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4.36  ·  Rating Details ·  18,606 Ratings  ·  2,099 Reviews
“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 twenty-seven-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 envisi
Kindle Edition, 570 pages
Published March 20th 2015
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Sneha Try Mariana Zapata's The Wall of Winnipeg and Me. Its not in the same league as Kulti, but its a good book nonetheless. Also, Julie James - Practice…moreTry Mariana Zapata's The Wall of Winnipeg and Me. Its not in the same league as Kulti, but its a good book nonetheless. Also, Julie James - Practice Makes Perfect is a funny enemies to love story. K.F Germaine's Devious Minds is fantastic. (less)
Rose Tyler I thought the same thing, I pictured Kulti as Ballack! I think there wasn't much thought put into where he played as long as it was German and I also…moreI thought the same thing, I pictured Kulti as Ballack! I think there wasn't much thought put into where he played as long as it was German and I also thought of Iker Casillas, but it is a common Spanish name so, possibly a coincidence.
Also I don't think the author is a huge soccer fan(less)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Oct 30, 2015 Christy rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Christy by: Jennifer Kyle
5+ German Chocolate Cake stars!

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“He was my coach. And I was his friend. Or something like that.”
OMG THIS BOOK! Kulti is one of those books that has been sitting on my TBR soon pile for months and months. I never found the time to read it, then I saw it was on audio so I made the time. I’ve read 14 books so far this year and it is by far the BEST book I’ve read so far. My first 5+ star read of the year! Kulti is a soccer book, but it’s so much more than that! It’s fun, heartwarming and all a
May 27, 2015 Mo rated it it was amazing
I loved this one, just loved it. First off, I love football ... that is "soccer" to a lot of you. I love the World Cup, the Champions League, The UEFA Championships... I was the girl who stood in the pissing rain at Terryland Park to watch Galway United because my then boyfriend, now husband, supported the team. The FA Cup Final is on this weekend and I will be glued to it, even though I don't support either team in the final...

He annoyed me, but I was also annoyed with myself for letting his a
A well known fact about me: I can't play sports. I am the least athletic person you'll ever meet. I hated gym class with a passion. I also have an irrational fear of balls. Don't laugh, it's a real condition. It's called sfairesphobia. In elementary school, I'd been forced to play volleyball. And it went something like this

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Working out has never been my strong suit. Basically the only thing I can do is-

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That is the extent of my exercise.

However, I know a thing or two about sports. My mom was al
Check out more of my reviews at

I've had this book sitting on my TBR for a long time. I had put off reading it for a few reasons, but the most notable reasons being that: 1) I am not a sports fan - at all- and I was worried I wouldn't enjoy it since this story was centered on two athletes; and 2) I was worried that I'd be disappointed after reading so many fantastic reviews for this book. Now that I've read it, I can say that neither of those concerns ended up coming to fr
Val ⚓️ ShamelessBitchySkanky ⚓️ Steamy Reads
4 Slooooooow Strong Stars

So not gonna lie, I went into this book completely blind.

I didn't read any other reviews on this before starting (which is typical for me).

Shit, I didn't even read the blurb (which is NOT typical for me).


All I know is that I was "packing" my kindle for my recent vacation and this book was kind of like that random extra bottle of full size conditioner you throw in your suitcase right before heading out the door, because you just know that little bullshit travel size is
May 29, 2015 Mysza rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorite-read
"Every single thing that has ever happened in my life has led me here, Sal. Destiny is a ladder, a series of steps that takes you where you're supposed to go. I am the man that I am, and I have done the things that I've done, to get me to you."

The story is about twenty-seven-year-old Sal Casillas, who is a professional football (or soccer for some of you) player. Throughout her child and teenage years, she had a big crush on now retired German player - Reiner Kulti, he was the reason she sta
Jennifer Kyle
Jun 20, 2015 Jennifer Kyle rated it really liked it
4.5 Stars

”He was my coach. And I was his friend. Or something like that.”


