Review: Painted Faces by L.H. Cosway

Painted Faces Cover

4.5 strikingly gorgeous Stars

Every person on the planet has memories that haunt us in one way or another. Most probably come from our formative years. Those childhood years that stick with us forever – good and bad. And almost all of those memories are tinged with a feeling of regret – either that we didn’t appreciate those glorious and joyful moments enough as they were happening or that they happened at all. One way or another, they help make us who we are today.

Freda is a jack-of-all-trades, sassy, smart, gorgeous girl stumbling from one moment to the next in her busy life. Starting each day by baking cupcakes, working at a thrift store and managing her interesting and eclectic group of friends has her hands more than full. She’s the girl who always has the perfect comeback no matter the situation. She’s the girl who is the life of the party, but never quite knows it. She’s the girl who gets passed over by the boys because they can’t keep up with her and she refuses to be wooed by boys who aren’t willing to put in some original effort.

Nicholas is walking, talking lovely. Not only is he tall, dark and handsome, but he’s got a gorgeous singing voice, a fantastic and smart sense of humor and is utterly and completely comfortable in his own skin. He’s also a drag queen. He’s traveled all over the world performing to adoring crowds and his latest stint has him setting up shop in Dublin and moving in next door to Freda. And from the moment Nicholas sets eyes on her, he wants her.

Watching these two characters come together, watching Freda shed her insecurities, watching Nicholas learn to love again, is watching these two people choose each other over their baggage. That baggage they picked up in their formative years that has dogged their heels for their entire lives. As you might imagine, it’s equal parts infuriating, redemptive and adorable.

L.H. Cosway has a singular voice as an author. The banter she is able to create as part of the narrative and Freda’s inner monologue as well as the plethora of dialogue is just flat fun to read. There is a true cadence to her writing that carries through the entire book and lends it almost a soundtrack of its own. Her rhythm carries you in and out of scenes so smoothly and with so little effort that you feel like you’re floating through the story. It’s beautiful and creates the perfect environment in which to experience the myriad of emotions these characters and their story summon.

I am in love with Cosway’s writing. Regardless of she chooses to write about in the future, I know that she will infuse it with the same gorgeous music inherent in her writing and storytelling and bring with it, the incredible power of redemption and a story well told.



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