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Dancing at Midnight (Blydon Book 2) Kindle Edition
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|Length: 384 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
|Page Flip: Enabled||
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|Book 2 of 3 in Blydon|
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A delicious romping courtship...Delicious, funny, wonderful! Ms. Quinn has a unique, entertaining style that will keep her fans glued to the pages and coming back for more of her delightful romances.-- "RT Book Reviews (4 stars)"
Our contemporary Jane Austen.-- "Jill Barnett, author of Bewitching"
Smart, funny.-- "Time Magazine" --This text refers to the audioCD edition.
About the Author
Julia Quinn is a New York Times bestselling author whose novels are perennial bestsellers. As a graduate of Radcliffe College and Harvard University, she loves to dispel the myth that smart women don't read (or write) romance. She has been inducted into the Romance Writers of America's Hall of Fame. There are ten million copies of her books in print in the United States alone.
Lucy Rayner is an Earphones Award-winning narrator and award-winning British actress. She has starred in numerous short and feature-length films, including English20 and Total Retribution. For her performance in Bolero, she was named Best Supporting Actress at the 2013 Madrid International Film Festival. She has worked on both sides of the Atlantic in a number of theater productions and films, many of which have screened at festivals around the world. She has a master's degree in history from the University of Edinburgh and is a graduate of the Lee Strasberg Institute in New York City.--This text refers to the audioCD edition.
- Publication Date : October 13, 2009
- File Size : 587 KB
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print Length : 384 pages
- Publisher : HarperCollins e-books (October 13, 2009)
- Enhanced Typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Page Numbers Source ISBN : 0380780755
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Language: : English
- ASIN : B000FC28BM
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #38,221 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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Below is a list of the entire "Blydon" series and reading order for those who don't already know:
Book 1 - SPLENDID (Emma Dunster & Alexander Ridgely aka The Duke of Ashbourne)
Book 2 - DANCING AT MIDNIGHT (Arabella "Belle" Blydon & Lord John Blackwood) Belle is Emma's cousin
Book 3 - MINX (Henrietta "Henry" Barrett & William Dunford) Dunford is Alex's best friend
Book 3.5 - A TALE OF TWO SISTERS (a novella originally released in the "WHERE'S MY HERO?" anthology, featuring Ned Blydon) Emma's cousin and Belle's brother
I've read many of Quinn's books and found the writing to be good, with descriptions of elements of living in early 19-century Britain showing that she has done much research into them. Her heroines are intelligent and independent, at least in their minds and desires, since those qualities were not encouraged in women of the upper class at that time. Her dialogue is sharp and her books contain much humor. I have found myself laughing out loud at some of her dialogue or descriptions. I heartily recommend this book as well as all Julia Quinn books.
In fact, as the story opens, Belle is stating at Westonbirt while her parents are in Italy. Belle is just completing the Grand Shakespearean Quest in which she is reading all of the plays in alphabetical order. She is reading The Winter's Tale when she meets a handsome man with a limp; he introduces himself as John, Lord Blackwood; he has recently bought a country house very near Westonbirt.
It turns out that Alex served with John during the war, which is where John acquired the limp; he was shot in the leg and refused to allow the surgeon to amputate. Belle and John have an immediate attraction to each other, but John is very moody. He eventually tells her that he is haunted by guilt because one of his men raped a young Spanish girl, after John had promised her mother that he would protect her; the girl committed suicide three days after the rape. The rape (and rapist) and John's guilt constitute the major conflicts in the book.
Apparently, Splendid and Dancing at Midnight were both published in 1995, but JQ's writing is much more polished in Dancing. The dialogue is smoother and the awkwardness that was present in Splendid is much less in evidence. Although Dancing is darker and more angsty, there is plenty of humor and wit. 3.75 stars, rounded up to 4.
Top reviews from other countries
I got a bit hesitant with “Splendid”. It has not many reviews and wasn’t recommended as much. But I have read it and like it. Naturally I went after second instalment in Blydon series.
A lovely surprise! I was never a fan of swooning, blushing and ridiculous misunderstandings that seems to be the core of every romance. You would expect some, of course. But reading this book I laugh a lot! I made several “awww’s”. And most of all I really enjoyed the fact that not everybody was perfectly looking, behaving, titled and rich. Disproportions and imperfections are what real life relationship are made of!
I have enjoyed that book immensely! It can be read as stand alone. Enjoy your laughs and your “awww’s”. I certainly did!
John, Lord Blackwood, was the youngest of seven children - neglected, ignored and assured that he would never amount to anything. But a highly successful career in the army has won him a title. A clear head and shrewd investments have finally paid off too, and he is now the proud owner of Bletchford Manor (he really must change the name).
While out walking his new property, he stumbles across Belle, but bad memories and personal failure make him abominably rude, and he hopes to have scared her off for good. John has achieved everything he has ever wanted, and he has no wish to dream for more.
Except that Belle is stubborn, and when she sees something good in a person she won't stop until all the world knows it's there too.
Haunted memories, mysterious notes, potential heartbreak, waltzes at midnight and a hilarious wedding bring out the best in this sweet, heartwarming tale. Emma, Alex, Ned and Dunford all return from 'Splendid' to add to the mix, but Belle holds her own in this step up from sidekick to heroine. John, too, is a hero worthy of her, even if he is a little confused, hesistant and stubborn at times.
However, the backstory of John's incident in Spain, that makes him unworthy, is some times a little disjointed. He seems to bounce between being a haunted man and a snob, with no real cohesion in the middle. By all accounts that's because this book was originally about class rather than demons, and it occasionally shows as a chunk of John's conscience rudely barges in without much need.
But this is all in the first half, and crops up rarely. Once John's reservations are forced aside all that's left is a trademark JQ gallop to the finish with John's past coming back in truth, a heartwarming confession of love and a bet that will surely come back to haunt Dunford (in 'Minx').
Another sweet, funny tale from JQ, and a worthy follow-up to 'Splendid'. Not her best, but even that makes it better than many, and always worth a read. Not to mention the poetry, which runs right through to an ending that can't do anything but make you smile.
What I did enjoy was that unlike other JQ novels that I have read where there might be mention or a brief appearance of the couples from other books, we got to see quite a bit of Emma and Alex, characters I much preferred.
Not bad but definitely not as good or well written as her later stuff.