REVIEW: Some Kind of Magic by Mary Ann Marlowe
In this sparkling debut novel, Mary Ann Marlowe introduces a hapless scientist who’s swept off her feet by a rock star—but is it love or just a chemical reaction?…
Biochemist Eden Sinclair has no idea that the scent she spritzed on herself before leaving the lab is designed to enhance pheromones. Or that the cute, grungy-looking guy she meets at a gig that evening is Adam Copeland. As in the Adam Copeland—international rock god and object of lust for a million women. Make that a million and one. By the time she learns the truth, she’s already spent the (amazing, incredible) night in his bed…
Suddenly Eden, who’s more accustomed to being set up on disastrous dates by her mom, is going out with a gorgeous celebrity who loves how down-to-earth and honest she is. But for once, Eden isn’t being honest. She can’t bear to reveal that this overpowering attraction could be nothing more than seduction by science. And the only way to know how Adam truly feels is to ditch the perfume—and risk being ditched in turn…
Smart, witty, and sexy, Some Kind of Magic is an irresistibly engaging look at modern relationships—why we fall, how we connect, and the courage it takes to trust in something as mysterious and unpredictable as love.
Dear Ms. Marlowe,
Yes, the premise sounds goofy but it’s nicely dressed up with Eden’s street cred working at a research lab with actual research going on. Wearing it once lands her the attention of a rock star while not wearing it leads to another stunningly bad date her mom fixed her up with. Or was truly the “perfume” what nabbed Adam’s attention? Could everyday Eden have caught the attention of someone this hawt and famous? And once she suspects what might have attracted Adam, does she do the ethical thing her better angel advises and scrub her wrists or does she go with what the devil tempts and spray on some more chemical warfare perfume?
As their relationship starts out, Eden doesn’t know what to think. Is Adam really interested in her or is it the smexy perfume? Against her better judgment, she can’t help but use the Internet to discover more about his fame and legions of fans. Adam has warned her not to believe everything she reads or sees but with a guy who is followed that much on social media, she’s bound to encounter stuff that amuses, annoys, and worries her. Dating plain Adam was one thing but dating a rock star may become something that drives her bonkers checking her phone and websites. As she says, it’s self-inflicted mind fucking.
Then there are her family and friends. From her brother’s musical career, Eden knows how hard and long musicians work to make it, to get gigs, sell merch and try and earn enough to live on. A successful musician boyfriend just means he’ll be on the road more and always surrounded by screaming fans. It doesn’t take long before she can’t fight off the jealousy bug that drives her to question him. After all, he’s a rocking sexy god and she’s just an ordinary biochemist working in a lab in New Jersey manning the centrifuge.
Yes, it’s a fantasy insta-lurve trope or actually more like insta-lust but … is it? Or is it still that darn perfume? Eden gets whisked into this whirlwind romance then joins Adam on tour after seeing the sites in Paris with him lovingly attentive – via text and email – until the band gets there. Fairy tale indeed. Oh and he wrote a song for her – swoon! – and now he wants her to sing it with him onstage. Squee!
It’s a fast relationship which ziped to the physical and neither can seem to control themselves around the other. Eden keeps wailing about why would this guy want her and I can see that. But listening to Eden whine and moan and turn green from jealousy and wonder over and over about Adam and his relationships with others gets tiresome after 50 pages of it. The swings from girly girl “he loves me!” to obsessive “does he love me, how could he want me, is he fucking some fan?” are wearing. Sometimes I feel like I’m reading some Tiger Beat fan forum. And of course despite her best intentions of telling Adam about the “perfume” the time is just never right past the point where she decides it would cause more discord to fess up than to keep quiet. Oh, that won’t cause any problems for sure.
Lots of stuff is tossed in about a rock band on tour but after the initial brief description, my eyes crossed. Adam goes on being the perfect boyfriend/gentleman/rock star – he’s too freaking perfect to be real but yeah, this is a fantasy.
The story heads into LMN movie after the inevitable truth comes out. Trust is broken, faith is shattered, tears fall and Eden is made to look like the villain by the tabloid press all of which splinters the relationship. It’s only after the disgrace hits that Eden gets told the truth about the perfume which leads to another issue for me. While the believability of the lab stuff started off okay, it slowly gets squirrely with the lead scientist asking lab workers to wear this stuff while out at bars as a way to test it. Um, no. Then only 3 weeks after it was all engines full ahead with the testing it gets dropped. Wow. That was fast.
Finally at the 80% mark of the story, Eden begins to put some real effort into what she wants to be and do when she grows up and that just might be singing. She’s always loved it, been good at it and found that the addiction of singing in front of fans is like a drug. As she reflects on her time with Adam, she knows that the time with him might have been brief but the connection is real, her feelings are deeper than lust and she more comfortable with him than she’s ever been with any other man. And due to the number her matchmaking momma has foisted on her, Eden can claim some experience with her comfort levels. After coming in contact at some gigs with her own fan follower, Eden truly begins to see life from Adam’s side of the equation.
In the end, Eden does take a leap of faith and finds her HEA with this almost plastically perfect man as they continue to sing and implode in hawt sex the moment they’re within 2 feet of each other. I can appreciate that Eden does stretch her emotion muscles but really it the feel of the book is more NA/just out of college perfect fantasy sloshed with equal parts green eyed jealousy and self doubt than a couple closer to their 30s. C