Jump to ratings and reviews
Rate this book

A Charming Idea

Rate this book
A story from the Dreamspinner Press 2012 Advent Calendar collection Evergreen.

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.

40 pages, ebook

First published November 30, 2012

Loading interface...
Loading interface...

About the author

Alex Mar

7 books22 followers
London writer with an unhealthy love for books, manga, slow burn romances, dogs, food and sleep.

Currently working on:
Stories to be serialised on my Patreon www.patreon.com/A_Mar/overview

You can also find me here:

Ratings & Reviews

What do you think?
Rate this book

Friends & Following

Create a free account to discover what your friends think of this book!

Community Reviews

5 stars
6 (7%)
4 stars
19 (22%)
3 stars
52 (61%)
2 stars
5 (5%)
1 star
2 (2%)
Displaying 1 - 26 of 26 reviews
Profile Image for Nikyta.
1,405 reviews253 followers
December 31, 2012
I love stories that have magic in them so when I first started reading, I was delighted to find out this story had it in abundance. I really liked how this felt almost like enemies to lovers but only because Kian gave off such a hostile attitude towards Evan. Evan was a lovely character so when he encounters Kian hurt, he could have just left him but decided to help him instead.

As with the other stories in this Advent Calendar, this one was too short. While I found Evan and Kian together very hot, I really wish there had been more of them getting to know each other and seeing what happens next. I enjoyed the story very much, though, but I hope we get more books in this world in the future because I found it fascinating!
Profile Image for Jen.
229 reviews
January 4, 2013
2.5 stars

All I could think was... "Harry Potter fanfiction meets pizza boy porno." (No, I'm serious - there's even a red headed girl named Lily in it.)

It dragged at the beginning, then ended too quickly.

I liked Evan, and Kian's hot. But... there just wasn't enough character development to get what his attraction to Evan was in order to buy into it.

I just needed *more* to get into this one.
Profile Image for Lena Grey.
1,544 reviews22 followers
January 6, 2013
Whether we intend to or not, we all create first impressions of people, images of how the person looks, thinks, feels. The danger in doing this is that first impressions can be deceiving if not completely wrong. Evan misjudges his neighbor because of his job, gruff demeanor and clothing. Even though he's polite, Evan avoids him because he's under the impression that Kian doesn't like him. Mrs. Halfpenny, their neighbor, recognizes that the two men are lonely and decides to remedy the situation. All lovers need a little push sometimes, don't they? She uses her knowledge of charms to help them become charmed by each other.

Even though I didn't get to know them very well due to the brevity of the story, it was obvious that Evan is a kind, uncomplicated, considerate man who loves his family and is quite sad that work has to come before him being able to be with them on Christmas Day. He's appreciative of his neighbor, Mrs. Halfpenny, and her gifts of friendship and food. He likes having his own apartment, but he would love to have someone with whom to share his life. He doesn't have a clue that that someone might be his grouchy, distant neighbor, until fate intervenes.

I always find men with the bad boy image appealing and Kian fits that description perfectly. He knows that Evan watches him and is at least curious about him. Kian is attracted to Evan too, but can't decide whether or not to make a move. When the opportunity presents itself, even though Kian recognizes that magic is involved, he decides to get to know Evan more intimately and when he does, the passion which is ignited lights up both of their worlds.

I enjoyed this story very much. I liked the characters, the writing style, and, of course, the subculture magical theme. I'd love to know more about the characters' lives before and after they meet and think it has the possibility to be a great series. Thanks, Alex, for giving me the opportunity to be charmed.

Profile Image for Serena Yates.
Author 96 books769 followers
January 12, 2013
A very cute story that shows wizards "are human too". Just like the non-magical folk they want someone to love, and sometimes need a little nudge to take a step (or two) in the right direction. Told from Evan's point of view, this story shows how he manages to overcome his fear/reluctance/prejudice against the intimidating magic guardian Kian, who lives on the second floor.

Evan is shy, lacking in self-confidence and scared of his upstairs neighbor. When he takes him in on Christmas Eve he only does so because it is right, not because he really feels comfortable doing so. Despite his reservations, he still admires Kian, and maybe even has a little crush on him. But all his reluctance goes out the window when Kian makes the first move.

