Customer Reviews for

The Dancing Master

Average Rating 4
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

Delightfully packed with mystery and romance! And one of the bes

Delightfully packed with mystery and romance! And one of the best things is that all of this is set in a place reminiscent of Jane Austen or Charlotte Bronte. And one special little touch…I checked on the back cover and there was Pemberley, from the 1995 Pride and Preju...
Delightfully packed with mystery and romance! And one of the best things is that all of this is set in a place reminiscent of Jane Austen or Charlotte Bronte. And one special little touch…I checked on the back cover and there was Pemberley, from the 1995 Pride and Prejudice! That may or may not have made my day just a little bit. So cool. Anyway, the heroine was sweet yet spicy – a delightful combination. And I mentioned that it’s packed with mystery – you will have trouble putting this book down! The words that Julie chose to use are perfect for the setting – I was impressed. This book is all-around a delightful read that I recommend for Regency lovers!
**Bethany House Publishers sent me this book in return for my honest review. All opinions and thoughts are my own. I was not recompensed for this review, or forced to post positively.**

posted by CharityU-Austenite on February 21, 2014

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Most Helpful Critical Review

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

I have loved all of Mrs. Klassen's books in the past.  Every one

I have loved all of Mrs. Klassen's books in the past.  Every one of them.  I wait for every January for a new book.  However, I just could 
not get into this book.  I tried and tried and tried again.  Just not caring for the main male character.  So, I will wait for nex...
I have loved all of Mrs. Klassen's books in the past.  Every one of them.  I wait for every January for a new book.  However, I just could 
not get into this book.  I tried and tried and tried again.  Just not caring for the main male character.  So, I will wait for next January!

posted by 17090001 on March 1, 2014

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  • Posted March 1, 2014

    Julia Midwinter's youth and vitality often stand in opposition t

    Julia Midwinter's youth and vitality often stand in opposition to her mother's rules. As village matriarch, Julia's mother has prohibited all forms of dancing. This seemingly harsh rule is shrouded in family secrets, including the deaths of Julia's aunt and uncle. By natural curiosity and rebellion, Julia is drawn to Alec Valcourt, the newly arrived dancing master from London. However, Alec's past also proves dark and messy and he's certainly not the type of man Julia's mother would approve of.  Will Alec and Julia both discover the truths about their pasts so that they can embrace the future with hope? Read more in The Dancing Master by Julie Klassen.




    The Dancing Master by Julie Klassen is a stand-alone novel set in early nineteenth century England. The mystery of Julia's past hooked my attention and kept me wondering how all the people and events fit together. For me, this is what kept the story flowing as I didn't find the characters as captivating as I expected. By the author's intention, I suspect, Julia's character was hard to like in the beginning. However, even after Julia's internal motivations became more clear and she began to develop as a character, I still found it difficult to like her. Lastly, someone mentioned to me that it sounds like a take-off of Footloose. However, I've never seen the movie, so I can't really speak that. I don't discourage anyone from reading the book, but I do recommend borrowing from the library before purchasing.




    Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. 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."

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  • Posted February 17, 2014

    When I read the premise of this book, I immediately thought of ¿

    When I read the premise of this book, I immediately thought of ‘Footloose.’ There are undertones in this story that remind me of the movie, however The Dancing Master is able to distinguish itself as a solid novel distinct from the movie.

    The town of Devonshire is shrouded in secrets and mystery. When Alec Valcourt arrives with his family, he is surprised to learn that dancing is not allowed. How can he support his family if his skills and profession is unnecessary in this town? And why is dancing not allowed?

    But these are not all the secrets that surround the town; these secrets run deep and are hidden from scrutiny. And what about Alec? He and his family seem to have their own past that they wish to keep hidden.

    With so many secrets threatening to come to the surface, will the truth ever be spoken?

    All the mystery surrounding the town and people of Devonshire is intriguing. The many unknowns of this book are withheld from the reader until the very end, when things slowly begin to be revealed.

    Alec’s character was hard-working, strong, and caring. He persevered and was devoted to his family. Julia’s character was reckless and flirtatious. It was difficult to feel for her for a majority of the book. However, Alec is able to see past her outward appearance. He understood that her behavior was a façade, and beneath it, Alec saw her insecurities and her vulnerable heart and cared for her.

