BOOK REVIEW: Kulti by Mariana Zapata

BOOK REVIEW: Kulti by Mariana ZapataKulti by Mariana Zapata
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
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“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.



‘I can and I will,’ had been the motto I held closest to my heart at all times. I didn’t like people telling me I couldn’t do something, even if I didn’t want to do it.

This is one of those books that I am slapping myself for waiting so long to read. I read ONE not-so-great review a while back and it stopped me from picking this up until now. That’s complete and utter bullshit. I love the fact that we all can speak our minds about the books we love and hate but I don’t love how other’s words can impact us so deeply, before we even get a chance to try things out ourselves. I need to get better with taking people’s reviews with a grain of salt, I really do. LUCKILY, Chelsea started sending me quotes and I just felt it in my bones that this was the book I needed to be reading, right now.

I could have been more and I could have been less, but I was just me. At some point, you just have to decide to be the best version of yourself, the one you can live with and look at in the mirror day after day.

For those of you who have followed my reviews for any amount of time, or have gotten to know me at all over the years I’ve spent on here, its common knowledge that I LOVE sports romances. I played a few sports in high school and while I was never great at any of them, I LOVED the competitiveness of it. The excitement of a Friday night football game in the fall. The sweat and blood and tears that people pour into their sport because it’s their dream to be the best. I eat. That. Shit. Up. It’s kind of hilarious too, that the sports books that I end up loving the most, are ones that feature sports that I know nothing about. I die for Elle Kennedy and Sarina Bowen’s hockey books even though I’ve only ever watched ONE college club game and with this one, I know literally NOTHING about soccer. My school was too small to have a team so I never played it myself. While I always end up hopping on the bandwagon when the Women’s World Cup rolls around (especially if the US is doing its thing) that’s the extent of my soccer feels. Sure enough, just like with the hockey books, I absolutely loved getting to know the sport in the book through Sal’s eyes.

Before I even had time to think about what he’d done, my oversized bratwurst took a step forward and he did it. He wrapped his arms around my shoulders, bringing me in so close my nose was pressed against the cartilage right between his pectorals. He was hugging me.

This is the second book that I’ve read by Zapata and it won’t be the last. Even though I crave more smut (lol I will not apologize for it) her brand of slow burn is so fucking delicious. I love how she builds her relationships up in such a realistic way. I love her broody men and her badass women. I can’t decide if I like this better than Lukov because while the books are similar is certain ways, the characters are different in other ways. While I loved that Jasmine never gave up in Lukov, sometimes it was hard to connect to how harsh she was. Sal on the other hand was so easy to love. I would love to have her as a best friend because she’s the type of person who would never steer a person wrong. She would always have you back no matter what. Just like she had Kulti’s back. He was a grumpy old bratwurst, prick to her so many times and she let him back in again and again. I’m not advocating for keeping a friend/ significant other around who is constantly treating you like dirt obviously, but Kulti wasn’t like that. He obviously was such a genuine person…but also with a Germany sized chip on his shoulder.

“My schnecke. My little snail, do you know that’s what it means? It’s a term of affection in my country. My love. My snail. I don’t want to waste more time. I have nothing to hide and neither do you.” 

I think what I love the most about Zapata’s writing is the dialogue. I fucking died over and over again with Sal’s nicknames for Kulti bhahaha. Omg. And then when he joined in on it. AND I MEAN SCHNECKE?! COME ON. How cute is that?! I die for pet names in other languages. Even the swearing…I mean I’ve got a potty mouth myself so I just think it adds an extra bit of realism and oomph when authors throw it in there. Shrug

I seriously cried happy tears over that epilogue, too. Just knowing he stuck by her side and that she got to play at the level she did…. It was perfect.

“You could never disappointment me.” Did his voice sound strange or was I imagining it? “Not in this life, Sal.”

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  1. Raven @ Dreamy Addictions

    Great review! I recently finished the Wall of Winnipeg and now I really want to pick this up! I’m glad you enjoyed it so much!
    Raven @ Dreamy Addictions recently posted…September Most Anticipated Reads + September TBR [2019]My Profile

    • Arielle

      I personally liked this one more than Winnipeg so I hope you also enjoy:D

  2. Zaira F

    I am a huge fan of sports romance too so I might give this a try!! I’ve also heard so many amazing things about Mariana Zapata’s books but I’ve never heard anything from her.

    • Arielle

      Oh gosh you should definitely give at least one of her books a try if you like slow burn romance. She’s the queen of it! My two favorite were Kulti and From Lukov with Love though most people really love The Wall of Winnipeg, too!

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