The Dancing Master [NOOK Book]

Overview

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 ...
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The Dancing Master

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Overview

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.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
10/28/2013
British village life in Beaworthy, Devonshire, in the early 19th century revolves around tradition for both the haves and the have-nots in Klassen’s (The Tutor’s Daughter) latest Regency historical. Lady Julia Midwinter is the young, headstrong daughter of the manor. Despite a wealth of friends and diversions, single Julia latches on to the town’s newly-arrived dancing master, a young, attractive man named Alec Valcourt, who came to Beaworthy under somewhat mysterious circumstances with his mother and sister. Unfortunately for Alec, Julia’s mother, Lady Amelia Midwinter, has long decreed that dancing is prohibited in the village—particularly at the May Day celebration. Alec and Julia must navigate the intricacies of their responsibilities while remaining true to themselves. Passionate storytelling and intriguing mystery are overshadowed by the relationship between the eminently unlikable Julia and her mother. Their contentious relationship, while explained, comes across as overly contrived. A rather large and delightful cast of secondary characters serves to bolster the plot and provide the occasional bit of levity to a well-written book that is less engaging than Klassen’s usual work. Agency: Books & Such Literary Agency. (Jan.)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781441263476
  • Publisher: Baker Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 1/7/2014
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 432
  • Sales rank: 25,727
  • File size: 3 MB

Meet the Author

Three-time Christy Award winner 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 and her husband have two sons and live in St. Paul, Minnesota. Learn more at www.julieklassen.com.
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 has won the Christy Award: Historical Romance for The Silent Governess (2010) and The Girl in the Gatehouse (2011) which also won the 2010 Midwest Book Award for Genre Fiction. Julie and her husband have two sons and live in a suburb of St. Paul, Minnesota. For more information, visit www.julieklassen.com
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 47 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(24)

4 Star

(13)

3 Star

(6)

2 Star

(2)

1 Star

(2)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 48 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 1, 2014

    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 next January!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 21, 2014

    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 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.**

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 31, 2014

    Anonymous

    I enjoyed this book. I liked reading a book with dancing in it. I had a hard time putting it down.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 21, 2014

    This was the worse Julie Klassen book I  have read...very boring

    This was the worse Julie Klassen book I  have read...very boring. Just couldn't get into the book or cared for characters. 

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 25, 2014

    Another great read from Klassen

    Over the past few years I have read all of Julie Klassen's books. I have enjoyed all of them, and this one is no exception. The character's are all well developed and so well described, I can see them moving and "dancing" in my head. I highly recommend this book to all fans of good
    Historical Christian Fiction.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 20, 2014

    The Bed

    Creaks and starts cracking from the pressure.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 20, 2014

    Kevin

    Its up to you...

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 20, 2014

    Qwerty

    Qwerty

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 3, 2014

    Mark

    Good

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 12, 2014

    TO ALL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!READ THIS ITS IMPORTEND!!

    Hello people with the pokemon story please post your comments on it at love result 1 because with the way my nook app works only 10 comments can be posted before the first comment posted dissiperes so i havent been able to read cp5 and cp6. So please post comments on pokemon story on love result 1.Thank you :-) ;-) :-)

    0 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 9, 2014

    ....

    I still feel like i'm not expressing my feelings of this enough. YOU! ARE! ONLY! FOUR! YEARS! OLD! In this story and you have a mewtwo (who you can't find in the wild and who just simply can't be caught with a regular pojeball unless they have such a small amount of hp left it was a only a fraction of a hp) and a zorruark (i know i didn't spell it right)(who would't just immedaitly start teaching you it's language as soon as it sees you) My BIG issue about the pokemon: YOU CAN'T FIND THEM IN THE SAME REGION!!!!!! You are a pokemon noob and this story is a dissapointment. I feel sick (literally) when i read this. I connect to books, i feel character emotions and such. All i felt with this was mind-numbing sickening disgust. This us a disgrace to pokemon everywhere. Just my opinion. Now. On the upside. You are a fantastic writer! You may have msde the worst pokemon fanfic or story in general i have eve read but you are a great writer. I'm sorry if i come out like a bully because i don't want to. I just LOVE pokemon and the way you wrote about it....................well......just look up and re read the whole thing. Have a nice day!!!!!!! &#9786

