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Posted February 2, 2013
If you are like me, an avid romance reader of all sub-genres, so
If you are like me, an avid romance reader of all sub-genres, sometimes you find yourself in a place of “every single book feels like I have read it before.” Sound familiar? So when I saw a review of Painted Faces at Smexy Books, my interest was peeked after skimming it. When I finished the book, I wanted to talk to everyone about it because it left me with such a deep feeling of satisfaction, and left me wanting more. From the start, I felt heavily invested in both the characters, and the story. The premise is entirely unique. This is a m/f romance, but the male is a straight drag queen. It is equal parts funny and sexy, and yes, romantic.
Freda has the wit and humor that you secretly wish you had. She seems to know how to respond to every situation, and had me thoroughly charmed from the start. Likewise, Nicholas appears to take everything in stride, handling every situation that comes his way seemlessly. The connection between the two is so multi-dimensional it practically jumps off the page at you. As the layers are peeled and we learn more about them as they learn about each other, I became quite smitten with both Freda and Nicholas.
Not only are the characters so superbly and richly written, they are crafted with such a delicate touch of authenticity. Never did I feel as though I had to suspend disbelief as I watched their story play out. Nicholas is such a real character and his sexuality is never lost or confused in the fact that he feels a passion to dress up in women’s clothes and perform. I wasn’t sure how the romance aspect would be, but it completely works in every way. The tension and angst will have you on the edge of your seat, with a fantastic and sexy payoff.
When you go in to Painted Faces, it is very easy to expect a “romance with a straight drag queen.” I anticipated that I would know how I would feel and what would be involved; but, I could not have been more misguided. In addition to greatly constructed characters, Painted Faces is incredibly insightful and smart. There were several parts of introspection that really spoke to me and stuck with me. Clever dialog and truly awesome characters made this easily one of my favorite reads of 2013. I look forward to seeing more of this author!
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Posted May 18, 2014
5+ Stars! This book is unexpected, completely captivating, and o
5+ Stars!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
This book is unexpected, completely captivating, and one I find myself reluctant to leave. I want to dive right back in and read it again immediately after finishing it!
Admittedly, this one has been on my kindle for several months. I bought it because of the unique synopsis, the stunning cover, and the numerous 4 and 5 star reviews. I never made the time to read it though and I’m not quite sure why, other than the fact that it was one I knew might push my boundaries on traditional romance. My turn to select a book club book came up and I decided now was the time.
Let me say, I’m kicking myself for not having read it sooner! F*ck, what an all-consuming read! LH Cosway’s writing had me snorting and laughing out loud as I read Freda/Fred’s thoughts and interactions. And Nicholas/Viv made my girl-parts pant! This isn’t the traditional romance, yet it works. Oh my god, does it work! I felt all of the pain, all of the desire, all of the fascination, all of the hiding of your true self. What I found so fascinating was that as much as Viv hides behind a painted face, he is one of the most open individuals when it comes to Fred. And Fred is like the perfect puzzle piece to Viv.
The setting, primarily in Dublin, was handled with finesse. Descriptions of the local streets were visually rich, the language at times could have been difficult due to slang but LH crafted the story in such a way that I felt even without knowing an exact definition for something, I knew the intent and the humor and banter amongst the characters without any issue.
I also found it fascinating how LH switched from third person to first person and handled it with grace. The third person sections gave it a feeling of dream-like quality when placed up against the first person storyline.
There’s so much I want to say about this book – the beauty of the story, the rich underlying meanings, the moments of pure sensuality – but I would rather just say, READ THIS BOOK! It’s one that I will most certainly come back to and had me running to purchase any others by LH Cosway!
Posted January 18, 2014
I got this book as a Freebie on Amazon and it is so good I want
I got this book as a Freebie on Amazon and it is so good I want to send the author money. I will be purchasing her backlist but I having a feeling that this romance may be just one of those magic love stories that is somehow just perfect and even through everything else this writer creates might be excellent this one will always shine the brightest.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
I heard a great deal of buzz about this book. It made me wary. Also, I thought given the subject matter, it would be a much darker story than it is so even after I picked it up as Freebie, I didn't read it for a while.
Then, I read a review that assured me it was also funny. So, I took the risk and found one of my favorite couples of any book.
I love Nicholas for all the reasons Freda loves him. I love Freda for all the reasons Nichols loves her. You can't write any better than that. Cosway lets us live in their love.
Nicholas and Freda are flawed like we all are but they are also magnificent like we all are.
They are in their mid and late twenties and some of the stuff they do just reeks of that age but in a good way. The conflicts here are all so real you can taste them.
