Kulti By Mariana Zapata Book Review

Kulti by Mariana Zapata Book Review. The perfect slow burn romance

Kulti, by Mariana Zapata, is a master class in slow burn enemies to lovers. Now I’ve read three of her books I get why people call her the queen of slow burn. The building relationship is developed in exquisite, addictive details.

Never meet your hero’s is a moto I’ve heard and this is definitely the premise of Kulti. Sal, our heroine gets to meet her childhood soccer hero, and discovers he’s quite the arsehole. Luckily she gives as good as she gets.

Kulti Plot

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.

Kulti Review

fter reading two of Zapata’s books I’m fascinated by how unlikable her hero’s start out. Each time I find myself thinking ‘this guys really not attractive, so what’s going to change’. And this is where Zapata is the queen. Slowly, through character development and plot points this hideously grumpy, and seriously unattractive man begins to become attractive and likeable. And what I like even more is that he’s actually improving. He’s not secretly in love with the heroine and being an arsehole, he’s a legitimate arsehole that has to learn the error of his ways.

Kulti is such an amazing slow burn romance, an amazing enemies to lovers romance, and an addictive character and sport story, but I just want to address a part of it that I struggled to forgive, even though most of it was really great. Women’s sports have a huge queer culture and that’s amazing. Everyone is accepted as who they are, whether they’re straight, bi, or a lesbian. I remember seeing a dot chart of the World Cup teams showing all their connections from dating each other. There’s just no mention of this in Kulti, which I found sad and glaringly obvious.

Looking at the actual characters of Sal and Kulti I found them phenomenal. They’re not perfect. They’re both competitive, both have tempers and Kulti especially has to grow as a person to deserve Sal. Sal is nuanced. Not everyone loves her. She’s so driven with soccer that she doesn’t form connections with her teammates.

The first time Kulti and Sal play soccer together is pure foreplay. The building friendship and then love between them is the stuff of crack, you just want to keep reading to find out more. Their firey natures, Kulti’s jealousy and fame, and the forbidden fraternisation in the team make for some fun drama to keep everything moving.

It’s proper slow burn, so all the spice is right at the end, but we get a bit more this time than we did from The Wall Of Winnipeg. You’ve been made to wait so long for the leads to get together, that’s it’s pure magic when they finally do.


Kulti is one of the best slow burn romances that I’ve read in a while. It’s got the sex appeal, the drama, and the character development that a good romance book needs. I just wish it also had a bit of the queer culture that’s a positive part of women’s sports.


Prev post: The Perfect Historical Romances To Read While We Wait For BridgertonNext post: The Wall Of Winnipeg By Mariana Zapata Book Review

Related posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

About Me

Hi, I'm Bliss, the reader and writer behind Books For Bliss. Discover book reviews, lists for your next great read, or a story to make you feel great. It's all right at your finger tips; happiness on a page. Read More