Sunday, December 5, 2010

Two Tickets to the Christmas Ball by Donita K. Paul

Rating: 3 stars

Two Tickets to the Christmas Ball is a whimsical novella which blends Christian fiction with Cinderella and Harry Potter elements.  The premise of the novel is unique for adult fiction, complete with touches of magic, a disappearing street, a costume ball, and wizards.  Two co-workers, Cara and Simon, visit an unusual bookstore run by quirky men with equally quirky names.  Along with their purchases, Cara and Simon receive two tickets to an elusive Wizard’s Christmas Ball, unaware that they are the latest project for a group of matchmakers.  Preparations for the Christmas ball lure Cara and Simon back to the quaint, but relatively unheard of, Sage Street.  As they spend time together outside of the office, Cara and Simon discover an unexpected friendship and a chance at love, but will they accept the gift? 

This novella is enjoyable and appropriate for the Christmas season, but I felt very little connection to the characters, and I was not gripped by the plot.  In many ways, the novella reminds me of many of the Christmas themed made-for-tv movies that are so popular during the holidays.  While they are enjoyable to watch, they often lack compelling plots and do not present fully developed characters.  I felt much the same after reading Two Tickets to the Christmas Ball.  The relationship developed quite quickly between Cara and Simon, with each considering a serious relationship early in the novella.  Although their relationship was not solely based on physical attraction, I did not feel that their feelings were completely developed.  The plot skimmed the surface of more serious topics, such as Cara’s tumultuous family and her strained relationship with her family members.  On the other hand, I felt that the flow of the novella was hindered by minor details and descriptions in several instances. Although details help to set the scene, I would have enjoyed a closer look at the main characters and topics that could have added an extra measure of depth. 

My favorite moments in the plot occurred on the quaint and charming Sage Street.  I love the cover art for this novel and feel that the photo, which depicts Quebec City, sets the perfect scene for Sage Street.  Equally engaging are the supporting characters and resident matchmakers that operate the unique shops that Simon and Cara visit.  Each character and their names add a unique flair to the novella. 

For anyone looking for a quick and light read this Christmas, Two Tickets to the Christmas Ball, may be the perfect ticket to escaping a busy and hectic holiday schedule.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from WaterBrook Press through their book review program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed above are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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