Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Blog Tour & Review | The Dancing Master by Julie Klassen

The Dancing Master
by Julie Klassen
Christian Fiction / Historical / Romance
Available January 2014
Bethany House
432 pages



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.

Buy a copy  |  Read an excerpt  |  Find out what others think

My Thoughts
I'm a big fan of Julie Klassen's novels, so I've been looking forward to this novel ... well ... for a year now! The Dancing Master is set during Regency England and features the story of Alec, a dancing master who has moved to a small village where dancing is not allowed. We also meet Julia, heiress of the ruling family in the town, who is struggling with her role in society and desperate to discover the secrets she is certain her mother is hiding.

With such a promising plot, I was a bit disappointed in the way it played out. It seemed that the story took a while to get going, and it wasn't until I was halfway through the book that I was truly engaged. I think shortening the book and tightening up a few things might have helped this story move along better. Additionally, Julia is a hard character to like. She's essentially a spoiled brat and I didn't like her until nearly the end of the book!

While Julia was difficult, I really enjoyed Alec. It's not often that the majority of a Christian fiction novel is told through the eyes of the male protagonist, and the more I read, the better I liked Alec. It was easy to have sympathy for his situation, and I appreciated his desire to provide for and protect his mom and sister. There were quite a few secondary characters that were delightful as well—Aurora and the Allens were a few favorites. Perhaps they'll get their own stories one day?

Despite the slower pace, I did enjoy the book. Klassen has a beautiful writing style, which makes any story better! Fans of Julie Klassen will enjoy this book, though it may not be a favorite, and fans of Regency England are encouraged to pick this one up as well. [3.5 stars]

I received a free copy of this book from Bethany House through Litfuse Publicity in exchange for my fair and honest review.

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.

Julie Klassen Online
Website  |  Blog  |  Facebook

2 comments:

  1. Great review! I had very similar thoughts if you want to check out my review!
    http://craftybooksheeps.blogspot.com/2014/01/book-review-with-litfuse-giveaway.html

    ReplyDelete

I love comments! Thanks for letting me know what you think!

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