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How steamy is it? Sizzling

Take Me to the Good Parts of This Book
Warning: The Good Parts Might Be Explicit

  • Trouble in Paradise
  • Kulti by Mariana Zapata
But what about the soccer playing super babies?
  • Declaration of Love
  • Kulti by Mariana Zapata
What happens when you can't play soccer anymore?
  • Flirty Banter
  • Kulti by Mariana Zapata
Sal is annoying like a splinter Kulti can't remove.
  • Kiss
  • Kulti by Mariana Zapata
Rey Kulti tastes of spearmint. Sal has no complaints.
  • Hot Hot Hot
  • Kulti by Mariana Zapata
Sal loves Rey's magic fingers.

Now Playing

  • Trouble in Paradise
  • But what about the soccer playing super babies?
  • Declaration of Love
  • What happens when you can't play soccer anymore?
  • Flirty Banter
  • Sal is annoying like a splinter Kulti can't remove.
  • Kiss
  • Rey Kulti tastes of spearmint. Sal has no complaints.
  • Hot Hot Hot
  • Sal loves Rey's magic fingers.

Publisher's Summary

"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

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

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Story

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

5 HUGE stars....one of my 2015 Favorites!

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!

25 of 25 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Fantastic!!!!

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!!!!

17 of 18 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

This scored huge with me!

Any additional comments?

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.

13 of 14 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

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 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.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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One of the best books of 2015

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.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Trisha
  • Arlington, VA, USA
  • 09-05-16

listening for the 4th time in a row...

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.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Jane
  • Chicago, IL, United States
  • 06-15-16

4 ½ stars. I didn’t want to stop reading.

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.

MINOR PROBLEM:
The author uses “I vs Me” incorrectly - a lot. I wish she would have used an editor to fix those.

AUDIOBOOK NARRATOR:
Callie Dalton did a great job.


Narrative mode: 1st person.
Genre: contemporary romance, sports romance, soccer.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Diane S.
  • Everett, MA, United States
  • 04-19-16

Put on your "Big Girl Socks" and read this book!!

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?”

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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So worth the credit!

Where does Kulti rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

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.

Who was your favorite character and why?

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.

What about Callie Dalton’s performance did you like?

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.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes......., if only I had the time!

Any additional comments?

This is only the second book I have listened to from Mariana Zapata, and just like the first I patiently wait for the next.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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Amazing!! Just Remember, He Poops

I can’t believe how much I liked this! Here’s what I think Zapata did wonderfully: The love/hate relationship is a trope that I’m just a sucker for, and here it was done really convincingly. Kulti/Rei was such a surly “bratwurst” that I wasn’t sure what was going to happen with him for the first few hours. And Sal has an interesting combination of being down-to-earth and feisty that made her such an interesting character to follow. Her inner monologue contained some genuinely funny thoughts - some poop-related. The development of Sal and Rei’s relationship is steady, adorable, frustrating, touching, and exciting – it was enthralling! Zapata is a mastermind laying out the bread crumbs of a friendship subtly promising of something so much more and I eagerly devoured each little crumb as it was revealed. The journey as well as the sizzling-sweet ending was well worth it. I think what I loved so much was how the story took it’s time, and with such honest characters, it was easy to care about them. I liked that the obstacles the characters worked to overcome seemed real and significant, without being too stifling and heavy. This is one that I will be listening to again and can definitely recommend!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Yolanda
  • 04-17-18

My favorite of Mariana Zapata's books

Entertaining from start to finish. A lovely love story. Great holiday reading and believable characters

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Heroesinbooks
  • 04-08-18

4 Slow Burn Stars

Great sports romance with a forbidden element as Sal, our heroine, is a 27yr old soccer player and her coach , our hero, Kulti is 39 and just retired from playing professional soccer. She has crushed on him, idolised him, for most of her life but the dream doesn’t equal the reality...or does it?
Great story & slow burn chemistry which was narrated beautifully by Callie Dalton but I wanted to get to the hot stuff before the 97% mark. So maybe a little too slow burn for me. But still lovely.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Dax
  • 03-17-18

Soooo good

Such a brilliant listen - every engaging and personable. Sal and Kulti were perfect. Amazing story and performance

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • BBBf-sizzlereads-Best Book Boyfriends
  • 10-07-17

A FRIENDS TO LOVERS STORY

"Destiny is a ladder"

I loved The wall of Winnipeg and me and Mariana Zapata did it again with Kulti which had a similar feel.

