Published by Tantor Audio on July 28th 2015
Genres: Contemporary Romance
16 hours and 13 minutes
“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
by Mariana Zapata
Now I get it
I knew about Kulti. I had read Under Locke by Mariana Zapataand 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 Kultibut 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 Zapata in the future.