Meet Mister Tall, Dark, and Handsome in ‘Zapata’ [REVIEW]

Man resting on a couch at home

When danger comes knocking, you want a man like Alejandro to protect you. (Photo courtesy Canva)

An ambitious engineer. A dangerous drug lord. The enigmatic attorney who stands between them. Danger and romance simmer under the Texas sun in Harper McDavid’s first installment of her exciting new Border series, Zapata

Zapata cover

Soul Mate Publishing

Avery McAndrews is an up-and-coming engineer hoping for a job promotion. So when she gets a last-minute assignment in Zapata, Texas, she jumps at the chance despite the locale’s dicey reputation.

Upon her arrival, however, she’s soon caught in the crossfire between warring drug cartels. Now a captive, her strong work ethic and fierce determination are not enough to keep her safe from Javier Ramos, an insane drug lord with his own power-hungry agenda.

Enter Alejandro DeLeon (aka Mr. Tall, Dark and Handsome). As the cartel’s lead lawyer, he’s supposed to manage Javier. Yet when the drug lord’s cruelty reaches epic proportions, Alejandro knows he is left with no choice but to risk everything to protect Avery from Javier’s fierce grasp.

Now on the run for their very lives, they discover something more perilous than any underworld organization and much hotter than the Texas sun—an unexpected and passionate love neither of them is prepared for.

Although Harper McDavid may not be a household name yet, don’t discount her as a writer whose work is sub-par. It is just little known at present, much like John Grisham’s A Time to Kill was before the publication of his tour de force, The Firm, which launched his career into the stratosphere. Like Grisham, however, she is a skilled scribe with a deft hand for storytelling. And with Zapata she has delivered a novel that is intense, passionate, thrilling, and riveting. In many ways, it is reminiscent of the old Michael Douglas/Kathleen Turner vehicle, Romancing the Stone, although unlike Turner’s sentimental character in the film, Avery McAndrews is a very capable woman who looks adventure in the face with an unflinching gaze.

Speaking of characters, McAndrews isn’t the only one we find ourselves cheering for here. Alejandro DeLeon is sexy, rugged, and smolders on nearly every page he’s on. He is the kind of man who makes a person weak in the knees, which may seem implausible at first since he works for the cartel. But then we see he actually has a heart, and witness the lengths he will go to in order to protect Avery, and suddenly nothing else matters because… well, swoon! Let’s just say he wears danger well, and his mere presence cranks up the heat on a chilly autumn day.

This doesn’t mean that Zapata is a real “bodice ripper,” despite its sensual moments and blistering heat. At its core it is an adventure tale wrapped in a thriller and doused with romance. As such, it is the perfect introduction to Harper McDavid’s work, and is a tale destined to make readers crave more tales from the borderland between love and war.

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Harper McDavid

Harper McDavid


As a child, Harper McDavid watched her mother ride the rollercoaster of writing books, swearing she’d never do it herself. But some things are just hardwired, and luckily for Harper the world has moved on beyond typewriters and ten-pound manuscripts.

Harper’s gritty romantic suspense incorporates her own background in science and engineering and work experience along the border. The result is a collection of brainy hard hat-wearing heroines that occasionally swap out their coveralls for the little black dress.

Harper is the mother of three daughters and lives in the foothills of Colorado with her husband, two dogs, and a fat cat. Her free time is spent traveling the world in search of that next story and perusing her local library for funny book covers.

Visit Harper at her home on the Web at, like her on Facebook, and follow her on Instagram and Twitter.

By Harper McDavid
356 pp. Soul Mate Publishing. $16.99

TLC Book Tours Tour HostPurchase Zapata at one of these fine online retailers: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, IndieBound, and Powell’s.

Zapata is brought to you in association with TLC Book Tours.

About J.R. Wallace
J.R. Wallace is a freelance writer and blogger who enjoys cooking, reading, travel and fitness. He lives in Ohio with his family, two cats and a ferret named Igor.

5 Responses to Meet Mister Tall, Dark, and Handsome in ‘Zapata’ [REVIEW]

  1. Pingback: Zappata ~ Harper McDavid | Iwriteinbooks's Blog

  2. Pingback: Harper McDavid, author of Zapata, on tour November 2019 | TLC Book Tours

  3. Liesje Johnson says:

    Loved this book so much and loved your review!

  4. trish says:

    Avery sounds like a really great main character! “…a very capable woman who looks adventure in the face with an unflinching gaze.”

    Thank you for being on this tour!

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