“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.”
-Synopsis from Goodreads.
Charade written by Nyrae Dawn is the first book in the Games series. Add it on Goodreads!
This is my first time reading anything written by Nyrae Dawn.
This book was about a 19 year old that went to college for the Guy she thought she loved and was sure he was going to be the one she married. After 2 years of dating, she finds him in bed with another women, that he has apparently been dating for the last year which she was still in High School. Gregory her ex is a rich stuck up douchebag that basically sayshe’s the best she is ever going to get. Cheyenne want’s to not only prove him wrong, but also boost her own ego. That’s where Colton walks in. He is a misunderstood somewhat playboy that doesn’t do relationships. Chey offers money for him to pretend to be her boyfriend. After a few days of saying no, he finally gives in because of his dying mother. His 39 year old mother has cancer and he is paying all the bills, which he does so by selling weed. His father is in and out of jail and was a drug dealer and user. During the time that Colt and Chey fake it, they start to of course have feelings for each other and are both leaning on each other for the things they are battling. For Cheyenne it mostly is the fact that her mother left her to stay at her Aunt and Uncles when she was 9 years old and never returned. Together they overcome their past demons and future demons and fall in love.
I find this book to be a bit rushed and left with a lot of questions unanswered. It still was a good read, especially for a YA book. I gave it 3 out of 5 stars because situations came and went throughout the book that were a bit confusing and also less dramatic then they really should have been.
Check out my review on Goodreads or check out my longer review below!
Long review with all the spoilers so SPOILER ALERT!
The book starts off with Cheyenne finding her boyfriend Gregory in bed with someone else. The dude just gets up butt naked and of course trying to explain and give every excuse he can to make the situation not his fault. Basically saying it’s actually her fault for being a year younger and being a senior in high school, while he was in college for the first year without her. And that even though they’re at the same college now, that him sleeping with this chick was planned out to be the last time ever for them. I was kind of surprised Gregory did not pull the typical fashion when someone is caught cheating and say “This is the first time” and all the bullshit around it. But he does try and pull off the fact that he’s a guy, and when guys are away from their girls for long periods of time, it’s okay to cheat. I rolled my eyes pretty hard with that one.
Cheyenne’s boyfriend, or well ex now wasn’t even apologizing. Just basically saying how no one is going to want to her now. No one will date her or talk to her because the only people she knows are his friends. Seriously jerk, you guys are in college. Of course she can move on and find someone better. This isn’t an area with a population of 100. Cheyenne leaves, and finally has her freak out moment in the car. Which I give the girl props. I would of made a bigger scene in front of him and his cheating whore. During the 5 minutes of time she allowed herself to feel sorry, we get a flash back memory of her past. Her mother left her in a room at some party when she was young. Saying she’ll be right back. Of course, she does not come right back and Cheyenne ends up trying to find her way out of the party after two adults are about to get it on in front of her. Then the memory ends.
A few chapters in we get to meet Colton or Colt. Who is a junior in college, and hates it. He pretty much only goes for the happiness of his mom who was a foster kid and never was able to graduate from high school or go to college because she had him at a young age. The only reason he is still in college is because his mother is dying of cancer and the age of 39. She has been since he was in high school, but was better for a while. Then she became worse, which will lead to her death in a few short months.
The next day Cheyenne is in a coffee shop after ignoring Gregory’s calls and texts when sure enough Gregory and the girl he was caught cheating with walk in. He doesn’t see her, but the chick Maxine does. She comes up to her and tells her that Gregory has been cheating on Cheyenne with Maxine for the last year and that he was only with Cheyenne because he felt sorry for her and obligated because their families are friends and all that jazz.
Colt and Cheyenne meet for the first time, when Gregory rudely runs into him and is a uptight rich jerk. No surprise there, douchebag. Cheyenne gets an insane idea that this tattooed guy (Colt) would be the best person to make Gregory believe that she in fact can date someone after him, and that this guy was the guy that was hitting on her before they broke up. So Cheyenne follows Colt outside of the coffee shop and basically makes a fool of herself and gets turned down when she offers money to Colton to be her fake boyfriend. I feel like this chapter and situation were rushed. It was awkward and short, and honestly who really just runs out and says hey you, we just met lets be pretend lovers? Anyways Colt, of course turns her down even though he could use the money for his mom’s medical bills since well he deals drugs. Only weed though, he’s not like his deadbeat dad.
Cheyenne ends up going to a party with her bi-sexual roommate Andy and her girlfriend Veronica. Gregory is there and comforts her outside and starts trying to make out with her. Of course because what are the odds Colt see’s it and steps in and out of no where decides he wants to be her fake boyfriend. A confrontation goes down between the Colt and Greg because apparently they’ve had beef before. So pretty much Greg is even more upset with her for who her new boyfriend choice is. Suck it up, buttercup.
