust enough to open up his heart again?
He thinks he’s done with relationships but will Ruby totally blow that thought away?

Ruby is totally adorable and awkward in the best way! I love her personality so much and to add to that she is beautiful even if she doesn’t believe it (when she thinks her mum and sister are the stunners of the family) she’s ‘Just Ruby’. She is matched with Aaron in the program that sends letters or emails to soldiers over seas. She continues to write even when he isn’t replying, determined not to give up and give him some light from home.
She has had her heart broken by the person she’s been in love with her whole life, everyone knows she loves him but no one knows what happened between them. The classic big brothers best friend..
Her heart was not ready for Aaron.. she is determined not to make the same mistake again, falling in love with someone who can’t love her back.

I swooned, I laughed and I loved!

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Cute story…

Absolutely adored Ruby and Aaron’s love story and how well Mariana Zapata developed the characters and their relationship but somehow I felt there was something missing which is why I’m rating it 4 instead of 5. However, it is still a very good book.

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Another Zapata super slow burn

I have to be honest, if this was not on audible, and I was painting my walls (a lot of walls!) I probably would not have finished. The first half is the emails/letter communication of Ruby, a fairly introverted seamstress who lived with her parents and worked for the family. She was writing to Aaron, a soldier posted in Iraq. They meet up about half way through the book in a wierd house party environment with a group of Aaron's friends, declare their feelings for each other at the end of this holiday and then we have a very brief epilogue.

I enjoyed listening. Sort of. It just left me with so many questions and loose ends. I feel like this is half a book (a very long book!). We get so many hints about Ruby's family, but never meet any of them, and never find out their reactions to her romance with someone she knew only through letters for a year. Aaron's family is a complete mystery. A strange subplot of a friend's sister's accident, problems with his mother, siblings mentioned but never explained and a father who apparently was very wealthy and unhappy that Aaron would not join the family business. Aaron is 29, has been in the army for years but apparently still cannot decided what he wants to "do' with his life. We never get a really clear idea of his army experience, even though we get a vague hint of PTSD that is never referred to again. He seems to be very ambiviant about his army career, but at the end of the book he reenlists? The books ends abruptly. They get together as a couple at the very end, have a tearful parting at the airport at the end of the holiday and then bam, we are in the epilogue where they are apparently living their 'happy ever after'. How this happened, what they are both doing, where they are living (in the same house, state, country???) what their plans are for the future, how they get on with their respective families, we have no clear explanation. Zapata is a brilliant writer, and even though this is not the best of her books, it is still way better than 90% of the offerings in this genre on Kindle and Audible. Unfortunately, as with Kulti, there is "slow burn' and there is 'no burn'.

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Love love love!

I loved this book. Loved it!! The story, the characters, the way it was written, everything! I do wish that all of Aaron’s parts in the audiobook had been read by the man and not just the texts/emails but other than that, it was perfect. 😍

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Love love love

I’ve become a massive fan of Marianas audiobooks this year, I’ve listened to them all now. I left this one until last because I wasn’t sure if I would be as engrossed as the first half of the book is messages sent between the 2 main characters. Teddy and Callie made this a pleasure to listen to.
It was great to see the developing relationship between Aaron and Ruby, there were some real LOL moments. Also Ruby is the older sister of Jasmine in the Lukov book, which is one of my favourites.
Love how MZ weaves in characters from other books of hers, it feels like we are catching up with old friends.
Callie and Teddy did a fantastic job at narration, they put so much feeling into it.
My only gripe…. I wish we could experience more of their HEA, but I’m greedy like that 😋

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Sweet but boring

I usually enjoy Mariana Zapatas slow burn romance books but this one was pretty boring.

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OMG

why not Tommy act Aaron in 15-22 chapters?
i think way better when they read both this chapters.

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i loved every single bit

different from the other books.. i truly loved it. great format and the readers are perfect. i wish Teddy was more involved in the second part just because he is gorgeous, but hey, can't have it all. i see what other ppl are saying about the ending, but that 4 min epilogue gives u a clear view of what happens next. this book goes up to my top 5.

