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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.
5 stars- Playing a game was never more real than with Colt & Cheyenne!
So if you read my reviews very often, you know that I totally LOVE reading from the male POV and no one does that better than Nyrae Dawn. This book rotates back and forth between Cheyenne and Colt's POV. Of course, I love Colt the most. Gonna start there.
The boy swears like a sailor, except around him mother, well mostly. His family has more than their fair share of issues. His dad's a drug dealer addicted to his product. His grandmother was a drug addict giving birth to his mom, who was a crack baby. Despite her beginnings, his mother rocks and is more important to him than anything. She's the reason why he does what he does. She's the reason he goes to college because her dying wish is for him to have a better life. She's the reason he's so hard on himself because all he wants is to make her happy. And he is hard on himself. Convinced he will never amount to more than his father did, he's just hanging on. But he's so much more than any of this. He's willing to stand up for the underdog. He's perfect at just being there for those he cares about. Taking a few classes and employed in the only job that will let him help his mom, he laughs at Cheyennes suggestion he become her fake boyfriend. He's so not the boyfriend type. If you want to party with him and have a good time, he down for that but boyfriend - so not happening. But as things with his mom get worse and money is the issue, the game begins.
She's holding herself so tight that her body reacts to the stress in her life with panic attacks. She feels the loss of everyone she has ever let into her life. So not going there again, but she did slip up and suggest another guy to her now ex. Feeling the need to shove his cheating ways in his face, she has to make that happen. But she's no way gonna let things be real with him. She's not even real with her college roommate. No one. Not her aunt and uncle that have been her parents for years. No friends. No one. She lets no one in. But as her life explodes around her, she can't help but be real with Colt.
The level of realness that I felt with these two characters was awesome. So many times, books give us a candy coated version of life and that can be good as we try to escape from reality ourselves. This book shows a different side. Things are far from good but sometimes people figure out how to survive that by helping each other deal with the pain.
You may be getting the idea that this book is sad. I cried. I admit it. The things that Colt and Cheyenne have to go through are hard but really I was so happy for them. Happy they were playing a game that let them be there for each other. It was so important that they not go through this alone, that I was totally was happy for their game. I was so happy to watch them figure out what was real. So happy their game took them down unexpected paths. So happy others saw through their game. So happy they were real. So happy, just so happy.
This story takes quite a few unexpected turns. The ending was one of those. Never saw that coming in a million years. At about 20 pages left, I was thinking okay how's this gonna get wrapped up and what about that? No need to doubt, because it all does and in a way I never expected.
I'm assuming that this series is gonna be companion books. Very excited to see what comes next.
If you haven't experienced the fabulousness that is a Nyrae Dawn book, you so need to. I absolutely love her characters. They are the best! Make sure to pick this one up.
You really NEED to read a Nyrae Dawn book, so I'm gonna give one of my followers their choice of any Nyrae Dawn book on Nook or Kindle. Just follow StuckInBooks and fill out the rafflecopter below.