2016 is the year of the slightly redeemable a*hole in romance. Between Richard in Act Like It, Raven from Dukes Prefer Blondes, and Joshua Templeman from The Hating Game we had quite a year. And then the lovely Patty threw out a phrase that caught my eye. Well, two phrases. German soccer star. Terrible and magnificent. She was right on all counts.
Kulti is the story of Sal, the lead scorer on a women’s professional soccer team in the US and Reiner Kulti, a recently retired, world soccer superstar. For a reason Sal can’t figure out he ends up taking the assistant coaching job for her team. Sal though has a secret, she has had the biggest crush on him since she was 7 and he was 19. Sal’s crush is almost killed when he arrives and acts like a complete ass. She calls him out on his bullsh*t, and from there a tentative friendship begins.
This one is a slow burn. It takes over 90 % of the story for any traditional “romance” events to occur (and this sucker clocks in at almost 600 pages). But that’s okay. There’s reasons for it, and I appreciated her sticking to a fair amount of realism, beyond the whole getting to fall in love with your celebrity crush business, etc. So my romance catnip is totally bossy heroes. Here’s one for the history books. Kulti is bossy and overbearing, but like our heroes of 2016 listed above, he allows Sal to make her own decisions and be an autonomous person. They make a wonderful and adorable team. Also his big reveal at the end totally made me tear up. It’s so sweet.
The only issues I had with this one were mostly editing related. It felt very self-published, as the issues I kept having usually are caught by an editor instantly. The writing also, at 600 pages, can get a little repetitive, but overall these issues didn’t really hamper my enjoyment of the story.
All of this is to say, if you want to round out your romance year with another wonderful, if definitely still an a*hole? Here’s one for you.