This review is offered in the spirit of encouragement and assistance. It is part of your Just Because I Want To "Congratulations" package given in recognition of your role as one of this week's Simply Positive Star Newbie Reviewers.
A romantic tale of a shy woman dragged to a New Year's Eve party against her better judgment who finds that her judgment was mistaken.
What I liked most
You do a good job with the dialogue between Marianne and Sue, which sounds believable and carries the story forward well.
My general suggestions
Be careful not to get either overly flowery or overly descriptive. An example of the first is "Ugh, I must have really gotten used to all that fresh crisp country air flavored only with a hint of wood smoke." which is meant to be internal dialogue but sounds like the language on the back of a wine bottle.
An example of the second is "straining back muscles protesting her lugging the overstuffed bag up the stairs to her second-floor apartment". Besides what feels like a series of verbs fighting for attention, straining, protesting, lugging, you could just leave out the word "overstuffed" and let the reader imagine it, and could also leave out either "up the stairs" or "second-floor apartment". Just compare your current sentence:
Funny, she thought, straining back muscles protesting her lugging the overstuffed bag up the stairs to her second-floor apartment, how it always seems so much lighter going down!
with a tightened up sentence saying the same thing:
Funny, she thought, back muscles protesting as she lugged the bag to her second-floor apartment, how it always seems so much lighter going down!
Another issue to be careful about is subtle point of view changes. While you write too well to change POV explicitly, you do slip up a bit with implicit POV changes. For example, you have "She whirled around, soft golden-brown waves framing her face", but framing her face for whom? She should notice how he looks, but let him say how she looks, as it isn't her POV, it is his.
One final issue is character consistency. Marianne is supposed to want nothing more than to sit in her apartment by herself, but she couldn't resist buying a to-die-for "golden beige" dress "that shimmers when the light strikes it." She was planning to wear it around the house, perhaps? I think you need to either have her buy this at her mother's insistence, then have Sue comment on how spectacular she looks in it, or have her a bit less resistant to parties in general, and a bit more scared that she will never meet anybody. As it is now, the dress seems inconsistent with the rest of the character you are describing.
Your writing is fairly clean, although you were a bit sloppy with punctuation in this piece. For example,
protested the door’s opening She - Needs a period after "opening".
On New Year’s Eve Marianne - Needs a comma after "Eve".
This is obviously not an unusual romance story, but it is well constructed and reads well. I think you could pare down the descriptive paragraphs a bit and have more of them happen as reactions from someone else, but otherwise I think you have a good story well worth cleaning up a bit.