Painted Faces – A Book Review

Painted Faces is a self-published book by L.H. Cosway. It’s really a very sweet love story between a straight drag queen, Nicholas, and an Irish woman named Freda. I discovered this book when it was recommended on Roni Loren’s blog . It’s not surprising that I would enjoy this book, given my fondness for drag queens

In a sense, this is a typical romance novel and I mean that in a good way. For me, a good romance novel is, first of all, romantic. That may seem obvious, but there are a number of romance novels that feature truly irritating characters that seem to have no business being together. There’s nothing more unsatisfying than reading a supposedly romantic book where you really don’t care if the people get together. This is a typical romance story in the sense that the two lovers are kept apart by circumstances but are (SPOILER ALERT) united together in the end.

This is not your typical romance in that the hero, Nicholas, is a straight drag queen. You don’t see those every day, but Yes Virginia, they do exist. Talent is sexy. There’s no doubt about that, and the author does an excellent job in showing exactly what makes Nicholas so alluring, even if he is in a ball gown and lacy underwear. (He does wear guy underwear underneath to keep everything in place. Just in case you’re wondering…) He’s also strong and masculine, the way heroes in romance books ought to be.

Another way that PAINTED FACES is not your typical romance novel is that the heroine, Freda or “Fred”, is not show-stoppingly gorgeous. She describes herself as “fat”, which means she knows she doesn’t look like models in magazines. She’s not really fat, just average weight, which means fat by society’s standards. Most romance novels depict the heroine as perfect, the ideal of feminine beauty who drives the hero insane with lust. In this story, we get to see exactly how Nicholas sees Freda: as a beautiful woman just the way she is. The book is delightfully believable and relatable as we experience Freda’s insecurity and disbelief that a man as handsome as Nicholas could fall for her.

This was the first book in a long time that I felt was so compelling that I couldn’t put it down. This is partly due to personal taste in that I have always been very passionate about LGBT issues and rights. I’ve also always had a soft spot in my heart for drag queens and people in society that may behave outside of the norm. I’m also a sucker for sweet, romantic stories. I highly recommend this book for a sweet, fun, heartfelt read.

Buy the book HERE. 

Follow L.H. Cosway at @LHCosway on Twitter.

See the author’s website HERE 


– Linda Fausnet