Kulti by Mariana Zapata
Narrator: Callie Dalton
Published by Self-Published, Mariana Zapata on March 20, 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Point of View: First Person
Format: Audiobook, eBook
16 hours and 13 minutes
“Trust me, I’ve wanted to punch you in the face a time or five.”
When the man you worshipped as a kid becomes your coach, it’s supposed to be the greatest thing in the world. Keywords: supposed to.
It didn't take a week for 27-year-old Sal Casillas to wonder what she'd seen in the international soccer icon - why she'd ever had his posters on her wall or ever envisioned marrying him and having super-playing soccer babies.
Sal had long ago gotten over the worst non-break-up in the history of imaginary relationships with a man who hadn't known she'd existed. So she isn't prepared for this version of Reiner Kulti who shows up to her team's season: a quiet, reclusive shadow of the explosive, passionate man he'd once been.
©2015 Mariana Zapata (P)2015 Tantor
The moment has arrived! Wena has read Kulti, my number one most favourite book of all time! LOL
So the story: Salome Casillas is a professional soccer player on a west coast team. Soccer super star Reiner Kulti, after he retires from professionally playing, is hired on as an assistant coach for her team and Sal’s girlhood dreams come true. The number one player she always idolized will be coaching her team! Except Reiner Kulti is an asshole. He doesn’t talk to the players, he’s mean to Sal’s dad at a game and at first Sal was willing to let his behaviour go but after the incident with her dad, she decides to bring it on. Sal is fiercely loyal and her dad is the best man she’s ever known so there’s no way she’s letting that slide. When she confronts him about his behaviour it starts a chain of events that leads to a friendship she didn’t expect, but also puts her professional career in jeopardy.
Ames: Ok, going into this read Wena, I know you knew this was one of my top favourite books but I tried to deflect any expectations you may have had by saying I hated this book. LOL Did it work? Did you have high expectations, were they met?
Rowena: Of course it didn’t work. I know you, my friend, so I also know that you’ve reread this book so many times over the past couple of years that it could never be a book you didn’t like. I will admit to being confused when you said that though. Then I thought about it and knew you were lying. LOL.
I didn’t go into the book with very many expectations. The only thing that I could remember thinking was, “Hot damn this is a long ass book” but I went in anyway, and holy cow, Mariana Zapata isn’t playing with her slow burn romances. Sheesh. I listened to the audiobook and it was over 15 hours long and at the 10 hour mark, they were still just friends! I wanted to push the two together already, sheesh. We finally got some action around the 12 hour mark! You read that right. !12 HOURS!!
Still, I really enjoyed the narrator, the story and Sal. Kulti had to grow on me because I wanted to punch him in the dick so many times in the beginning but man did he win me over. I can see why you loved this book so much though. This is so your kind of book.
Ames: I love slow burn romances as long as I go into it knowing that’s what I’m getting. And I was prepared with Kulti. It wasn’t the first Zapata book I read (I think it was the third) so I was good to go. I loved that we got to see all the little interactions between Sal and Kulti that led to them being friends and eventually falling in love. Most romances nowadays jump into the sexy times pretty quickly and I love that we got to see this relationship develop over time. It makes them coming together that much stronger.
Kulti, he was intense. And hot. I can just imagine him. But the winner of the story for me is Sal. She’s so fierce and loyal and brave and she really was a kickass heroine I can get behind. Yeah she had a few kicks to her self-esteem (Amber and then the news about a trade) but she still kicked ass. And then she was unstoppable with Kulti in her corner. They were a solid team.
Did any parts stick out in particular for you? I love his jealousy over the other men in her life (the other soccer player, the Spanish one, her ex-boyfriend and then Franz). The nicknames for each other and then when he called her on her crush on those older survivor tv show host guys. Those little details really stuck out for me. And hello, when he defends her when they’re playing baseball? Hot stuff.
Rowena: I agree about Sal. She was my favorite part of the book. I loved how close she was with her family, how she dealt with real life issues and how honest she was with herself. She knew that she did a shitty thing (even though she didn’t know that it was a shitty thing at the time) and I loved how she didn’t let that one thing stop her from going after her dream. I also really loved how much faith Kulti had in her playing ability. He was so certain that she was going to be the best player in the world. I loved that Sal took that faith and worked her ass off to be the player that Kulti knew her to be. Gah, so good.
I felt for Sal and everything she went through. From her issues with her siblings to the shit with Amber and then everything she went through with the Pipers, she was put through the wringer and I loved that Kulti was there for her to lift her up, to remind her that she’s amazing and things will work out in the end. Kulti man, I freaking love that guy!
Yes, Kulti’s jealousy over every male that came into Sal’s life was hilarious and their nicknames for each other!! Every single time Sal called Kulti “German Chocolate Cake” I laughed out loud and when Kulti ordered tacos at her father’s birthday dinner, I about fell out of my chair. I really liked the humor that Zapata provided in this book, it added to my overall enjoyment.
The stuff that stood out to me was how much both Kulti and Sal cared about each other. The way that she was always trying to hide him when they went out so that he could enjoy their time together without being mobbed by fans, the way that she kept his secrets and tried to protect him as best as she could (from her doctor, even from her Dad) and then the way that he took care of her. Flying his friends out to help her with her soccer camps, the way that he stood up for her with the higher-ups at her job, the way that he refused to let her buy her Dad some of his shoes for his birthday and then one-upped her and made her Dad’s entire year.
I’m super glad that we chose to read this book for our buddy review this month. It was just flat out the bomb. There’s so much page time given to building their friendship and while I could have done without some of it (mainly to move the story along), I still rather enjoyed this one. I’d give it a 4.25 out of 5. You?
Ames: I have a big smile on my face recounting all the things that stood out for you too. They were all good scenes. I like that Sal also said she was jealous. LOL And she did try to protect him, that’s so true. When they play Uno at the airport? I swear I remember everything about this book.
I even liked when they fought! Remember what Sal’s mom said about the people you fight the most with. So when they take turns ignoring each others texts (during different fights) I like that. *sigh* This book had it all. Seriously.
Kulti gets a 5 out of 5 from me. I know its long and its not perfect but this book is my catnip. I’ve reread this book so many times. Sal and Kulti rank right up there with some of my fave fictional couples. I’m so glad you finally read this one Wena. 😛 Now to get you to read Wait for It. haha.
Rowena: Yes, Sal’s Mom was right! Seriously, this book was great!
Ames Grade: 5 out of 5
Rowena’s Grade: 4.25 out of 5