I love unconventional love stories. I really do. I loved J.J. McAvoy’s “Sugar Baby Beautiful,” Alessandra Torre’s “Black Lies,” and Jessica Clare and Jen Frederick’s “Last Kiss” from their “Hitman” series. This one, though, by L.H. Cosway, is completely different from anything I’ve read before.
First of all, the Hero, Nicholas, is a DRAG QUEEN. He’s straight. Not bi. Which is weird. But, COOL! He’s got mommy and daddy issues, which carries him throughout his life choices, but underneath all the paint, dresses, heels, and stage act, he’s relatable, believable, and root-worthy (as in, woot-woot). His love, Freda, is a secure, confident, laid-back woman, whom I find to have similar characteristics as with several young European girls I know. Their story is a roller-coaster ride, and Nicholas proves himself to be not just an unconventional romantic hero, but one who epitomizes our times as well. Freda is a lush (see that scene where she almost dies by grocery cart c/o a street comedienne), but, oh-well, I hope she matures, together with Nicholas.
Their story is told using Freda’s POV, so I’m holding back on reading part 2 of “Painted Faces,” entitled “Killer Queen,” which I think is written in Nicholas’ POV. I’m hoping there’s more HEA in the end of that second book, because these characters are ones I won’t regret re-visiting.