Dancing at Midnight (Blydon Family Saga Series #2)

( 105 )

Overview

Lady Arabella Blydon has beauty and a brain, and she's tired of men who can see only one without the other.

When a suitor tells Arabella he's willing to overlook her appalling bluestocking tendencies on account of her looks and fortune, she decides to take a break from the Marriage Mart. During an extended stay in the country, she never expects to meet Lord John Blackwood, a wounded war hero who intrigues her like no other man.

Lord John has ...

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Dancing at Midnight (Blydon Family Saga Series #2)

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Overview

Lady Arabella Blydon has beauty and a brain, and she's tired of men who can see only one without the other.

When a suitor tells Arabella he's willing to overlook her appalling bluestocking tendencies on account of her looks and fortune, she decides to take a break from the Marriage Mart. During an extended stay in the country, she never expects to meet Lord John Blackwood, a wounded war hero who intrigues her like no other man.

Lord John has lived through the worst horros of war...but nothing could have been as terrifying to his tormented heart as Lady Arabella. She is intoxicating, infuriating...and she makes him want to live again. Suddenly he's writing bad poetry and climbing trees in the pitch-dark night...just so he can dance with her as the clock strikes midnight. And even though he knows he can never be the sort of man she deserves, he can't help wanting her. But when the harsh light of day replaces the magic of midnight, can this tormented soul learn to love again?

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780380780754
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 8/28/2009
  • Series: Blydon Family Saga Series , #2
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 384
  • Sales rank: 141,955
  • Product dimensions: 4.18 (w) x 6.75 (h) x 0.96 (d)

Meet the Author

The author of twenty-three previous novels for Avon Books, Julia Quinn is a graduate of Harvard and Radcliffe Colleges and lives in the Pacific Northwest with her family.

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Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

Oxfordshire, England, 1816


If, one by one, you weeded all the world --
Arabella Blydon blinked. That couldnt be right. There weren't any gardeners in The Winter's Tate. She held the book farther from her face. Even worse. She pulled the book closer. The type on the page slowly focused.

Belle sighed and leaned back against a tree trunk. That made a lot more sense. She blinked a couple of times, willing her bright blue eyes to focus on the words that lay before her on the page. They refused to obey, but she wasn't about to read with her face pressed into the book, so she squinted and plodded on.

A chilly wind passed across her, and she glanced up at the overcast sky. It was going to rain, no doubt about that, but if she were lucky she'd have another hour until the first drops fell. That was all the time she'd need to finish The Winter's Tale. And that would mark the end of her Grand Shakespearean Quest, the semi-academic endeavor that had occupied her spare time for nearly six months. She'd started with All's Well that Ends Well and proceeded alphabetically, wending her way through Hamlet, all the Henrys, Romeo and Juliet, and a host of other plays she hadn't even heard of before. She wasn't exactly sure why she'd done it, other than the simple fact that she liked to read, but now that the end was in sight she was damned if she was going to let a few raindrops get in her way.

Belle gulped and looked this way and that, as if afraid that someone had heard her cursing in her thoughts. She glanced back up at the sky. A beam of sunshine burst through a tiny hole inme clouds. Belle took that as a sign for optimism and plucked a chicken sandwich out of her picnic lunch. She bit into it daintily and picked up her book again. The words seemed just as unwilling to focus as before, so she moved the volume closer to her face, which she contorted in a number of different ways until she found a squint that worked.

"There you go, Arabella," she muttered. "If you can just hold this exceedingly uncomfortable pose for another forty-five minutes, you should have no problem with the rest of your book."

"Of course your facial muscles will probably be quite sore by that point," drawled a voice from behind her.

Belle dropped her book and whirled her head around. Standing a few yards away was a gentleman in casual, yet elegant, attire. His hair was a rich chocolate brown and his eyes were the exact same color. He was looking down at her and her solitary picnic with an amused expression, and his lazy pose indicated that he'd been watching her for some time. Belle glared at him, unable to think of anything to say but hoping that her scornful gaze would put him in his place.

It didn't seem to do the trick. In fact, he looked even more amused by her. "You need spectacles," he said simply.

"And you are trespassing," she retorted.

"Am I? I rather thought you were trespassing."

"I most certainly am not. This land belongs to the Duke of Ashbourne. My cousin," she added for emphasis.

The stranger pointed to the west. "That land belongs to the Duke of Ashbourne. The boundary is that ridge over there. And thus you are trespassing."

Belle narrowed her eyes and pushed a lock of her wavy blond hair behind her ear. "Are you certain?"

