Charade - Nyrae Dawn (2012)

When 19-year-old Cheyenne walks in on her boyfriend, Gregory, with another woman, she refuses to let him win. His betrayal opens old wounds and memories of her mother leaving her. She will not let him see her as weak and needy so she decides to get herself a fake boyfriend to prove to Gregory that there's more to her life than him. After Cheyenne witnesses a confrontation between Gregory and an unknown tattooed guy in a coffee shop, she chases after the stranger and asks him to help her out. At first reluctant, with troubles of his own, Colt soon finds himself part of the charade. But as the two increasingly turn to one another and develop some kind of relationship, the line between pretense and reality blurs. Cheyenne and Colt are memorable, gutsy characters, and the story of their relationship is innovative and beautiful, whilst the plotting of the novel, including the subplot centred on Colt's dying mother, is masterful and engaging. Charade offers everything that is great about the New Adult genre - drama, emotion and sexual tension aplenty - and this is certainly one of the strongest contributions this year. Based on this novel, Nyrae Dawn is a name to look out for. (JC)

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