Review: Untouchable by Sam Mariano

UNTOUCHABLE
Genre: Dark Romance
Author: Sam Mariano
Release Date: December 16, 2018

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.

AMAZONSpoilers to follow…

It’s terrifying, his disregard for right and wrong. The pleasure he gets out of making me powerless.

I have sat on the rating for this book for a solid week, totally and completely conflicted. On the one hand, the writing is solid and the story interesting enough to have me continuing after the HOLY SHIT DID I JUST READ WHAT I THINK I DID in the first 5%. Yes, the warning does a good job of preparing the reader and making them understand that this is not a typical angsty high school romance. It’s dark (but not in the usual sense). Yes, the author does an incredible job of painting two very well developed characters that you can’t help but be curious about. Yes, it had me reading well into the night to see how it all ends.

But…and this is a big BUT. I’m talking about the but of all buts here, people. You may argue with me that this is fiction. You may argue with me that you have to suspend your disbelief because you’re reading a darker book. But here’s the thing, no matter how you spin it, FOR ME, this book romanticizes sexual abuse. It is not, I repeat, NOT a dub con. It is sexual abuse. Pure and simple. And there is nothing dark, interesting, captivating, or intriguing about the hero to me. He’s a rapey asshole. No matter how much the author tries to justify him, or explain his actions (and she does) at the end. He’s not an anti-hero I can get behind, because there is just nothing redeemable about him to me.

I’ll be honest, this is a book that you will either love, or hate. There is no middle ground. No gray area.

HIGHLIGHT TO VIEW SPOILER This “anti-hero” forces the heroine to give him a blowjob as part of sexual blackmail/bullying in the first 5% of the book. And no, it’s not the kind of blowjob where she secretly wants it but he can see through it. She hates it. She doesn’t want to do it. And he forces her into performing the act in front of his two other jock buddies that have been making her life miserable in high school after she reported one of them for touching her inappropriately and getting him kicked off the football team. END SPOILER

I’ll let you think on that for a second here. Is that a character you can read about? If so, you’ll fall into the side of readers that would love this book.

And if you’re like me and couldn’t see past this for the entirety of the book? Welp. I’ll tell you that this book just isn’t for you.

And here’s the thing. He CONTINUES this behavior for the entire fucking book.HIGHLIGHT TO VIEW SPOILER [He takes her virginity because HE decides that she’s ready even after she repeatedly asked him not to and told him she wants to wait. He repeatedly fucks her without a condom even when she begs him to wrap him up and is scared to be a teenage pregnancy statistic. END SPOILER

And the heroine? No matter how smart, sassy, strong willed, or backboned she is…just takes it all.
Again, you’ll say to me, but Lana, it’s fiction, calm your tits.

And I’ll say to you that what it is, is tone-deaf. It spins a tale of a completely fucked up rapey asshole and shows that all he needs, is to find a woman that “understands” him and doesn’t want to change him. Because that’s just who he is, and so long as she “gets him”, it’s all ok. And it’s all ok because he only does that to her. He doesn’t feel those urges towards any other unsuspecting female victims women. Just her.
And in the midst of the #MeToo movement, I’m quite honestly shocked that a book like this is written.

I’m not a delicate snowflake. I LOVE a dark romance and I’ve read my fair share. Just take a look at my shelves. But this book is just not one I can get behind. Nor do I even consider to be a dark romance. Aside from the rapey aspects of the book, there is nothing dark about it. Perhaps if it was written as a true dark romance, it would have been a different case entirely. The author is clearly a talented writer, and I’ll be trying some of her other books. Sometimes a character just isn’t for you, and this was that case for me. Again, it’s a matter of taste. And as I’ve said, you’ll either love or hate it. So read it and judge for yourself.

Copyright © 2015 · Dirty Girl Romance

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