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  • Anne-Marie Holm
  • 21-11-17

Two thumbs up 👍👍

I already loved this book, however, the way it was brought to live by the narrators made that love enter a new dimension.

Their voices became Ruby and Aaron and they fit the personalities of the characters to a T.

Two thumbs up to Mariana Zapata, Callie Dalton and Ted Hamilton for a job well done.

29 people found this helpful

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  • Janeen Butcher
  • 01-06-18

Mixed feelings

I loved the narrators but this is where good or even great narrators can't help a book that I struggled to get through. Everyone raved about this book but apparently, I'm in the minority because I couldn't stomach it. This book is mainly told through email/letters and then later told through texts. For me, it was kind of awkward. It lagged in places where it should have sped up and in places where it should have lagged it sped right through to almost an ADHD pace. I couldn't wrap my mind around the fact that the author who wrote The Wall of Winnipeg and Me - wrote this book. It almost seemed unbelievable! I loved that book and I guess my bar was set really high, so for this to be so different just made me sad. I love Teddy Hamilton and he really was the saving grace on this. I don't think I want to keep this because it was that bad for me. I will still keep my copy of The Wall of Winnipeg and Me though because that will always be my fave.

24 people found this helpful

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  • Suzanne
  • 06-09-18

If I Could Give this Zero Stars I would

This is a great book - if your a 10 year old.

Actually, I think that when I was 10, I would still think it was excruciating. There were so many elements that went in to making this book excruciating but to save you the long read, I'll mention only my top three.

1. The Crybaby

The number one most painful issue I had was the main character "Ruby". We have to like our lead right? No such luck here. Unless you like a grown woman crying like a baby at the bus stop cause she thinks her friend isn't meeting her. "Ruby" was the constantly whiny, wimpy, self pitying, self-loathing. I think I counted about 1 zillion times she said "sorry". "Sorry, I shouldn't have said that. Sorry, you might not want to answer that". "Sorry Aaron, I'm such a looser". "Sorry Aaron, I'm such an idiot". "Sorry Aaron, why am I so stupid". "Why, why, why do I do this all the time! I'm such an idiot". "This always happens to me, why don't I never learn!!". And can you guess what Aaron's says back to her in response? You guessed it "You're not stupid" OVER AND OVER AND OVER again! In real life he would have said, "Forget this chick, she got a problem". I mean, I've never been painfully embarrassed by the lack of confidence and self loathing for a fictional character before, but if she were my friend I would sit her down and seriously tell her to seek professional help. And if that didn't work, I'd end the friendship. I mean who needs a woman constantly talking about what a looser she is in almost EVERY sentence?

2. Beyond Repetitious.

Spoiler - (I'll try to not give everything away) (but then again, I would STRONGLY recommend you not buy this so I'll be doing you a favour)

In the middle of the book, Aaron asks Ruby to meet live in person, and yes, we were all waiting for that moment and saw it coming, so you can imagine my irritation when the entire chapter, and I not exaggerating here, has her saying "What??!!! Noooo what if you don't like me?", "What? Noooo...why?", "What nooo, I can't, I just can't" And Aaron repeating the same answers. An ENTIRE CHAPTER!

I was on vacation taking an 8 hour train trip when listening to this chapter and it so repetitive, I decided to amuse myself by seeing if I could have a chat with a fellow traveller and and still make no progress on Ruby and Aarons conversation. And guess what? An hour later after, having the volume very low in the background I turned it up to hear the exact same conversation! Ugh! " Noooo, Aaron, but why should I come???" I wanted to much myself in the face!

