My guest reviewer this time around is Ella Fox, the lovely author whose books include The Hart Family and the Renegade Saints series.
Here is her review of Facade by Nyrae Dawn 🙂
From bestselling author, Nyrae Dawn, comes Book 2 in her New Adult, “Games” Series!
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 alright. 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, carefree 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?
My rating: 5 out of 5 Stars
I absolutely adored book 1 in the “Games” series, “Charade.” As the story came to it’s conclusion, I was hoping that Adrian would be getting a book of his own. When I found out that he was; I was thrilled! Nyrae can weave a tale like nobodies business. Her stories make their way into your heart and set up camp, permanently.
My advice before beginning a “Games” book is to have some tissues ready. Going into this book I thought that there was no way that I would have as emotional of a reaction/connection to Façade as I did with Charade. I couldn’t have been more wrong. Both stories are dynamic and beautiful, each a journey that won’t soon be forgotten.
Façade is, at its base, a story about growth, forgiveness and redemption. Delaney is a girl that feels things very deeply. Her father is in jail and her mother is an abusive suicidal terror. Although Delaney is done with her father, she continues to try to save her mother. The heartbreaking thing is that her mother treats her like garbage
and makes the situation that much worse. The one family member who cares about Delaney is her brother, Maddox. He’s there for her but is fighting his own demons, things that she doesn’t know about.
With things as bad as they are, Delaney hopes that if she can find the people that had their lives ruined by her fathers actions, the suffering within her own family will end.
Delaney is easily able to find the ‘mother’ of the boy that was killed. Meeting Angel is cathartic for them both and they really open up to each other. During the course of their meeting Angel tells Delaney that Delaney’s father didn’t just killed Ashton that day- he took away her whole family because Angel’s brother wasn’t able to deal with it and he disappeared. Angel had an investigator find him and it turned out that Adrian was living four hours away, but Angel is unable to go to him because she knows that Adrian would run.
Getting into Adrian’s POV was gut wrenching. From the beginning it’s very clear that he holds himself totally accountable to Ash’s death. At the cemetery on the fourth anniversary of Ash’s death, Adrian sits in his car and watches his sister cry over his grave… but doesn’t go to her because he thinks that she must hold him responsible.
Pain grabs a hold of me, threatens to pull me under, and for the millionth time I wonder why I don’t let it. It would be so much easier than walking around in the masks I do now.
Delaney makes a radical choice and decides to move to where Adrian is. Destiny plays a little trick the day that she moves in when she meets Adrian, but doesn’t know who he is.
Later that night, she meets him again when he shows up at the diner she’s working in. There’s an attraction there on both sides from the get-go. When he tells her his name, she’s stunned.
Their relationship develops from there. Adrian is hiding behind pot and parties because he doesn’t want to feel anything, while Delaney is keeping one key piece of information about herself from him.
Adrian has never told anyone about Ash and Delaney tells no one about her father. Although they begin by keeping these secrets from each other, their relationship is real. He sees that she’s in pain and nicknames her ‘little ghost’. They let down their walls with each other- sometimes against their own will- and become something bigger.
There is so much to this story that I can’t share because it would be spoiler-ish and that’s not okay. Suffice it to say, these characters stole, then broke, then healed my heart.
I was so proud of Delaney for showing Adrian that he was a good man, and I was also proud of her for finally standing up to her mother and walking away.
As far as Adrian goes… I fell in love. Some of the deepest scars are internal and he survived something that a lot of people wouldn’t have been able to. Although he was drowning for four years, the core of him was still amazing. He just needed to learn to fight, to LIVE, and Delaney was able to push him in that direction. I cried my eyes out for him- from the shirt under his pillow to the handprint on his heart, Adrian had me- and I cried happy tears when he started to become the man that Ashton would have wanted him to be. When he lets it all out for Delaney, my heart skipped beats.
You helped me stop bleeding. You made my heart beat when I thought it was gone.
Seriously, how could you NOT fall in love with Adrian Westfall?
Next up in the “Games” series is Delaney’s brother Maddox’s story and I can’t wait. I spent a fair amount of time during this book wondering about what had happened to him and I’m anxious to get that book in my hands so that I can know.
I can’t recommend this series enough.
About Ella Fox
It seems I’ve had one story or another in my head since the day I was born. I’ve always had characters taking up space my brain, waiting to be “delivered.” Recently I decided to take the plunge, and what a journey it’s been!
I’m a romance girl. Always have been, always will be. My pet peeve is reading a romance novel that centers around a weak and spineless heroine. It’s insulting that as a society we fall for stereotypical female characters who bat their eyelashes, aren’t familiar or comfortable with their sexuality and who allow themselves to be railroaded by the men in the story.
I enjoy a heroine that sounds REAL. Women like you, like me, like my friends. Women who don’t take crap, who don’t accept emotional or mental abuse and who don’t automatically do whatever it is the man wants.
A GOOD relationship- even a relationship that includes BDSM- always involves two equals. It is true in life and it’s true in my books.