Everyday Tidbits...

Be Kind. Do Good. Love is a Verb.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

The Dancing Master...Review

About the book:
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.

Stretch the imagination and reality and think modern-day (the original movie is my favorite) Footloose set in Regency England. Alec Valcourt, needing to move his family out of London and away from scandal, finds himself in a small Devonshire village. Hoping to open a dance studio, he discovers that dancing in the village is prohibited. When he meets Julia, the daughter of the manor house, he quickly forms an attachment, but the lady of the manor doesn't like dancing masters.

The story moves along well with a balance of romance and intrigue.  As Alec and Julia try and discover her mother's secret, Julia learns answers to questions about her own life.  Alec is determined to open his own dancing academy, regardless of what Lady Midwinter thinks.

Alec is likeable enough and Julia starts out selfish and spoiled and a bit whiny although she does improve.  The supporting characters are what make this novel.  The Allen siblings are terrific and need their own book. I loved John Desmond.  The Wilcox brothers are ridiculous, but every story needs its villains.

I was slightly disappointed in the ending/epilogue as I would have liked to see more closure for Aurora and John and James, Walter and Patience, but the story is resolved nicely.

When I started reading again after a hiatus, I reached for the latest Julie Klassen story sitting in my TBR stack. I have enjoyed her novels in the past and while this one won't become a favorite, it was enjoyable.

Thanks to Litfuse Publicity for the opportunity to review this book.  You can learn more about Julie Klassen here.  You can see other reviews and tour stops here.  You can purchase your own copy here.

Read 1/14

* * *
3/5 Stars

No comments:

Post a Comment