    The mystery is what brings this story to life. Julie Klassen writes a beautiful story filled with complex characters in this Regency era novel.

    *I was provided a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.*

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  • Posted February 5, 2014

    Not the best novel from Klassen, though it's still a good read.

    Not the best novel from Klassen, though it's still a good read.
     
    I always look forward to Miss Klassen's new book every year, though I must admit, this one let me down a little. The plot reminded me faintly of Footloose with a regency twist, but in reality there isn't much in common between the two beyond the lack-or unspoken outlaw-of dancing in Beaworthy, Devon. It was certainly a unique twist for a regency novel, although the reasons behind it felt lacking when revealed. The one aspect of Beaworthy I really liked was the depth to all the residents we meet. I adored Miss Tickle and Mr. and Mrs. Desmond. As for other supporting characters, the Allens and Mr. Barlow were also favorites of mine. I do wish we could have seen more of Aurora, her character intrigues me, nonetheless I understand why we didn't. 
    All this brings me to the leading hero and heroine, Alec and Julia. I liked the focus on Alec's perspective a lotl probably because I didn't enjoy Julia's personality until closer to the end. Alec himself is not the usual hero you find when you dig into the pages of a regency novel, though he is far from perfect. Julia, on the other hand, got under my skin in a bad way. I pitied her situation, but it took most of the book for me to grow to like her. Most of the time she acted so recklessly that I wanted to ground her into the next century, but somehow Miss Klassen redeemed her and made her likable.
    Overall, The Dancing Master ranks low for me, when compared to Miss Klassen's other books. However, I still believe that fans of Regency stories such as Jane Eyre and Pride & Prejudice will enjoy Miss Klassen's latest. There is talk of men and women sleeping together out of wedlock and in one instance, it results with a child. Nothing goes into detail. Though The Dancing Master didn't quite come up to par, I still enjoyed spending time in Beaworthy. 

    I received this book from Bethany House in return for an honest review of my opinions, which I have done. 

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  • Posted January 30, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    Alec Valcourt has left London in disgrace. His mother and sister

    Alec Valcourt has left London in disgrace. His mother and sister join him as he moves in with his uncle in a small town. Alec is a dancing master, but soon learns that dancing is not allowed by the patron of the town. He's left with very few choices for employment. He quickly makes friends, but when he befriends the daughter of the town patron things began to get complicated.

    I was really looking forward to reading this book. The cover was perfect, the description sounded interesting, and I've read and enjoyed books by this author before.
    But it was not meant to be. It took me forever to get into the book. It just seemed to plod along with nothing happening. I couldn't relate to the two main characters and the story lacked any real plot at first. The writing was good, but the characters and lack of plot were what made this just an okay book. If the two main characters were gone and several of the secondary characters had more of a place I would have really enjoyed the book since I like reading about this time period. Another small annoyance (that I probably wouldn't have even noticed had I been enjoying the book) were the awkward placement of the quotes about dancing masters at the beginning of each chapter. Instead of giving some insight into what was coming in the next chapter, they seemed to focus on the chapter I had just finished. For some reason this just really detracted from the story for me. In summary, it wasn't a bad book, it just wasn't what I was expecting from this author.

    I received this book free of charge from Bethany House in exchange for my honest review.

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  • Posted January 8, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    I have very mixed feelings about this book. I enjoyed the settin

    I have very mixed feelings about this book. I enjoyed the setting, and could understand the pain that came to quite a few, in this story, on being betrayed. There is a lot of lying and deceit.
    Julia, one of the main characters, is a flirt, and very spoiled. She thinks mainly of her self, and doesn't seem to care about what happens to others. Another main male character, Alec, is the Dance Master Saber Instructor. I cringed when he was beaten up, I thought surely some of his fast on his feet training, would happen. I did like that he didn't tell what had happened to his father, in order to defend himself.
    I also felt rather sorry for Julia, her cold father, and rather distant Mother. Maybe that is the reason she acts so unlikeable. I did like John Desmond, and felt sorry for the burden that he carried, all because of what someone said, and caused so much heartache.
    You will be in for some big surprises and will be guessing almost to the end.

    I received this book through Litfuse Publicity Book Tours, and the Publisher Bethany House, and was not required to give a positive review.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 28, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

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