Charade (The Games Series #1)
Author: Nyrae Dawn
Publication date: October 22nd 2012
My rating: 4.5 stars
Nineteen-year-old Cheyenne tries to portray the perfect life to mask the memories of her past. Walking in on her boyfriend with another woman her freshman year in college threatens that picture of perfection.
Twenty-one-year-old Colt never wanted college and never expected to amount to anything, but when his mom's dying wish is for him to get his degree, he has no choice but to pretend it's what he wants too.
Cheyenne needs a fake boyfriend to get back at her ex and Colt needs cash to take care of his mom, so they strike a deal that helps them both. But what if Cheyenne’s past isn’t what she thought? Soon they’re trading one charade for another—losing themselves in each other to forget about their pain. The more they play their game, the more it becomes the only thing they have that feels real.
Both Cheyenne and Colt know life is never easy, but neither of them expect the tragedy that threatens to end their charade and rip them apart forever.
Charade was not on my radar, but when I saw a ton of my Goodreads friends reading and loving it, I had to find out what all the commotion was about. I’m so glad I decided to pick this up, because it was such a beautiful and emotional story! This book made me cry, but I loved it anyhow!
Nineteen year-old Cheyenne, has just found out her boyfriend of two years, Gregory, is cheating on her. She followed him to college and thought they’d be together forever. To save face, Cheyenne falsely led Gregory to believe that someone else was interested in her, and now with him out of the way, she was going to go for it. When she runs into Colt, and sees the animosity between Gregory and him, she approaches him to make a deal. Pretend to be her boyfriend she’ll pay. Cheyenne has created a careful façade of being strong and happy, and she needs to keep it up. She doesn’t want people know she’s hurt or affected by Gregory, to see weakness in her.
Colt is a typical bad-boy, on the surface. He’s strikingly handsome but with tattoos and attitude for days, he has an edge to him. Underneath, he’s struggling to keep things together. His mother is dying of cancer and with her being a single parent, there’s no father to shoulder the weight or responsibility of her care. He loves his mother. She always put his well being first and is the reason he worked hard to get into college. When Cheyenne first proposes her deal, he shrugs her off as a shallow princess only caring about what others think of her.
Cheyenne has worked hard at keeping people at arm’s length, dealing with abandonment issues from her mother leaving her at a young age. Her thinking is if you don’t let them too close, they won’t have the power to hurt you. At first, because she doesn’t really care what Colt thinks of her, she allows him to see her true self. I think she realized Colt was someone who could understand her darkness, and wouldn’t judge her for it. Cheyenne is completely opposite of the spoiled princess Colt thought she was at first. He finds a kindred spirit in her and before you know it, these two have a connection neither was planning on. I just loved these two broken souls trying to deal with their pasts and being there for each other. They were such an unlikely pair at first, but ended up perfect for each other.
Like I said in the outset, this story made me cry. I lost my Mom when I was twenty-one and went through much of the same experience as Colt, so it was easy to feel his pain. His relationship with his mom was so heartbreaking. They didn’t have the best circumstances but love was the predominant quality between them. I think that’s why he had so much to give to Cheyenne.
Ms. Dawn’s writing found a way into my heart, it was poignant and felt real. This certainly won’t be the last story I pick up from her. I’m officially a fan!