"Absolutely. I realize that Ashbourne's land holdings are vast, but they are not infinite."

She shifted uncomfortably. "Oh. Well, in that am, I am very sorry for disturbing you," she said in a haughty voice. "I'll just see to my horse and be off."

"Don't be silly," he said quickly. "I hope I am not so ill-tempered that I cannot allow a lady to read under one of my trees. By all means, stay as long as you like."

Belle considered leaving anyway, but comfort won out over pride. "Thank you. I've been here for several hours and am quite ensconced."

"So I see." He smiled, but it was a small one, and Belle got the impression that he was not a man who smiled often. "Perhaps," he said, "since you will be spending the rest of the day on my land, you might introduce yourself."

Belle hesitated, unable to discern whether he was being condescending or polite. "I'm sorry. I am Lady Arabella Blydon."

"Pleased to meet you, my lady. And I am John, Lord Blackwood."

"How do you do?"

"Very well, but you still need spectacles."

Belle felt her spine stiffen. Emma and Alex had been urging her to get her eyes examined for the last month, but they were, after all, family. This John Blackwood was a perfect stranger and certainly had no right to offer her such a suggestion. "You can be sure I will take your advice under consideration," she muttered, somewhat ungraciously.

John inclined his head, a wry smile touching his lips. "What are you reading?"

"The Winter's Tale." Belle sat back and waited for the usual condescending comments about women and reading.

"An excellent play, but not, I think, Shakespeare's finest," John commented. "I myself am partial to Coriolanus. It's not very well-known, but I quite liked it. You might read that sometime."

Belle forgot to be pleased that she had met a man who was actually encouraging her to read and said, "Thank you for the suggestion, but I've read it already.

"I'm impressed," John said. "Have you read Othello?"

She nodded.

"The Tempest?"

"Yes."

John searched his brain for the most obscure Shakespearean work he could recall. "What about The Passionate Pilgrim?"

Dancing at Midnight. Copyright © by Julia Quinn. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
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Table of Contents

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First Chapter

Dancing at Midnight

Chapter One

Oxfordshire, England, 1816


If, one by one, you weeded all the world --
Arabella Blydon blinked. That couldnt be right. There weren't any gardeners in The Winter's Tate. She held the book farther from her face. Even worse. She pulled the book closer. The type on the page slowly focused.

Belle sighed and leaned back against a tree trunk. That made a lot more sense. She blinked a couple of times, willing her bright blue eyes to focus on the words that lay before her on the page. They refused to obey, but she wasn't about to read with her face pressed into the book, so she squinted and plodded on.

A chilly wind passed across her, and she glanced up at the overcast sky. It was going to rain, no doubt about that, but if she were lucky she'd have another hour until the first drops fell. That was all the time she'd need to finish The Winter's Tale. And that would mark the end of her Grand Shakespearean Quest, the semi-academic endeavor that had occupied her spare time for nearly six months. She'd started with All's Well that Ends Well and proceeded alphabetically, wending her way through Hamlet, all the Henrys, Romeo and Juliet, and a host of other plays she hadn't even heard of before. She wasn't exactly sure why she'd done it, other than the simple fact that she liked to read, but now that the end was in sight she was damned if she was going to let a few raindrops get in her way.

Belle gulped and looked this way and that, as if afraid that someone had heard her cursing in her thoughts. She glanced back up at the sky. A beam of sunshine burst through a tiny hole in me clouds. Belle took that as a sign for optimism and plucked a chicken sandwich out of her picnic lunch. She bit into it daintily and picked up her book again. The words seemed just as unwilling to focus as before, so she moved the volume closer to her face, which she contorted in a number of different ways until she found a squint that worked.

"There you go, Arabella," she muttered. "If you can just hold this exceedingly uncomfortable pose for another forty-five minutes, you should have no problem with the rest of your book."

"Of course your facial muscles will probably be quite sore by that point," drawled a voice from behind her.

Belle dropped her book and whirled her head around. Standing a few yards away was a gentleman in casual, yet elegant, attire. His hair was a rich chocolate brown and his eyes were the exact same color. He was looking down at her and her solitary picnic with an amused expression, and his lazy pose indicated that he'd been watching her for some time. Belle glared at him, unable to think of anything to say but hoping that her scornful gaze would put him in his place.

It didn't seem to do the trick. In fact, he looked even more amused by her. "You need spectacles," he said simply.

"And you are trespassing," she retorted.

"Am I? I rather thought you were trespassing."

"I most certainly am not. This land belongs to the Duke of Ashbourne. My cousin," she added for emphasis.

