The Dancing Master is the first book by Julie Klassen that I have read. I thoroughly enjoyed this peek into Regency England. I love historical fiction and this is one of the eras that I especially enjoy reading about.
The setting is a quaint, little town named Beaworthy. Julia Midwinter and Alec Valcourt are the main characters. Alec has relocated to Beaworthy with his mother and sister after some sort of scandal has obviously forced them out of London. He plans to open a dancing and fencing school in Beaworthy. But therein lies a problem. Dancing is no longer tolerated in this little town.
Julia could be viewed as a spoiled little rich girl at the beginning of the novel. I suppose this would be accurate, however, I actually still liked Julia, even when she was acting out. I felt so sorry for the hurt she internalized from a father who didn’t want anything to do with her. Her acting out and flirting made sense to me when looked upon with the knowledge of this insecurity she carried around with her.
The author did such a wonderful job of creating deep and interesting characters. I really enjoyed the flashbacks in the book. In these scenes, we have the opportunity to see the past through Julia’s mother’s eyes as it is happening. It opens little windows into the story and hints at the underlying scandals that rocked their family.
The Dancing Master is a well-written novel. The romance is sweet and light, yet definitely grows throughout the story. Main characters and side characters are all very interesting. I really enjoyed the way the author was able to unfurl the mysteries one little bit at a time throughout the story, letting me know just enough to keep me wondering and reading on. The descriptions of the dances were beautiful and I felt that I could really see them dancing. After reading this book, I am looking forward to reading more of Julie Klassen’s novels. (5 stars)
I received a complimentary copy of The Dancing Master from Bethany House in exchange for an honest review, which I have given.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
I worked in publishing for sixteen years (first in advertising, then as a fiction editor) and now write full time. Three of my books, The Maid of Fairbourne Hall, The Girl in the Gatehouse, and The Silent Governess have won the Christy Award for Historical Romance. The Maid of Fairbourne Hall and The Girl in the Gatehouse also won a Midwest Book Award and The Silent Governess was a finalist in Romance Writers of America’s RITA awards.
I graduated from the University of Illinois and enjoy travel, research, BBC period dramas, long hikes, short naps, and coffee with friends. My husband and I have two sons and live near St. Paul, Minnesota.
You can connect with Julie at: http://www.julieklassen.com/ and on Facebook.