Kulti, a whirlwind sports romance novel by Mariana Zapata, tells the story of Sal Casillas, an ambitious women’s soccer player, and her coach, Reiner Kulti. Their relationship evolves from rivalry to friendship, and ultimately, to something more. If you loved Kulti and are craving more tension and spice, we have compiled a list of 20 sports romance books that will capture your heart.
About Kulti by Mariana Zapata
Kulti follows the journey of Sal Casillas, a determined professional soccer player aiming for international success. When she discovers that her new coach is the soccer legend she idolized as a child and her brother’s rival, everything changes. Sal and Kulti clash initially, but as their rocky relationship transforms into a strong friendship, they start to question if there could be something deeper between them. Kulti is a slow-burn sports romance that will surely make your heart race.
About Mariana Zapata
Mariana Zapata is a New York Times bestselling author renowned for her slow-burn new adult sports romances. Her notable works include Under Locke, The Wall of Winnipeg and Me, From Lukov With Love, and, of course, Kulti. Zapata is highly acclaimed on Amazon, frequently nominated for Goodreads Choice Awards in the romance category, and has gained popularity on TikTok. She resides in Colorado with her husband and their two Great Danes, feeding her passion for both reading and writing romance novels. You can find all of her books on the Ratingperson website.
20 Best Romance Books Like Kulti
Wrecking Ball by P. Dangelico
Calvin Shaw, an NFL quarterback, impulsively hires Cam Desantis as a live-in nanny for his nephew. However, they find each other intolerable at first. Yet, the undeniable fire between them eventually breaks through their walls. Wrecking Ball is a sizzling sports romance that explores the transformative power of love. Get the hot romance here!
Waking Olivia by Elizabeth O’Roark
In this enemies-to-lovers sports romance, Olivia, a transfer student, clashes with Will Langstrom, the coach of her college track team. Olivia believes Will is full of himself, while he struggles with personal issues. Despite their initial animosity, their undeniable attraction brings them closer. Waking Olivia is a stunning coach-athlete romance that will keep you captivated. Get this wickedly delicious book here!
The Game Plan by Micalea Smeltzer
Bennett James, a remarkable hockey player with a bad boy reputation, joins forces with Grace Wentworth, a good girl determined to better her career. However, their competitive natures complicate their relationship. The Game Plan is an intoxicating good girl, bad boy romance that sizzles with passion. Get it here!
Offside: Rules of the Game by Avery Keelan
Bailey James seeks revenge on her ex by finding solace in the arms of their biggest rival, Chase. Despite the rules against fraternizing, Bailey and Chase’s undeniable connection challenges everything they know. Offside: Rules of the Game is a luscious sports romance that explores forbidden love. Get Offside: Rules of the Game here!
Scoring Wilder by R. S. Grey
Kinsley Bryant, a future Olympian, risks it all by seducing her soccer coach, Liam Wilder. Similar to Kulti, this forbidden romance between a bad boy coach and a soccer player is filled with irresistible passion. Scoring Wilder is a sensual novel that will leave you breathless. Get this enticing read here!
Icebreaker by Hannah Grace
Anastasia Allen, a dedicated figure skater, reluctantly partners with Nathan Hawkins, a hockey player she dislikes. As they skate together, their off-ice tension heats up, leading to a passionate romance. Icebreaker is a steamy enemies-to-lovers love affair that will melt your heart. Get Icebreaker by Hannah Grace here!
Iced Out by CE Ricci
This LGBTQ+ enemies-to-lovers sports romance follows Quinton and Oakley, rival hockey players who find themselves entangled in a heated affair. Despite their initial hatred, an invigorating bond emerges between them. Iced Out delivers a thrilling bad boy and golden boy romance centered around hockey. Get Iced Out by CE Ricci here!
The Deal by Elle Kennedy
Hannah Wells, a no-nonsense college student, strikes up a deal with Garrett Graham, the captain of the hockey team, to capture his attention. However, their chemistry explodes beyond their initial expectations. The Deal will captivate you with its explosive chemistry and unforgettable love story. Get The Deal by Elle Kennedy here!
The Wall of Winnipeg and Me by Mariana Zapata
Vanessa Mazur worked for Aiden Graves, a brooding NFL player, never expecting their paths to cross again. But when Aiden shows up on her doorstep, seeking her help, she is intrigued. The Wall of Winnipeg and Me is another slow-burn sports romance by Mariana Zapata that will leave you longing for more. Find this assistant and boss love story here!
