Review of SHIFTING LOVE by Constance O'Day-Flannery
TOR, November 2004
Shapeshifter Magdalene (Maggie) O'Shea runs a business, but her major task is working for a mysterious foundation that tries to bring light into the world. Her primary task is to help men break the ties that prevent them from moving on with their lives, from falling in love. Maggie is the woman before THE ONE, someone who opens doors, who is loved but who is never in love. At first, handsome millionaire Julian McDonald is merely another case. Julian has been unable to recover from the decade-earlier death of his wife and son. But the foundation has big plans for Julian--plans that require him to move on and find a wife. Maggie can't be that wife, but she can help.
Things start well enough--until Julian flies Maggie to his Bermuda mansion and she starts to fall in love with him. Sure she's loved all of her cases--but there's a huge difference between loving and being in love. Still, she knows she's wrong for Julian. For one thing, he needs a woman with the right pedigree if he's to move into politics. For another, there's the little issue of her being a shapeshifter.
Author Constance O'Day-Flannery brings an idealistic touch and a hint of magic to a warm love story. Julian and Maggie have huge obstacles to overcome if they are to be together--but can they really live their lives apart.
SHIFTING LOVE is the launch book in the new TOR Romance line. Because the TOR line is being billed as paranormal romance, I had anticipated that the paranormal would play a far larger role than it did in this story. For me, the shapeshifting angle seemed tacked on--and unnecessary to the plot or the romance. O'Day-Flannery's strong writing and interesting take on history and politics certainly make this book worth reading but I hope that TOR will look to stories with stronger and better integrated paranormal aspects in the future.
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