Monday, March 31, 2014

The Dancing Master by Julie Klassen

The Dancing Master


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.

My Opinion:

A spectacular read that brought unlikely and unique conflicts to the front of my mind, making me aware that anything can happen!

I highly doubt that Julie meant to do this but the book was a unique twist between a Jane Austen movie and Footloose in my opinion, which I found quite interesting. When I received this book in the mail I was excited, but after days went by and I still hadn't started it I started second guessing the book. I thought in my head, "The Dancing Master? Really? What kind of plot can be behind that?" So, you can see that I went into this book against it, not having high hopes. I thought it was going to end up being unintentionally comical.

However, this book went beyond expectation. (In a good way!) I was shocked by how much this book entranced me and I didn't want to put it down. This was a "stay up all night until my eyes couldn't take it anymore read", and I didn't regret it.

The characters were well built, all with their own flaws and imperfections, but good intentions. Of course, in every book you're going to come across those characters you love to hate, and you won't have any problem finding them in this book. But you will also come across characters that you so badly want to hate but can't.

This book was dedicated to a personal dancing instructor of Julie Klassen's and I am so happy that she didn't just dedicate the story to this woman, but indirectly incorporated her in it.

If I was to change anything about this book, i would have added more about Lady Amelia and Mr. Desmond's pasts. We get a couple briefs glimpses, enough to understand why they are important, but not enough to satisfy. These two were definitely mysterious and intriguing characters, I wish I would have been able to delve deeper into their backgrounds.

Rating: 5 Stars

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