Two Tickets to the Christmas Ball, by Donita K Paul

In a sleepy, snow-covered city, Cora Crowder is busy preparing for the holiday season. As she searches for a perfect gift, a fortuitous trip to Warner, Werner, and Wizbotterdad’s (a most unusual bookshop) leads to an unexpected encounter with co-worker Simon Derrick. And the surprise discovery of a ticket for a truly one-of-a-kind Christmas Ball.

Cinderella, meet Harry Potter. Our heroine is a lonely woman who is determined to keep some distance between her and her dysfunctional family. Still, she takes time to hunt out appropriate Christmas gifts for her family, only to often have the effort thrown back in her face. She works hard – often putting in additional hours – and socializes little. Most of the time, she is invisible to the world. Our prince, on the other hand, has become the head of his family – all women except for him and his grandfather – after his father died. They’re a close knit family and he’s particularly fond of his younger sister, Sandy, who apparently has Downs Syndrome. Later in the book, we learn he is not just Cora’s co-worker but is actually one of the higher-ups.

And yes, there are wizards in the book. What is NOT mentioned on the book cover is that the two tickets are actually for the “Wizards’ Christmas Ball.” It’s difficult to match wizardry with Christian fiction, and the author evidently realized this might be a problem for her readers. More than once we are told “wizard” means “old and wise.” Other symbols of magic are in the form of a disappearing street, a dress that disintegrates when the wrong person wears it, and two dressmakers who reminded me of the mice in Disney’s Cinderella.

My one problem with the book is that despite the continual dropping of Biblical references, I didn’t get the sense that God was at work in bringing the two characters together. That is, apparently, the work of the “wizards.” I cannot equate God as a wizard, especially in a book that talks of wizards in the plural when we know God is a singular being with no equal. In other words, this is not great theological reading. It is, however, a cute 226 page Christmas fairytale that is quick to read.

Publisher: Waterbrook Press

Pages: 226

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I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.

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