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It's a Kind of Magic

by Carole Matthews

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715279,072 (3.33)None
...When Emma's boyfriend Leo turns up at her special birthday dinner unforgivably late and horribly drunk, embarrassing her in front of her family, she decides enough is enough. Why can't someone just wave a magic wand over him and bring him back refurbished as a proper boyfriend and save her the trouble? But when Leo meets Isabel and starts changing before her very eyes, Emma realises she should be careful what she wishes for...… (more)



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Showing 5 of 5
This was a holiday read, and it fitted the bill superbly. Leo and Emma are struggling and in a rut, and when Leo royally messes up her birthday party, Emma calls it a day. Enter Isobel, a magical girl!

At first I thought I would hate the characters - from wealthy families with one central character living in a popular London riverside area in an apartment bought by her parents. To be fair, both were a little annoying at first, but by the end they were both more human and more 'real' - after all, not all of us have wealthy parents! The magical element worked well as long as you suspend belief for the book (which if you can't don't read it) and gave reason for Leo's change in attitude. That said, Emma got a little annoying with her moping around about not having a man!!

It's not a Mann Booker Prize book, it isn't highbrow, but then again, who cares? It's entertaining and an easy read. I prefer some of Matthews' other books, but this is a bit of fun and should be approached as such! ( )
  peelap | Feb 3, 2019 |
his book is about Emma and Leo. They are in a five year relationship. Leo is a bit of an irresponsible boyfriend. He loses his phone all the time, turns upp late for work and everyhting else and is not very romatic to Emma. Emma is a perfect girlfriend who wants to mould Leo into the boyfriend she wants. Along comes a fairy - yes a fairy! Leo falls in love with the fairy. This happens after the night of Emma's birthday party that Leo turns up very late for and falls face first into her cake. She dumps him, and although she dumps him frequently she means it this time. She's then very jealous when Leo falls in love with this fairy - Emma and everyone else don't know thatIsobel is a fairy.

Anyway - I found this book ridiculous. Leo's character isn't very believable. No one could get by in life the way that Leo does. Although this is a fictional book, it is pretty far fetched. Emma is annoying, she moans alot and changes her mind about Leo - wanting him and then hating him. Her mother thinks Leo is great although he is just the most unorganised person ever. He friends all convince her that he is cute so she could stay with him. Goodness me, what a story.

I have given this book 3 stars. Now writing this, its possibly a 2.5.Its unbelievable, unrealistic and farfetched. It is well written though as the story fows quite well. If the story line was better, I could have rated this higher. I think the whole ending around the land of light and stonehenge is ridiculous.

A disappointing book from Carole Matthews. I've read one of her books before and liked it but this wasn't her best at all and not like my previous read. I hope the next book from her hat I read will have left all this fairy stuff behind. ( )
  Nataliec7 | Apr 12, 2015 |
Sweet and engaging this is the story of Leo and Emma. Leo turns up at Emma's 30th birthday drunk and late. Things aren't helped by him falling head first into her birthday cake too. Emma decides that she's had enough of his childish ways and that this was the last of many straws.

Then Leo meets Isobel and she starts to change him, in some subtle ways. Emma realises she still loves Leo and loves even more the slightly improved Leo, but is it too late?

It's fun, sweet and cute. Pretty paper-thin in parts but it kept me reading and I enjoyed the read. ( )
  wyvernfriend | Aug 15, 2009 |
Emma Chambers is an independent woman in love with the wrong man. Leo Harper is the boy who refuses to grow up. During their five year on-again, off-again relationship Leo has let down Emma more times than she can count but this is the last straw. Leo shows up hours late and horribly drunk to Emma’s thirtieth birthday party. After dragging Leo out of her birthday cake, where he’s passed out, Emma wishes someone would wave a magic wand over Leo and turn him into the perfect boyfriend. She knows this isn’t realistic so she decides enough is enough and breaks up with Leo. This time it’s for good.

