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The Dancing Master Paperback – January 7, 2014
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Julia Midwinter is absolutely convinced that if she doesn’t find a way to escape Beaworthy soon, she is going to die of boredom. Fortunately, the arrival of several new residents promises to shake things up in the quiet little English village. Former London-based dancing and fencing master Alec Valcourt arrives with his mother and sister, hoping that he can help support his family by teaching dance. It isn’t until Alec begins looking for a place to hold lessons that he discovers that no one in Beaworthy dances. Ever since a disastrous May Day celebration years ago, Lady Amelia Midwinter has unofficially banned dancing. Now Alec—with some help from Julia—hopes to find a way to convince the lady of the manor to let her people dance! Multiple Christy Award–winning Klassen once again demonstrates her gift for creating richly layered characters and skillfully integrating a multitude of fascinating historical facts into a spirited story that will have wide appeal to inspirational fans as well as readers who enjoy sweet historical romances. --John Charles
From the Back Cover
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.
Praise for Julie Klassen's The Tutor's Daughter
"Whether you're a fan of Jane Austen or Charlotte Bronte, or both, you will soon become a fan of Julie Klassen once you read this wonderful book."--Goodreads
"Well-developed characters, plot twists, and attention to period detail make this a sure bet for fans of Regency novels."--Library Journal
"Regency/Klassen fans will love the mystery, romance, and drama."--Publishers Weekly
Discussion questions included.
"Multiple Christy Award-winning Klassen once again demonstrates her gift for creating richly layered characters and skillfully integrating a multitude of fascinating historical facts into a spirited story that will have wide appeal to both inspirational fans as well as readers who enjoy sweet historical romances."--Booklist
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For starters, I love how Klassen's books are not cookie-cutter. Each character in her books are different in personality, temperament, appearance, vocation from previous books and from each other. This, to me, is a sign of a good author.
What I loved about The Dancing Master are the cast of characters. From the beginning, I felt like I knew them. She described them so aptly without being flowery. Julia Midwinter came across as a flirt in the beginning, but Klassen gave her depth that made you understand it was her insecurity that caused her to act the way she did with men. Alec Valcourt treated Julia Midwinter as a lady, even though she gave him cause to doubt. He was chivalrous and a gentleman through the entire book. I LOVED him. He was a self-admitted "dandy" but was classy and poised throughout the book. He might be one of my favorite characters of all time, right up there with Mr. Darcy (Jane Austen). Walter Allen, another character, was another favorite character. Clumsy, self-effacing, loyal friend, and shy, Walt will be another stand out in my opinion. In addition, I loved Walt's parents, Lord and Lady Allen. They were loyal friends to the Midwinters without being giving up their own convictions on dancing.
This book still contained the mystery and well-thought out plots, like the other Klassen books. It is like Julie Klassen gently pulls a shoe string and reveals just what we need to know when we need to know it. It is never a hurried or rushed pace, but leaves the reader wanting to know more with each page read.
Not only was this novel a classic it was very classy. There are some parts that reminded me of the Downton Abbey BBC mini-series. I love getting a glimpse into the different vocations of 19th century England. I cannot wait for the next Klassen novel. Well done!!!