It all began about a month ago on Facebook when the Patty half of PattyKates started talking about a book she liked called Kulti. SHE LIKED IT! She doesn’t like much of anything other than torturing Katie with ridiculously bad romances. And then Mrs. Julien made a one word post “Kuuuuultiiii!” At this point I knew I needed to investigate further. This is where I stepped wrong. While investigating Ms. Zapata, I made the mistake of buying her $.99 novel, Lingus. I had problems with it and decided to wait a while to read Kulti. Last night, an owl and my dog woke me up around midnight. Since I couldn’t get back to sleep I decided to start Kulti and see if I could turn my brain off. I know that seems counterintuitive, but all the other books on my kindle had been putting me to sleep. Just a few hours earlier I had been whining on Facebook about not being able to focus on a book. Kulti grabbed me, and I read for the rest of the night. I am so tired right now.
I really do get why this book is getting such great reviews. Sal, short for Salome, is an unusual heroine. She is a professional soccer player and co-owns a landscape business on the side (because professional women’s soccer doesn’t pay well). Reiner Kulti is a retired German soccer superstar who has come to be an assistant coach for Sal’s team. Together they are a compelling couple. The progression of their relationship is engaging. The moment I really bought into their relationship is when Sal gets frustrated and challenges Reiner to a one on one soccer game. Their relationship isn’t smooth sailing, but after that I understand it. There’s a connection between them beyond an old crush and physical attraction.
Kulti reared back, his face scrunching up. “What are you talking about?”
I waved him onward more insistently. “Come on. I’m not going to be your punching bag the rest of the season. You and me, whoever makes it to seven first, wins.”
His bottom lip dropped and he blinked. Then he blinked again, confused.
“Come on,” I repeated.
“Kulti.” I waved him forward, giving him one more chance to do this the easy way. “You’re being ridiculous.” All right. I sniffled and took a deep breath. “And you’re being a coward.”
The protagonists are a match for each other in a way that is regrettably rare in romance. They are able to understand, support, and rescue each other
Another thing that worked well is Sal’s circle of friends and family. Sal is the narrator of this romance, and her external relationships give the reader a clearer picture of who she is and ground her strange experiences with Kulti.
So why am I not putting this on my best of list? Once you move outside of Sal’s circle of friends, the problem of whores, bitches and sluts rears its ugly head. It’s less present here than it was in Lingus, but it’s still present, and it still bothers me.
I suspect my current life situation of dealing with my father makes the Difficult Man a less attractive romantic ideal. I was frustrated with Sal for working so hard on maintaining her relationship with Kulti. She is rewarded in the end, but my experience with reality makes the struggle more exhausting than entertaining.
Zapata could really use an editor. There are a lot places the story could have been tightened.
It’s definitely worth reading, even if I’m not as enthusiastic as many of my fellow Cannonballers.