What follows is a totally unexpected read. Every time I thought I knew what was coming next I was thrown a curve ball. This definitely isn’t your typical chick-lit read. Being a fan of Sophie Kinsella, Jennifer Weiner and Jane Green I was confident I could predict the story line but I was so wrong and loved it. I was almost heart-broken by the ending but I was saved by the very last chapter. Matthews writes an entertaining story with a bit of fairy magic woven in. I highly recommend this read to all chick-lit fans. ( )
  24girl | Aug 21, 2008 |
It's a Kind of Magic is the exception that proves the rule - the rule being that you should never judge a book by its cover, and most titles bear little relation to the story...
Picture a delicate lavender page spinkled with tiny glistening stars, the title scrawled in a bold violet script, and you will get an idea of the front cover: it shouts Chick Lit.
In a couple of centuries men as well as women might take authors like Carole Matthews, Meg Cabot and Marian Keyes seriously but at present many reviewers make a career out of pouring scorn on modern romance, no matter how well written.
Make no mistake, this book is well written, but that in itself is not always enough: it is also enchanting, humourous, charming and optimistic.
We have a literary tradition of over 3000 years, first oral then transcribed, and in that time various permutations of romance have been covered exhaustively: the basic recipe was laid down millenia ago, and hasn't changed much.
Girl meets Boy, Girl looses Boy, Girl Heartbroken. Boy meets Gorgeous New Woman who is All Wrong for him, Boy realises first Girl was The One, but she proudly rejects Boy until she realises she can't live without him = Happy Ever After.
Carole Matthews has taken the ingredients and added a smidgeon of fairy dust [Magic Mushroom? The Herb?] to create a really enchanting romance, featuring a pretty ordinary couple named Emma and Leo.
Both are well-bred and attractive, but she is anal and driven while he is the sort of amiable but gorgeous slob usually played by Hugh Grant.
Emma's 30th birthday dinner is held a her family's favourite restaurant, and exclusive, expensive and old-fashioned establishment: Leo causes a scene by arriving very late, very drunk, and passing out onto the birthday cake.
Utterly humilated, Emma hauls her beloved off to the ladies loo, revives him by pouring a bottle of champagne over his head, then tries to clean him up as best she can, while tearfuly informing him, for the umpteenth time, that they are over - and she means it.
"I just wish someone, anyone, would come and sort Leo out for me. I wish it with all of my heart. I know I want to be with Leo forever, but I'm tired of nagging him, cajoling him, bullying him. All I want is a nice quiet relationship..."
This wish is heard by a fairy, who immediately takes Leo in hand by seducing and moving in with him that same night, much to Emma's chagrin.
Exquisitely beautiful, fairy Isabel makes Leo the envy of his friends, taking his sexual and professional life to a whole new level: he should be extatic but, being with someone even more irresponsible than himself, misses Emma while she, heartbroken, starts to appreciate his good points for the first time.
Its a Kind of Magic is a romance, but many passages are laugh-out-loud funny - such as when a loudly protesting Leo is enchanted into performing a aturday Night Feever routine at the annual Company Ball.
Or when desperate Emma has herself sealed into a cardboard box wearing nothing but an obscene novelty thong and delivered to Leo's doorstep. He is not at home and she is eventually rescued by the fire department, but only after being captured on the national news.
Read It's a Kind of Magic and let its enchantment work on you: you'll laugh, and next time you see a lavender book instead of running a mile you might just find yourself reaching for it... ( )
  adpaton | Jul 10, 2008 |
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...When Emma's boyfriend Leo turns up at her special birthday dinner unforgivably late and horribly drunk, embarrassing her in front of her family, she decides enough is enough. Why can't someone just wave a magic wand over him and bring him back refurbished as a proper boyfriend and save her the trouble? But when Leo meets Isabel and starts changing before her very eyes, Emma realises she should be careful what she wishes for...

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