Title : Painted Faces
Publisher: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
Date Published: December 16, 2012
Stand Alone or Series: Stand alone
Three Words: Romance, Cross-dressing, hilarity
Red Flags: some sexual situations, some language and did I mention there was cross dressing?
The Blurb (from Amazon):
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.
I can admit that I am a walking cliché. I am the stay at home mom of two kids and I read a LOT of romance novels. A ridiculous amount that I think I’ve not even admitted to Trina, but she must know (or does now!). However, it is books like “Painted Faces” that allow me to go forth and state loudly and proudly that I do, indeed, read romance novels. That’s right folks…it’s not all tawny skin, muscled perfection and huge members, it can be a multi-faceted and nuanced tale of two people who fall in love. It can be unconventional and it can be entertaining and hilarious.
Freda (aka “Fred”), our heroine, is delightfully irreverent. I can’t tell you how many times I had to highlight her monologues throughout the book, and I’m not normally a highlighter. She’s pudgy – yet sexy –, self-deprecating and just real. Her take on life is fresh, witty and I have to say that I felt comfortable and invested in her story from the get go. She’s a very well-crafted character. She meets our Hero, Nicholas (aka “Viv”), when he moves into the flat (yes, it’s a tale from Ireland that uses great words such as “flat”, “crisp”, “posh” and “snogging”) next door to her. It’s not one of those “love at first sight” tales. Fred and Viv meet, form a friendship, are wildly attracted to one another, but take their time to truly know each other…all the darkness and light that makes a person who they are.
Nicholas is a cabaret performer, and here’s the twist – he’s a drag queen. He’s not gay…but he dresses up in women’s clothes to perform. That is part of what makes this story so refreshing…he’s an unconventional hero, and I think the stories that challenge our preconceived notions of ideas of convention and societal norms are some of the best. This book really kept me engaged and engrossed in the story to see where it would go and how it would all work out. One of the most surprising books I have read in a while and an 8 shoe read for me!
Rating : 8 shoes
This sounds like such a different and surprising read! I’ve definitely put it on my TBR list. Thanks for another awesome review- Sara!