Monday, January 13, 2014

"The Dancing Master" by Julie Klassen (Review & Giveaway)

ISBN: 9780764210709
Bethany House $14.99
About the book:  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 Julie 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? 

My thoughts:  The Regency novel presents the reader with word pictures that capture the imagination and fill the mind with visions of loveliness, gentility, culture, customs, and drama. Julie Klassen has done this in her novel The Dancing Master.  
We meet delightful characters whose individual voices and actions are well-crafted so that the story evolves revealing multiple stories intertwined with the end result a beautiful tapestry.

The leading lady, Julia Midwinter, is a bit spoiled and a mite flirty. She desires to leave the small community and the village matriarchal family home in which she has grown up and sally forth into the bigger world to discover wonders and delights.

The leading gentleman, Alec Valcourt, is a dancing master recently of London and now settled in the village with his mother and sister. There is a cloud hanging over them and Alec must establish himself as a dancing master in the village, in spite of the cloud, to support his family. He is challenged by the flirtatious Julia Midwinter and the wholesale ban on dancing in the village.

While dancing, or the subject of dancing lessons, is a primary focus of the story, the other characters’ lives, histories, and interactions with each other lend dimension and depth to life in the village. The climax of the story has some surprises for the reader other than the anticipated sweet romance between Julia and Alec.

I found The Dancing Master an enjoyable read and encourage those who enjoy Regency novels to indulge.

GIVEAWAY:  I have the wonderful opportunity to host a giveaway of Julie Klassen's book The Dancing Master for one of Chat With Vera's readers to win. Just use the handy-dandy Rafflecopter entry form below and enter as often as possible. Begins January 13 & ENDS February 5. Open to continental USA addresses only.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Other Julie Klassen book reviews by Chat With VeraThe Tutor's Daughter  The Maid of Fairbourn Hall   
About the author:  Julie Klassen loves all things Jane--Jane Eyre and Jane Austen. A graduate of the University of Illinois, Julie worked in publishing for sixteen years and now writes full time. She has won the Christy Award: Historical Romance for The Silent Governess (2010) and The Girl in the Gatehouse (2011) which also won the 2010 Midwest Book Award for Genre Fiction.

DISCLOSURE: I was provided a complimentary copy of The Dancing Master in exchange for an honest review which I have given. No compensation was received and opinions expressed are solely my own.


  1. I don't read a lot of Regency era books but when I do, I tend to enjoy them.Perhaps it's because they are usually set in London or somewhere near there and they focus on the upper class with their gracious living. It's so different than we experience now. I especially enjoy Julie Klassen's books.

  2. I like the have these great fancy homes and the entertaining they do. Shows the difference in the classes of people on how they are treated. Oh and I love the clothes. I would love to win Julie's book. Thanks! MAXIE mac262(at)me(dot)com

  3. I love to read anything that has to do with history. Especially books set in the British Isles. Julie is one of the best with the Regency period. Amyc

  4. I love the Regency period: the social customs, the language, the style! I love Julie Klassen's books (and for mainstream fiction: Georgette Heyer is the best) and hope for more Regency inspirational fiction releases.

  5. I love history and especially the Regency period. It's just so interesting to read about how people lived during that time and how women's roles were so different from today.

  6. I enjoy historical novels in general, usually American history, but Julie is a great writer and I always enjoy her books.

  7. Yes, I love to read historical fiction, and really enjoy the Regency England period. I'm a fan of Jane Austin and like Julie's books a lot too!

  8. I enjoy historical romances more than contemporary ones usually. Learning new things about past times is so interesting. Regency is one of my favorites, along with American westerns.

  9. I enjoy the Regency period. I like to read about the dresses, dances, how the gentlemen were gentlemen and the ladies acted like proper ladies. Of course, I also like when love breaks the boundaries of the society. :)

  10. they do! and i also am a huge fan of the author. i loved her book about the apothecary's daughter

  11. I have always loved the Regency era. I love the fashion for both men and women, the parties (of the elite), the idea of royalty and the romance of it all.

  12. I love everything about the Regency period and daydream about living in it.

  13. Kristin Goodson

    The regency period is very interesting!! They had a whole different culture then. Women and men were more proper and society was important.


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