Series: Coastal Elite
Published by Self on 7/29/22
Genres: Dark Romance
Buy on Amazon US
A psychopath and his prey.
A dangerous, toxic, and utterly destructive love story...
He could have been my hero.
He saved my life that night, a beautiful dark angel slicing through my fear and the water, dragging me from its deadly clutches.
He should have been my hero.
I thought maybe he was.
Villains aren’t supposed to win, and good should always conquer evil, but in the elite coastal town I live in, the only purpose a label has is letting you know what something—or someone—costs. Good, bad; it’s all relative, and it hardly matters. Baymont, California, is a land of beautiful villains and happy-ever-afters that are just out of reach.
Especially for me
Until Dare moves the world beneath my feet, and even though I’m afraid to trust it—to trust him—boy, am I tempted.
In more ways than one.
Being with Dare is scary, but being without him is impossible.
He makes it impossible.
Dare’s no hero, that much is clear, but maybe…
Maybe he’s mine.
This story contains triggers and is intended only for a mature, adult audience. See the opening author's note for more explicit warnings, but know this is a very dangerous relationship with a very dark hero.
EVEN IF IT HURTS: A Toxic Romance (Coastal Elite) by Sam Mariano
Release Date: July 29th
Genre/Tropes: Dark Romance/Bully Romance/Villain gets the girl/Psycho Hero
I am not sure where to start. I love Sam Mariano. She gave me Carter Mahoney, one of my top favorite dark heroes ever. And yet Dare sits on a throne all his own, though I will say he is not knocking Carter off, just that he is in a world of his own. I want to first say, in real life, I would tell any woman in this situation to run and the author agrees at the start of the book. With that, I could literally not stop reading. I had to know what would happen next, but also sat at the edge of my seat waiting to see what would happen next.
Aubrey has the weight of the world on her shoulders. She has so many responsibilities at such a young age and she does so with grace, even as she bends under the burden of it at times. What Aubrey never saw coming was Anae, her school’s mean girl, getting her sights set on her and determined to bring her down. Even if it means letting her boyfriend, and I use the term boyfriend and letting loosely, have some fun with her. Though Aubrey knows who Dare and Anae are, when she truly meets Dare, she confuses him to an angel and her life is never the same again.
This is where I am going to struggle. Did I like Dare, no, I did not like him as much I did when I did. He is not a good person. But he wanted, was fixated and loved (in his way) Aubrey so much. Nothing would deter him from his path to have her. And I mean nothing. In fiction, I love that in a (anti)-hero. I do, what can I say, but I do. Was their relationship toxic, yes, yes it was, but the obsession and love was there. Healthy or not.
Aubrey was smart and determined. She and her mother were alone in the world, but she did what she could for her mom. She loved her mom. Her life was taking care of her mom, work, school, keeping her head down, rinse and repeat. Then Dare and Anae enter it and well, nothing is ever the same again. She knows who Dare is. Knows the rumors around him and his girlfriend. She should not trust him, but he slowly and very deliberately becomes a vital part of her life. But there are dangers surrounding him and those around him. Is Aubrey safe with him?
I could not stop reading. I just could not. I had to know what was going on and where it was leading too. But I was also a bit scared. Dare said the right things. He (mostly) did the right things. He made Aubrey feel safe even if she wasn’t. He did have her in mind with everything he did. And I mean everything. Do I believe he loved her, yes, yes I do. In his way. Do I believe she loves him, yes, yes I do. Would I condone this in real life, no, but that is the thing, this is fiction. Here I could not stop reading. I devoured this story. Do I recommend this, yes, if you love dark romance and do not have triggers, have at it. This story will take you to the edge over and over again. If dark romance is not for you and dub-con and/or non-con are triggers, stay far away. I, for one, am excited to see what is next.
AVAILABLE NOW!!! FREE IN KU!!!
Amazon US: https://amzn.to/3zkco4q
Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B0B7XNJCZK
Amazon AU: https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B0B7XNJCZK
Amazon CA: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B0B7XNJCZK/
Add to Goodreads: https://bit.ly/even-if-it-hurts-TBR
About the Author:
Sam Mariano loves to write edgy, twisty romantic reads with complicated characters you’re left thinking about long after you turn the last page. Her favorite thing about indie publishing is the ability to play by your own rules! If she isn’t reading one of the thousands of books on her to-read list, writing her next book, or playing with her adorable preschooler… actually, that’s about all she has time for these days.
Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/292083204528925/