The first person writing style is excellently done. It is not my favorite point of view but I adore being in Freda's head and wouldn't have it any other way. I love her humor, clear seeing of the self, and tangents. We get Nicholas' point of view in the opening and closing as well. (Okay, I wanted a longer Epilogue with babies but really what was there was grand)
The setting of Dublin is great. There are lots of little details in this book that are just exactly right.
This book most famously weaves in of gender roles and sexuality to the romance. However, this book is so much more and gender and sexuality are really central to any great love story but because of our hero's profession and his hetroexuality these elements of all erotic relationships are thrown in wonderful sharp relief.
Cosway pens a classic here. No doubt about it. It will make my lists forever. It is one that I will read again and again. The sexual tension is divine and the HEA is so well earned through delight, sorrow, and humor.
Posted December 30, 2013
"We all paint on a face to show the world." I had hea
"We all paint on a face to show the world."Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
I had heard a lot about Painted Faces book on Goodreads recently, and I wanted to see what all the buzz was about. What? The male love interest is a drag queen? And he's straight? What? I was intrigued. Also, my friend Brenna said that I reminded her of Fred, so of course I had to read about my book doppelgänger.
Freda, or Fred as her friends call her, lives with her best friend Nora in Dublin. They have been best friends since they were teenagers. Fred is quirky, fun, and always says what's on her mind. She describes herself as average-sized and self-deprecating to the core. I LOVED her. Nora is her polar opposite, completely self-absorbed.
"I am not having a pity party. Nora has pity parties. I have pathological self-deprecation. It's an incurable condition, so don't make fun."
Nicholas is the new neighbor next door - well-dressed, well-groomed, and charming. Originally from New Zealand, he travels the world as Vivica Blue, drag queen extraordinare. He works at The Glamour Patch, a new night club in town, and is hoping to plant some roots in Dublin after years of traveling. From the moment Fred and Nicholas meet, I knew their relationship was going to be special.
with these characters.
Nora invites Nicholas over for dinner in hopes of snatching him up for herself, but Nora isn't the girl who catches Nicholas's eye. Nicholas isn't even on Fred's radar because she thinks he is too good-looking for her. Fred and Nicholas become fast friends. Quickly, it becomes quite clear that he wants a more of a friends-with-benefits arrangement. And holy moly, was he forward with her. Fred, on the other hand, values their friendship too much to chance it. But she can't deny their chemistry for long, especially after Nicholas hires her to be his new assistant.
"Getting ready for a performance is no fun when you haven't got someone to share it with, and I want to share it with you, Freda."
UGH! And the "other woman" in this story, Dorotea, I HATED her! Fred & Nicholas met her in the park after Fred noticed she had a feret. At first, Fred thought Dorotea was cute and charming with her little pet feret, but she changed her tune when she noticed Nicholas and Dorotea flirting. After Nicholas and Dorotea had a little one-night fling, Dorotea latched onto Nicholas like a leech. This made for a rather interesting housewarming party at Nicholas's.
"I'm not at all impressed by her and her feret keeping ways any longer."
Fred and Nicholas's banter back and forth was hilarious. Their witty banter combined with Nicholas sexually suggestive comments had me grinning like an idiot. Nicholas loved making Fred uncomfortable, and I loved watching her squirm. Oh and Fred's nickname for Nicholad, Viv, is so adorable!
"Easy there, Fred. I don't want to have to give you the Heimlich manoeuvre. Oh wait a minute, I kind of do. It might give me the chance to cop a feel."
"You're [effing] obsessed, Viv. If you're that keen on them then by all means go ahead and have a squeeze. Get it out of your system."
But behind all their witty banter, both Nicholas and Fred are messed up. Due to things that happened in their past, they are broken. They struggle to give each other all of themselves, to let each other in. They wrestle with their feelings for one another. Don't get me wrong, I loved the tension and indecisiveness, but how long were they going to continue to do the tango around their feelings? I wanted to reach through my Kindle and slap some sense into both of them.
"I want him so badly it hurts. But I want all of him. Not just the sex. I want his smiles and his teasing, his smoldering looks. His sad eyes when he thinks nobody's watching. Most of all, I want his heart."
I loved watching Fred and Nicholas come to terms with their feelings for one another, learning that it is to love and be loved. To not be scared because the other person is probably just as scared as you are. Their journey to finding love was beautiful.
"You colour my world, Freda."
As far as Freda being my book doppleganger, I definitely saw parts of myself in her - quoting random things, her self-deprecating nature, and her sarcasm.