Blind Side by Kandi Steiner
Giana is determined to lose her virginity, and Clay Johnson wants to make his ex jealous. They strike a deal: Clay will teach Giana about physicality, and she will pretend to be his new girlfriend. However, their plan takes an unexpected turn when they fall in love. Blind Side is a smutty romance novel that has taken BookTok by storm. Find this irresistible romance here!
Long Shot by Kennedy Ryan
In this forbidden love basketball romance, Iris is in an abusive relationship with an NBA player when she meets August, a rival player. Their undeniable passion keeps them orbiting each other for years until they finally seize their chance at love. Long Shot is a powerful and moving sports romance that will leave you breathless. Get this moving novel here!
Hook, Line and Sinker by Tessa Bailey
In this funny and charming slow-burn romance, a player falls for his best friend while helping her find a suitable partner. If you enjoyed the deep friendship dynamic between Sal and Kulti, you’ll love Hannah and Fox’s relationship in Hook, Line and Sinker. Prepare yourself for a heartwarming romantic comedy. Get this delightful book here!
Arrogant Devil by R.S. Grey
Meredith Avery escapes a toxic relationship and ends up in a small town in Texas, where she reluctantly becomes a ranch hand and catches the attention of Jack McKnight. Banter-filled and endearing, Arrogant Devil takes you on a journey through a small town and tackles serious topics with a touch of romance. Get this charming cowboy love story here!
The Cheat Sheet by Sarah Adams
Bree Camden and Nathan Donelson have been best friends for years, unaware of their mutual romantic feelings. However, after a drunken night, they find themselves in a fake relationship. As their friendship blurs the lines, their true emotions surface. The Cheat Sheet is a clean romance that has taken BookTok by storm in 2022. Get The Cheat Sheet by Sarah Adams here!
Consider Me by Becka Mack
Carter, a cocky NHL player, meets Olivia, his teammate’s best friend, and falls head over heels for her. Despite his attempts at wooing her, Olivia rejects him, leading Carter to question his feelings. Consider Me is an enchanting romance novel that explores the complexities of love and relationships. Get Consider Me by Becka Mack here!
First Down by Grace Reilly
James, a football star, needs a tutor to help him improve his writing skills. Beckett Wood, a no-nonsense individual, comes to his aid. Their fake relationship slowly blossoms into something more. First Down is a swoon-worthy sports romance that brings together fan-favorite tropes. Find this captivating romance here!
Playing Hard to Get by Monica Murphy
Joanna, a shy and quiet girl, tutors the star of the college football team, Knox, and inevitably falls in love with him. As their bond strengthens physically, JoJo has to decide if Knox’s intentions are genuine. Monica Murphy’s spicy scenes will delight fans of steamy hookups. Get Playing Hard to Get here!
You & Me by Tal Bauer
Landon Larsen, a beloved father, befriends Luke, another single dad with a distant son on the same team. As their friendship grows, a touching and lasting romantic connection develops. You & Me is a slow-burn romance that celebrates the beauty of love and parenthood. Find this similar slow-burn novel here!
Love In the Red Zone by Love Belvin
Trent is given a second chance at his football career and is determined not to mess it up. Jade is a single mother doing her best to provide for her son. Against all odds, they come together and find solace in each other’s arms. Love In the Red Zone is a passionate and unforgettable romance. Get this character-centered novel here!
The Muse: A Pride and Prejudice Variation by Jessica Evans
Elizabeth Bennet, a talented ballet dancer, works alongside choreographer William Darcy in this modern-day adaptation of Pride and Prejudice. Through misunderstandings and intense attraction, these two individuals find love amidst their shared passion for sports. The Muse: A Pride and Prejudice Variation is a unique and captivating sports romance. Get this delightful book here!
Mariana Zapata has revolutionized the world of sports romance novels with Kulti. This Amazon and BookTok sensation expertly weaves beloved tropes such as good girl/bad boy, coach/athlete, crush-to-enemies-to-friends-to-lovers, slow burn, and grumpy/sunshine into a captivating narrative. If you’re craving more sports romance, we hope you’ll find your next favorite read among these similar books. Prepare to swoon, score, and sigh your way through this list!