Freaky Friday Flashback: One of the Most Twisted "Heroes" I've Ever Read

May 29, 2020

Have you ever read a romance that catches you so off guard with how fucked up the hero is that the only reason you don't put it down is because you have to see how in the world the author is possibly going to redeem him?

That's exactly what happened to me with Untouchable by Sam Mariano! I was almost certain I would wind up dnfing it, but thankfully, I kept on reading. 

It's certainly not a book for everyone, but if you're a new adult, dark romance fan, I recommend you give it a try! 

I have a lot of thoughts on this book, and I don't think I can do a better job of expressing them than I did in my review.

It took me a lot of time, but I think I finally got it right. 

This review is actually one of my favorites I've ever written, so I thought it would be the perfect one to post for Freaky Friday Flashback!

 Holy fucking shit! That's what I thought as I read the beginning of Untouchable by Sam Mariano. The first scene between the main characters, Carter and Zoey, is more than just uncomfortable. It's sick, twisted, and fucked up on a level I've never seen in a book about high school students. In fact, the entire book is.

I'm not going to lie or sugarcoat this. If you have ever read a book and disliked it, because you thought the hero was abusive or the couple's relationship was toxic, back away slowly now. No. Fuck that. Run! Run away and never look back! I'm serious. Don't even bother picking up this book. You will hate it. I think anyone that reads this and wants to enjoy it has to be extremely curious, open minded, and/or love dark, fucked up relationships.

The purpose of this review is not to scare every reader away. Normally, I don't do much warning in reviews at all. I just feel like this one needs it though. It's better to find out if a book is going to be a huge bust for you before you dive into it if you can help it. It's also better for the author.

Basically, this story has the potential to piss a lot of people off. That's just a fact. The author knew that when she wrote it. She has a warning in the beginning of the book itself, so I don't feel bad expressing this now. Now that we've got that out of the way, let's get into my thoughts on this one!

I've read a lot of Sam Mariano's previous work. It's clear she loves her asshole alpha heroes. I love them, too. It's probably a big part of why I've enjoyed all of her books in the past. She also has a knack for writing characters that you can both love and hate at the same time. I've never seen an author do this the way she does. She's kind of fucking brilliant in that way actually.

However, when I started reading this book, I didn't think she could get me to read past chapter 2. What Carter does to Zoey is absolutely disgusting and flat out unforgivable.  There's no two ways about it.

I whole heartedly believe there was nothing Sam could do to completely redeem him to me. That's the thing about her though. She almost never completely redeems her characters (at least the ones I've read about). It's that simple. What she does is finds heroines that are perfect for them just the way they are, and that's exaclty what she did here. 

Not only did I read past chapter 2, I read almost the whole damn book in one night! It's over 500 pages! Her writing style sucked me in completely. The interactions between the characters are just so interesting that I couldn't stop reading. I had to know where the author was going to take the story after all of the horrible shit that happened between them in the beginning of the book. Obviously, I knew they were going to probably end up together. I mean, this is romance after all. Exactly how the fuck that was going to happen was what kept me intrigued.

Both characters infuriated me time and time again, but after a while, no matter how fucked up and wrong it was....I wanted them to end up together. That being said, I wish Carter would have been more sorry for what he did. Hell, I wish Zoey would have lit his house on fire with him in it instead of starting a relationship, but neither one of those things happened. Thankfully, Sam found another way for things to end that left me feeling satisfied.

In the end, Zoey and Carter are perfect for one another. She is just strong enough and crazy enough to challenge him, keep his interest, and deal with his emotional issues. He is morally challenged, emotionally scarred, and messed up enough mentally to peak her academic interest and tug at her heart strings. On top of that, they are sexually compatible in every way.

Their intense chemistry made for some scorching hot sex scenes! Overall, it's a match made in crazy town, but by the end, I was cool with it. Both parties understood what they were getting into and were truly happy.

Bottomline, I enjoyed this book despite the fact that I think Zoey is insane for forgiving him and attempting any type of relationship academic or otherwise. In real life, I would never be okay with this type of relationship, but lucky for me, this is fiction. 

One of the things I love about fiction is that it has different rules than we do in the real world. Not every story has to have a moral or an inspirational message. Some stories are just for fun, to make you think, to explore unique situations and complicated characters, or to make your panties wet from laughing or because it's hot af. This is one of those books, and I enjoyed reading it.

I recommend this to readers of dark and extremely unconventional romance with damaged characters and anyone that isn't concerned about my warning, the author's warning, or warnings in general. 

Before you go, here's a little taste of Carter and Zoey for you to enjoy!


Carter smirks, catching me around the waist and pressing me up against his car. “One small flaw in your plan, princess.”

I let him smash me against the warm metal at my back. Holding his gaze as he leans in until our chests are touching, I ask, “Oh yeah? What’s that?”

“If no one else is paying my dick any attention, I’ll make you pick up the slack.”

It shouldn’t send a thrill through me when he tells me he’d ‘make me,’ because he’s him, and I know he actually would. He seems to have twisted something in my brain though, because instead of wanting to push him away for saying something so perverse, I want to hook my leg around his hip and draw him closer. I want to spread my thighs and feel his heat between them. I want to play with him, egg him on, tell him to go on and do it, then. 

But I can’t, because I really do need to get to class. 
“Maybe that was my diabolical plan all along,” I tease. 

“Maybe it was.” Carter smiles, dragging the back of his hand along the curve of my jaw. “Well played, Ellis. I hope you read the fine print, though. Now you’ve locked yourself inside a cage with the beast.”

“That’s okay,” I joke, just before his lips brush mine. “I’ve got thick skin, and I’m beginning to like when you nibble on me.”

Did you enjoy Untouchable by Sam Mariano?

Do you have any recs for me with twisted heroes or stories you've enjoyed that make you question your sanity? 

If so, leave them below in the comments! I would be happy to check them out! 

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