Four years ago I lost my virginity on live, streaming television.
Too bad I wasn’t awake for it.
The video went viral. Of course it would. A Senator’s daughter on camera? Wouldn’t you click “share”? Besides, that’s what three of the four guys in the video did.
They shared me.
But that fourth guy? The nondescript one in the background in the upper left corner of the screen, just sitting on the couch? The only one who did nothing?
Not one single thing.
That was my boyfriend, Drew.
And that was the last time I saw him.
Until today, when my father—now on a path to the White House—hired him as head of security for my new team as I return home after four years of “recovering” in an undisclosed location that involved white lab coats, needles, pills and damage control.
You see, the other three guys never went to jail. Never had charges pressed.
Never faced consequences.
* * *
A Harmless Little Game is the first in this political thriller/romantic suspense trilogy by USA Today bestselling author Meli Raine.
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A Harmless Little Game is definitely not for the faint of heart. It’s hard. It’s brash. It’s painful. I am so happy I read it. It made me angry, more angry than I have been in a long time. Angrier than I think I have ever been while reading a book. It was wonderful.
This entire book was told from Lindsay’s perspective. There was a wonderful disconnect between the person she was in the present and the person who was brutalized. I can’t quite touch how Meli Raine was able to so plainly make me feel that way, but it was perfect. The feeling that you can only know once you’ve experienced it, that of knowing what happened to you without having actually physically experienced the event, was so precisely portrayed though Lindsay’s character, it gave me chills. I am in awe of how those events, told through her perspective, made me feel.
Lindsay’s story was IS beyond brutal, honestly, I’m not sure which of the several things that were done to her, without her consent, were the worst. Yes, she was horribly brutalized physically, but some of the things that happened to her after the assault were even worse. My heart ached for her pain. She was such a strong person in spite of her horrific circumstances. Days after reading her story I am still in awe of the person she molded herself into. I loved how she stood up for herself and, more than that, how she didn’t allow anyone to run roughshod over her life. In a life when most people would have given up, she honed herself into a weapon, quite able to exact her plan on those trying to prevent her freedom.
I am beyond anxious for the next book in this series. This first installment was fabulously tragic and suspenseful and I am sure we’ve only just begun to see the silhouette of what the big picture of Lindsay’s situation is.
“I’m sorry,” he says. My ear is pressed against his broad, hard chest. I feel the words more than I hear them. The vibration and cadence make it clear he’s apologizing. Heat radiates off him like he’s the sun and I’m in his orbit.
I break away. I’m not his moon.
“You should be sorry,” I snap, marching toward my destination, fighting the soft ground. I don’t want to talk to him. I don’t want to do this. Not now. Definitely not right now. I haven’t seen him for four years. Four long, painful, horrible years. More than 1,400 days of waking every morning knowing I wasn’t with him. Knowing he sat there that night and did nothing while three men raped me. Degraded me. Used and abused me and enjoyed it.
My body goes into a full-blown supernova, skin on fire at the thought. My rage cannot be contained by a mere mortal body.
I turn around. He’s right there, following me.
“Go the fuck away, Drew. I told you. I hate your guts. Leave me alone.”
At least, I think that’s what I say. My mind can’t process words and thoughts right now. I am fixated on the red door at the back entrance of the house, the sprawling mansion that is the only home I’ve ever known, aside from Daddy’s townhome in Washington D.C. If I can make it to that red door without Drew touching me, if I can make it to my bedroom and to my medications where I can take enough to fall asleep, maybe I can get my brain to work again.
And stop the flood of emotions that are making me crazy.
COMING SOON IN THE HARMLESS SERIES
#2 A Harmless Little Ruse – Releasing November 18, 2016
#3 A Harmless Little Plan – Releasing December 13, 2016
Meli Raine writes romantic suspense with hot bikers, intense undercover DEA agents, bad boys turned good, and Special Ops heroes — and the women who love them.
Meli rode her first motorcycle when she was five years old, but she played in the ocean long before that. She lives in New England with her family.
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