The stranger pointed to the west. "That land belongs to the Duke of Ashbourne. The boundary is that ridge over there. And thus you are trespassing."

Belle narrowed her eyes and pushed a lock of her wavy blond hair behind her ear. "Are you certain?"

"Absolutely. I realize that Ashbourne's land holdings are vast, but they are not infinite."

She shifted uncomfortably. "Oh. Well, in that am, I am very sorry for disturbing you," she said in a haughty voice. "I'll just see to my horse and be off."

"Don't be silly," he said quickly. "I hope I am not so ill-tempered that I cannot allow a lady to read under one of my trees. By all means, stay as long as you like."

Belle considered leaving anyway, but comfort won out over pride. "Thank you. I've been here for several hours and am quite ensconced."

"So I see." He smiled, but it was a small one, and Belle got the impression that he was not a man who smiled often. "Perhaps," he said, "since you will be spending the rest of the day on my land, you might introduce yourself."

Belle hesitated, unable to discern whether he was being condescending or polite. "I'm sorry. I am Lady Arabella Blydon."

"Pleased to meet you, my lady. And I am John, Lord Blackwood."

"How do you do?"

"Very well, but you still need spectacles."

Belle felt her spine stiffen. Emma and Alex had been urging her to get her eyes examined for the last month, but they were, after all, family. This John Blackwood was a perfect stranger and certainly had no right to offer her such a suggestion. "You can be sure I will take your advice under consideration," she muttered, somewhat ungraciously.

John inclined his head, a wry smile touching his lips. "What are you reading?"

"The Winter's Tale." Belle sat back and waited for the usual condescending comments about women and reading.

"An excellent play, but not, I think, Shakespeare's finest," John commented. "I myself am partial to Coriolanus. It's not very well-known, but I quite liked it. You might read that sometime."

Belle forgot to be pleased that she had met a man who was actually encouraging her to read and said, "Thank you for the suggestion, but I've read it already.

"I'm impressed," John said. "Have you read Othello?"

She nodded.

"The Tempest?"

"Yes."

John searched his brain for the most obscure Shakespearean work he could recall. "What about The Passionate Pilgrim?"

Dancing at Midnight. Copyright © by Julia Quinn. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 105 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(38)

4 Star

(41)

3 Star

(20)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 106 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 27, 2012

    Lacking

    I love Quin's books but this book was lacking her normal flare! I always read the reveiws and the ones on this book sounded great like most of her books but it was misleading i had a hard time finishing this book!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 5, 2009

    one of my julia quinn favorites

    i adore julia quinn's bridgerton series and had feared i wouldn't enjoy her other books as much. dancing at midnight was wonderful! it had an interesting plot, characters i loved (and actually ached for at times), and julia's usual witty writing.

    it does appear to be one of her newer books as her writing is not as smooth as her more recent books but it was not a detractor from my enjoyment in the least.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 4, 2006

    it was great!

    i loved it. i fell in love with the characters and there was a lot of comic relief. the only flaw though, in my opinion, was..that there wasn't enough character/plot development. otherwise, it was excellent.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 24, 2000

    A GREAT BOOK

    Juia Quinn is never a dissapointment. I love her book. This book has the characters from Splendid. This is about Emma cousin. A super funny and heart-warming romance. I couldn't put this book down. It was so funny!! I own this book and YOU SHOULD TOO. I THINK THID BOOK DESERVES HIGHER THAN A 5 STAR RATING!!!!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 14, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    I love Julia Quinn's romances. This book was loaded with just en

    I love Julia Quinn's romances. This book was loaded with just enough angst to make my heart race a little, and humor enough to make me laugh out loud.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 28, 2012

    Anonymous

    I love Julia Quinn and she is one of my favorite authors, but this was certainly NOT one of her best books. It felt shallow and undeveloped. I would absolutely recommend you read her works...just don't pick this one!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 15, 2012

    Classic Julia Quinn!!

    Classic Julia Quinn; fun, witty, and sexy! Never disappoints!

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  • Posted October 26, 2011

    Worth your time

    Loved it!!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 25, 2011

    Loved it!

    Such a good book, but I expect that from Quinn.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 5, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Dancing at Midnight

    I really enjoy Julia Quinn's style of writing. This book and the two others in this trilogy were action filled, funny and romantic. All of the characters are strong.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 21, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    LOVED IT!!!

    This book surprised me. After the first one in the series I didn't think this one could live up to SPLENDID... but it sure did. She is amazing and every book I have read by her I couldn't put down till I finished.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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    Posted May 22, 2011

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