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.
Overall Rating: 5/5 — Definite must-read! How can you not love a hunky guy who also happens to be a drag queen?
“We all paint on a face to show the world. For some of us, that’s quite literal. When you’re passionate about something, you don’t mind suffering a little discomfort.”
I really am biased towards performing arts-themed novels. At first I thought this would be a total dark and heavy mindfvck story but actually, it was more of a romance story more than anything. Even though the story was pretty much predictable right off the bat, I mean how can you not guess what will happen from the prologue, I still loved each and every step and direction that the story took.
I really enjoyed the back and forth flirting and witty banter between Nicholas and Freda. I loved the moments when they were still starting to get to know each other and they always end up having fun and laughing together. Then there were Nicholas’ shamelessly blunt crude statements of his desires towards Freda that were just insanely hot. With these two, you just don’t know what to expect. The author did a good job of portraying Freda. She’s not your typical hot-girl-who-doesn’t-now-she’s-really-hot kind of girl and her insecurities were well justified because of how society portrays women of her size. Then there’s Nicholas. The flamboyant and mysterious guy next door. Even though I already knew what to expect with his “occupation”, my jaws still dropped when Freda finally saw him during his performance and I always looked forward to his performances and costumes as the story progressed.
Honestly, the whole book felt like one big dance between Freda and Nicholas. The intense attraction was there but for some reason, things just didn’t fall as easily as it should be for them hence this back and forth push and pull between them. Yes, it might’ve taken some time before they finally gave into each other but it was definitely worth the wait and build-up. Then there was that heart-wrenching twist of events that made me sob like there’s no tomorrow. I wanted to beat the shit out of Nicholas for not realizing how much he’s really in love with Freda. In my opinion, I think that he’s even actually the first one who fell in love with her during their early days of flirting. Thank heavens for that sweet happy ever after! I’m beyond glad that Freda wasn’t the type who wanted Nicholas to change for her. And I pretty much turned into mush each and every time Nicholas saw Freda’s real beauty as well.
“I love you Freda,” he breathes. “It feels like nobody in the history of the world has loved another person as much as I love you. I love you so much it hurts. You make me smile, you make me laugh, you make me burn.”
“I belong to you. I’ve belonged to you since the beginning, since before I even knew that I did. I’ll never hurt you again. I’d rather die than to hurt you.”
The writing, pacing, and development of this story really got me turning one page after another. The author did a great job of portraying both characters although I kinda wished I had some more insight to Nicholas’ POV as well. In addition to the romance story, I also loved how the author wrote about the performing arts aspect of this story. Being a performer myself, Freda’s line about performers craving for the audience’s attention really got me thinking and made me realize a few things about myself. And of course, I for one know what it’s like to transform into a whole new persona when you’re performing as well.
Now he can be a man in a dress, but he isn’t lost. He has his golden eyed girl to lead his fractured soul through a world that once seemed dark and empty. In the present there’s nothing but bright, wonderful sun light.