Saturday, February 15, 2014

Book Review - The Dancing Master

The Dancing Master 

By Julie Klassen

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.  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.

For more info on The Dancing Master, click here.

Disclaimer: I received this review copy free from Bethany House. The opinions expressed are my honest assessment.

What are you reading this weekend?



  1. Sounds like all of the reasons why I love historical fiction! Thanks for the wonderful insight into The Dancing Master!

    I'm reading A Sky without Stars--one of the Quilts of Love books (Abbingdon)! So far so good. :)

    Bless you!!

  2. Amigo, this looks like a book written just for me. (The horseback riding) :-) Flitting about in polite society was never me either. Of course, I wasn't an heir. Julia sounds like a very fascinating character. I'll order it. Seems gripping and intriguing. Thanks, my friend. I always trust your reviews. xoxo

  3. Cheryl,
    You are welcome! You just might like it. :) Sounds like you are working on a good read too!

    I think you would enjoy this one. Horses do play into the plot. Although there is one teeny sad spot about a horse. Thanks for your kind faith in me!


  4. Sounds intriguing, Karen, and I love the cover, too. I have at least a half dozen books on the table near my bed and read snippits of several. Kind of like a book smorgasbord! Hope your Sunday is delightful. Susan

  5. Wow, great review. You've certainly got me interested in this book. I enjoy stories about romance and friendship--what gal doesn't? ;-)

    That's a beautiful book cover, too.

    Thank you for the book recommendation. Happy Sunday!

  6. Thank you for the review, and your always encouraging work for authors.
    Sadly, I am not reading anything this weekend (heresy!!). Mostly Olympics and starting to get together paperwork for the dreaded taxes.

    Have a good Sunday :)

  7. Hi Karen,

    Thoughtful review! I'm in the middle of reading another one of Julie's books, The Tutor's Daughter. She's one of my favorite authors.

    God bless,
    Susan :)

  8. Great review. This sounds right up my alley. Thanks, Karen!

  9. I am reading "The Wedding" by Nicholas Sparks. It is a follow up to "The Notebook." I put down a book by Stormie O' Martian, enitled "Lead Me, Holy Spirit"

    1. I enjoyed reading you review.I have found I like the historical novels.

  10. I like the angle with the ban on dancing and it seems like interesting things unfold here.

  11. Susan,
    The cover is lovely, isn't it? I too, have a large stack of books to read, fiction and non fiction. :)

    You just might like this one too. :) When I read it, I was in need of a break and this was a big help.

    Thank you for your kind words. :) I don't think that reading is as requirement for the weekend, but it sure is more fun than taxes! Lol

    Susan R.,
    I enjoyed that book as well. She's one of my favorite authors too. :) Thanks a bunch!

    You are welcome! If you do read it, I hope you enjoy it. :)

    Glad you enjoyed the review. Historical fiction is my favorite! :)

    I liked that angle too. It created ongoing conflict which was great.

    Happy reading,

  12. I don't recall reading any HF about a dancing master, so this book grabbed me because of the unique story line. I am a fan of HF and will definitely be reading this one. Thanks for sharing. :)

  13. Jess,
    I enjoyed it a lot. You just might too. Thanks for coming by!


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