Friday, 18 October 2013

Review: L.H Cosway's "Painted Faces."

Review: L.H Cosway's Painted Faces."

Amazon UK:


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. 

Review: Surj Harvey

Sometimes you find little gems in the most unsuspecting of books and this (I have to say) was one of them. Over the year, I've encountered so many bloggers rave about "Painted Faces" but for some reason, I've steered clear... I couldn't even tell you why. All I know is that I'm so glad I finally got round to reading it because it was just amazing... beautiful... emotional, heart breaking... nerve wracking and 100% hilarious (yes you read right.. there were moments I just laughed out loud and I couldn't stop). 

After reading the epilogue, I was still a little reluctant to continue because it was written in third person (one of my pet hates). Thankfully it was just the epilogue and I breathed a sigh of relief when the rest was written from Freda's POV. 

Returning from delivering a batch of cupcakes to a bakery, Freda looked like a drowned rat having gotten caught in a down poor. Mascara running, hair a soggy mess and her boots squelching from the intake of water, what she wasn't expecting was to bump into her new neighbour... one very HOT new neighbour:

I mean, who exactly gets tingles when they shake a person's hand? You might as well say, 
Hello, you'll be starring in my dirty dreams tonight, Mr Blue Eyes. 

Ladies, meet Nicholas (or should I say Vivica Blue), you see by day said hot neighbour was Nicholas and by night, he was Vivica Blue.. one stunning drag queen. These two hit it off straight away and so a beautiful friendship was formed. But underneath that friendship, so much more was bubbling and that's what left me a nervous wreck. Nicholas was never backwards in coming forwards in what he wanted but Fred, bless her was just so afraid: 

"I'm not used to this. And despite the attraction, I don't think we'll be good 
for one another. Somebody will get hurt and that somebody will most likely be me."
"Look at me Freda. I would never hurt you."

Fred's character was just so relateable. She was the girl next door, she had her hang ups and her insecurities just like the rest of us but she played them off with her witty banter and omg did she have her one liners. She was hilarious with her come backs but deep down, I could see her vulnerable side. Her greatest fear... to have her heart broken and all I kept thinking as I turned the pages was would Nicholas do that? Would he be the one who would crush her? 

I may act like a snarky bitch at times, but that's mostly a front for the scared, 
shy girl who's hiding behind her. 

But as much as Nicholas came across as this drop dead gorgeous, confident guy, underneath it all, he was just as scared and vulnerable as Fred. I wanted to wrap him up in a big blanket and just take care of him (not in a weird way you understand): 

"We all paint on a face to show the world. For some, that's quite literally."

The epilogue gave us a hint of his childhood and it didn't take a lot to see what had happened in the years before he left home. It was inevitable that those demons would still haunt him and they did. As much as I loved him completely, there were a couple of incidences where I was angry... where his actions infuriated me but I think that was more because of the direction I wanted the story to go and the fact that Nicholas had decided to take a detour. Don't mess with my heart Mister... especially when it's already on tender hooks!!! On the plus side, he said some beautiful things to Fred, her boobs, her stomach.. he loved all the things a woman usually feels insecure about and he made sure she knew (big sigh). 

Nicholas and Fred's journey was a crazy one and the way they danced around their feelings sent my heart rate into overdrive... two steps forward which made me do a happy dance but then ten steps back and my heart would bottom out. The sex was hot, the sexual tension off the charts but too many times, I felt someone had just thrown a bucket of iced water over me (not good!!!)

The secondary characters in "Painted Faces" were brilliant... one big family all with their floors but all there for each other when it came to the crunch. 

I couldn't have wished for more in this book. It was so different to what I thought it would be had had me from the word go. The writing was amazing and the characters so imperfect they were perfect. There was laughter, tears, angst and heart break but it is a standalone (yay!!!) and I was on the edge of my seat right up until the very end. 
Should you read it? OMG without a shadow of a doubt. It was just amazing. 

"Painted Faces" got 5 Heart stopping Hearts from me.
He really is a beautiful mess. A beautiful mess that sucks you in and messes you up too. 

If I fly too close to the sun, I can't exactly expect anything other than to get burned. 

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