Wednesday, January 15, 2014

REVIEW: The Dancing Master by Julie Klassen

Thank you to Litfuse for sending me a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Last winter, I had the privilege of reading and reviewing The Tutor's Daughter by Julie Klassen.  I enjoyed her style of writing so much, I was eager to read her newest book, The Dancing Master.  I am so glad I did.  You know that I review books frequently, so I read a lot.  This is one of my favorites.  The mix of mystery and romance in this regency novel kept me turning pages.

Alec Valcourt, along with his mother and sister, arrive in Beaworthy to stay with their uncle.  He seems a bit of a stingy old bachelor, but he welcomes the Valcourts to share his home as they try to rebuild their lives after leaving London in mourning.  Alec finds it a mystery how he can be so portly and yet provide such paltry meals.  The theme of close family bonds is strong in this story and lends support to the storyline.

I love the characters in this book.  Not only are the main characters, Alec Valcourt, a dancing master instructor, and Julia Midwinter, daughter of the most powerful woman in the village, brought to life beautifully and fully, but even the characters with the smallest roles, like Mrs. Tickle the baker and the uncle are portrayed in such a vivid way, they seem truly real.  My favorite, though, was the description of the grocer's wife who was carrying a basket of lemons and looked like she had been sucking on them. ~grin~  I've known a few folks like that, have you?

I truly enjoyed this book.  I'll read Julie Klassen's books again... and I can't wait!
Enjoying the cold winter nights reading good books

Read other bloggers' reviews at the Landing page: 

Book Info
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 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.
Purchase a copy:
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 is a three-time Christy Award winner and a 2010 Midwest Book Award winner for Genre Fiction. Julie and her husband have two sons and live in a suburb of St. Paul, Minnesota.
Learn more about Julie at:

"Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review.   I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
May I suggest?

Shared:  Cozy Reading List


  1. Great review Laura! I just got this book in the mail yesterday and can't wait to read it soon!

  2. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did, Cathy!

    May God give you some peaceful reading time.


  3. Dear Laura,
    I love your heart and enjoy your blog so much. I have found that for me reading books that entail a lot of unrealistic romance seem to dull my desire for my husband and make him look bumbling in comparison. I found I benefit more from books that edify my spirit to draw me closer to the Lord. I found this quote recently that helped me realize what I needed to do and thought it right on. It hurt my ego a bit but has helped my perspective of marriage (I am so far from being an excellent wife)but am working in that direction:
    “It would seem that Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.” ~C.S.Lewis The Weight of Glory, and Other Addresses
    I pray this won't offend you, but it is where I have been and how the Lord is working.
    Grace and peace in the Lord, dear one.

  4. No offence taken Jacqueline. I used to read regular romance books way back in the day. I only read Christian ones now and find them to be benign in relation to my own marriage. I like the ones that have a hint of mystery. It is an area to be careful in, however. Thank you for bringing this to my attention. I do enjoy your writing and value your view on this.


  5. Hi Laura, it's nice to meet you. I enjoyed your review of the book and think it would be one that I would like, too.

  6. Thanks Kitty,

    Have a good week ending.


  7. Great review, I also enjoy Julie's style of writing. It's good to hear that the new book lives up to expectations. Thank you for sharing with Cozy Reading spot!


  8. You're welcome Marissa. You'll like this one.



Thank you for praying for me! Thank you for encouraging me so much through this cancer treatment. I have the best blog friends in the world! Yes! You!

I read all your comments and respond as I can right now.
Please make sure I have your email if you want me to respond or pray for you. For some reason Blogger isn't notifying me of comments right now, so I may be a bit slower.

God bless you all! This life only works with Jesus. The next life is a continuation of this one—make sure you spend it with Jesus. Jesus is the only way to God the Father!

Your blog friend,
Laura Lane
Cancer Survivor