Now, let me preface this review by stating that my entire understanding of soccer consists of what I've learned from watching my kid's U-8 soccer games. Never having played myself, I honestly have no clue when it comes to a dribble or a bicycle kick or whatever. And I was perfectly happy to remain in ignorance. But Mariana Zapata made me care. Suddenly I was utterly absorbed in Sal's training regimen, infinitely caught up in her success, sitting there with my heart in my throat with each brutal injury.
"He's going to be your coach," he squeaked, and I mean really squeaked.
"I know." I laughed that time. "I've gotten like ten emails from people I know asking me to confirm. You're all insane."
Dad simply repeated himself, "He's going to be your coach."
That time, I pinched the bridge of my nose to keep from making a sound. "I'll tell you when the open practice will be so you can meet him."
Then he did it, he crossed the line again. "Sal--Sal, don't tell anyone, but you're my favorite."
Kulti, the German who starred in Sal's teenage fantasies and basically inspired her to take her game to the next level. Now he's her coach and Sal has to figure out how to pick her jaw up off the turf and learn something from this god of soccer. But the silent, brooding Kulti who shows up to her practices is nothing like the explosive star player she remembers, leaving Sal confused and more than a bit angry with the surly German.
Compelling and engaging, I simply could not stop reading Kulti. This book was everything I'd been looking for in a contemporary romance. Funny with sharp dialogue and honest characters. While each famous in their own right, Sal and Kulti are real people who get hurt or tired and who periodically complain when they are pushed into crap situations. Did I mention that Sal is freaking hilarious? I was dying to find out what outrageous thing would she'd do or say next.
I'd been playing with the boys since I was a kid, and they'd missed the memo that said I was a girl seven years younger than them. Apparently, Kulti had too.
"Playing a little rough, aren't you?" I asked as I ran up behind him, trying to block him from getting a clear shot of the goal.
He looked up at me from under his eyelashes. "Are you whining?"
I huffed. Asshole. "No, but if that's how you want to play, then that's how we'll play." Between the people I played with for fun and Harlow, I could take it.
Fast and fierce. Swoon! I couldn't get enough of Sal's supportive soccer-crazy family and the teasing friendship she shared with her teammates. Honestly, I can't think of a book that has made me so proud to be a woman in a long time (Okay, maybe Summer Skin. But before that one, it's been a looong time). Plus, it comes with one of the best sloooooow burn romances I've ever had the pleasure of reading.
So do your self a favor. Pick up Kulti. Block off the evening and cozy up with soccer superstars Sal and Kulti. And then let me know so we can gush about it together.