Alec Valcourt was a third generation Dancing Master, a profession of those who taught essential social graces for ladies and gentlemen hoping to make a “good match” in Regency England. After falling from grace because of the actions of his father, he moved his mother and sister to Beaworthy in Devonshire to live with his mother’s brother. His hopes of employment as a Dancing Master were dashed when he discovered that dancing was unofficially banned by the village matriarch.
Both romance and mystery, “The Dancing Master” would have been better if the author could have chosen one or the other. As mysteries go, it didn’t. There was some intrigue in the beginning but the plot moved too slowly and went on too long. As a romance, the story was predictable. Boy meets girl. Girl is beautiful but out of boy’s social class. They fall in love but neither wants to admit it to the other because they are aware of the societal fall-out. Then, the plot thickens, as they sometimes say.
Julie Klassen knows how to tell a story as she proved so eloquently in “The Tutor’s Daughter”. Even though Alec Valcourt’s character was likable, I found I didn’t particularly like his love interest, Julia Midwinter, who seemed to be spoiled and entitled. Often pushing the limits of her mother’s patience, I found myself growing quite impatient with her as well. In my opinion, Klassen should have found a way to limit her 422 page book to 300 pages. After chapter 20, it became a chore to finish. I really wanted to like this book.
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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Litfuse Publicity Group, as part of their Book Review Blogger Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”