Truth be told, I’m not a huge soccer fan but I played sports in my early years so reading about a professional female player is a total win for me. This sports theme book is centered around a full soccer season taking our heroine and her new coach through a slow building friendship to more.

Sal, our heroine is a professional soccer player who finds out that her team’s new assistant coach will be none other than Reiner K
Mar 27, 2015 Didi rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: EVERYONE!!
10+++++ STARS!!!!!

I haven't read a book in awhile that has left me so affected, so happy, so...GAH! I LOVED IT, LOVED IT, LOVED IT. I'm feeling particularly confused right now because I want to say so much but I don't know how! So to save time and space, I'll point out what I loved, adored, gobbled up so much:

1. SOCCER, SOCCER, SOCCER. Love that sport. The World Cup? It's a Holiday at my house where everything can wait until 'The Game' is over. Many books are soccer related, right? Sure, but not
May 30, 2015 Saffron rated it it was amazing
5" Million" Stars!!!

I am fine.
I am okay.

No wait....

Jesus!! This is epic, you guys! Epic!!!

I have been having shitty luck with books lately. Even if I like something I don't love it. I only see flaws. How the story is dragging...or how the ridiculous amount of fillers are getting on my nerves...the stupid, cliched plot twists...blah..blah..blah...It's like I am cursed or something...

In the midst of chaos, I found this little gem.

I am a big reader like you all. And sometimes reading takes up
Anna's Ramblings ツ

Boy this was....


Really, really LONG.

And slow.

But I liked it. I liked it A LOT. Because, let me quote from the book:

"What a fucking douche-bag!"

I'm not going to lie. I was struggling in the beginning until I reached the 30% mark and then finally, finally the story caught my interested.

Sal is a likable heroine and although I admire her strength, I didn't connect with her one hundred percent.

But Kulti? He is...


It's amazing how realistically the author portrays the slow
ღFloღ the coffee addict
5 **Fußball** STARS

“He was my coach. And I was his friend. Or something like that.”

What a fantastic read. A phenomenally written friends to lovers story surrounding a female soccer player and her new coach - a retired professional player, an icon and he is German. If you don't know, that happens to be my nationality and we like our football. So it was a foregone conclusion that I would love this just because of the premise alone. Add to that a brilliantly developed friendship, top notch bick
Lola  Reviewer
What an adventure. Almost six hundred pages long. I feel like I know Sal inside and out. God, I haven’t read a book this voluminous in a long time, because I lack patience. But surprisingly, I didn’t mind taking my time with this one.

Every chapter was a new surprise. I enjoyed the genuine writing style. It was not at all pretentious. I wouldn’t say it was incredibly lyrical either. In fact, it was pretty repetitive when you think about it, but it was so accessible I was always in the mood for i
Jan 12, 2016 Beverly rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2016-favorites
O.M.G. this book, for real, I absolutely loved it!

When I started this massive audio, well by massive I mean 16 plus hours I was worried I would get bored. I thought there is no way I am going to love this, but I had to give it a shot. I mean a professional soccer player and coach relationship, a 13 year age difference, forbidden love - it’s like it was written for me.

This was like the best dream and the worst nightmare all wrapped into one beautiful package.

I quickly got lost in the world
Alienor ✘ French Frowner ✘ (of badger and SNAKE)

Oh. My. So many lessons learnt reading Kulti.

Sociopaths have a soft spot for blinking. A lot. 34 times for Kulti to be exact, and 86 times total. Now that's a bit much, don't you think?

For the first time ever, my eyes twitched at the recurrent use of the same words to name a character. Someone save me from The German. Like please. This is getting old.