Sal plays soccer, she lives & breathes soccer, she's one of the best in her league. Her childhood idol was the German player Kulti, his image adorned her bedroom walls as a girl and the day he got married her hopes were shattered she was that obsessed with him.

The start of a new season and the girls discover their about to get a new coach and it's none other than the retired and now divorced I must add German soccer star Kulti.

Sals childhood fantasies soon dry up when she discovers that the German is nothing but rude, ignorant, grumpy and a man of few words unless he's chewing her a new one.

A very strange friendship develops between them following Sal giving the Brockwust as she calls him a piece of her mind.

Kulti is still rude he's still a man of few words but as their friendship develops Sal grows to understand and appreciate Kulti, her friend.

There are lots of laugh out loud moments, it's refreshing, lighthearted and heartwarming.

Kulti never comes across as romantic, sweet or swoon-worthy but boy does Mariana save the best til last. I loved this slow burn romance and by slow I mean right to the very last chapters but the journey there was so much fun.

Great characters, brilliantly written, told in Sals pov and leads to hea.

I listened on Audio, the narration brilliant I actually love this in audio more than reading like I did with previous books Wall of Winnipeg, Lingus & Under Locke, Mariana's narration choice with Callie Dalton is spot on, she's brilliant.

Looking forward to the next book.

"You're my equal, partner,team-mate & best friend"

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Sara
  • 06-12-17

Just ok

I want to like these books by Zapata, I really do. But I don't like her way of writing. I read Under Locke and didn't really like it, but Kulti had so many good reviews I thought I'd give another Zapata book a try. This one didn't impress either.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • LilleyLoohLah
  • 08-29-16

Just.....Wow❤️

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

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • The Mogster
  • 09-20-15

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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  • Lara
  • 12-14-16

Repititve and long winded

This is the second book by this author I have tried. I couldn't finish either. The writing is so repetitive with unnecessary detail and the narrator has quite an annoying voice for the main character. She does the accents and other voices well. With so many great 5 star reviews for this I'm very disappointed and clearly missing what everyone is loving about it. Can't win them all.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • narda
  • 08-29-15

Wow book of the year by far

What a brilliant story so well written, Marian you are a great writer. Callie your narrations of the story was brilliant as well. Kulti will send you on a journey filled with family commitment love an passion. Two souls with the same passion that love found over a journey of time.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Anonymous User
  • 10-16-18

Slow

I enjoyed the book but it was just so slow and nothing really happen for the length of the book it is.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • MadHatter
  • 09-29-18

Perfect - do yourself a favour

I don’t much like sports books. They usually involve a ‘normal’, sweet/feisty girl falling for a superstar (bleh). Well, I suppose that does happen in this one too, except that she is a soccer star herself, whilst he retired. They have so much in common, other than she is friendly and he is, well, the Grinch. You can believe that they compliment and understand each other perfectly.

I was smiling all throughout this book, occasionally bursting out loud guffaws (luckily, not in public, for once).

The narrator did an excellent job, sounding natural and engaging, with a pleasant voice and accent.

It is a long book (16 hours) for a romance, but I never got bored or irritated. I will be searching for more books from both Mariana Zapata and Callie Dalton. Thank you both.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Karen D
  • 07-02-18

Awesome

Absolutely loved this story. Another brilliant story from Mariana Zapata and read beautifully by Callie Dalton. Callie brings each character to life.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • cecilia chahda
  • 03-27-18

she did it again

another great book by Mariana Zapata.
i love how every Female lead is always so strong ❤️

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Alex
  • 08-18-17

Excellent!

Any additional comments?

The narration was superb! It's great that there is only one POV (I hate it when there is 2 or more). Recommend!

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 05-21-17

LOVE IT!

Like others have said this is a slow start romance, but thoroughly entertaining. The friends first something more later was really refreshing and there's a lot of humour and plan fun in it. I laughed A LOT. Great narrator, really well written.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Madgerama
  • 04-17-17

Slow burn

This story is a slow burn. No insta love which was fantastic. I really enjoyed the narration.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Richard
  • 09-29-16

Really different story and great characters

Would you listen to Kulti again? Why?

Yes enjoyable story and great character development - fast and witty dialoge

What was one of the most memorable moments of Kulti?

Their nick names, and the fact the romance between the characters developed late in the story hence they built the characters relationship better than most sports romances. Loved the sports person was a women

Which character – as performed by Callie Dalton – was your favourite?

All she did well even with the accents

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

I tried but life and family made me have to stop - pesky kids

Any additional comments?

Great story really enjoyed and money well spent