21 January 2014

The Dancing Master by Julie Klassen, Book review

The Dancing Master

  • Publisher: Bethany House Publishers (January 7, 2014)
  • ISBN-13: 978-0764210709


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.

Here are my thoughts:

Julie Klassen's latest historical fiction brings an insight in the world of dancing and its rules for Society during the Regency period. I felt the whole perspective would help me to appreciate the many hours it demanded to be perfected! Frankly I have two left feet!
Julie Klassen so obviously enjoys searching her material and writes of a romantic era which holds the interest of many an Anglophile!

The main protagonist in The Dancing Master is Alec Valcourt, a third generation dancing Master who finds himself accepting, along with his widowed Mother and his younger sister, the somewhat generous offer of his Uncle to move to the little town of Beaworthy. 

Alec's sole ambition for the near future is to start afresh,  leaving a painful past behind in London. However he soon discovers that for the last twenty years any socializing in Beaworthy is strangely bereft of dances unless you are a Bryanite. Any attempt to start a new academy is meant with a chilly reception by Lady Amelia, leading member of the local gentry.

There is a little of everything for readers in this novel: romances, friendships and plenty of mysteries set in Regency England with the little touches Julie Klassen is well known for! 
Each chapter is headed by actual newspapers editorials, a veritable insight on society of the era and you will find a list of discussions questions ideal for book clubs.

Unlike others novels by this author however I lost interest halfway through and must admit I found more pleasure in following the antics of Dun/Apollo the horse! Then again as I mentioned before, Julie Klassen never fails to reach her readers with one topic or another, even a recalcitrant horse!

4 Stars!

Meet the Author:

Image of Julie Klassen

Julie Klassen loves all things Jane--Jane Eyre and Jane Austen. She worked in publishing for sixteen years and now writes full time. Three of her novels have won the Christy Award for Historical Romance. Her book, The Silent Governess, was also a finalist in the Minnesota Book Awards, ForeWord Reviews Book of the Year Awards, and Romance Writers of America's RITA Awards. Julie is a graduate of the University of Illinois.

For more information visit her website (HERE)

Interested in reading other reviews and/or entering 
Julie Klassen's GIVEAWAY?
Then be sure to visit the landing page listed below!
Landing page: 

I received a copy of this title from LITFUSE Publicity Group to review . I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC 16 CFR, Part 255 'Guides concerning the use of endorsements and testimonials in advertising. I was not asked to write a positive review and all opinions expressed are entirely my own. 


  1. Oooh this looks like my kind of book!! Thanks for the heads up! J9 x

  2. Glad to hear it Janine and thank you for stopping by!

  3. I love the books from Julie Klassen! A hug for you from Pippa. Lots of love Esther

    1. So sweet of you Pippa, Mac the Corgi and I send our love!
      Esther, have I told you how much I love your kitchen? It inspired me for our mountain cabin kitchen 'nook' (at 320 sq. feet for the total cabin I'll have to downsize everything but no matter!)
      A warm hello to all,


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