Friday, January 17, 2014

Review of Julie Klassen’s “The Dancing Master,” giveaway, and “All Things Jane” webcast 1/23!

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.

My review: I really enjoyed this well-written and unique story!  I have never really thought about the men who taught ladies and gentlemen how to dance, much less how important it was for obtaining a good match since they needed to be seen at balls and able to dance well.  I also had no idea that they also taught fencing!  I loved the characters, from rebellious Julia to noble Alec and all of the wonderful secondary characters that filled out the story so nicely.  I found the story amusing as Julia was quite witty and Walter a bit clumsy, so there was a good mixture of different types of humor.  The struggles of Julia and Alec are timeless ones, with trying to find their place in the world as they become adults and Alec wondering if he should try to do what he loves or take a job that's more stable.  Julia struggles with not really feeling loved, so she looks for it in inappropriate places and goes about it in the wrong way.  I also liked the glimpses we get into Lady Amelia's inner life and her side of things in her relationship with her daughter, Julia.  This story reminded me of the movie, Footloose, with a whole town forbidden to dance, but for slightly different reasons.  I highly recommend this story!

I received a free copy of this book from Litfuse Publicity in exchange for an honest review.

More reviews here!

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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:
Best-selling author Julie Klassen will be hosting a Kindle Fire HDX giveaway and a live webcast event (1/23) to celebrate the release of her latest novel, The Dancing Master. Enter and RSVP today!

  One winner will receive:
  • A Kindle Fire HDX
  • The Dancing Master by Julie Klassen
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on January 23rd. Winner will be announced at the "All Things Jane (from Austen to Eyre)" Live Webcast Event on January 23rd. Connect with Julie for an evening of book chat, trivia, laughter, and more! Julie will also be taking questions from the audience and giving away books, Jane Austen DVDs, fun "Jane" merchandise, and gift certificates throughout the evening.

So grab your copy of The Dancing Master and join Julie and friends on the evening of January 23rd for a chance to connect and make some new friends. (If you haven't read the book, don't let that stop you from coming!)

Don't miss a moment of the fun; RSVP today by signing up for a reminder. Tell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 23rd!

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