If you like stories with a touch of magic that still focus on the characters, if you enjoy reading about two men who learn that all may not have been as it seemed, and if you believe in the importance of second impressions, you will probably like this story.

NOTE: This book was provided by Dreamspinner Press for the purpose of a review.
Profile Image for Sadonna.
2,572 reviews40 followers
December 30, 2012
This is a cute and very short story about Evan, ayoung wizard who is on his own for Christmas in London. His neighbors - the lovely Mrs. Halfpenny (who provides him with Christmas dinner) and Kian Louarn (an intimidating member of the Wizard Guard) - are also around for the holiday. When Evan gets home on Christmas Eve, he finds an injured Kian on the floor in front of his door. Manners dictate that he invite him into his apartment as it's apparent that Kian will not be able to make it up to his apartment on the next floor.

Kian's injury requires time to heal and Evan offers to share his Christmas dinner with him. Evan is amazed at how attractive Kian is now that he is not in his guard cloak and he can actually see him. It appears that Mrs. Halfpenny may have enhanced the Christmas dinner and Kian and Evan share more than roasted pork and potatoes ;)

I would really like to read more about this world and Evan and Kian in the future
Profile Image for Karen.
1,859 reviews85 followers
April 16, 2016
'A Charming Idea' is my first story by this author and she has definitely charmed me into reading more. This was another short but enchanting Christmas story. I very much enjoyed this trip to the world of magic and found myself totally enchanted with Evan and Kian.

Evan and Kian are neighbours, Evan is a shop keeper, Kian is a magic guard. Evan is certain that Kian does not like him and he's sure the feeling is mutual...that is until he arrives home and finds an injured Kian lying in the hallway and is more than a little surprised when Kian accepts his offer of help.

This story may have been short on words but it definitely was not short on holiday magic.

3.5 stars rounded up for GR.
Profile Image for Elizabetta.
1,212 reviews34 followers
December 11, 2014

3.5 stars

The holiday is looking pretty lonely for Evan until he trips over a body in his apartment foyer. Oh, it’s his grumpy neighbor, Kian.

Ok, Kian’s got me all hot and bothered. Hair down to his ass, amber-colored eyes, cheekbones that could cut glass, tough guy swagger. And he and Evan are HOT together-- a sweet little amuse-bouche when these two bump hips.

But really? Where’s the main course? This is too, too short. So short, it’s over before it starts. Romanticus interruptus.

There’s definitely a mystery around Kian; he's a Guardian wizard. I wonder if we’ll ever find out what that's all about.
Profile Image for Julesmarie.
2,506 reviews82 followers
December 16, 2012
I thought this short was adorable! I love what we saw of the world: the pixie conjured to light the hallway, the tiny sleeping angel on top of the tree, breath clouds turned into little creatures... so much fun! This is definitely a world I'd love to see explored in a longer work.

The piece was too short to really get to know either of the MC's very well, but what I did get to know, I liked. I just wanted to know more. And the sweet, meddlesome neighbor cracked me up.
Profile Image for Sucajo.
738 reviews65 followers
December 30, 2012
Evan can't be with his family for Christmas this year because he has tu run his shop. When he gets home to his flat on Christmas Eve, he literally trips over his neighbour, Kian, who is lying injured in the hallway. The magical help of another interfering neighbour makes this a happier Christmas than Evan was expecting. This story was short but had a lot of sweet extra touches.
Profile Image for Brooklyn.
853 reviews30 followers
November 30, 2016
This was a nice short book. A touch of magic. I wish it would have been explained a bit more about why Kian seemed to be rude to Evan as much as Evan thought he was. I wish the effects of the Satyr's wine would have been explained a bit more. It seemed to be a bit more potent than regular wine, but it wasn't really mentioned.
Profile Image for OkayKim.
1,142 reviews
November 25, 2018
Cute little story, but I would love to read more about their magical world and relationship.
Profile Image for Tam.
Author 21 books95 followers
December 27, 2012
This review can be found at Brief Encounters Reviews.

The blurb pretty well explains this story. Evan is missing his family this year as he’s been forced to keep his shop open this year because the economic hard times have hit magical people as well as normals. However his upstairs neighbour has ensured that he will have a nice dinner and he’s mostly just hoping to avoid his other neighbour who appears to hate his guts for some unknown reason.

