Sunday, November 2, 2014

Painted Faces By L H Cosway

Painted Faces by L H Cosway

Painted Faces by L H Cosway

Synopsis: 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.

Publisher: Self Published
Publication Date: December 14th 2012

Buy Links: Amazon

Rating: 5 stars

Review: I stayed up late finishing this book and I have been trying to put together words to describe how much I loved it and how deeply it affected me but I keep failing.I actually came across this book when I saw the author’s new release Six Of Hearts and curiosity led me to check out her other books.Reading all the reviews praising this book I decided to give it a go.And right now I am sitting in my chair and wondering why didn’t I come across this wonderful author sooner??
The blurb is absolutely right.This is a completely unconventional story.The hero Nicholas is a drag queen!!This little tidbit itself piqued my interest and I wanted to see how the author would make it work.And let me tell you she did not disappoint!!
The protagonist Freda(“Fred”) is 25 yrs old and lives with her roommate Nora in Dublin.She isn’t fat but isn’t stick thin like Nora either.She has a little bit of a self esteem issue which usually comes out in the form of self deprecating humour.She is witty and snarky.One evening while coming back from shopping, her clothes dripping wet due to the rain, she meets their extremely handsome neighbour.When she introduces herself as Fred, he gives Vivica as his name and she thinks he is joking but proceeds to call him Viv.
Later he joins them for dinner(and they find that his name is Nicholas and that he is a cabaret performer) and he seems to be interested in Fred more than Nora ,even though Nora tries to flirt with him.Both of them have a deep seated connection and it is very lovely to see the banter between them.Freda is shocked when he openly propositions her for sex and she turns him down.
After a few days Freda,Nora and her two other friends-Harry and Anny  go to see  Nicholas’ performance.They notice that it is a gay bar and are astonished to find that Nicholas is a drag queen!!Nora is somewhat put off by this.Though Freda also feels a little bit of discomfort it fades away as she is amazed and thrilled by watching his performance.She appreciates his performance and he is quite pleased by this.Though they assume that he is gay h openly tell her that he is completely heterosexual.
Despite of the attraction between them they soon become best buds with an easy going friendship.

“That is so not the same, Viv. Irish and English accents are miles apart. Australians and New Zealanders sound the same.”
 “That's a terribly ignorant statement to make. I'm shocked and disappointed. There is a very distinct difference. If you had a good ear you'd be able to tell.”
 “Well I'm sorry that I don't go around learning the vague nuanced differences between accents of countries across the world. What an uncultured oaf I am,” I declare.
 Nicholas shakes with laughter. “You are a fucking hoot, Fred. I'm officially making you my new best friend. It's quite an honoured and sought after position, I'll have you know. So far I have a grand total of four friends in Dublin. You've currently just snagged yourself the top spot.”
 “Oh stop, Viv, I'm welling up here,” I reply drily.

We also see that Nicholas is kind of a ladies man though he seems to be primarily interested in Freda.Fred works two jobs.She works at a charity shop and also bakes cupcakes.She was the last among the four siblings and was born late to her parents, so she isn’t really close with any of her family members except her parents.

“Every memory makes me who I am right now, in this moment. Good or bad, all experiences shape you.”

When Nicholas asks her whether she would like to be his assistant(make-up/dressing) as a third job she initially refuses but then takes him up on the offer.She is then pulled into his charismatic world of wigs,singing,makeup,etc and the more she gets to know him the more difficult it becomes for her to resist him
We all paint on a face to show the world,” Nicholas replies philosophically. “For some of us, that's quite literal.” He takes a brief pause. “When you're passionate about something, you don't mind suffering a little discomfort.”

I loved that this was a slow burn romance!!Its always wonderful to read a story in which it is a slow transition from friends to lovers.The chemistry between Freda and Nicholas was off the charts.And when they finally got together- Oh Boy!!

“He goes over and grabs the purple ones, putting them on his own feet. He's tall enough as it is, but he's even taller with the shoes on, like one of those mythological Amazonian women who chopped off one of their breasts so they wouldn't get in the way when they were shooting a bow and arrow - or something like that. It's actually quite practical when you think about it. Practical but painful. I hope you enjoyed that tangent. There are more to come. I'll keep you posted.”

The best part about this book was that I could feel each and every emotion along with the characters.I was happy along with Fred and I laughed so much when she made her snarky jokes.Oh!!And that part where Nicholas does that thing(I can’t tell you what) broke my heart right along with hers.And even though I understood why he did it I still felt like screaming at him.

“The female need for true love is a fickle bitch. It forces itself into your life and shapes your actions, always driving you to find that one guy who'll love you unconditionally. Some of us seek it in the worst of places too, in soulless pubs and night clubs filled with guys who can't see past their own shallow egos, who only see the surface of a woman. They don't look for what's underneath because they don't want that; they want the aesthetic, the long hair and the tight little dresses.”

In the last 20% of the book I was a wreck!!I had never thought that I would feel like this.Learning what Nicholas went through made me so sad.While reading the prologue itself I was hoping that it shouldn’t be that case but Alas!! My poor baby Nicholas!!
There is a minor plot about Freda’s creepy,stalker ex-boyfriend.All the supporting charcters like Nora,Harry and even the obnoxious ones like Colm where beautifully written.

The writing was absolutely brilliant.Kudos to the author for making me feel each and every intense emotion.I laughed, cried  and enjoyed every moment along with the characters.I didn’t want this book to end but sadly it did.Ha!So all I feel like doing right now is shoving this book in everyone’s face and telling them to read it!!

“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. You make me smile, you make me laugh, you make me burn.”

But sadly I can’t do that so I just decided to go and read other books by this author.I read Still Life With Strings and A Strange Fire and they were just as beautiful.So what are you waiting for??Go ahead and grab this book and read it!! ;)

“I love him because he makes me laugh when I don't feel like laughing. I love him because he challenges my view of what a man is. I love him because I know I shouldn't love him and that he'll break my heart. I love him because he's a complete and total anomaly. I love him because I want to kill the sadness inside him more than I want anything else in the world.”

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