Can love save them?
After her father commits a crime that shatters her family, eighteen-year-old Delaney Cross is tired of pretending everything is all right. Packing up her car, she sets out to find the people her father hurt. Her search leads her to places she’s never been—and into the arms of Adrian Westfall.
To the outside world, Adrian is a sexy, charming ladies’ man. But his playboy persona is just an act. Secretly his soul is tortured by a memory too painful to share. Only Delaney seems to see through his façade to the real man underneath. And for the first time in his life, Adrian feels he can begin to open up about his past.
Together, Adrian and Delaney share a passionate love they never expected to find. Yet both still harbor their own secrets. When the dark truth is finally revealed, will it bring them closer together—or tear them apart forever?
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Reading Nyrae Dawn’s Façade (Games #2) reinforced exactly why she’s one of my favorite authors. Not only is she one of the best writers of male perspectives that I’ve ever read, but her books are populated with characters whose emotions are amazingly raw and real. The issues that protagonists Adrian and Delaney have to overcome on their journey to Happily Ever After left me gasping, burying my head in my hands, and bawling my eyes out. Basically, I was a complete mess for a good portion of the book’s second half, dreading the admission of a significant secret, and not being quite prepared when the revelation was more devastating than I could have imagined. Within the first few pages, both of these characters are laid emotionally bare and I quickly became swept up in their burgeoning relationship.
After first meeting Adrian as Colt’s playboy best friend in Charade (Games #1), I never would’ve imagined the depth of his long held anguish, which he keeps hidden behind a carefully constructed façade. I came to think of him as two separate people – the carefree person with a fondness for recreational drugs he shows to the world and the introspective poetic persona he assumes when alone. The one individual who sees behind his mask is Delaney, whose past is filled with just as many skeletons as Adrian’s, yet her ever-present optimism prevents her from spiraling down a black hole of despair, which would be completely understandable considering her circumstances. Adrian and Delaney make quite the tragic pair and I wanted nothing more than for them to come clean with one another.
Much like with Charade, Façade is a character driven story. The protagonists are flawed and broken but are also inherently likable. I love that Delaney calls Adrian on his crap and inspires him to write beautiful words that reflect the thoughts of his soul. Their playful banter and sizzling chemistry provided moments of happiness and relief from the underlying drama. With such secretive characters, Façade is full of unexpected twists and turns, leaving me with a reeling mind and crossed fingers that everything would turn out okay. As much as I love Colt and Cheyenne, I have a special place in my heart for Adrian and Delaney after going to hell and back with them. The journey was emotionally draining but I never wanted it to end. Even reading the preview for book three in The Games series, Masquerade, I stared at the page long after I finished, wishing there was more.
Rating: 5 Stars