Kulti by Mariana Zapata was on my tbr for a while and I knew I’d like it since I absolutely loved The Wall of Winnipeg and Me, but I don’t think I was prepared for how obsessed I would be with it.
I don’t even know how to put into words how much I love this book!
The book follows Salomé Casillas or Sal. She’s a 27 year old professional soccer player in Houston. When her team gets a new assistant coach, she is shocked when she finds out is non other than Reiner “The King” Kulti. Kulti is not only a German international soccer superstar who retired 2 years ago, but Sal’s childhood crush. When he was a breakout star at 19, Sal was a young girl in love with soccer and plastering Kulti’s posters all over her walls. Now Kulti is the grumpy assistant coach and despite his standoffish attitude, Sal continues to be nice and pleasant with him. Before she knows it, Kulti basically only talks to her and only trusts her.
Listen, I’m not a soccer fan. I’m basically like a lot of the other people in the US who only watch when it’s the World Cup haha, but I didn’t care that the majority of this book takes place while Sal is playing soccer, at practice, training, or thinking about soccer because it is that good. The slow build of Sal and Kulti’s friendship is amazing and as many people know, Mariana Zapta is known as the queen of the slow burn and this one is a slow burn for sure, but supremely satisfying!
If you’ve read The Wall of Winnipeg and Me, I’ve read that Sal is Diana’s cousin (Diana is Vanessa’s best friend). I believe Kulti was written first so there is no mention of Diana in this book, but I’ve read online Sal and Diana are cousins so I’m assuming that you learn that in Diana’s book which was written after Wall of Winnipeg. They do have the same last name, Casillas, so it makes sense that there’s going to be a connection. Anyway, this is my second Mariana Zapata book and both were 5 stars from me so I need to read allll of her books.
Read this if you like sports romance, grumpy sunshine, childhood crush, age gap (he’s 39 and she’s 27).
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