There are such things as too-much vague adjectives to describe eyes. "Light-colored", "warm-colored" (whatever THAT means), just make a point
May 30, 2015 Wendy'sThoughts rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Soccer Fans, Sport, Mariana Zapata Fans
Recommended to Wendy'sThoughts by: Mo
5 Schnecke Stars * * * * * and any other you may want to personally add!
I have started this review a few times since reading; had a review halfway done and then in editing lost it- What else is new- you have all heard it before... The next time I sat and just thought about all of the amazing feelings and memories this book brought home to me.

Before I go into my personal review, please take a moment read the reviews which brought me to this amazing reading experience. The following reviews en-ca
Rachel Reads Ravenously
3.5 Pumpernickel stars!

"You are my best friend, my love, my playmate and my teammate. You'll have a team with me wherever we are, with whatever we're playing."

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At the age of 7 Sal developed a crush on a 19 year old German soccer player that would forever affect her life. Coming from a soccer family, she knew she would play but the superstar Kulti is what inspired her to go pro with the sport. Fast forward 20 years later, and Kulti is no longer Sal's idol. In fact he injured her brother in
Michelle [Helen Geek]
Mar 22, 2015 Michelle [Helen Geek] rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: For those that appreciate those slow building relationship to lovers stories.
03/07/2016 -- Re-read this recently and enjoyed it as much as the original read last year.

03/26/2015 -- Original read

Very engaging. You know what I like and rarely get? Those romances that are slow burning. They have two people. Just people, but circumstances bring them together and it evolves over time. These are the stories I really like. When I hear one is available, I snap it up. This book, just so happened to be written by an author I found last year and really enjoyed -- so a huge plus for
UniquelyMoi ~ BlithelyBookish

Full review now posted...

“Every single thing that has ever happened in my life has led me here, Sal. Destiny is a ladder, a series of steps that takes you where you’re supposed to go. I am the man that I am, and I have done the things that I’ve done, to get me to you.”

Kulti is one of those difficult-to-review books, not because there’s anything wrong with it but because there is just so much “right” with it. There are so many things to gush about, so many things I want to share with you, but I w
May 27, 2015 ♥Sharon♥ rated it it was amazing

I’m a little late showing up to the “I Love Kulti” party but hey better late than never right! I remember when it came out (over a year ago) because so many of my GR friends were reading it and coming to the same conclusion! Absolutely loving it! Why on earth did I not read this book sooner?

There are so many 5 stars reviews and even 10 star reviews that sing its praises. I’m not sure what I can add so I will keep it simple.

I LOVED HIM. Reiner Kulti was rough around the edges but had a heart of g
Stacey is Sassy

Now I get it

I knew about Kulti. I had read Under Locke by Mariana Zapata and really, really enjoyed it. When I heard that she had a new book coming out I was really excited. Then the whispers started. It’s a sllloooowwww burn romance and it’s about a female soccer player. Screeching to a halt…Say what??? Then, I started asking questions…so, how slow are we talking? Answer: Really, really slow. A female in sports…is she butch (don’t judge, it was my first thought)? No, definitely not butch, more
Tessa Bailey
Aug 22, 2016 Tessa Bailey rated it it was amazing
New favorite author. Hands down. I'm sure I can't say anything original here, because everyone loves this book, but I have to TRY. Because this book made me feel so many things. It was stellar.

One. Zapata's ability to really, honestly make me believe the heroine has no idea the hero would literally perish at her feet for a single's mind-blowing. And very difficult to pull off, especially when her heroines are so damn smart and emotionally mature. It makes the moment where they admit
[~Ami~]♥Sexy Dexy♥
3 stars

Even though this book was so sloooow I liked this more than a lot of the books I've been reading recently. The heroine, Sal, was at times annoying with the way she questions herself and the pooping *eyeroll* but at the same time I really liked her humour.

I love slow build romance but I think the book could have started off at halfway and you still wouldn't have missed anything special. I was going to give this 4 stars because their relationship was well developed but their romance lacked
Jodi Bibliophile
Mar 01, 2017 Jodi Bibliophile rated it it was amazing
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"You are my equal, my partner, my teammate, my best friend." - *sigh* my heart <3

I’m not ashamed to admit right here and now that the second I finished this book I held it against my chest and cried.

