The Shape of Desire : Shifting Circle

  • by Sharon Shinn
  • Narrated by Erin Moon
  • Series: Shifting Circle
  • 12 hrs and 6 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

For 15 years Maria Devane has been desperately, passionately in love with Dante Romano. But despite loving him with all of her heart and soul, Maria knows that Dante can never give all of himself back - at least not all the time. Every month, Dante shifts shape, becoming a wild animal. During those times, he wanders far and wide, leaving Maria alone. He can't choose when he shifts; the transition is often abrupt and, as he gets older, the time he spends in human form is gradually decreasing. But Maria, who loves him without hesitation, wouldn't trade their unusual relationship for anything.
Since the beginning, she has kept his secret, knowing that their love is worth the danger. But when a string of brutal attacks occur in local parks during the times when Dante is in animal form, Maria is forced to consider whether the lies she's been telling about her life have turned into lies she's telling herself.

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What the Critics Say

"[Shinn] is one of the best fantasists." (Alternative Worlds)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

More mature content than her previous works

I think of Sharon Shinn's previous works as Young Adult material. This book has explicit sexual content, which was a surprising change. Also, the main character is deeply rooted in reality, although some characters have fantasy charcteristics. So I wasn't swept away in fantasy, as I was initially hoping, since the Mystic and Ryder series is so much fun.

However, this book is an interesting character story of what goes on behind the scenes when a person is living a life acceptable in "polite company". Fascinating and inciteful, and applicable to the real world in many ways.

Another admirable book by Sharon Shinn
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- R. O'Hare

Behind the scenes of loving a shapeshifter

As you can guess from the summary, this is unabashedly a love story. Maria has spent the last fifteen years turning herself into the perfect foil for her shapeshifter boyfriend. She covers for him, protects his secrets, and eagerly looks forward to each moment he’s able to retain human form. But as the book opens, she’s starting to want more in her life, and unsettling things are happening to make her take a closer look at what’s going on around her.

Maria’s an interesting character, which is a good thing because we are very much inside her head throughout the book. She’s insightful, thoughtful, and honest with herself about the places her views aren’t perfectly black and white. The pace is relaxed and leisurely, so the book was easy to put down and pick back up again. At least, that was true up until the last few hours. Then things picked up and I didn’t want to stop listening.

This reads like a stand-alone novel and comes to a full conclusion, enough so that I was surprised to find out there’s a second related book due out in the fall of 2012. From the synopsis, the second book will probably follow new characters and some minor characters from this one. There was one place in this book where I wasn’t able to fully suspend my disbelief, and it sounds like that may be addressed in the next book. So much for my one complaint!

The narrator was very good. I thought she caught the regional inflections well, and she did a great job with voices.

Overall, I enjoyed this! It’s a nicely read, well-written paranormal love story, which is just what I would expect from this author. Oh, and if you’re asking yourself, “Is this going to be too much of a love story for me?” Then yes, it probably is.
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- Alexis

Book Details

  • Release Date: 04-03-2012
  • Publisher: Audible Studios