Posted September 6, 2013
Absolutely loved this story. Completely different than anything
Absolutely loved this story. Completely different than anything out there. Emotionally raw & real. Nicholas & Freda's story is so beautiful!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted August 22, 2013
I recommend it 101%
The book is amazing and is now my favorite!! I simply love Nicholas he is so sweet, fun but has a sad side that makes you love him even more and Freda is simply hillarious!!! This story was so awesome I read it twice and it is so well written ;) wonderful love storyWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted August 17, 2013
I can admit that I am a walking cliché. I am the stay at home mo
I can admit that I am a walking cliché. I am the stay at home mom of two kids and I read a LOT of romance novels. A ridiculous amount that I think I’ve not even admitted to Trina, but she must know (or does now!). However, it is books like “Painted Faces” that allow me to go forth and state loudly and proudly that I do, indeed, read romance novels. That’s right folks…it’s not all tawny skin, muscled perfection and huge members, it can be a multi-faceted and nuanced tale of two people who fall in love. It can be unconventional and it can be entertaining and hilarious.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Freda (aka “Fred”), our heroine, is delightfully irreverent. I can’t tell you how many times I had to highlight her monologues throughout the book, and I’m not normally a highlighter. She’s pudgy – yet sexy --, self-deprecating and just real. Her take on life is fresh, witty and I have to say that I felt comfortable and invested in her story from the get go. She’s a very well-crafted character. She meets our Hero, Nicholas (aka “Viv”), when he moves into the flat (yes, it’s a tale from Ireland that uses great words such as “flat”, “crisp”, “posh” and “snogging”) next door to her. It’s not one of those “love at first sight” tales. Fred and Viv meet, form a friendship, are wildly attracted to one another, but take their time to truly know each other…all the darkness and light that makes a person who they are.
Nicholas is a cabaret performer, and here’s the twist – he’s a drag queen. He’s not gay…but he dresses up in women’s clothes to perform. That is part of what makes this story so refreshing…he’s an unconventional hero, and I think the stories that challenge our preconceived notions of ideas of convention and societal norms are some of the best. This book really kept me engaged and engrossed in the story to see where it would go and how it would all work out. One of the most surprising books I have read in a while and an 4 star read for me!
Review provided by Sara at Crystal's Many Reviews
Posted July 24, 2013
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Posted January 24, 2013
Posted January 24, 2013
Painted faces is your contemporary traditional read but illustrated in an inconventional sort of way. What I did like about the story is that Fred, is your average witty, sarcastic, funny, girl, in which she doesnt take bs from anyone. She reminds me a lot of myself :P... In this aspect, I found the characters to be very realistic with physical attributes and personalities. What I did not like was the fact that the story was PREDICTABLE... boy meets girl, falls for girl, loses girl, and everything is back to Happily Ever After’s.....THE END... really!!! Can something else happen besides the inevitable...Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 16, 2013
Summary In Painted Faces by L.H. Cosway a drag queen and a cupca
SummaryWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
In Painted Faces by L.H. Cosway a drag queen and a cupcake baker become neighbors, become hot for each other, and dance on down the yellow brick road of love both wearing sparkly stilettos. A wonderful book somewhere on the crossroads of chick lit, actual lit, romance, and self discovery.
This book is mostly anchored in the real world of Dublin although it does take some suspension of disbelief to picture a straight drag queen.
Lots of sexual tension throughout the first half of the book which will leave you drooling. The sex scenes are hot but vanilla which seems a little odd given the hero's occupation. I would expect a little gender bending or at least some fetish action.
The happily ever after ending is absolutely heart warming. The relationship building is well done without overwhelming the story.
There is lots of drama and angst. Both characters have deep rooted issues which they have to overcome to be together.
Fred is meant to be outrageous and a bit quirky although her constant lack of esteem keeps her from fully hitting the mark. The despairing characterization is true to life, but a bit irritating to any reader not in the depths of self hatred themselves. Her dialogue is funny and I can't help but like her while at the same time wanting to slap her while yelling, “Snap out of it!”
Nicholas is absolutely fabulous from his big blue eyes all the way down to his ruffled knickers. He has his demons, but they don't keep him from living large. The author does a great job of making him masculine and yet still believable as a drag queen. I desperately want to go shopping with him and so will you.
Posted January 15, 2013
Posted January 15, 2013
Posted January 8, 2013
Unique and Breathtaking
First off, I feel that I should say that before starting this I was very curious how this book would turn out. I am utterly thrilled that it was a lovely book that was so good. The writing is fantastic and the characters are amazing Freda will have you giggling in delight at some of her witty remarks and sarcasmWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
and having you feel for her. The book ends happily as it is but i cant help hoping for more of Fred and Vivica/Nickolas. The story is unique with a non typical type of leading man and a not to typical leading lady. Steout of your comfort zone and read this one.
Posted February 16, 2013
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