2021 · romance

Book Review: Kulti by Mariana Zapata

Title: Kulti

Author: Mariana Zapata

Description: “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. 


Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

I finally read a book by what some say is the queen of romance, miss Mariana Zapata, and I must say, I was not disappointed.

I’ve been reading romance for close to 10 years so I think I have a good knowledge of what’s good and what’s not so much. In my many years of reading I’ve come across reviews of Mariana Zapata’s books many times. She has earned herself quite a large fanbase but I never dared to pick one of her books up because most of them are sports romances (which are not really my thing) and all of them are quite long for a romance (450 pages and up). But due to the fact that Kulti is also a long sports romance I quite enjoyed it.

This book is 400+ pages long and I finished in in a day!! That’s how invested I was in the story.

What seemed to captivate me the most was that this is a slow burn in its true form. And I mean *spoiler alert* no kissing up until page like 350. The slowest slow burn I’ve read (if we don’t count Cruel Prince) and personally I liked that. I know that it might not be for everyone but I’m glad it was for me.

Also, this is enemies to lovers and although it wasn’t really as angsty as I would like, the fact that this is slow burn makes the trope soo much better.

I loved all the characters, especially Kulti. He is such a sweetheart and honestly, I want him for myself. There is an age gap between the couple. Sal is 27 and Kulti is 40 and although it feels a bit off, I’m also glad she’s not younger because then it would be extremely weird and I probably wouldn’t like it.

For me this was 5+ stars up until the very end when it became a bit boring and a little repetetive. I also don’t like how intertvined the characters were (because Kulti remembered her as a fan). That was a bit too much for me. I would rather they fell in love as they go and not because they had previous attraction if you understand what I’m trying to say.

But all in all, this was a pleasant surprise and I’m definitely planning on reading more of Mariana Zapata’s books in the near future! What would you recommend me next, let me know in the comments 🙂

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6 thoughts on “Book Review: Kulti by Mariana Zapata

  1. I just discovered Mariana Zapata this year as well and I’m blown away, I had no idea I’d love slow burn so much!

    If you were into the sports aspects, you might want to check out The Wall of Winnipeg and Me, Hands Down; From Lukov with Love.

    The main character from Wait for It is Sal’s cousin, and these two make a little cameo of sorts in that book (Wait for It is also a sort of spin-off from The Wall of Winnipeg and Me).

    Another two I LOVED with all my heart were Luna and the Lie and All Rhodes Lead Here.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aww thank you so much for your recommendations!! I just read The Wall of Winnipeg and Me but I didn’t like how slow it was 😔 Do you maybe know any of her romances that are slow-burns but just a tad quicker 😆

      Liked by 1 person

      1. In terms of romance – Dear Aaron – but that one is like 50% a distance relationship/met-online kind of trope which I didn’t love.

        Under Locke and All Rhodes Lead Here might be a bit quicker too, but I’m not totally sure.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Also, if you haven’t checked it out yet – The Spanish Love Deception by Elena Armas – is also an amazing slow burn, lots of Mariana Zapata vibes, but it’s a shorter book so naturally, things happen quicker? 😅

        Liked by 1 person

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