"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.
©2015 Mariana Zapata (P)2015 Tantor
I am an avid reader, not a professional book reviewer. I gladly offer my opinion of the books I read/listen to.
I was skeptical when purchasing this book with my valued credit. I LOVED this book. I did not want to put it down. It is not an erotic, hot and steamy romance. The whole book is hard to explain other than to build you up to the HEA ... its a story of hero worship turns real life. Zapata has a talent for weaving a real life tale into something interesting and worth while. I will continue to follow her. I enjoyed LOCKE the first book I read by her, but this book surpasses that one by far. I cannot give enough accolades for this read. This was a gem of a find. The narration was perfect, the story entertaining and I would actually buy this book without hesitation. Credit worthy!
I LOVE this book! LOVE IT! My favorite thing about this story is the heroine, Sal. She is remarkable and probably my favorite heroine ever. Sal is an athlete, she's strong, she's funny, she's tough, she's smart. Sal is a team player, both on and off the field. She loves her family, she loves her friends and she knows her self worth. I absolutely adore her. I loved everything about her. This book also had the best relationship build up ever. I loved Kulti, I loved Sal's family. I loved the story. I loved the fact that Sal was a female athlete. The narrator does an exceptional job with this book - she even does Kulti's voice and accent very well! This book was complete and total perfection. This is my favorite audiobook I have listened to this year and this book is in my top 3 favorites of all time! Fantastic!!!!
I absolutely loved this book. If you liked another book by Zapata called "The Wall of Winnipeg" you'll like this as well.
The narrator did an excellent job with everyone's voices and did the various accents very well which made the story that much more absorbing and believable.
Yes, you do get into the world of women's soccer more than some may like but I didn't find it excessive. It felt like it was needed to make the story feel real. And lets face it, the two main characters eat and breathe soccer so it makes sense.
The side characters are wonderfully portrayed and add a real richness to the story. This is especially true of Sol's father; I loved that man! Sol herself, is a wonderful character that I felt I could like, understand and feel for. A great heroine. Basically I would love to be friends with someone like her. Kulti, well, at first you want to kick him in the nads but then you grow to love him. Some of the things he says late in the book are pretty swoon worthy.
It is good to understand from the get go that there is nothing physical going on until the end. Once you get there though, it's worth it. Personally I found the book so enjoyable, the characters interactions with each other so entertaining, that I did not miss the sex scenes that would usually be mixed throughout.
This is definitely one of those audiobooks that I will be re-listening to in times between new downloads. I also put in my vote that "The Wall of Winnipeg" will be made into an audiobook soon as well.
Great book - both in audio and written. Very interesting backstory of women's soccer and the character development of Sal and Kulti was wonderful. Loved the slow build of their romance. The narrator did a great job on the German accent! I plan to listen and read this book over and over.
Stacey is Sassy
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 determined, hard-working and extremely motivated…she also gives herself a facial each week. Hmmm, not really convinced to jump right in, think I’m going to hold off for a bit. So, I did. One thing leads to another and poor old Kulti got pushed back again and again. Then, I had an idea…why don’t I get the audio and listen to it instead?
Normally, when I listen to an audio book I’ve previously read the story. In this case, I was listening to it first. It was a very different experience. I had to really pay attention and I couldn’t stand leaving it for more than 24 hours. As this is a fairly long story, I thought it would take me a lot longer to listen than it did. I was sucked in and desperate to see how things would play out.
The narrator has an easy voice to listen to. I did at times think she sounded a bit too young, but that could have more to do with her having an American accent. I find American women, in general, have very young and sweet voices. Anyways, the narrator did a fabulous job talking with different accents and I had no problems identifying when a character changed. If I was to find fault with the narration, the only difficulty I had was when the main character switched between dialogue and inner monologue. Besides that, it was all good.
I loved Sal. Her determination and focus was easy to believe and the highs and lows of dealing with her young girl crush as a coach, on a daily basis, were interesting. Sal just wants to play soccer and when Kulti joins as an assistant coach, she must learn to treat him as normal, not as her first love and the man she was going to marry (in her head...she was very little). She also has to get past the fact that Kulti broke her brother’s leg years ago when they were playing soccer on opposing teams. Poor Sal has a lot to deal with. She is almost tongue tied and the only way she can stop herself from being a blathering fool is to remind herself over and over again that Kulti poos and wees. The first half of the story had poo mentioned quite a bit.
Kulti comes into the Piper’s world as the assistant coach. He doesn’t want to be there and makes it bloody obvious. He does nothing but stands on the sidelines and watch. It takes for Sal to finally approach him and tell him to pull his head out of his arse before he starts doing his job. Kulti has a few issues he is dealing with behind the scene and unfortunately Sal becomes the person to help him get on track. It cracked me up the way he just barges into her life and plants himself with no plans to leave at all. The sexual tension was obvious to me and I was just waiting (and waiting and waiting…) for things to start coming together.
