I think this is one of those cases where I like a particular author well enough to forgive a multitude of sins. Dancing At Midnight is a 1995 title, so Quinn has put a lot of pages under her belt since this one. And often when I go into a favorite author's backlist, I'm disappointed by the skill level of their earlier stuff.
I'll say that her recent books are much, much better. More polished. Less flawed.
But somehow I was still charmed by this story, mostly thanks to the cheerful, sweet heroine. Only slightly quirky and without an angstrom of existential angst, Belle has a personality that leaps off the page without being caricaturish. She keeps her head on her shoulders (so to speak) and doesn't suffer John's foolishness gladly. I liked her lots and lots, and she carried the book for me.
John is OK, but I'm not a big fan of the "I'm not good enough for her, therefore I will push her away FOR HER OWN GOOD" trope, and for the most part John did not rise above his trope. He had some good moments though, notably where he and Belle are enjoying each others' humor and wit-- moments of connection that I recognized from similar good times in my own best relationships. Moments when you're thinking: "this person gets me."
It would be easy to pick this book apart on technicalities but I'm stubbornly going to say: I liked it anyway. If you're a big fan of Quinn's heroines and dialog, you'll like it too. If you're in a highly critical mood or looking for the subtlety and deftness of her 21st-century books, eh, maybe take a pass on it.