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A Harmless Little Game (Harmless #1) Kindle Edition
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I also had issues with some holes in the plot.
Plot point 1 - she was 19 when this happened. She was sent "away" to recover and basically held against her will for 4 years until her father needs her for his election campaign. I'm 1000% positive you can't legally institutionalize someone without going to court deeming them unfit. None of this happens.
Plot point 2 - Drew ships off and serves time in the military and is out and has his own business. Well respected and all. It's been 4 years how did you manage to serve 4 years in the military, leave, and have a protection business that is highly regarded in just 4 years. If this were 10 years later fine but not 4.
Plot point 3 - None of the men who violated Lindsay were ever charged. Okay happens all the time. That I can believe. What I don't believe is that the cops and the DA decide she wanted it because the boys and some girls said she wanted it. They NEVER interviewed Lindsay. They can't legal close a case without interviewing the accuser. CAN"T HAPPEN. They can sit down listen to what she said happen and still say it was all fun and games but they would still talk with her.
Plot point 4 - This one really ticks me off. One of the reasons stated as to why the DA opted out was because the rape counselor went to the media saying she wasn't raped. Supposedly this person was never punished. The person violated HIPAA. That person would lose their license and have a massive lawsuit against them for speaking out. This person instead received a 6 figure payout from the networks for their story. Nope. The media is many things but I highly doubt they would pay for a story like that since they would then be part of the lawsuit.
I guess I just don't understand why she wouldn't stand up and tell her side of the story. Write a book, find a reporter, or start a freaking blog to tell her side. She had her medical records to share. There aren't a lot of people who would hear the condition she was in and believe she agreed to have that done to her. There were people who were there who told a different story then the rapists and mean girls. Let them come out and tell there side. Yes it is a he said she said but at least your advocating for yourself. Instead she has these unnamed plans to get even but still is be shamed for what she "agreed" too.
A HARMLESS LITTLE GAME by Meli Raine is a New Adult romantic suspense and the first third of what I'd consider a novel. This book does not stand alone, and readers should know they must purchase the next two installments for the whole story.
An ad for this book came to me via a free-book email newsletter, and I was instantly drawn to the dark premise and the promise of a high-adrenaline revenge plot. After I checked out the writing sample on Amazon, I knew I'd fall in love with this book and one-clicked it without hesitation. I shoved all other TBR books out of the way so I could dive into this immediately, wide-eyed with excitement, because I suspected this book would become one of my favorites of all time.
Lindsay Bosworth is an early-twenties daughter of a California Senator. She's also spent the past 4 years on a remote island, inside a mental institution, recovering from a brutal college gang rape that was broadcast online. Since the video showed her then-boyfriend sitting by, casually watching the assault as it happened, and since Lindsay's three college "friends" told police Lindsay asked for a gang rape, no charges were pressed, and the whole of America believes she is just the dirtiest little vixen who got what she asked for: a drugged drink, broken ocular bones, torn ACL, and a romp so brutal it tore her insides, leaving her near death. With her father now plotting a run for the white house, his focus is of course PR (not his only child's welfare) and how his team of media experts can spin Lindsay's past exuberant behavior (because, everyone blames her--she asked for it). All Lindsay wants is to reclaim some sort of new normalcy and for at least her own father and mother to acknowledge she didn't ask to be raped. But nobody cares--what's done is done. Except now her attackers are back, taunting her with invitations to "play" with them again and setting her up for another front-page scandal. This time, though, their harmless little games involve severed brake lines. Lindsay can't decide who to trust, and when her do-nothing-but-watch-the-rape boyfriend reappears in her life offering "protection" her whole world gets flipped, because deep down, even though he stood by and watched three men brutalize her, she still loves him.
Despite the implausibility of the premise, there is so much to love about this book: the dark story line, Raine's writing, the adrenaline-soaked pages, the raw emotion and utter honesty from the main character--all those things are the stuff of magic and sucked me in so that I couldn't put this book down. And then it ended.
But there was no revenge.
There was no second attack.
There was....nothing but an empty promise of a story that's left unfinished and an invitation to pay to read the next "part" of the story, which would only cost me $2.99. And then another $2.99 to read the "final" part of the story. That's messed up. I don't want to have to keep paying to read "the rest of the book," and authors who write these endless serials really need to be up front about it. As it stands, it feels like a scheme, a lie, false advertising. In the end, instead of loving this book, I just felt ripped off. Duped. And I don't like that.
That said, there was so much I loved about this first third of a book, that I bought the first third of this book in paperback. The rest of the book wasn’t written nearly as well, and lacked the character depth of this first third. So what can I say about this experience? How about: The first third is 5-stars, but all you get is exposition and rising action. The second and third parts of this book aren't nearly as great as the first.
I can’t recommend a partial book, but there’s enough stellar writing that this might appeal to over 18 readers of dark romance who love adrenaline, don't mind an implausible premise, have deep pockets, and don’t mind paying for each new part of the story.
This partial book earns 2 North of Normal stars.