TBR Challenge January: Five Golden Rings (Mistletoe Magic)

Five Rings:  Mistletoe Magic (by Sophie Barnes)
Conflict:  Big Misunderstanding

What I mentioned from Goodreads:  this review is ONLY for Sophie Barnes' story, Mistletoe Magic, and I was fortunate enough to receive a free e-book from Ms. Barnes herself.  Since this was a short read, I will keep the review short and sweet.

Bottom Line Up Front:  
I would want Ms. Barnes to write a larger novel.

With my e-reader (also reading this from my phone) it was only 66 pages. I just didn't feel it was enough story/plot for me to warm up to the characters.  I finished this in my entire one-hour commute on the metro and my feelings for the characters didn't change.

The concept/conflict was cute though:   There is some big misunderstanding and flirty bantering in the beginning.  The hero (Redfirn) is trying to set up his ward and the heroine (Nora) is trying to set up her "ward" (she's a in a secret group that sets up wallflowers).  If this was over 200 pages - it would be excellent!  Nora (like her ward) is also a wallflower (bluestocking!) and we see her struggle in her new "wallflower-coach" role, and I didn't feel that there was enough time/room at the end to see her overcome that struggle (at least not to my satisfaction).  Both H&H admit that they're not good at matchmaking despite the success of their wards (and their own HEA!) but then queue love scene and the story ends - so it felt like their character arc just suddenly stopped RIGHT when I was watching it shift/improve.

OK, my previous mini-rant aside.  Five Golden Rings looks good.  And Mistletoe Magic was alright.  I had to simmer down overnight.  (Mike read the post - and he sees no correlation between "preferring blonde and blue eyes" with fascist eugenics.  Maybe I'm just being a uppity brunette?  Ok, fine.)

What if Wendy the Super Librarian was right, and I just don't like the lower page count?  I loved other novellas, but... I can't recall reading a romance less than 120 pages... This book was a cute little cupcake that I had to wolf down in three bites.  Didn't get to savor or enjoy it.  Didn't feel really good afterwards.


Wendy said...

I like shorts precisely because I can start and finish one on my lunch break :) But yeah - it takes a certain amount of skill and just the right conflict to pull off a romance in such a short word count.

I will say that I am more tolerant of Big Misunderstandings in short stories. Much longer and I start getting annoyed with the characters for not talking to each other....

Jena Briars said...

Thanks for commenting and tweeting Wendy! The Big Mis in this one was good though, I'll give it that - AND the characters did a good job of "talking it out" (when they realized it was all a Big Mis). Lesson Learned: I'm never taking my favorite novellas/shorts for granted now. :)