Friday, January 10, 2014

The Dancing Master by Julie Klassen

The Dancing Master by Julie Klassen

Bethany House Publishers (January 7, 2014) 424 pages


Finding himself the man of the family, London dancing master Alec Valcourt moves his mother and sister to remote Devonshire, hoping to start over. But he is stunned to learn the village matriarch has prohibited all dancing, for reasons buried deep in her past.

Alec finds an unlikely ally in the matriarch's daughter. Though he's initially wary of Julia Midwinter's reckless flirtation, he comes to realize her bold exterior disguises a vulnerable soul--and hidden sorrows of her own.

Julia is quickly attracted to the handsome dancing master--a man her mother would never approve of--but she cannot imagine why Mr. Valcourt would leave London, or why he evades questions about his past. With Alec's help, can Julia uncover old secrets and restore life to her somber village...and to her mother's tattered heart?

Filled with mystery and romance, The Dancing Master brings to life the intriguing profession of those who taught essential social graces for ladies and gentlemen hoping to make a "good match" in Regency England.

My Rating: 3/5 stars

My Thoughts:

I'd been greatly looking forward to reading The Dancing Master. I had a little gleeful happy dance(in my mind) when this gorgeous book arrived in the mail. Unfortunately, it didn't overly work for me. That said, I was probably harder on this book due to who the author was than I would have been if this was a debut novel.

Julia is the leading lady. For most of the story, I didn't really like her. It's almost never a good thing when I don't like the leading lady. Of course, there DOES come a point where I feel guilty that I didn't like her in the beginning. It also probably didn't help that for most of the beginning of the book, we see things from Alec's point of view. I mostly saw Julia's bad qualities, even if Alec seemed blinded to them.

And, Alec. While I didn't dislike him at all, I definitely didn't fall in love with him by any means.

To be honest, I found myself a little bored in the beginning. I skimmed some in the middle. The ending is better!

I've grown to love Klassen's writing style, so I DO recommend(highly!!) you read her works. I plan on catching up with the ones I've missed. If you're new to Klassen's work, though, I'd recommend starting with a different book. Based on the 3 I've read, I'd recommend The Maid of Fairbourne Hall! If you're already a fan of Klassen's writing, then, of course, you need to read this book, too! ;)

*Thank you to Bethany House and Litfuse Publicity for providing me with a review copy in exchange for my honest opinion.

Julie Klassen’s “The Dancing Master” giveaway and “All Things Jane” webcast 1/23!

Best-selling author Julie Klassen will be hosting a Kindle Fire HDX giveaway and a live webcast event (1/23) to celebrate the release of her latest novel, The Dancing Master. Enter and RSVP today!


One winner will receive:

  • A Kindle Fire HDX
  • The Dancing Master by Julie Klassen
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on January 23rd. Winner will be announced at the "All Things Jane (from Austen to Eyre)" Live Webcast Event on January 23rd. Connect with Julie for an evening of book chat, trivia, laughter, and more! Julie will also be taking questions from the audience and giving away books, Jane Austen DVDs, fun "Jane" merchandise, and gift certificates throughout the evening.

So grab your copy of The Dancing Master and join Julie and friends on the evening of January 23rd for a chance to connect and make some new friends. (If you haven't read the book, don't let that stop you from coming!)

Don't miss a moment of the fun; RSVP today by signing up for a reminder. Tell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 23rd!


  1. I'm trying to get through this book, too, Bluerose. I like it but... don't love it. It's one of those reads that I probably won't revisit though as you've said in this review, it does improve. :)

    1. Exactly! I never imagine I wouldn't keep a Klassen book on my keeper shelf, but I also don't imagine I'll reread it.

  2. I almost requested this one too, but then looked at my over-scheduled calendar and skipped it. Now I don't feel so bad.

  3. I've read 100 pages so far and my thoughts pretty much parallel yours, but I'm still enjoying it. This won't be my favorite of Julie's books, though.

    1. I still haven't read all of her books, but so far Maid of Fairbourne Hall holds my favorite place.