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"We all paint on a face to show the world."
I had heard a lot about Painted Faces book on Goodreads recently, and I wanted to see what all the buzz was about. What? The male love interest is a drag queen? And he's straight? What? I was intrigued. Also, my friend Brenna said that I reminded her of Fred, so of course I had to read about my book doppelgänger.
Freda, or Fred as her friends call her, lives with her best friend Nora in Dublin. They have been best friends since they were teenagers. Fred is quirky, fun, and always says what's on her mind. She describes herself as average-sized and self-deprecating to the core. I LOVED her. Nora is her polar opposite, completely self-absorbed.
"I am not having a pity party. Nora has pity parties. I have pathological self-deprecation. It's an incurable condition, so don't make fun."
Nicholas is the new neighbor next door - well-dressed, well-groomed, and charming. Originally from New Zealand, he travels the world as Vivica Blue, drag queen extraordinare. He works at The Glamour Patch, a new night club in town, and is hoping to plant some roots in Dublin after years of traveling. From the moment Fred and Nicholas meet, I knew their relationship was going to be special.
with these characters.
Nora invites Nicholas over for dinner in hopes of snatching him up for herself, but Nora isn't the girl who catches Nicholas's eye. Nicholas isn't even on Fred's radar because she thinks he is too good-looking for her. Fred and Nicholas become fast friends. Quickly, it becomes quite clear that he wants a more of a friends-with-benefits arrangement. And holy moly, was he forward with her. Fred, on the other hand, values their friendship too much to chance it. But she can't deny their chemistry for long, especially after Nicholas hires her to be his new assistant.
"Getting ready for a performance is no fun when you haven't got someone to share it with, and I want to share it with you, Freda."
UGH! And the "other woman" in this story, Dorotea, I HATED her! Fred & Nicholas met her in the park after Fred noticed she had a feret. At first, Fred thought Dorotea was cute and charming with her little pet feret, but she changed her tune when she noticed Nicholas and Dorotea flirting. After Nicholas and Dorotea had a little one-night fling, Dorotea latched onto Nicholas like a leech. This made for a rather interesting housewarming party at Nicholas's.
"I'm not at all impressed by her and her feret keeping ways any longer."
Fred and Nicholas's banter back and forth was hilarious. Their witty banter combined with Nicholas sexually suggestive comments had me grinning like an idiot. Nicholas loved making Fred uncomfortable, and I loved watching her squirm. Oh and Fred's nickname for Nicholad, Viv, is so adorable!
"Easy there, Fred. I don't want to have to give you the Heimlich manoeuvre. Oh wait a minute, I kind of do. It might give me the chance to cop a feel."
"You're fucking obsessed, Viv. If you're that keen on them then by all means go ahead and have a squeeze. Get it out of your system."
But behind all their witty banter, both Nicholas and Fred are messed up. Due to things that happened in their past, they are broken. They struggle to give each other all of themselves, to let each other in. They wrestle with their feelings for one another. Don't get me wrong, I loved the tension and indecisiveness, but how long were they going to continue to do the tango around their feelings? I wanted to reach through my Kindle and slap some sense into both of them.
"I want him so badly it hurts. But I want all of him. Not just the sex. I want his smiles and his teasing, his smoldering looks. His sad eyes when he thinks nobody's watching. Most of all, I want his heart."
I loved watching Fred and Nicholas come to terms with their feelings for one another, learning that it is to love and be loved. To not be scared because the other person is probably just as scared as you are. Their journey to finding love was beautiful.
"You colour my world, Freda."
As far as Freda being my book doppleganger, I definitely saw parts of myself in her - quoting random things, her self-deprecating nature, and her sarcasm.
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