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.
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.