    0 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 8, 2014

    Valeries story chapter 5

    It just hit me that zorroark wasnt back yet. Blaine looked at the scared expression on my face. Suddenly i heard a familiar cry for help. A voice that i knew couldnt be human. I looked up and i saw zorroark trapped in a cage being carried away from a huge flying airship! Zorroark was in panic i knew i had to get to it right away but how? I couldnt run that fast let alone fly but i had to think fast. Then i remembered jasons articuno. I ran over to jason nearly knocking nurse joy over and i searched through his pokeballs and finally found articuno. I let it out and whispered to it that i needed its help to rescue zorroark. It nodded and then i climbed onto the legendary ice bird pokemons back and told it to fly up to zorroarks kidnapper. After we reached zorroark i stood up and tried to unlock the cage but i didnt have anything i could use as a key. I could hear nurse joy and blaine screaming at me to sit down but i pretended i couldnt hear. Then i got an idea. We flew over to the airship and articuno and i landed on board. Everyone was dressed like that one person that i bumped into when i was looking for help. "Who dares enter team plasmas lair." I heard a tall man with green hair and a red spectacle say. He wore a large black coat touching the floor and in his hand he had a black staff with a red crystal ball on the top. I backed away against articuno. I had never been so scared in my life. The man saw my fear and gave me a smile but i could tell it was fake. "My name is ghetis" he said "i am the keader of team plasma" i told him that that was my zorroark he stole and i came to rescue it. He chuckled and said "Do you really think you can?" I nodded my head and got back onto articunos back. "I have a legendary pokemon that can beat you up" i said and i knew i was right articuno was awesome and could easily beat up ghetis. What he said next thew me he said "So you have a legendary pokemon well guess what" i said what then he replied "i have one too" i gasped...

    0 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 8, 2014

    Epicness

    I'm guessing it's Reshiram, Zekrom, Kyurem (or combo of afore mentioned), Genesect, or Arceus. Please don't leave me hangin'!

    0 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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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 15, 2014

    Unfortunate circumstances prompt dancing master Alex Valcourt to

    Unfortunate circumstances prompt dancing master Alex Valcourt to move from London to Beaworthy in the fall of 1816. After moving, Alex learns there is a ban on dancing in the small village. To support his mother and sister, he reluctantly secures a position as clerk for Lady Amelia Midwinter.

    Julia Midwinter is restless. She prefers horseback riding and flirting with young men to fitting into polite society. Lady Amelia has high expectations for her, as Julia is the sole heir to the Midwinter estate.

    Alex’s and Julia’s paths intersect more than Lady Amelia would like and the two become friends. As they both wrestle with new discoveries, Alex learns his past may affect his future. Julia finds her heritage contains unexpected fragments.

    The Dancing Master is a tale of friendships and secrets that held my attention from the start. I found myself nestled within the story, enjoying the characters while trying to solve the mysteries within.

    This story is a masterful example, in my opinion, of what good historical fiction should be. From a reader’s standpoint, I enjoyed it tremendously. From a writer’s perspective, I learned from and appreciated the depth of characters and the flow and layers of the plot.

    Klassen’s flair for realistic characters, engaging storyline, and rich detail rests on every page. The Dancing Master is a dance, an exquisite, perfectly timed tale of mystery, love, redemption, and forgiveness. It is one of the few books that I’d consider reading again someday.

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  • Posted February 12, 2014

    I don't know if I've said before, but I do not read historical f

    I don't know if I've said before, but I do not read historical fiction. I do not read Regency romance. I do not read Christian historical fiction or Regency romance. It is just not my thing. But there is just something about Julie Klassen and her books. I've read every. single. one. of her books, and I've loved all of them. The Dancing Master was no exception. 




    Julia is the daughter of the town's matriarch. She finds her mother to be strict, oppressive, and hiding way too many secrets for Julia's liking. Julia lashes out by being rebellious and reckless, and flirting with any man she can, trying to find someone who will take her away from this horrid place. Alec has moved to the tiny town of Beaworthy with his mother and sister when they were driven out of London by scandal. Except, he is a dancing master...and dancing is forbidden. Forbidden by none other than Julia Midwinter's mother, twenty years ago. 




    I will say, Julia is probably one of my least favorite main characters, out of all Klassen's novels. She was immature, reckless, spoiled, and bratty. She refused to listen to anyone, belittled her mother for petty reasons, and was all-around pretty selfish. She complains about how her life wasn't as perfect as it seemed, but it mainly seemed so because she made it that way, because she wanted people's attention. She seemed like a petulant child for most of the novel, even though she's older than most characters you might usually see in this position (19). That said, she wasn't a deal breaker for the book. I suppose all of it was necessary to show just how much she changes by the end of the book. (In my opinion, not much.)




    Because of this, I couldn't ever really figure out why Alec liked her so much. Alec himself wasn't too bad. I'll admit, he wasn't the most swoonworthy of Klassen's male lead characters, but he was noble. He was sweet and charming, although he could be a bit stuck-up, when it came to manual labor and such. (He's a gentleman after all.) 




    I did love the secondary characters a lot. Patience, James, and Walter Allen were among my favorites. (I want a book about one of them. I don't care which, just one of the Allen's. Or all of the Allen's. Write ALL the things!) I loved the friendship between them and Alec and Julia. I also loved how they were as a family, their parents included. I liked Ben and Tess Thorne and all the other townspeople. And of course, Alec's mother, and sister Aurora. Some of them weren't the most developed secondary characters I've ever read, but they were a lot of fun and kept a smile on my face.




    Lady Amelia, Julia's mother, was one of my favorites. I very much enjoyed the small scenes from her POV, as well as the flashbacks. They taught us so much more about the story. They also showed us that she isn't some overbearing, crazy strict mother as Julia would have us believe. She's been hurt by Julia nearly as much as Julia's been hurt by her. Not to mention, all the other hurt she's experienced in her life. Her and Julia may not act in the best way about their feelings, which is partially responsible for all the hurt that keeps piling up, but they eventually see the error of their ways and start fixing things between them.




