Kulti by Mariana Zapata
“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.
Author: Mariana Zapata
Publication Date: March 25th, 2015
Shelves: Contemporary; Romance; Sports; Age difference
Format: Kindle (570 pages)
“Kulti” is one of my re-reads and will be forever there! Every year I have a list that I re-read because they are simply beautiful books, and I respect the work of art. I loved how the story unfolds and I adore strong characters, and I feel that both are very strong.
Again, I find myself in the position where I read Mariana Zapata’s books so slowly that I want to have as much time with them as possible. I genuinely envy people that read her books for the first time. YUP! I am that person, but I don’t care! They are that good. And I don’t mind that they are so long, because there is nothing more than gaining more pages to read.
The book was picked up to read randomly since I love all her work, so I new nothing about it. I didn’t even read the blurb.
The story is about a professionally soccer player Salome “Sal” Casillas and her assistant couch, the famous Reiner Kulti. Sal is a very driven woman, who has a self-worth that I really admire on athletes and her ambition that meets no boundaries. I loved how the book develops around her. She is very fulfilled in her life that she does not need anyone to deviate her from her goal in becoming one of the best professional soccer players in the world. Kulti on the other hand is a very quiet man, who only says rude words and makes no effort to actually couch or assist the girls with anything soccer related. He just exists and makes others be uncomfortable around him. I very much enjoyed the feistiness of Sal when she confronts him, I really love a strong female in such a masculine world. But with every attempt to break him, Kulti is there and makes himself present even if it’s not easy.
I enjoyed the drama that comes knocking on Sal’s door, and how Kulti will change her life for the better. They slowly become friends but there is a price to pay for that since she will have some challenges to go though on a personal level that will affect her professional life.
“You know your reputation is just what everyone else thinks of you, your character is what you really are.”
The ending was heart-worming and so beautiful that you know it pays off reading such a long book. I am glad that Kulti will offer himself as a life line to help her grow and become the better version of herself that he sees especially since she is the reason he picked her team to coach.
“What would I gain from telling you the first moment I realized you were meant to be mine? Nothing. You’re supposed to protect what you love, Sal. You taught me that. I didn’t wake up one day and know I didn’t want to live without your horrible temper. I saw so much of me in you at first, but you aren’t like me at all. You’re you, and I will go to my grave before I let anyone change any part of you. I know that without a doubt in my mind. This,” he pointed between us. “This is what matters.”
Usually I hold a bit to myself on the age difference, probably because I have not read many books related to this, and I really hope someone will change my mind about it. In this instance it didn’t matter much, I know there is quite some years between them, but it did not bother me. It actually made sense because his experience is what makes his character they way he is, and I am glad to see a man support the dream of a woman.
“This is what matters. You are my gift, my second chance, and I will cherish you and your dream. I will protect both of you.”
There is no reading order for Mariana Zapata’s book, but some characters will find themselves in other books. That should not keep you bothered a bit. I actually enjoyed finding out who they are and where they connect.
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