Title: Changing Faces
Author: Barb Caffrey
Genre: Contemporary LGBT Fantasy-Romance
Allen and Elaine are graduate students in Nebraska, have been together for seven years, and are engaged. They love each other very much, and have many things in common. Both play the clarinet, are teaching assistants, are well-respected and seem to have their lives firmly on track. In fact, their life should be idyllic, but Elaine’s past includes rape, neglect, and abuse from those who should’ve loved her—but didn’t, because from childhood, Elaine identified as transgender.
When Elaine tells Allen right before Christmas, he doesn’t know what to do. He loves Elaine, loves her soul, has heard about transgender people before, but didn’t think Elaine was one of them—she looks and acts like anyone else. Now, she wants to become a man and is going to leave.
He prays for divine intervention, and says he’ll do anything, just please don’t separate him from Elaine. And in the form of a car accident, he gets his wish.
Now, he’s in Elaine’s body. And she’s in his. But both were injured, and Allen’s old body (with Elaine inside) is in a coma.
Allen can’t tell anyone who he is. But one thing’s certain: if Elaine can wake up, he wants to be with her. He doesn’t care what body he’s in, or that he, too, is now transgender.
True love matters so much to the universe, once you have found your soulmate, the universe will do anything to keep you together—even change your faces.
What if the person you love more than anything else in the world told you they were gender fluid and wanted to be the same gender as you? Would you love or leave them?
Allen and Elaine are university students, both play the clarinet and are deeply in love. Elaine holds a deep secret and knows that once she tells Allen the truth, he’ll leave her. When confronted, she tells him the truth: she’s gender-fluid and doesn’t feel content in her own body. She wants to live life as a man. Allen doesn’t understand why Elaine wants to leave. Sure, he panicked at first but he loves her, no matter what. He prays to God to help and with the help of two angels, Allen’s prayer is answered.
Allen wakes up in Elaine’s body and Elaine is in a coma, thanks to a horrific car accident. Allen must come to grips with what’s happened and decide for himself if life is worth living… in Elaine’s gender fluid body with Elaine (in his male body) by his side. It’s a tough decision but with the help of two angels, Allen finally understands why true love matters most to the Universe.
In this ground-breaking novel, Caffrey explores gender fluidity, love and coming to grips with self-identity. I was emotionally attached to both characters from the beginning and watching their love for each other grow through the most trying circumstances changed me. The plot moved at a good pace, although there were places where it lagged. The idea of gender fluidity portrayed accurately in this novel with honesty and heart stayed with me love after I finished reading. Being a romantic at heart, I highly recommend this book to everyone.
Favorite Character: Eli/Allyn. I loved the two once they were switched. First, dealing with being in the other’s body and then coming to grips with their new reality. Beautifully written, I felt such a connection with both Eli and Allyn. So many times, I wanted to hug them both.
Inwardly, I prayed, hoping that God existed and would hear me despite my usual disbelief. Oh God, if you’re listening . . .please don’t take my beautiful Elaine away from me. I’ll do anything, absolutely anything…
My Rating: 4 stars
Buy it now:
Amazon (US): https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01N3CQKWJ
Amazon (CA): https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B01N3CQKWJ
Amazon (AUS): https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B01N3CQKWJ
Amazon (IN): https://www.amazon.in/dp/B01N3CQKWJ
Barb Caffrey is a writer, editor, and musician who holds two degrees in Music.
She has a particular fondness for the clarinet, lived in Nebraska for the better part of three years, and appreciated the ability to combine both her loves with the writing of Changing Faces.
Her other books are An Elfy on the Loose and A Little Elfy in Big Trouble (otherwise known as the Elfy duology), while her short stories have appeared in a number of places (most recently in Realms of Darkover). She’s also the co-writer of the Joey Maverick series of stories (with late husband Michael B. Caffrey), so the next story you might see from her could be military science fiction—or better yet, military science fiction with romance.
She lives in Wisconsin.
Social Media Links:
Blog: Barb Caffrey’s Elfyverse https://elfyverse.wordpress.com
Reviewed by: Mrs. N