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Painted Faces Kindle Edition
|Length: 356 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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Top customer reviews
The first thing Freda notices about Nick is that he's beautiful. Beautiful and (in her mind) out of her league. At first Freda assumes Nick is gay, but from the start (as in the first day they meet) Nick lets her know that he's interested in her sexually. When Freda sees Nick perform onstage dressed as a woman, she's intrigued, confused and - maybe in spite of herself - a little turned on. Despite Nick's blatant sexual advances, Freda is ambivalent - could this gorgeous creature really be interested in her? Will she wind up just getting hurt? So Nick and Freda settle into a pattern of being "just friends", until that little subterfuge just won't work anymore. And then things get interesting...
There were many things that I liked about this story. I think the author captured what it means to be young and single and experiencing your first real love, with all the accompanying excitement, confusion and heartache. Obviously, the "Hero" of the story is unconventional, really kind of a bold choice in my opinion. Freda's first person narrative is infused with some raunchy humor and there's no denying that the whole storyline made for a nice change of pace from the billionaire-bad-boys-and-the-virgins-who-love-them romances that are a dime a dozen right now.
Despite the story's overall originality, it really doesn't stray too far from the typical romance formula. Freda is almost gratingly insecure, falling back far too often on the old "Oh, I'm too fat for this guy to be interested in me" excuse. She's described as 5' 6" and wearing a (US) size 10. Not a waif to be sure, but certainly not overweight. And no matter how many times Nick told her he found her beautiful, she refused to accept it. Had I been able to insert myself into the story I would have gone all Jillian Michaels on her and told her to either accept herself as she was or for Pete's sake cut back on the booze and the bacon & cheese sandwiches and hit the gym. Freda's self-esteem issues were, in my opinion, overplayed.
My biggest gripe is something about Nick's character that I had a hard time getting past. (This next part might be considered to be a minor SPOILER). Before Nick and Freda become romantically involved, Nick has a one night stand and he doesn't treat this woman very well. He has a whole conversation with the woman (right in front of Freda no less!) about how he only visits the "Lady Garden" (as he refers to it) under very special circumstances. He also goes on to regale Freda and her friends with stories of the woman's "Lady Garden" in a derisive manner. I am quite surprised that the same author who was willing to push the envelope with a unique storyline felt the need to trot out this hoary old trope. Yes, I "get" that Nick is trying to send the message that he'd be willing to stop and smell the roses in Freda's "Lady Garden" (which I guess he intuitively knows is superior to all the other mundane gardens out there), I just wish he didn't need to denigrate a woman other than the heroine to get his point across. Why does showing disdain for another woman somehow make the heroine appear special? In my opinion, it doesn't. It just make the Hero look like a jerk. (Now exiting the SPOILER zone)
To sum it up, I am glad that I read this. It was interesting and quite original in parts. I am one of those women who like to be just the teeniest bit in love with the Heroes in my Romance reading, and Nick (even outside of his "Viv" persona) was too feminine and androgynous for me to feel that attraction. The important thing though is that the author does convince you that Freda feels it, and that's what Romance is all about.
Frequent strong language and explicit sexual content.
So, yeah, it had a bit of a dark element, but mostly it was...funny. A little dark, a lot funny. I laughed all the way through it.
Fred, the girl, and Vivica, the boy (AKA Freda and Nicholas) meet when Nicholas moves in next door. She has no idea that he's a totally straight guy who just happens to enjoy performing on stage while dressed in women's clothing. She only sees an amazingly hot guy with a quick smile and flirtatious manner who she hopes she can be friends with. Nicholas sees an attractive, sarcastic and funny girl who makes him laugh - and who he tries to charm into his bed right away.
Fred and Viv are both great characters and I immediately fell in love with both of them. The building of their relationship and the changes it goes through as they debate the advisability of moving from friends to lovers is totally believable. And so fun!
I don't really know what else to say about this book except that I loved everything about it. Everything. It probably won't be what you expect it to be - unless you expect it to be a great story that will keep you riveted from beginning to end.
Adult language and sexual content.
“We all paint on a face to show the world. For some of us, that's quite literal.”
Wow. Just.... WOW. I have never read another book quite like this one before. It completely blew me away!!! I mean, I never would have thought "straight drag queen" and "romance" would fit in the same category, but I was wrong!!!
Painted Faces is about Freda, a twenty something Irish woman who works odd jobs and has some terrible ex boyfriends. This story begins when Fred has a new neighbor move in and he immediately expresses interest in her. Nicholas is attractive and suave, and despite his advances Fred almost has him pegged as gay. But then she see's his show and realizes he's a drag queen and everything begins to make sense.
Nicholas offers Fred a job working as his assistant and she accepts. As time goes by the attraction between the two of the builds, but Fred is wary of his advances. Nicholas has slept his way across Europe and she isn't sure if he's serious about her, or just looking to shag her.
“I want to ruin you Freda, in the best way possible.”
I honestly didn't know what to expect going into this book. I had read some of Cosway's books before, but a friend had told me to read some of her earlier work as it was a little bit different (I then found out this friend hadn't read this book yet lol). I'm so glad I read this book, and I kind of can't believe I haven't read it before. Why has no one recommended me this book???? Book friends, you are slacking!!! jkjk.
I loved both characters so much. Fred was an amazing heroine, she had insecurities yet she stood up for herself. She was understanding and accepting of ideas new to her. Was she perfect? No. But that's what I liked most about her. Nicholas, oh he's something else. He changed what I thought about masculinity. In a literary world of alpha males and dominance, here came a different kind of romantic hero and his uniqueness shone through the pages.
“I might not have a boyfriend, but I have cupcakes, and those tasty b**** haven't let me down yet.”
This was such the perfect blend of romance and angst for me. I couldn't put the book down, I was reading well into the early hours of the morning when I should have been sleeping. Believe me this book was worth not being able to adult properly the next day. I was so enraptured by this unique and special story, I didn't want it to end.
So as you can tell, I bloody loved this book. I find myself wanting to go back and reread it even as I type just to be near Nicholas and Freda again. I can honestly say this is my favorite Cosway book to date and I probably will be binge-reading the rest of her books sometime real soon.
“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.”