Thursday, January 23, 2014

The Dancing Master by Julie Klassen Litfuse Blog Tour

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.

Purchase a copy:
About the author: 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 is a three-time Christy Award winner and a 2010 Midwest Book Award winner for Genre Fiction. Julie and her husband have two sons and live in a suburb of St. Paul, Minnesota.

Learn more about Julie at:
Landing page: 
My thoughts:
I enjoyed participating in this Litfuse Blog tour and stepping back in time.  I know many people are very into Jane Austin, but somehow I have never really gotten into her books.  I was worried that that might detract from my enjoyment of this book, but it did not.  It actually made me think that perhaps I should give Jane Austin a chance again.
The pacing of this book is different than I am used to.  It moved along at a bit of a slower clip, not in a bad way, but in an unhurried meander through the lives of Alec Valcourt, who moved to the small village with his mother and sister to live with his uncle after closing the family dancing academy after his father had gone, and Julia Midwinter, heiress of the wealthiest family who is lonely and feels shut up in this area where dancing has been forbidden for the last twenty years.
Both Alec and Julia learn more about themselves, their character and their resiliency as they reach impasse after impasse with their families, the community and for Alec with his desire to open a dancing school in the village.  There is an assortment of colorful characters on hand from bullies to outlaws who liven this story up from beginning to end.
Sometimes we have to trust that our path has been laid out for us for a reason and we have to travel our way along it trusting that there is a purpose and a meaning.  The character who is most at peace with God's plan is a man who left the village in scandal twenty years ago, but has never stopped trusting and loving and believing.

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