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Rosie O'Donnell is having a comeback -- in more ways than one. Not only is the Queen of Nice returning to daytime television on her Oprah Winfrey Network program, The Rosie Show, Oct. 10, but she's blissfully in love.
The 49-year-old divorced mother of four isn't shy about declaring her feelings about Michelle Rounds, 40, an I.T. headhunter.
"I did not expect it when I met her at Starbucks," O'Donnell tells People of their caffeine-fueled first meeting.
The two had an instant connection and have been dating for a few months.
"She didn't look like any lesbian I'd ever met," O'Donnell adds. "But it's fun and very exciting."
Back on television for the first time since her yearlong gig on ABC's The View from 2006-2007, O'Donnell explains that hormones have played a big part in getting her to a stable, happy place.
"I'm in menopause, and I've been having really bad hot flashes," she admits.
But O'Donnell's therapist also believes it's the other kind of hormones making her happy too: "She said, '(It's) because you're also in love.'"
With love in the air and her new show about to debut next week, O'Donnell (who turns 50 in March) is having a personal and professional renaissance.
"It's like you're a withering rose and the petals are falling off and all of sudden you bloom again," she says. "For me, it's made a drastic difference."