    The plot itself was also very much well-written. The book is slightly long, and in places seemed to drag, but other than that, it was great. The secrets and mysteries surrounding the characters will keep you guessing. Although some of the "twists" were predictable, that didn't take away (much) when you actually found out the truth. And there are some twists that you won't see coming, that will not go as you thought it would.




    I will say, the religious aspect of this was sort of non-existent most of the way through, and then it was just...there. Slightly awkward placing, almost randomly. I feel that for it to have been more effective, it should have been immersed throughout the entire book.




    Even with its few faults, I loved this book just like all her other ones, and I would definitely recommend it to anyone who is loves historical or Regency romances, clean romance, or Christian romances.

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  • Posted February 12, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    A refreshing trip to the past.  I really enjoyed this book, and

    A refreshing trip to the past.  I really enjoyed this book, and had a hard time putting it down.  Klassen did her research and obviously knew what she was talking about.  I loved getting to know the characters, and was rooting for them the whole time.  It was nice to read a book where someone wasn't in love with their town, and wasn't in a hurry to get married.  The characters in this book had real problems, and grew while learning to deal with them.  The characters also learn to forgive, and that you should never jump to conclusions without hearing both sides of the story.  They are far from perfect which made them really easy to relate to.  I would recommend this book to anyone who loves historical romance.  

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  • Posted February 9, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    The Dancing Master is a well-written period piece. There is so

    The Dancing Master is a well-written period piece. There is so much of the story that you could spoil by sharing details, so I will suffice to say that the story had me laughing and crying and really feeling connected with the characters.

    I found that The Dancing Master has a nice pace, has strong, well developed characters that you can't help but enjoy and really pulls you in. Early on, you start to discover that some of the characters have interesting, unexpected back stories as you begin to uncover hints about their mysterious pasts. These nuggets keep you wanting to read so that you can learn more about what their history really is and how it has impacted not only them, but those around them. As you continue to read, you find that you are able to start to piece the puzzle together, but just as you think you have figured out the picture, a small piece will lead you to discover that the picture you were envisioning was not complete. The story is filled with drama and insights of character, love, pride, relationships, forgiveness, faith and more.

    This is a book that I would certainly recommend that you read, especially if you are a fan of period literature and the works of Jane Austen and her era.

    The Dancing Master is a stand alone work, as are the other books by Julia Klassen. I definitely would seek out and read more of her books based on my reading experience of The Dancing Master.

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  • Posted February 8, 2014

    It seems to me that there are various kinds of dancing in this s

    It seems to me that there are various kinds of dancing in this story by Julie Klassen. Many of the characters in Beaworthy are “dancing around” issues that need to be revealed, but kept secret. The character displaying the dominant leader in this dance is Lady Amelia Midwinter who due to some mysterious reason has banned dancing from the village of Beaworthy. This woman is rich in money, power and property; however quite impoverished from kindness and consideration in her heart. It was no wonder that her daughter, Julie was a mini-Amelia in her own sense. The emotional historical circumstances regarding these women lend credibility to why they lack in faith, love and depth of character.

    This writing of Ms.Klassen did not have the usual eloquent luster normally glowing brightly in her previous novels I have read. She is a master writer of the Regency era and seemed to tire of her story in spots before she reached its final conclusion. When I saw the beautiful cover of The Dancing Master, I eagerly began this read with expectation of personally relating to dance, having been trained as a performer in this enchanting art while young – it still fascinates me. However, at my age, the interest hasn’t waned, but the attempt to dance one step is precarious!

    Handsome Alec Valcourt, was a true dance and fencing master of the third generation in his family. Family tragedy through scandalous activity caused the disappearance of his father and left the family dancing school in ruins. Alec moved his mother and sister to Beaworthy to live with his uncle and the hope of finding employment in the Devonshire area. We meet other characters in this story that provide personality and wit. The author has provided many entertaining details to keep the mystery and romance alive. However, by the conclusion of the book, I felt unsettled for the lack of completion in some areas. It was difficult to remember who some of the characters were because of long periods of not learning more about them. Of course, I might add that the weaknesses Julie Klassen wrote into her characters are realistic and very human. There are transformations in hearts, and I especially liked Julie’s subtle scenes showing God’s grace and love through salvation in Christ. Of course, some of the characters were church goers, but they didn’t behave in a Christian manner on a daily basis. I did enjoy and was amused with the animals Julie created.

    There are some redeeming qualities in Ms. Klassen’s The Dancing Master; however I enjoyed The Apothecary’s Daughter, The Girl in the Gatehouse and The Tutor's Daughter more. This review will not end my admiration or enthusiastic following of Julie Klassen as I will certainly be looking forward to her next novel. God is not finished with what she can create next.

    TWJ Magazine strives to guide readers to books of personal interest, with the understanding and respect that what appeals to some may not appeal to others. Therefore we attempt to keep our reviews focused on content, genre and style. The rating is necessary to make use of Goodreads, B&N, and Amazon. It reflects the reviewer’s own level of enjoyment, but the review is intended to be informative for the benefit of all readers.


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

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