You can always count on Constance ODay Flannery to bring a new, unique slant to a time-travel romance. This time she has taken a bit of Shakespeare in Love and mixed it with her own special brand of humor, romance and the paranormal.

On a visit to her aunt in England, American Maggie Whitaker attends a renaissance faire and finds herself wandering through an Elizabethan maze, only to be led into the 16th century, where she encounters Nicholas Layton.

Nicholas doesnt know what to make of the strange woman and her ramblings about a faire. She confuses the disinherited nobleman on his way to a betrothal. Perhaps she is the bride-to-be, Lady Margaret, but with one shared kiss hes sure she should belong to him.

Maggie firmly believes shes still at the faire and goes along with Nicholas and his play acting to meet Countess Elthea, her betrotheds mother (who bears a striking resemblance to her aunt).

Before she knows it, Maggie finds herself caught in the middle of a plot to remove Elizabeth from the throne. Falling in love is not in her plans and neither is being thrust back into the present, leaving Nicholas behindor has she?

ONCE AND FOREVER is funny and sweet, tender and upliftingthe kind of magic we expect from Connie ODay Flannery. Her tale blends history, a lively backdrop and a different perspective on Shakespeares identity with a delightful story and charming characters. Have fun! (Dec., 350 pp., $6.50)

Reviewed by: 
Kathe Robin