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4.34  ·  Rating details ·  48,858 ratings  ·  5,297 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 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 marr
Kindle Edition, 570 pages
Published March 20th 2015
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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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Average rating 4.34  · 
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 ·  48,858 ratings  ·  5,297 reviews

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Val ⚓️ Shameless Non-Snowflake ⚓️
Update: 5/4/19:
You can find a really cute little epilogue scene here: Thanks to Hulya for mentioning it in her review...just paying it forward for others to enjoy by doing the same.


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
Oct 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Christy by: Jennifer Kyle
Shelves: 2016-audios
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, heartwarmi
May 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favourite-ever
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
mel ☽
reread #573985still 5 stars ✩⋆

ok no. but this book ruined every other slowburn book for me tho. if a book doesn't have the whole strangers to enemies to rivals to acquaintances to hesitant friendship to full-on friendship to best friends to girl is oblivious that guy is in love with her but we readers know that the guy is in love with her to lovers then i don't want it.

listen. i love wall of winnipeg and me, vanessa and aiden are my babies but there's just something so... ✨spicy✨ when it com
Aug 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
3.5/5 ⭐

Full review on my Blog: The Dacian She-Wolf 🐺

I – an occasional die-hard football fan who just discovered her passion for a good romantic comedy – to sleep on this?
Sis, not on my watch.

About Zapata I’ve heard a couple of times and I was not convinced that I would ever pick up one of her books. But this one begged to differ. Because I picked it up and I actually enjoyed it.


There is more of this book than its sports-related topic and the fact that it was supposed to be some romantic lit
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
May 29, 2015 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 reaso
4 Stars

Boy this was....

Long. Really, really looooong. And slooooooow.

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.

And I liked it. I liked it A LOT. Because, let me quote from the book: "What a fucking douche-bag!"

He's perfect.

It's amazing how realistically the author portrays the slow development of their love and relationship. It’s also amazing how she managed to use almost every possible elemen
Mar 27, 2015 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
Jennifer Kyle
Jun 20, 2015 rated it really liked it
4.5 Stars

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

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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 othe
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
Alienor ✘ French Frowner ✘

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?

➋ 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 poi
Jun 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Re read January 2021
Sophia Triad
This book goes straight to the shelf with my favorite books because it combines three of the things that I value most in life:
2. TRUE LOVE and

First of all, I love football. Or soccer, as it is called on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean. I think that it is the bestest sport that has been created on the face of Earth.
And you may think that I will tell you now a heartbreaking story about my childhood, how I used to go to the stadium and watch my favorite team kick ass ever
May 30, 2015 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! Spoiler Free
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 to read the reviews which brought me to this amazing reading experience. The follow
Wendys Wycked Words
Re-read again still absolutely love the shit out of this book and I still have a major girl crush going on ;)

5-stars-640x162.jpg (640×162)

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I can honestly say that this book has been the best I've read this year so far !! It was absolutely awesome. It's hard for me to explain why I loved it so much. Maybe it was the great writing style. It could also be, because of the amazing characters. I loved Sal and Kulti, but I also really Sal's father and her friends. The character build was really good.

One of the other reasons I love
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 no
Apr 16, 2021 rated it it was amazing

'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'
I’m now convinced that Mariana Zapata writes the best slow burn ever and the slowest slow burn but It’s so worth it at the end. I loved this book so much, I think this book took the same spot as wait for me this is how much I loved this book.

I love Sal so much, she workes so hard to get to her position and she works other jobs too. She never depends on anyone and she’s
The Wall of Winnipeg and Me was my first book by Mariana and after reading Kulti, I am now convinced the author is the queen of slow-burn romance but not entirely in a good way.

As with TWOWAM, this book also has a brooding H who basically broods for no apparent reason. Nothing wrong with the strong silent type but jeez Louise, must they also be douche-bags? Further, the MCs in both books were just annoying and had zero character development and I honestly couldn't care less about Sal, the h in K
3 German Chocolate Cake ★'s

“You are the most honest, good thing that I've ever had. I won't deny it to anyone.”

My Sal & Rey❤

“You are my equal, my partner, my teammate, my best friend.”

This is my very first Marinna Zapata book. There are so many amazing reviews for this book, I was really excited to dive in, but it kinda left me drowning. I didn't HATE it, not at all, but I can't say I love it either. It was ridiculously freaking long (like 16 hours and 13 minutes to be exact) especially
chan ☆
5 fucked-me-right-up stars

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

this book was fcking EVERYTHING to me. in typical zapata fashion, this was a sloooooow burn romance between professional soccer player Sal & her coach Reiner Kulti. Rey is a renowned soccer star & was someone that Sal looked up to long before he became her coach. and of course she's had a crush on him since she was a kid.

thankfully Rey doesn't give a shit and does not return those warm feelings, at least in
Phuong ✯
4.25 stars

When one door closes, another one opens. I might just have to do a little breaking and entering to get the right one for me.

I don't even know how to start this review. So just let's start with the German representation or better how Americans see Germans. I have really mixed feelings about it tbh. The Hero of this book is called Kulti, Rey is also acceptable, but in this house we do not claim the name Reiner EVER. EVER. EVER! There are literally hundreds of German names and Mari
Hulya Kara Yuksel
Apr 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Edit: If you've read the book, pls check this cute bonus epilogue! Sal & Reiner Kulti are sooooo funny together. <3

Ps. Renégade and İlkim, thank you so much ladies for sharing it with me! I didn't have no idea if there was a bonus epilogue. Thank you for letting me know. Thank you! <3


OMG I'm mentally kicking myself for not reading this book sooner. I FLOVED it! <3
And I dare to say it's one of the best books that I've ever read... Yup, it w
Jan 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing
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 th
Jul 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 5-stars
4.75 stars

But it wasn’t like I could or would think about that too much. He was my coach. And I was his friend. Or something like that.

This is the slowest slow burn romance in the history of slow burn romances!!

This was a HUGE book, but you know what? I wouldn’t have minded a few more chapters. It was so freakin enjoyable!! I could’ve kept on reading about those two forever.

”Trust me; I've had the urge to punch you in the face a time or five."

Kulti has been Sal’s hero when she was a child. She
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."

 photo kulti collage.png

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
Nov 21, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: romance
The book is about a game that North Americans (we in Canada are guilty too) mistakenly call soccer and the rest of the world call football. What these strange people in North America call football should be called handegg, but I digress.

Sal Casillas' father loved soccer, Sal Casillas' big brother loved soccer; is there any wonder she loved soccer since the time she was old enough to remember? At that time a young German player Reiner Kulti just began his career. He was like Pelé, Diego Maradona
Lyn❤Loves❤Listening #AUDIOBOOKADDICT
I don’t know how to review this book. Do I really need them? The rating details say it all.

Melanie A., you called it. This is SORCERY!!

This book…it was love at first page for me and the enchantment continued with every single page til the end. I am now hungover and have no idea where to go from here.
Tessa Bailey
Aug 22, 2016 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
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…more determined, hard-working and extremely motivated. Hmmm, not really convinced
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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.” 222 likes
“When one door closes, another one opens. I might just have to do a little breaking and entering to get the right one for me.” 167 likes
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