3. The Change In Narrative (which I usually like, but it soooo didn't work here)

The only reason why I continued listening to this book was because even though it started out slow, it was somewhat entertaining and did keep my attention. It began with letters and emails back and forth and the readers did a fantastic job with their acting and had wonderful voices. I'm sure they wanted to cringe with the challenge of reading such a poorly written book but they did their best with the worst material they probably ever had. And as soon as the narrative style switched half way to another point of view, dropping the letters, to Rubys POV, it went down hill. And fast.

Ok, I know I said 3, but I'll add one more issue that went into making this an excruciating read.

4. What's So Freaking Funny?

Ruby is supposed to be HILARIOUS! Aaron constantly comments on how much she makes him laugh but she says NOTHING funny. The writer continuously mentions how Aaron purses his lips and tries to hold back fits of laughter and I'm like - "but there isn't even a joke here. I don't get it." I even rewound a couple of times to see if I missed the joke. But there wasn't a joke or even a quirky funniness to her character. Nutin' ya'll.

So there you have it.

Yesterday, whilst walking down the street and listening to this book I noticed my eye rolls occurred every 5 minutes - the book was actually getting worse, so I threw in the towel and gave up. No one can say I didn't try.

Honestly, how do books like this get published? Didn't this writer have an editor? What a painfully horrible novel.

Don't waste your money friends.

34 people found this helpful

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  • Janice B
  • 21-11-17

Wonderful premise

Narrators were perfect for this very believable story
Mariana did it again!

JB Naples FL

15 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 07-12-17

Really Good

The only thing I didn’t like was that the first few hours of the book you listen to two different voices. One male, one female. Then the story transitions (without giving anything away) and the girl does both the male and female voice. I really enjoyed having the male character with a male voice, not the female trying to be male. Especially once you get used to the male characters voice.

14 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Jillian
  • 26-07-18

Predictable, uneventful, boring

Your average feel good love story with no structure. No climatic events or anything to look forward to other than them finally meeting. Which takes 17 chapters of POV emails to get to.

Their characters are immature and mimic a high school relationship. Constant bad jokes and pet names with no actual chemistry. I seriously cringed at least once per chapter.

The narration was great. The storyline had potential but fell short unfortunately.

5 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Natasha Zar
  • 19-02-19

Format Was Not For Me

I listened to roughly 2 hours of Dear Aaron and then the format of writing started to drive me crazy and I had to turn it off. It was fine to listen to the email exchanges initially, but then I found myself getting annoyed or zoning out and then I just thought to myself "How much longer do I have to listen to these emails?!" It made me feel like I was reading through someone's emails - sometimes it was interesting but most times I just didn't care to hear about every mundane detail of their lives.

The main reason I purchased the book was because I love Teddy Hamilton's voice and narration style but unfortunately it wasn't enough to keep me interested this time. I will be asking for my credit back.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Toni Jo
  • 13-11-17

loved this performance of this story

i always love Callie's narrations, but this one might be my favorite since it also included Teddy, who was perfect for "Aaron". Great story as always by the Slow Burn Queen, Mariana Zapata!

4 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 10-11-17

Love love love

I couldn't wait for this audible to come out and I wasn't disappointed! I love Callie Dalton, didn't know as much abt Teddy. I was excited to see how this was going to sound and flow because of the format. Gotta say it sounds great! Only part is I wish there was a little more Teddy in this. Such as, if he could have read some of Aaron's dialogue that would have been perfection to me also even if he would have read some of the back and forth abt Ruby's virginity as well, but Callie always handles everything well.Over all I love it I am a Mariana Zapata fan, she's the only author I follow. Also Callie Dalton always one of my favs now Teddy! Great job guys! Well worth the wait! I will be re-reading and listening! If you want a great story funny slow burn this is perfect for you! Mariana is alway A one click buy so glad Callie is her go to!! BUY THIS BOOK AND AUDIBLE

6 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Kagomaru
  • 13-11-18

Interesting

I was surprised by how much I liked this book considering the format was mostly dialog. It was well written, thoughtful, funny, and delightful.
#Heartwarming #favorite author #tagsgiving #sweepstakes

2 people found this helpful