Author: Nyrae Dawn
Series: Games #1
Publication date: October 22nd, 2012
Synopsis (according to Goodreads):
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 things 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.
I am extremely unsure of this book simply based on cover appeal. This cover kind of looks like something I could have thrown together myself on my graphic software. But, determined not to be one of those readers, I decided to give it a shot anyway. What is the worst that could happen?
Cheyenne has more issues than any normal protagonist. Not only does she have abandonment issues, anxiety attacks, and a narcissistic determination to always been seen a certain way, but she also just got cheated on by her long-term boyfriend. Well, if that doesn't make a girl question everything and try to reevaluate her life, I don't know what would. Cheyenne is dead-set on being seen as fine. She doesn't want anyone to ever see how weak she truly is and in that mentality she decides she needs to find a fake boyfriend so her ex and his new woman know she has moved on. She doesn't want anyone's pity so when she sees a guy hassling her ex-boyfriend at her coffee shop sanctuary, she knows exactly who she wants to fill the role of her fake boyfriend. Not to mention from the guy's appearance, she is sure he could use the money she's willing to pay for his services.
Colt is nobody's charity case. So when Cheyenne approaches him and offers him money to pretend to be her boyfriend, he lets her know in no uncertain terms that he is not interested. But with a dying mom he starts to consider whether pretending to be the "Princess's" fake boyfriend wouldn't be a small price to pay for the cash he desperately needs.
A bargain is struck. Colt and Cheyenne pretend to be together but soon the act becomes less of a charade and more of a reality.
I absolutely loved Colt. He was just enough of an asshole to make me want to kick him while also wanting to swoon all over him when he had his sweet moments. I found myself a little annoyed with Cheyenne's desperation to appear unaffected and detached so people didn't know anything was wrong with her. Someone being that fixated on the public eye makes me think of them as a little shallow. I love how Colt tries to break her of that problem. Colt and Cheyenne seem to bring out the best in each other. They went through hell and back side by side and found a way to make it work when most couples in reality would have given up and shoved their significant others away. These two were a match made in literary heaven.
Charade is a new adult read that shows the power of love and what two people can overcome when they have it.