When he gets home, he finds said neighbour, Kian sitting in the hallway. At first he’s a bit snarky, if the guy is stupid enough to leave the hospital before being healed and wants to sit in his hallway, fine. But eventually he brings him in to the apartment and offers him help and to share the Christmas dinner. He always thought Kian was hot, but he’s not even sure the guy is gay and in typical bumbling fashion makes a mess of it, although during dinner things seem to heat up and before long the kitchen counter is being used for something more than prepping food. Evan soon realizes that his neighbor spiked the food with Satyr wine and then he promptly passes out.

It was a cute story, but I never really found out why Kian had such antipathy towards Evan. He later says he’s just that way, but the way Evan explained it was more than that, although his neighbour was obviously not above a bit of matchmaking. I just didn’t really get a feel for either man that much so wasn’t very invested in them. It takes place over a fairly short period of time, so you don’t find out much about either man or the world they live in, maybe that was the problem, I felt a bit dropped into a world without much background.

Still, I enjoyed a story that was outside the contemporary genre in which so many holiday stories fall. The magic though plays a facilitating role in the relationship, but not a large part.
Profile Image for Pixie Mmgoodbookreviews.
1,206 reviews43 followers
December 9, 2012
3 Hearts

Review written for MM Good Book Reviews


Evan has his own charm shop, because of poor trade he is staying in London and not returning to his family for Christmas and finds himself working on Christmas Eve. Finally getting home for the night he comes (trips up over) across his neighbour Kian injured in the hallway, helping Kian takes a turn for the best when he shares his Christmas roast with Kian… as Mrs Halfpenny added a little extra ingredient.

This is a very short story that has a lot of Christmas magic, Evan has always had an attraction to Kian but because of Kian’s abrasive manner and standoffish attitude Evan has avoided him as much as possible. Discovering Kian injured and unable to get to his own flat, Evan offers him help and with a little help from Mrs Halfpenny’s cooking he discovers Kian isn’t as bad as he seems.

Evan and Kian lose their inhibitions after sampling Mrs Halfpenny’s cooking, they both reveal more than they normally would have and they finally act on the attraction that they both feel. This is a cute story that is very hot and heavy in the later half, the first half gives us a build-up of both characters and we get a general idea about them. The passion that explodes between them is scorching hot and it is amazing that they had hidden it behind their outer shells, but once the façade has been shattered, boy do they act on the attraction between them.

I will recommend this to those who love charming magical stories, lowering inhibitions, explosive passion and a very happy magical Christmas.
Profile Image for Ro.
3,006 reviews17 followers
December 5, 2012
Reviewed for Hearts On Fire Reviews

This is a very short book that maybe needed a little bit more to it in order for it to work better. Evan owns a charm shop, one that he has to keep open over the holidays this year because business hasn’t been great due to the recession. So he’s missing the family Christmas and is unhappily spending the holiday by himself. Mrs. Halfpenny, his elderly neighbor, has provided a holiday meal for him. Unfortunately, he happens to run into the surly, unfriendly neighbor, Kian, in the hallway, suffering from a magical wound. Since Evan is also a healer, he brings Kian in.

This was all a great build up but then it was a little too fast with more explanation needed. Mrs. Halfpenny pulls a fast one and that seemed like more of why they made progress, rather than the two themselves. I’d have preferred a non-nudged couple.
Profile Image for Ashley D.
1,165 reviews8 followers
December 14, 2016
Evan decides to keep his charms shop open on Christmas Eve after having fallen on hard times. He doesn't get to spend the holiday with his family, but his neighbor has made it possible for him to spend time with someone else instead. Kian, is a wizard that was injured while on the job, Evan finds him in the hallway, not fully recooperated from his injury. He takes him home to rest and feed him, little does he know that his neighbor Mrs. Halfpenny has spiked the food.

This was a cute short read, that really shows you can't always judge a book by its cover. Evan always thinks that Kian doesn't like him, little does he understand that Kian does and just doesn't know how to show it.
Displaying 1 - 26 of 26 reviews

Can't find what you're looking for?

Get help and learn more about the design.