by Mariana Zapata
Release Date: Marcy 20, 2015
Source: Own CopyWhen 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.
For over a year now, EVERYONE has been telling me to read this book. I am a huge sports romance fan and I've loved the few Mariana Zapata books I've read, so it's about time I finally picked this book up!
Sal Casillas has worshipped Rainer Kulti since she was a little girl. So when he becomes one of the new coaches of her professional soccer team, she's as excited as everyone else seems to be. Until Kulti shows up to their practice with his steely glare and quiet demeanor. Sal soon becomes infuriated with the ex-professional soccer player, but she soon learns that there is much more to Kulti than meets the eye. Sal and Kulti strike up an unusual friendship as Sal fights to remember that the brooding and oh-so-attractive German is her coach and completely off limits.
The first thing I have to warn anyone who tries to read this book is that it is SLOW BURN. These two become friends and I really appreciated how genuine their relationship was. I was living for their time together and loved every moment they trained or just hung out, even if it wasn't romantic for SO LONG. Also, even though there is a pretty significant age gap, I wasn't bothered by it in the least. Sal was so dedicated to her sport and they were able to bond over their drive and passion for soccer.
While I was all in for the romance brewing between Sal and Kulti, I also really loved all of the side characters that were involved in the story. I am super close with my dad, so I really loved how close Sal was with her father. Sal's family was never forgotten and I enjoyed the times when she visited or stayed with them. Her friends on the soccer team were also fun and I loved the dynamic they all had with one another.
It's no surprise that this book has been one of my favorites of the year so far. I loved all of the soccer and the slow burn of the romance between Sal and Kulti. While the wait drove me crazy, it was well worth it. If you want a romance with a brooding but irresistible soccer player, you have to pick up Kulti!