“It's easier to hide in the dark...but easier to let go too.”
The premise of Charade was the first I had read of this kind where the girl and boy create a false union. I might have easily overlooked this book but I am so glad I didn’t, this story is so much more than a fake relationship. Cheyenne has something to prove to her ex-boyfriend, Gregory the douche. A chance encounter just happens to lead Chey to Colt. He’s looking for money and a deal is struck to provide Chey with the arm candy she needs but before long this platonic deal comes with benefits and then soon after real feelings are involved.
Chey and Colt had their own troubles going on individually. Chey’s past haunted her and in turn induced panic attacks but she couldn’t confide in anyone. It wasn’t until later on with Colt’s support that Chey found the strength to confront her past and lay some ghosts to rest.
“Only Colt’s seen me at my worst and he’s still here. Wanting more of the darkness from my past. Looking at his shadowed outline below me, I realize I want to give it to him. That I might be willing to admit, for the first time, I need someone to help me into the light.”
I loved when Chey and Colt started to let each other in, they weren’t even conscious of it but instinctively they started yearning for the other and realised what they had was real, the charade was long over.
“I thought this was a game,” I remind him.
“Not anymore and you know it. Everything else in my life is all fucked up. This is the only thing that’s real.”
“I won’t tell. I might not be able to do much for you, but I’ll hold your secrets.”
“My face is in his neck and I think if I was going to cry, this would be the perfect place to do it”
Colt will always be my original broken boy. He had lost his way; he was so determined not to become his father that he didn’t recognise the path he was going down. He was attending college to make his mum proud even though he wasn’t sure it was what he wanted to do. He had a few brushes with the law and partied his life away before he met Chey. Colt had a lot of torn up feelings inside and I just wanted to take care of that boy! My heart was aching for him.
The situation with his mum tugged on my heartstrings. Colt tried his best to be the typical stoic, untouchable guy, but at the end of the day you only have one mother and the scenes between Colt and his mum, Bev broke my heart. Even as I skimmed over the book to pick out my favourite quotes, I couldn’t help but reread a few chapters and then I broke down all over again.
Every line from Bev is one of my favourites;
“You guys think you fooled me in the beginning,” she rasps. “You were only fooling yourself.”
“He loves you,” she adds. “And I love you. You’re everything I could have hoped for, for him.”
“Just be good . . . be happy. That’s all I want for you. And for you to know how one-of-a-kind you are. You are strong, loyal, caring. You make that girl out there smile like she has the world in the palm of her hand.”
“You gave me the world,” she says again. “You’re the only thing I’ve ever done that means something.”
I have no doubt the reason I connect with this book so strongly was due to the writing. Nyrae Dawn created two characters that had been through so much yet somehow they managed to find their other half and with the strength they instilled in each other, Chey and Colt were able to face the hardest things they would ever have to endure but somehow they came out stronger.
“I see the way she looks at him and it’s beautiful. She loves him the way a mother should love their child. Thoroughly. Completely. To her, he’s the most important person in the world and I’m so very happy they have that.”
Charade was one of my very early reads when I started to pick up books again. I had no idea what ‘New Adult’ was at the time and I don’t even think Charade was coined as such. I was blown away by this book. Charade left its mark on me because I cried for the last 30% of the story, but in such a good way! Little did I know then that Nyrae Dawn would continue to rip my heart out with the follow up books in the Games series, but she always puts it back together so I can live with that ;-)
If you are looking for an emotional, moving story with some strong characters and sweet love then you need to check this one out today.