Oh, the coming together made it so worthwhile. For such a cranky arse, Kulti sure does know how to make a lady swoon. He says all the right words and backs it all up with his actions. He is protective, caring and possessive with a desire to make things easy for Sal. Unfortunately, all of Sal’s problems stem from being friends with Kulti, so it’s not easy for him.
Yes, I probably shouldn’t have waited so long to read Kulti but it was a different experience listening instead of reading and I thoroughly enjoyed it. To top it all off, I was able to test the waters to see how I would go listening to an audio when I hadn’t read it first. Win, win all round.
I will definitely be reading more books by Mariana Zapati in the future.
Never underestimate the power of a word!
Top five at least, I read a lot. I cannot wait for the next book to come out, I will be one of the first in line.
Sal, the main character, I really related to her and appreciated the fact that even in the most trying moments you can still hold your head up high.
Her voice is alluring and kept me involved and part of the story. Some narrators have a little quirk here and there (ex. too soft, breathy, high pitched,etc.), however, I did not find that with Callie's narration.
Yes......., if only I had the time!
This is only the second book I have listened to from Mariana Zapata, and just like the first I patiently wait for the next.
I love this book and yes, it's true, I'm about to start listening for the 4th time in a row. I've only read maybe 10 books more than once and never re-read back to back like this. Just love the story! Love all the tension that builds through out and the narration is great.
I don’t like first person books. And I never would have bought this because of that. But Nadine recommended it and I’m glad she did. This was such a good story and such interesting character chemistry - that I was able to get over my first-person-hesitation.
Sal is a female hispanic professional soccer player in her 20s. Kulti is a retired German superstar soccer player age 39. He comes to Texas to be an assistant coach for Sal’s team. She and he have a strange relationship that becomes friends. It’s a slow developing relationship. There is not a lot of hot and passionate romance going on, but it’s meaningful and fulfilling.
The author uses “I vs Me” incorrectly - a lot. I wish she would have used an editor to fix those.
Callie Dalton did a great job.
Narrative mode: 1st person.
Genre: contemporary romance, sports romance, soccer.
This was my first book by Mariana Zapata and I am now in love!!! I loved the smart and snarky humor that kept me interested and invested in this story of life and sports and love.
Salomé "Sal" Casillas grows up idolizing Reiner "The King" Kulti. When her professional Woman's Soccer team hires him on as assistant coach, the media sits up and takes notice.
"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 best insults...Bratwurst ... German Chocolate Cake ... Frankfurter... sauerkraut, the funniest press release, and the slowest of "slow-burns".
I listened to much of this book on audiobook and the narrator, Callie Dalton really brought Sal to life and gave the story another dimension to love.
“I’ve been waiting every day of my life for you. Your honesty, your loyalty,” he punctuated each of my traits with a kiss to a different part of my face that had me grinning like a freaking fool. “Your competitiveness, your fierceness, your kindness and this body… I would do anything for you. Lie, cheat and steal. There is nothing I wouldn’t do. Understand?”
Actually, as an adult, I thought this was a decent story, well-narrated.
However, I purchased this for my 13-year-old granddaughter who is into soccer. What a mistake. Luckily, I listened to the book before her. I will definitely not be passing it onto her to read.
The book was full of a never ending stream of profanity... Completely over the top. Worse still, the final chapters included graphically-depicted sex scenes. Due to language and adult situations, this book would be rated a hard R at the minimum.
Also, for a book that had some real insights into women's soccer, it had some glaring errors that took me right out of the story. For example, in one place, one female played a particularly rough game and finished out the game with yellow cards. Any soccer fan would realize the absurdity of that story.
If this book was billed as adult fiction in the romance section, I might have given it four stars. But, definitely do not put this book into the hands of a teen.
Holy moly, Kulti! Just. Wow! I was actually swooning at one point. What a wonderful story, a story of family, love and friendship. It's funny, it's sexy, it's angsty, very angsty in parts . At one point I didn't know if I loved him or hated him, he was just..........I swear I could cry. It took a while, but eventually I was self combusting. Just a wonderful wonderful story that I desperately want to re read. I was recommended this book (and I don't do girls soccer), and I fricking loved it. One if my all time favourite reads of 2016. Just.....Wow
"Charming and surprising"
I decided early on that although well written it was not my cup of tea but continued as I had paid for it and had enjoyed another book by the same author. This is a slow burn but in the end I loved it and listened again immediately paying more attention to the beginning. There is something hopeful and uplifting to the way the story unfolds . Definitely would recommend
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