Painted Faces by L.H. Cosway: Review

Painted Faces by L.H. Cosway: ReviewPainted Faces by L.H. Cosway
Series: Painted Faces #1
on December 16, 2012
Genres: Love & Romance

Come forth with an open mind, for an unconventional tale of love..

Dublin native Freda Wilson considers herself to be an acquired taste. She has a habit of making offensive jokes and speaking her mind too often. She doesn't have the best track record with first impressions, which is why she gets a surprise when her new neighbour Nicholas takes a shine to her.

Nicholas is darkly handsome, funny and magnetic, and Freda feels like her black and white existence is plunged into a rainbow of colour when she's around him. When he walks into a room he lights it up, with his quick wit and charisma. He is a travelling cabaret performer, but Freda doesn't know exactly what that entails until the curtains pull back on his opening night.

She is gob-smacked and entirely intrigued to see him take to the stage in drag. Later on, Nicholas asks her if she would like to become his show assistant. Excited by the idea, she jumps at the chance. Soon she finds herself immersed in a world of wigs, make-up and high heels, surrounded by pretty men and the temptation of falling for her incredibly beautiful employer.

In this story of passion and sexual discovery, Nicholas and Freda will contend with jealousy, emotional highs and lows, and the kind of love that only comes around once in a lifetime.

Alexis says…

As you may have noticed, I have been on an L.H. Cosway kick for the past week and a half. All of her books I’ve read thus far have been unconventional but Painted Faces takes the cake err cupcake. Painted Faces is that story that just takes your breath away and changes your thoughts on what love is.

Nicholas (Viv) and Freda (Fred) have a very meet-cute in their apartment building while she is sopping wet from the rain and he is just leaving. Immediately she is attracted to him. After her roommate Nora invites him over for dinner, he mentions that he is a performer at a show and that they should come.

Unbeknownst to Freda, Nicholas is a drag queen. Yes, you read that right. But he’s also a straight drag queen. It’s something I couldn’t wrap my head around but L.H. Cosway pulled it off in spades.

 “I like to be a man in the bedroom, but a woman on the stage.”

Freda and Nicholas start to spend even more time together when Nicholas hires her as his assistant. Freda finds herself falling in love with Nicholas and even questions what she finds herself attracted to.

Freda was a fantastic heroine. The majority of this book was spent in her head and I loved her view on things. She was absolutely hysterical. She literally said whatever came out of her mouth at all times and I loved it. I think I enjoyed this book so much because it was like you were hearing the story directly from her…as if you were having a one-sided conversation with her. It was also important to me that she was not your normal beautiful waif-like girl. I do think that part of the reason Freda is as brash as she is because she is not comfortable in her skin.

“Okay, this is messed up. I’m getting all hot and bothered over a man who’s more comfortable in make-up and a pair of heels than I am.”

 Nicholas just broke my heart. He came across as this cool, confidant man but you knew deep down he was struggling with some issues. His reasoning for dressing as a woman had me just wanting to jump into my Kindle and hug him. But then, he made no excuses for who he was and just owned it. You would think that it would be hard to fall for him but he was so damn swoony. Plus, he knows how to shop and put makeup on, win win!

“It feels like nobody in the history of the world has loved another person as much as I love you. I love you so much it hurts.”

Painted Faces is a true friends to lover story. The scenes between Fred and Viv while she’d get him ready for his performances were some of my favorites. These scenes between them were so intimate without actually being intimate. This story just had it all for me.   They were absolutely perfect for each other and you never doubted how much love there was between them.

I know the synopsis may have you questioning how this story could actually work. Trust me, it does. It is a story so unique yet so beautiful that will leave you in a total book funk. This book was so powerful and just so WOW that it has made it onto my “top favorite reads”. In truth, Painted Faces coloured my world!





About L.H. Cosway

L.H. Cosway has a BA in English Literature and Greek and Roman Civilisation, and an MA in Postcolonial Literature. She lives in Dublin city. Her inspiration to write comes from music. Her favourite things in life include writing stories, vintage clothing, dark cabaret music, food, musical comedy, and of course, books.

She thinks that imperfect people are the most interesting kind. They tell the best stories.