Author: Sam Mariano
Mature Young Adult Dark Romance
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.
I feel like I need to explain a bit before I get into the review of this book… I enjoy dark romances, I have a pretty high tolerance for dark subjects.. if a book has a trigger warning it’s no problem for me most of the times.. because even if they tend to handle dubious consent, or forceful interactions.. the books I have read do that in a way that it’s appealing to read about (I do not condone this behaviour at all but I like reading about it for some twisted reason)..
Now let me get back to the review of this book… This was the first time when I’m left speechless (metaphorically speaking) I truly don’t know what to say without spoiling this book (and to be honest that is what I want to do so you can be prepared for it) If I had to rate just the writing, the pacing, character development and such I would have said that this was an interesting “bully type romance”… Because regardless of how much I disliked it I can be fair enough to see its high points.. and it does have them, It made me read a 500 page book that I can’t explain to you why I finish… it has a good banter between the characters,a fly through style of writing, an interesting initial storyline — A girl who doesn’t take sexual abuse from a football star and it’s now suffering the consequences of speaking out —
Here you have the “good idea” of this book but it gets obliterated by the first few chapters of it… As I mentioned before I love my fucked up (excuse the language) relationships.. those that have you questioning your sanity because bottom line they are messed up and toxic… but in the end they have that line that it’s handle but not quite crossed that push and pull that keeps you hooked… This book not only crossed that line it blew it to pieces and danced above it..
It’s not that Carter (our main guy) is an asshole bully with a dark and twisted past — no guys, I usually like that — It’s that he went above and beyond abusive sociopathic behaviour here, and after what he did to Zoey (our main girl) there’s no way in hell — no matter how you justify it that you were going to make me believe a relationship between them was even possible … particularly with the context given to Zoey’s character…
I couldn’t even suspend my disbelief guys, it wasn’t happening… I will give kudos to the author because she doesn’t shy away from fucked up topics.. and she’s talented I will give her that but this book made me realize that even I have a limit when it comes to dark romances… This is it…
I’m not going to recommend this to anyone, I’m just warning you about it even if you enjoy darker themes in your books…