Did I love or did I LOVE this book?! I can’t stop smiling, in fact, I’m thinking of taking a week off reading just so that I don’t replace these characters with others. It was THAT good.
So what’s it about? Sal Casillas is a forward for the Pipers, a Houston based soccer team. Her team has just hired a new coach, Reinar Kulti. Kulti is an international soccer icon from Germany and while everyone else is celebrating the fact that he’s the new coach, Sal is not. See, Sal had the biggest crush on Kulti growing up. She had posters of him and everything. She started playing soccer because of Kulti. But with so much success and fame, Kulti is unsurprisingly arrogant. If Sal’s crush on him hadn’t ended years before, it would have ended the minute she met him. But she has to work with him, he’s her coach after all. But that doesn’t mean she has to like it.
As a huge soccer fan, I was dying to get my hands on the book. I’ve had my fair share of soccer player crushes and I wanted to live the dream of meeting and falling in love with one through this book :) It did not disappoint. As a humongous star, Kulti behaved just like I imagined soccer stars would. He was not a nice guy. But that was the best thing about the book. Hating him and loving him in the same breath.
For anyone who loves the strong silent type, Kulti was just that. He was so silent in fact, that he probably said two words in the first 20% of the book. While I’m intrigued by the strong silent type, I have to admit I got a bit… restless. The book is told in Sal’s POV and while she was entertaining and witty, I found I could easily put the book down and binge on Netflix, which is never a good thing. But her wit kept me coming back to the book. I identified a lot with her character and so I decided to give the book a chance, and boy I’m I glad I did!
The book picks up massively after 20%. At this point I could not put it down! The tension, the angst, the hate, the love… it all became entertwined into this beautiful beautiful love story. I’m an erotica reviewer so needless to say I love steam, and lots of it, in my books. I knew, just by the first 20%, that I was in for a different type of book. The slow burn kind. Initially I wanted them to just get on with it. But after that I started appreciating the tension. I started appreciating the fact that this was not going to be an insta love kind of book. My appreciation turned into downright love. I mean, they hate each other, they respect each other, they become friends and they fall in love. Sigh. It was truly truly beautiful.
And I have to say, as a soccer fan, I appreciated the detail that went with the book. I loved identifying various soccer stars that had [possibly] inspired Kulti’s character. Like the biter, the head-butter… it made me smile to imagine these real soccer stars love lives. Also, who doesn’t want to imagine that their childhood celebrity crush eventually finds her and falls for her. Sigh… all those posters I had of…. well, I can dream :)
But back to the story. Sal is ambitious and an amazing soccer player. She’s a hard worker, she’s intelligent and she’s loyal. I absolutely loved her. She goes through amazing times with her teams, but she also goes through bad times. And through it all there’s Kulti in the background, pushing her and supporting her and in the end… while the story goes through her highs and lows, it ends on such a beautiful beautiful note.
“But I don’t even know where I’m going,” I reminded him again with the least amount of panic I could muster.
“It doesn’t matter. You’ll go somewhere, and you aren’t going alone.”
An absolute absolute must read… and one of my favourites of the year!
Amazon Buy Link -> Kulti by Mariana Zapata
I’d like to thank the author for providing this copy for my review.