Thursday, January 9, 2014

book review: "the dancing master" by julie klassen

     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?

I've read a few of Julie's other books and liked both the title and cover of this newest book. I liked the Valcourts - and the relationship between Alec and his sister - and some of the other secondary characters but didn't really connect with Julia. I had a hard time getting through the book...until about chapter fifteen or so. I feel like that's when things started to pick up and questions started having answers. Julie surprised me with a few twists and charming scenes but overall, not one of my of favorite stories - it just felt slow to me. I thought the town of Beaworthy sounded lovely and I couldn't help but imagine the sight of everyone dancing on May Day as I read the final pages. Even though the Epilogue didn't address it, I'd like to think that Amelia and John Desmond - spoiler alert - did eventually marry, thus making him Julia's father...finally :) Though I wasn't immediately pulled into the story, The Dancing Master ended up being a pretty good read. 

I received a copy of this book from Litfuse Publicity for my honest review. You can learn more about the book by clicking here

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