Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Review: Charade by Nyrae Dawn

Title: Charade (The Game Series #1)
Author: Nyrae Dawn
Published: October 22nd 2012
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Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
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.
Recently more authors have started to write from male characters’ perspective. Nyrae Dawn’s first book What a Boy Wants was from Sebastian’s POV. It was a pretty decent read overall, but not quite there yet. Charade, however, is a whole different story. It was written from dual POV and I think this is the best Nyrae has written so far and I was simply amazed, fascinated and intrigued by this story and these characters. Let me tell you why.

I run over to the shed. Each step I take I wonder what the hell I’m doing. This girl isn’t my problem. I played her little game with her and now it’s over. Still, I creep around the back of the small building and when I see her huddled on the ground, I don’t turn away.
“Hey…it’s me.” Fuck. She probably doesn’t just recognize my voice in the dark. “Colt.” I don’t want her to trip out. Something serious has happened to this girl. I don’t know who she is, but she’s not who I thought.
“Go away.”
I smirk. No matter what happens to her she still doesn’t have a problem being pissed at me. “Not gonna happen.”
 I bend down. I’m not sure if it’s the right thing to do or not, but I touch her shoulder. My hand starts to tremble from her. She’s shaking like fucking crazy. “Come on. Let’s get you out of here.”

The story kicks off by Cheyenne finding out that her boyfriend is cheating on her. She does what every sane girl in her place would do – she breaks up with Gregory and tells him to shove it, because she has a potential love interest already waiting for her. That last part is not exactly true though and now she needs to prove her point by finding one to play that charade and be his beloved one in front of Gregory and his friends. Colt has crossed paths with Gregory before and even though she and Chey don’t get off to a great start, more like a really bad one, he ends up being the one to participate in this charade to the world, because he needs the money Chey’s offering and it’d be a great way to rub it in Greg’s face.  

These two unlikely allies soon realize they’ve gotten into a game more serious and emotional than they could have ever imagined. Chey’s past haunts her night ‘n day and under that strong attitude lies a broken heart left by the person who should have loved her most. Colt, on the other hand, has demons from his past as well as present: his Father was a screw up drug dealer so Colt thinks he is no better than his Father although he tries to be, because his Mother is dying from cancer and he doesn’t want her to feel like he is letting her down in any way.

Well.. You know a book is that good if you’ve completely bawled your eyes out for the past 45 minutes or so and realize you still don’t want this to end. I wasn’t sure how it would end and if there’d be a HEA or not until I read the last chapter. I can't even confirm or deny the HEA, all I can say is that it was stunningly executed and I can proudly tell you that this novel punched me in the gut as well as gave me hope with its powerful messages. I was not expecting that from Nyrae at all. I knew she was talented, but this just blew me away. I loved every single moment of this book no matter how devastating it was.

“No one makes me feel the way you do and I need you. Maybe it’s not good to need people and maybe that makes me weak. I don’t know, but I know I need you. I want you. You push me when I need it and give in when I need that too. Your strength gives me strength and I want to do that for you too.”

This book had emotional package for days. It held my attention captive with its meaningful words, developed plot and layered characters who took a piece after piece of my heart until there was nothing left to take and they stuck with me even after I had finished the book. I’m getting emotional even writing this and I completely understand why Nyrae cried (in public, by the way) while writing Charade. If you’ve loved books by Colleen Hoover, Tammara Webber or Jamie McGuire, please, please, pick this up. You won’t regret it! Definitely one of the best contemporary novels I have read so far.

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

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  1. Wow Siiri. I need this book immediately! I love this setup - a pretend boyfriend turning into a real one - and the fact that it's a highly emotional read makes it even better. Definitely can't pass this one up. Thanks for the stellar review, I can't wait to read this!

    1. YES, JENNY! It was absolutely amazing! And since you loved Easy, I know this will be something right up your alley! It was stunning, beautiful, crazy emotional and just a fantastic read! I practically re-read it the minute I finished it, haha. So yeah, you can say that it was uh-mazing:)

  2. Thanks tons for visiting my blog. Love the premise of this one! Also I wanted to let you know about my weekly link party I'd love you to add this or any other posts you want I'm hoping to get more book bloggers featured on it!