Title: A Charming Idea
Author: Alex Mar
Cover Artist: Paul Richmond
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Genre: Holiday / Fantasy / 2012 Advent Calendar – Evergreen
Length: 40 pages
Rating: 3.75 out of 5 rating stars
A Guest Review by Raine
Summary Review: A nicely painted and detailed miniature – a brief holiday look at a pleasant fantasy world.
Blurb: Having fallen on hard times, London-based wizard Evan keeps his charms shop open on Christmas Eve. When he finally gets home, he finds his neighbor, Kian, languishing with a wound that hasn’t healed properly. He takes Kian in and they share the Christmas roast from their neighbor, Mrs. Halfpenny—neither suspecting the magic in the marinade that will make their holiday especially merry.
I felt that with this very descriptive, light hearted, short story I had wandered on to a Harry Potter film set of Diagon Alley. Evan’s magic charm shop – which should obviously be written as Charme Shoppe – is vividly painted. Everything in this tale is a close focused visual study. The general setting appeared as a familiar world of magic. However even allowing for our usual and close acquaintance with wizards and spells, the author creates a detailed, particular take on this and achieves that in a concentrated space.
It is a brief holiday encounter between neighbours but the story manages to weave together quite a few different strands; the not really unwilling attraction of two well drawn opposites, loneliness magnified by the holiday, the recession and the unnerving addition of a well meaning but determined matchmaker with a limited grasp of what is appropriate to add to holiday food……
Cute Evan and dashing Kian were nicely believable together and I was left wanting to know a bit more about how they get on after this sweet and spicy interlude.