Painted Faces

Painted Faces - L.H. Cosway If you are like me, an avid romance reader of all sub-genres, sometimes you find yourself in a place of “every single book feels like I have read it before.” Sound familiar? So when I saw a review of Painted Faces at Smexy Books, my interest was peeked after skimming it. When I finished the book, I wanted to talk to everyone about it because it left me with such a deep feeling of satisfaction, and left me wanting more. From the start, I felt heavily invested in both the characters, and the story. The premise is entirely unique. This is a m/f romance, but the male is a straight drag queen. It is equal parts funny and sexy, and yes, romantic.

Freda has the wit and humor that you secretly wish you had. She seems to know how to respond to every situation, and had me thoroughly charmed from the start. Likewise, Nicholas appears to take everything in stride, handling every situation that comes his way seemlessly. The connection between the two is so multi-dimensional it practically jumps off the page at you. As the layers are peeled and we learn more about them as they learn about each other, I became quite smitten with both Freda and Nicholas.
“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 give him a wry glance. “Have you had to suffer for your passion?”

He nods gently, his eyes roving over the crowds as they push by us. “More than you would think.”

Not only are the characters so superbly and richly written, they are crafted with such a delicate touch of authenticity. Never did I feel as though I had to suspend disbelief as I watched their story play out. Nicholas is such a real character and his sexuality is never lost or confused in the fact that he feels a passion to dress up in women’s clothes and perform. I wasn’t sure how the romance aspect would be, but it completely works in every way. The tension and angst will have you on the edge of your seat, with a fantastic and sexy payoff.

When you go in to Painted Faces, it is very easy to expect a “romance with a straight drag queen.” I anticipated that I would know how I would feel and what would be involved; but, I could not have been more misguided. In addition to greatly constructed characters, Painted Faces is incredibly insightful and smart. There were several parts of introspection that really spoke to me and stuck with me. Clever dialog and truly awesome characters made this easily one of my favorite reads of 2013. I look forward to seeing more of this author!