When I finished reading Kulti, I immediately wanted to read it again.
Queen of the slow-burn, Mariana Zapata, fulfills our secret fantasy of a celebrity crush recognizing us as their true love. I mean it when I say that Zapata is the queen of writing a slow-burn romance. My kindle was at about 80% before they finally physically connected. I was so strung out on the sexual tension. I finally got some sleep around 3:00am after binge reading all night long.
In Kulti, our lead character Sal Casillas is a professional soccer player with a secret life-long crush for her new coach, Reiner Kulti. It’s pretty clear that while the whole city is excited for Reiner Kulti to coach the local team, he’s pretty reluctant to do so. He’s stand-offish and unhelpful with the team. The team’s hope that he’d bring some professional insight to their team wanes quickly. Eventually Sal takes it upon herself to shake up the moody bastard. Then almost immediately the magic happens.
Kulti is a sexy, self-assured man, and he’s determined for Sal to realize her own talent.
Obviously soccer is the theme of our story, but it isn’t so heavily involved that readers like me (not into the sport) can’t enjoy this romance. The principles of their relationship are at the forefront. Kulti recognizes Sal as his equal. He sees how talented she is in this sport, and believes in her more than she believes in herself. He’s patient, and kind of stands by in idle mode while she plays out her season. His friendship in her life is complicated enough for her career, and placement on the team. While they remain in the “friend-zone” he is so kind, loyal, and just so fiercely supportive of her. He’s just the crème de la crème. I’m not sure how else I can convey the shivery squeals I felt bubbled up inside me while reading Kulti.