Untouchable: A Bully Romance by Sam Mariano

January 11, 2019 Book Review 2 ★★★★

Untouchable: A Bully Romance by Sam Marianofour-stars
Untouchable by Sam Mariano
Published by Self-published on December 17, 2018
Genres: Suspense
Pages: 541
Buy on Amazon
Available on KU at posting: Yes

The bully isn't supposed to win.

Senior year was off to a rough start: lube in my locker, panties on my front porch, unimaginative name-calling. See, I got a player suspended from the football team for harassing me, and in my small Texas town, you don’t mess with the football players—even if they mess with you first.

I didn’t care if it was an unpopular thing to do; I stood up for myself… and in doing so, opened Pandora’s Box.

I never dreamed I would attract the attention of locally worshipped star quarterback, Carter Mahoney. Never imagined his coveted attention would turn out to be such a nightmare. Beneath his carefully constructed façade lurks a monster, a predator looking for the perfect prey to play with. Now, since I’m the girl no one likes or believes, I guess I’m the perfect target for his dark games and twisted desires.

After surviving my first encounter with his casual depravity, all I really want is for Carter to leave me alone.

But all he seems to want is me.

Warning: This book is provocative. It is categorized as DARK ROMANCE for a reason. It will not be for everyone. If you are a reader with certain triggers or sensitivities common to the dark romance genre, please heed the author’s note at the beginning of this book.

This book may be unsuitable for people under 17 years of age due to its use of sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence.

I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book.

By Lily

Where’s Karma when you need it?

Sam Mariano’s stories are dark, dangerous and totally addictive. This is why I never pass up an opportunity to read one of her books. Untouchable had me a wee bit nervous though. The foreword contains an explicit warning. Heed it carefully. Try a sample because you will have a good idea if Carter’s behaviour is the kind you can overlook – in a fictional sense, of course!

I am at a loss as to what I can share about this book but here goes. It is told entirely from Zoey’s point of view. She’s a teenage girl in her final year of school who has become the target of bullies. The situation spirals out of control when she stands up for herself. She complained about the inappropriate and unwanted attention thrown at her by one of the school’s football players. I applauded her bravery, but it backfired on her and from here on in her nightmare became epic.

Carter, a member of the same football team, escalated the bullying to abuse as he assumed the lead role in harassing Zoey. He belittled her and fed on her good nature. Zoey described him as a psychopath but to me he came across as a hideous, callous villain and my heart wept for the poor girl.

I shook my head in disbelief as Carter persistently wore down Zoey, wondering why people their age were behaving in such a manner, in the first place. Hells bells, no one should be allowed to treat others like that no matter how old they are. The belief that they were untouchable beggared belief, and I hung in there in hope that justice would eventually prevail.

Before I knew it, the tone changed as the Carter and Zoey went from enemies to lovers while the past was miraculously put aside. The sparse time spent within the school environment helped me to compartmentalise and accept Zoey’s change of heart. Carter’s manipulation of all that surrounded him branded him as the puppet master in my head. And for some ungodly reason, it shocked me to realise that I had begun to empathise with him despite the fact I deplored his tactics he used to get Zoey’s attention.

The plot twists kept me curious but once identified, they were easy to fathom. It would be fascinating to read this story from Carter’s PoV. Without being privy to his thought process in the beginning, it was my curiousity that compelled me to read on with a need to understand what drove him to behave the way he did. My need to process why enabled me to connect with Zoey, who looked beyond Carter’s actions and slowly found herself enjoying his company.

This story will challenge dark romance readers with the nature of the harassment Zoey faced. It has taken me weeks to process my thoughts. What kept me invested in reading was Zoey’s strength and determination that she held onto as she dealt with Carter’s manipulative mindf#ck behaviour. I wanted more for Zoey. I wanted to scream at her mother for being so naïve and unsupportive.

Untouchable will not be for everyone. It’s the kind of book that I would only recommend with reservations to a select few with explicit instructions to read the author’s warnings first. It’s important to note that within the darkness of the tale, there are many light and happy moments. If only the foundations for their relationship had not stemmed from coercion.

What I struggled with:

  • No protection on all levels!
  • Threats and belittling
  • Over-thinking
  • Parental indifference

What I loved:

  • The raw chemistry between Carter and Zoey
  • Sibling aided buffer zones
  • Movie time
  • The ending
  • The twisted romance
  • The angst!

4 Dark and Tempting Stars


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2 Responses to “Untouchable: A Bully Romance by Sam Mariano”

  1. Priyanka @forevershereads

    I struggled with all those points too! I knew I hated Carter right after that first scene, yet I couldn’t stop myself from reading. Sam’s writing style just holds you captive – it was a mindf**k of a read

    • Lily

      Hey, nice to meet a fellow dark reader ?
      Sam getting us to read on despite our despair for certain characters’ behaviour is a sign of a good author for sure! Your comment made me smile, 2020 kicked my reading mojo big time. Hoping to get back into reading again soon ♥️?♥️

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