I am full of emotions right now. I’m so incredibly happy that I read this story and met these characters but so sad because it’s all over.

I would just like to point out that after reading only two books by Mariana Zapata she literally has hit one of my all-time favourite authors ever.

For real thi
Lady Heather
Mar 31, 2015 Lady Heather rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: contemporary romance, amazing H/h

5 fantastic stars!

A few things went through my mind when I finished this book:
1) Wow, what an AMAZING story!
2) Why is this author not more well known?
3) Why the hell haven't I read her work before now?

This story was so well written, and the character development was SO good that you could have sworn that these characters were real.

I loved Sal and Reiner's characters!

Reiner is a retired soccer legend who has been hired to be the assistant coach for Sal's women's professional soccer team.

Sal know
Review written March 8, 2016

4.7 Stars - My new 2016 m/f favorite. A good and fun contemporary novel and a wonderful slowly developed romance story. Simply hugely great!

I read some enthusiastic reviews about Mariana Zapata's newly released CR book this last weekend. I then checked her earlier older books and "found" Kulti. After reading some reviews by friends (a bunch of friends loved it.)

I'm not exaggerating if I say that I was completely (unexpected) charmed by this foot
I love slow burn novels. When a novel builds up to the eventual consummation, I feel it's so much sweeter. That's why I'm disappointed with how much I disliked this. While it picks up in the second half, it's hard to forget how the first half dragged and felt like a chore. In the end, the pay-off felt sub-par at best. I needed something a bit more spectacular after enduring pages of food names and "poop" (both of which would've been funny in moderation, but were killed with overuse), "the German ...more

RE-READ October 11-12, 2016

AND it STILL grips my heart...
STILL stirs the emotion in me...
STILL makes me smile...

Most definitely the best "slow burn" sport romance ever...for me, that is...
And maybe even more than just that...

5 "for the love of the game" stars
5 "why the fuck haven't I read this before" stars
5 "i could re-read this over and over again" stars
5 "you complete me" stars

5 "I can't wait for the European football championship 2016 to start" stars...

nah, I'm kiddin' about that last one.
Dee Montoya
Loved it! Loved it! Loved it!!!

I grew up watching professional soccer aka fútbol and reading this book brought back all the wonderful memories from my childhood. I remember being obsessed with the players just like Sal was with Kulti. This book was the perfect representation of that passion for the sport, mixed with a stunning story and complex characters that made me fall in love.

I'm in love with Mariana Zapata's writing style and I'm going back for more...
Jaya *The Velocireader*
Re-read in one sitting ^.^
The book remains as amazing as it was, the first time I read it.

I usually don't write reviews. But for this one I had to. This book is so much more than a romance. It made me laugh, made me cringe, cry, swoon and I felt like i fell in love as well. I did not want it to end!
If I could, I would give it a Ten Star rating.

This one's going to my re-reads shelf. Enough said :D
Kelli C ~ Jack Sawyer's Heart
Tacos...Burritos...German Chocolate Cake...Bratwurst....I LOVED THIS BOOK!

So many good reviews available for this read, so I will keep it simple: It was fabulous.
The writing was long, tedious and worth the time. The characters will stay with me for a while. I could go back and read this 100x!

Beyond thankful for my Goodreads friends...Wendy you are awesome! Without you, I would have never got to this!!!!
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Unapologetic Roma...: Zapata, Mariana // Kulti 82 102 Aug 17, 2016 05:02AM  
books where the character is like Kulti? 3 235 Mar 03, 2016 08:22PM  
Any recommendations? 4 237 Jul 30, 2015 07:37PM  
Turning Pages At ...: Kulti by Mariana Zapata 12 71 Jun 28, 2015 08:38AM  
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“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.” 97 likes
“Destiny is a ladder, a series of steps that takes you where you’re supposed to go.” 75 likes
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