Book Review

Book Review: Kulti by Mariana Zapata

Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆
Audience: Contemporary romance
Length: 570 pages
Author: Mariana Zapata
Publisher: Self-published
Release Date: March 20th, 2015
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

“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.

A NEW FAVORITE.

All Rhodes Lead Here and Kulti are officially my favorite MZ books.

THIS SOCCER ROMANCE WAS EVERYTHING.

I absolutely loved Sal. The focus was clearly on her and her soccer career. I adored her as a character and the type of person she was. Sal was loyal and kind with a temper. Enter in Reiner Kulti who is silent as stone and immovable in emotions. CHEMISTRY FLIES. I love how they went from barely acquittances, to actual friends, and THEN to a romantic relationship. It all felt so natural and hot dang was fantastic. I love MZ’s ability to make me swoon over every tiny hand hold or hug. Those soft moments when you realize that stone is actually clay and is forming a new bond right in front of your eyes.

You won’t even notice that this is 600 pages. The progression is flawless and the pacing is everything I love about a stellar slow burn. My heart was an absolute puddle in the last pages with confessions and acknowledgements of feelings. A PUDDLE. Wow does Rey know how to lay out some tender words when he wants too. His support for Sal was EVERYTHING.

I really loved this story. It was heavily focused on the soccer season and yet never felt like it was overshadowing the fact that this is a romance book. Both plots wove seamlessly and I am smitten. Not to mention, smitten with the side characters too. Sal’s Dad was a GEM. And made me laugh and smile along with her other friends. I have nothing but good things to say about this book and highly recommend for anyone looking for a sports romance to turn their heart to mush.

Overall audience notes:

  • Contemporary romance
  • Language: some strong
  • Romance: kisses to open door scenes
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: slut-shaming

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Book Review

Book Review: The Wall of Winnipeg and Me by Mariana Zapata

Rating: ☆☆☆☆
Audience: Contemporary Romance
Length: 673 pages
Author: Mariana Zapata
Publisher: Self-published
Release Date: February 28th, 2016
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Vanessa Mazur knows she’s doing the right thing. She shouldn’t feel bad for quitting. Being an assistant/housekeeper/fairy godmother to the top defensive end in the National Football Organization was always supposed to be temporary. She has plans and none of them include washing extra-large underwear longer than necessary.

But when Aiden Graves shows up at her door wanting her to come back, she’s beyond shocked.

For two years, the man known as The Wall of Winnipeg couldn’t find it in him to tell her good morning or congratulate her on her birthday. Now? He’s asking for the unthinkable.

What do you say to the man who is used to getting everything he wants?

MY FIRST ZAPATA BOOK!

I did it. I read a book by Zapata and my first sports romance!

And I have wide-ranging thoughts on the matter. Namely, mixed, but on the positive side overall.

I have decided I need a lot more sports romances in my life, why did I take so long to read one? I love the aspects added in and I thought it really made the book even better. Aiden was *all the stars*. I adored his character and thought his progression from stoic to, stoic AND tender was fantastic. Seeing him slowly open up to Vanessa, and acknowledging he’s totally smitten with her, had me totally smitten with him. YUP. On the other side of that coin, I struggled with Vanessa. Maybe because it was all from her point of view. I felt there was repetitive nature to her thoughts that got to be a bit much. She may have been a bit aloof, but without the repetitiveness I did like her character progression as well. Aiden and Vanessa did have stellar chemistry, so that was a big bonus.

The last quarter of this book was dynamite. I think because of the speedier nature compared to the rest of it, things moved at the pace I was craving to finally reach. That sealed the deal for me to give it four stars (rather than 3.5). For someone who loves slow-burns, I felt this really toed the too slow line. And the way it jumped from a very mild romance book to WHOA in the final chapter just made me shrug my shoulders.

Lots of good and some eh. I did read (and listen) to this very fast. It truly did keep my attention which is always nice to have. With the length, it does seem long at times, but I was surprised at how little I really noticed. I definitely want to try another Zapata book and see what other romances she has!

Overall audience notes:

  • Contemporary sports romance
  • Language: some strong
  • Romance: kisses / make-outs; a detailed almost scene and one very open-door scene
  • Violence: physical, football related injuries
  • Trigger warnings: a physically abusive boyfriend (a side character), mentions of abusive parents and siblings

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