Saturday, February 9, 2013

Charade (Games #1) by Nyrae Dawn

Charade (Games #1)
By: Nyrae Dawn

Nook Edition, 136 pages
Published: November 15, 2012
Source: Purchased

Goodreads Summary:

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.

My Thoughts:

Charade is the first book that I have read by Nyrae Dawn.  I love the cover and the summary of the book.  There also was a lot of hype surrounding this book last year, so I wanted to read it for myself to see if the book was worth all of the hype.  I came into reading Charade with extremely high expectations, and I was not disappointed.  Charade is a beautifully written bittersweet story that will capture your heart, and never let it go.  

The story begins where Chey (Cheyenne) walks in on her long-term boyfriend sleeping with another woman.  She is extremely upset, and shocked that her boyfriend (Greg) would cheat on her.  Chey carries a lot of burdens, anxiety, and insecurities from her childhood. She tries to portray something she's not.  To all outward appearances Chey appears confident, intelligent, beautiful, and perfect.  Inside, however, she is trying to cope with her life day by day, the best she can without letting anyone get close enough to see the "real" her.  Colt, is an interesting character.  He does what he wants, speaks his mind, and doesn't care what anyone expects from him-except his mother.  For the longest time, Colt's mother has always made him the top priority in her life, and struggled as a single mother juggling long and crazy hours to provide the best life she could for Colt.  Now she's dying of Cancer, and Colt is attending College because it's important to his mom, and struggling to pay for her pain medicine.  He's trying to act happy for his mom, but he's falling apart watching his mom in so much pain, and can't imagine life without her.  Chey offers Colt money to pretend to be her boyfriend to get back at Greg, and Colt accepts because he desperately needs the money to care for his mom.  Little do Colt and Chey know that what starts out as a charade, will be the most real thing in their lives....

Charade was a perfect read for me.  It was full of substance, reality, sadness, love, and hope.  This book was a character driven story.  A lot of work went into making the characters real, and relatable.  The reader will connect to one or both of these characters.  With Chey, you will connect if you've ever been abandoned and/or betrayed and, therefore never let anyone see the real you.  With Colt, you will connect if you've ever had to watch a loved one in extreme pain, or dying, and felt the need to make that person proud of you.  I cried excessively throughout Charade.  My heart hurt because Chey didn't think she was good enough for someone to stay by her side, and felt like she had to be "perfect" for someone to love her.  My heart hurt for Colt, as the story described how his mother looked so frail, was suffering in silence, and withering away before his very eyes, and there was nothing that he could do about it.  The plot was excellent, and there wasn't one dull moment in the entire story.  There were a few surprises, some larger than others.  What I loved about Charade was that even though there were a lot of sad and emotional aspects to this story, there was also love, hope, and new beginnings.  Charade showed us that life can be difficult, and painful, but we have the power to create our own destiny, and it's important to seek out whatever brings us happiness.  

My Favorite Quotes:

"This is a game.  Our game.  One that I asked for, but with each day it feels more real."  (Nook, pg. 88)

"This girl is mine.  I've had quite a few girls before, but none of them were mine.  I didn't want them a part of me, to keep them, and with her I want nothing more than to keep her safe and keep her with me all the time." (Nook, pg. 110)

"I reach over and take her hand.  I have Chey's on one side and Mom's on the other.  And I think... I wonder if maybe this-This moment is one of the most beautiful to me."  (Nook, pg. 112)

My Rating:

I give Charade by Nyrae Dawn 5 out of 5 Beautifully Bitter-Sweet Stars, and add it to my list of favorite reads.  If you have not yet had the opportunity to read Charade, buy it now and bump it up on your TBR shelf!  You will LOVE this story, and the best part is that Nyrae has made Charade into a series.  The sequel is titled Facade, and is the story of Colt's best friend Adrian, and is expected to be released March 16, 2013!

                                             Escape in a Book,

About the Author:  Nyrae Dawn

Writing has always been Nyrae Dawn’s passion. There have been times in her life where she wasn’t able to chase that dream the way she desired, but she always found her way back to telling stories.

One of her loves has always been writing about teens. There’s something so fresh and fun about the age that she loves exploring. Her husband says it’s because she doesn’t want to grow up. She doesn’t think that’s such a bad thing and luckily for her, he doesn’t either.

Nyrae gravitates toward character-driven stories. She loves going on emotional journeys with characters whether it be reading or writing. And yes, she’s a total romantic at heart and proud.

Nyrae resides in sunny Southern California with her husband (who still makes her swoon) and her two awesome kids.

When she’s not with her family, you can be pretty sure you’ll find her with a book in her hand or her laptop and an open document in front of her. 

Nyrae is represented by Jane Dystel of Dystel and Goderich Literary Management.

Contact: Nyraedawn [at] yahoo [dot] com

Nyrae Dawn also writes adult romance under the name Kelley Vitollo.

Purchase Charade At:   Amazon/Barnes & Noble


  1. Ah!!' Wasn't it such a cute and perfect New Adult book?! Glad you loved it! But you have to read her "what a boy wants"it's YA but so damn cute !

    1. Yes, I adored Charade so much! I'm dying for Facade to come out :) Ok, I'll read What a Boy Wants" since you enjoyed it so much! I love Nyrae's writing style, and look forward to reading more of her books! Thanks so much for stopping by Danny!

  2. LOVED Charade! Colt was amazing and each time he called Cheyenne Tiny Dancer I swooned ;) You should definitely read What A Boy Wants and What A Boy Needs those are my all time favorites of hers :)

    Janhvi @ The Readdicts

    1. Yeah, I thought it was an adorable little nickname. I can't wait to read all of Nyrae's books now, and I'm starting with the What A Boy Wants since both you and Danny recommended it! Thanks for stopping by :)

  3. OMG, I just finished reading this a couple of days ago and it was soooooo good! So many feelings! LOVE Nyrae Dawn and her books. Hope you like What a Boy Wants and Needs, they are awesome!

    1. Thanks :) I'm glad you enjoyed it! I can't wait for Facade! I pre-orderd it, but it doesn't come out till August. I'm excited to get to What a Boy Wants and Needs. The series sounds really good.

  4. Great review - definitely going to read this one soon (:

    1. Thank you! I hope you enjoy it-let me know what you think!

  5. Yay, I loved Charade too! Colt's relationship with his mother was so beautifully written, and the part with the tattoo... Ah, I almost shed a tear (I'm not a big crier so this was huge! :) I'm so happy March is around the corner so I'll get to read more awesomeness!

    Lovely review!

    Inx from Inklings of two Booklings

    1. Thanks Inx :) Yeah, I cried with the things that happened with his mom! I thought the part was so sweet and special. I really loved this story so much! I can't wait for Facade to come out, and Nyrae Dawn is doing an interview with us! I'm so excited!!!!!


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