Colt drives Cheyenne’s drunk ass home where they both share each other secrets. Which I also find weird and rushed. Most books wait until the end to find out why the guy is an asshole and why the girl feels like she can’t be truly loved. They meet up the next day and make arrangements for 2 weeks he has to be her boyfriend, she gets to break up with him and he gets a couple hundred bucks. Win win I guess.
A few hours later, Cheyenne rushes home to her aunt and uncle (her legal guardians) and they give her news that police have found bones that they were able to trace to be her mothers. Police say she’s been dead for 10 years, which would make the time frame of when Cheyenne’s mother left her at 9 years old was because she died. So now Cheyenne is questioning if her mother really left her on choice or not and what her life could have been. I’m really hoping they go somewhere with this, because really the fact of her mother being dead and that could be the only reason why she never came back is pretty lame. Once again I feel like this has been rushed. In my eyes this is something that we could have found out later in the book. Something that could have made a big change in the struggles of Cheyenne’s life. A major factor that changes the way she feels and loves someone else. Since she admitted that she never really loved Gregory, but was just going on with the facade in life. I’m only 35% into the book, so I hope this piece of information about her mothers bones being found will help guide her in her journey, or the author does something with this information. Crossing fingers.
Through out the next couple of chapters we get more flashbacks of Cheyenne’s childhood memories. I found it very confusing when these memories came rushing back to her. The moments were written as it was happening right then and there and used with quotes. Not in different style of font like italic or I’ve seen some authors use bold. The flashbacks were sometimes very confusing and every once in a while it would take me a few sentences to notice that what was going on in the story was actually a 9 year old Cheyenne situation.
I do start to like Colt as the book goes on. I have no shame in admitting that a guy covered in Tattoo’s is my kryptonite. Especially one that pretends he’s badass up front but deep down he is trying to keep is emotions in check and in control. What made me like him even more is how sweet he was to his mother. Even though he was doing things he hated, and doing illegal things like selling drugs he had his best interest at heart. He lived in a shitty house and hated the way his roommate kept it unclean. He hated seeing his mother, only because she looked and smelled of death. Yet everyday he was there checking up on her, telling her he would skip parties and time with friends, just to be with with his ill mother.
I loved watching Colt change from the playboy somewhat jerk he was before. After Cheyenne found out about her mothers bones being found she rushed over to Colt’s and had a major meltdown. She broke up their fake relationship and was throwing money at him. They end up making out, when she realizes what she is doing and rushes out of there. They go days without seeing each other, until they met again at a party. Of course Gregory is there as well and ends up causing a panic attack out of her. Apparently this whatever it’s name is college is super small and there is only one party at a time going on each time considering Gregory, Cheyenne and Colt each have completely different groups of friends, and yet end up at the same party EVERY SINGLE DAMN TIME. Great coincidence, I’m sure.Colt is concerned for Cheyenne, ends up looking out for her, punching Greg and carrying her to the car where his roommate Adrian drives them to their house. They end up cuddling in bed together after Cheyenne finally cries about what has been happening. Girl, it took you long enough. How can you hold so much emotion in? Gee’s!
After a night of cuddling, Chey starts to feel safe around Colt and lets her walls down with him. They start making out again and seem to about to have sex but end up getting interrupted by Adrian knocking on the door. Colt freaks out that his mother has called and he was too wrapped up in Cheyenne to remember where he last left his phone. He rushes over to his mom, leaving this awkward and short with Chey, especially after she offers to go with him to visit his mom and he says no.
Finally after some cock blocking from Adrian, Colt and Chey have sex for the first time the morning after a night drinking and playing games with Colts friends. They play it off as if it’s just for the release and it becomes awkward between them. Things get more awkward when Cheyenne goes with Colton to visit his mom. Which of course Colt’s mom falls in love with Chey, believes the lie that they’re together. Which really they are, they just don’t see that they love each other yet. Then they go back to his place and basically make passionate love, staring into each other eyes the whole time. But if you ask them it was just sex. Something to ease or erase the pain they both have for their family drama.
Chey’s aunt decides it would heal some wounds if they have a funeral for her sister/Chey’s mom. Colt goes with her and even though some drama goes down with Gregory (of fucking course this asshat is everywhere) he is wonderful to her. The next couple days they start to do couple things and slowly start to realize that this might be something longer than a fake charade. Even his roommate, Adrian starts to notice things are becoming different.
Cheyenne about 75% into the book – “This is a game. Our game. One that I asked for, but with each day it feels more real. More real than anything ever has and I’m not sure how I feel about that. What to do. I Shouldn’t fall for this guy. He’s got so much on his plate and he’s not the kind of guy to really fall for someone. Gregory was and look how that turned out.”
