Wednesday, February 20, 2013


Title: Painted Faces
Author: L.H. Cosway
Release Date: December 16, 2012

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. 

Okay, first off--I must say this. I typically like my men to be very...manly. Alpha. And a little dominant. Scruffy, rough, muscled. A lean, mean, kick-ass fighting machine.

I peruse blog sites and Goodreads frequently and have seen the reviews for L.H. Cosway's Painted Faces---mainly 4-5 star reviews and read the blurb for the book. 

Drag Queen Hero.  Moving on. 

But when my good friend texts me (Hey Francesca!) and says "You gotta read this!"....Well, Francesca hardly ever steers me wrong. I mean, this woman rec'd Reaper's Property to me and that book rocked my hoohah and had me dreaming of bad-ass biker dudes for days!

So, I bought the damn thing.


I can honestly say that I am shocked at how much I loved this book--and Nicholas was just delicious. I wanted to lick him like a lollipop and down him with a shot of Patron. 

I will go out on a limb here and say this book is not for everyone. It will either grab you by the ovaries or make you stop in your tracks and say, "No, thanks, I'll pass". But for me, this book not only grabbed me--it shook the hell out of me and I didn't want to stop reading until the last page. And then I was like, "I want more!"

I am amazed at how LH. took Nicholas and made him in one word-SEXY. 

Here is a man who puts on women's dresses, panties, make-up--the works--and parades around the stage singing songs from Broadway musicals and struts "her" stuff like no body's biz. When he dons on his Vivica Blue persona, he is woman, hear him roar. 

But let's back up a bit--

As a child, Nicholas had no one to turn to for love and understanding. His father was a harsh, bitter man after his wife's death. And Nicholas never got to know the woman who gave birth to him. All that was left were photographs, videos, and her clothes...stepping into his mother's clothes was the only way to bring him close to the mother he never really knew. He was starved for attention.  

Nicholas knew he was different--alone, isolated, he was made fun of for his desire to hang out with the girls rather than the boys at his school. He was teased, beaten, and then...his world changed forever when he became a teen. 

Now your first thought is probably--this dude is mental. It does sound a bit...strange. Even I can see that. But Cosway worked it, baby. I was intrigued immediately and wanted to see what happened next.

Fast forward a few years...

Nicholas has moved to Dublin and is starting a job at the Garden Patch. He is to be the featured star--a new beginning for him after many lows in his not-so-normal life. 

Enter Freda Walker, Nicholas's new neighbor.

Freda, aka Fred bakes cupcakes, works at a charity store, and has felt different her whole life. But she is happy with who she is, comfortable in her own skin. So what if she's not a size six, tall with  legs up to her chin, and  to-die-for gorgeous. As far as heroines go, Fred wowed me with her spunkiness, quick wit, and take-no-shit attitude. I adored her. 

When Freda and Nicholas meet, there is an instant sizzle, a palpable chemistry connection, and Freda does everything in her power to keep the sexy new neighbor at a more comfortable distance. She wants more than just a quickie--so not her style. Especially when she finds out just what kind of player Nicholas has been in the past. 

But when Nicholas hires her as his assistant, the two grow closer. They become friends--hanging out together and learning about each other. 

And unresolved sexual tension follows them wherever they go...These two fit perfectly together, bringing out the best, while accepting their worst. 

A fast-paced, highly entertaining read that will make you see drag queens in a totally different light.

Fave moments:

I say, digging in the old scree when in fact I know well that Anny will fuck a door knob with enough alcohol in her system.

We all paint on a face to show the world.

"Delicate my arse. You can suck a dick, but you can't take the idea of a hairless vagina." 

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

"Some of them make you feel satisfied, others make you feel high, most just make you feel used or dirty, but you Fred, you make me feel cleansed."

"I want to ruin you Freda, in the best way possible." 


  1. I've been wanting to read this book since I saw a fellow blogger gush over it! I don't have time right now though with my darn tour stops LOL. I think this book is for me regardless of how some things might make me uncomfortable.

    1. Braine~
      GAH--I don't know how I missed your comment.
      But thanks so much for reading my review. I absolutely LURVED this book. It was just so damn different from everything and it was sexy, funny, and charming. Hope you get to it soon and enjoy it as much as I did.


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