Book Review: Kulti by Mariana Zapata

When I picked up this book, I didn’t think my book review of Kulti by Mariana Zapata would include a rating above two stars. I didn’t even think I’d finish it since nothing happens for about eight or nine chapters, and that’s way too much for a book told from a single perspective. However, Kulti has its own charm, and I ended up liking this novel.

(Review may contain spoilers.)

Book review Kulti

Kulti by Mariana Zapata official cover
Kulti official cover art

My rating: ★★★★ (4/5)

Summary: One reason Sal Casillas plays soccer on a professional level is Reiner Kulti, a legend who retired from the professional scene some years ago. But when Kulti returns as Sal’s team coach, she realizes he’s not who he appeared to be, and his passion for soccer itself seems to have vanished. And yet, she has a full season to go through with him.

Genre: Contemporary romance, sports romance

Audience: Adult

Themes/potential trigger warnings: explicit sex

A setting that drags you in

Although nothing happens for a solid eight or nine chapters, Kulti manages to get the reader’s attention. To be clear, I hate soccer and I couldn’t care less about Sal’s team or her routine or her diet. But I’ll admit that Sal’s environment was cozy to read between her girlfriends, her bubbly father, and her coach. Sal Casillas is not the type of main character I enjoy like I enjoyed Jasmine in From Lukov with Love. However, her no-nonsense attitude and her no-drama policy were definitely high points.

Reiner Kulti? I was left wondering what he was doing for half the book. He was like a ghost for most of it. And when he began opening up and befriending Sal, I still felt like his personality was a little dimmed. I must say that Kulti still has his appeal and you do genuinely want to know what’s up with him, and the ending didn’t disappoint me in that regard.

The “I Can Fix Him” Syndrome

Unfortunately, Kulti wasn’t as great as the previous Zapata books I read. I felt like the other books were more about two people working things out based on their personalities, while Kulti had a bit of that I-can-fix-him syndrome. In fact, Sal has to push his buttons many times for this guy to get a grip, and frankly, he doesn’t even have a life outside of her.

Now, I wish I could say I stopped with the Zapata madness right here, but I didn’t. (And boy, I should have!)