“It’s not because of how I feel right now or how well we move together. It’s about him.Us. I know that it’s no longer just an empty thought. It’s the truth.I’m falling for Colt.”
So what happens when the main character realizes she is falling for the right guy? Something dramatic happens. Like every damn time. Chey and Colt get in little tiff about him selling drugs. I mean duh, what respectable person would want someone they love to sell drugs? He drives out of town, to clear his head and realizes that he too is falling for her. FINALLY.So he hurries home to be with his girl, when oops he gets pulled over and remembers he has weed in his trunk.
Behind Colts back (great another fucking secret, that Colt won’t like) his Mom calls Cheyenne and wants to get a tattoo. Which for some reason tatted up Colt is 100% against. Chey gets a artist to come to her house, and the loving strong mother gets his name tattooed on her wrist. The next day after no calls from Colt, Cheyenne goes back to visit his mom, and Colt ends up showing up at the same exact time. Colt is upset about the Tattoo and that she went behind his back. Chey finds out why Colton was MIA, because he was in jail over night.
Unfortunately the drama doesn’t last very long. Doesn’t even last a chapter. I think its because the author used all the good stuff in the beginning of the book and played it off like no big deal then when shit its the fan, it’ barely a splatter. Chey and Colt get in a fight, but even when he’s mad he realizes she is having a panic attack since his roommate is having a party, and she can’t deal with parties because her mother left her at them so often when we was young. He takes care of her, calls her baby and holds her. During that time, he forgives her for going behind his back. She releases some of her demons, and quietly whispers “I love you” while she falls asleep, where Colton replies back “you too”
Colton during that night – “I hold her while she sleeps. I don’t know how in the fuck we got here, but somehow this game is more real than anything else. And I want it. I fucking want it.”
FINALLY Chey fully opens up to Colt and we find out that she was almost raped at 9 years old because her mother left her at a party, and a guy found her and told her he would help her find her mom. She got out being attacked and ran home. Only to find her mom at home, saying she forgot she even brought her to the party. What a bitch.Then once again finally Cheyenne tells Colt she loves him while awake and he once again repeats “you too”. Like come on dude seriously? We know you mean the real thing, you really have to half ass it. Us girls need to hear the whole mushy lovey dovey thing.
Sadly Colton’s mom’s hits her worse yet, and she is sent to hospice. Colt and Chey rush there and spend their time with her until she passes. It’s sad but cute. Bev his mom, speaks too both of them saying sweet things about how she knew they were great for each other before they did. And she knows its okay for her to leave because he found someone that will help him through this, and he will help her through the passing of her mom that she recently found out about. It’s depressing, but not over done. I actually think this chapter was the best written part of the book and the most explained. Which is normally hard for authors to write, is the dying scene of someone’s loved one, let alone a parent.
After Colt loses his mother, they head home where they run into drunk Gregory and a few of his buddies. Shit goes down and Greg ends up pushing Colt into a curb, where Colton hits his head pretty hard and passes out. Once again this section does not go into detail. We don’t really know if he is breathing, passed out or what he looks like. We only know that he isn’t bleeding and that everyone ran and left. Adrian and Cheyenne take him to the hospital where we find out that he has swelling and is bleeding internally, so they have to have surgery to stop it.
Thankfully after a few days Colt makes a full recovery, and him and Chey have a cute bonding moment when he finally wakes up. From there is turns into the epilogue which is 3 months later. We learn that he is doing just fine, and the couple is living together in an apartment. Colton never pressed charges against Gregory, and Gregory’s dad actually pulled him out of college. The book ends with Colt explaining how much Cheyenne means to him and how glad he survived the trauma that happened before. That Chey is taking anxiety medication and that she has become friends with her old roommate Andy. The story ends with them visiting his mothers grave before I goes to work for Chey’s Aunt and Uncle. The end.
As I was reading I noticed that specific things that most authors write about were not there. Like for example, we never learn where they go to college. We don’t know what type of Cancer Colt’s mom has. When they go to the coffee shop often in the book, it is just referred to as coffee shop, nothing more. No clue what town or state. Hell, what don’t even know what country they’re located in. Also what kind of dad Colt really had or didn’t have. The book explains small tidbits that his father would live with them or was in jail on and off. But they never really explained why or how other than he sold drugs. We never hear what really happened to Colt when he was in jail only that Chey’s uncle helped him out in court. We never get to know what really happened to Chey’s mother. I understand some mystery is good, and leaves places for the reader to use their own imagination. Yet, I feel like there was too much room for questions.
All and all I did not hate the book. It sometimes was not easy to follow along, and I did find myself questioning a lot of information and moments in the book. It’s good for a Young Adult book, but not a book I would recommend right away to friends.