The Dancing Master by Julie Klassen {Book Review and #Giveaway}

by Jennifer Donovan

5M4B disclosure

the dancing masterI enjoy the occasional historical fiction novel, and am a fan of Jane Austen’s wit and characters. Julie Klassen is too, and her novel The Dancing Master perfectly fits this genre.

Fans of the Jane Austen Regency period, or even the World War I Downton Abbey setting, will enjoy the peek into life on the country estates in Devonshire England.

Young Alex Valcourt moves to the country with his sister and his mother. They move in with his uncle when his father’s death forces them out of London. There seems to be some sort of scandal in regards to his death, but Alex is confident that he can take his place as the man of the family, earning money as a dancing and fencing master as he did in London. However, when he begins to make inquiries, he finds that Lady Amelia, the village matriarch, has prohibited dancing. The reader isn’t sure why, but knows it has something to do with the death of her brother and sister twenty years before.

Her daughter Julia notices Alex and he notices her. Lady Amelia offers him a job as clerk on her estate when he discovers that he can’t get work. She wants to keep him away from her daughter and to remove his incentive to encourage dancing.

Julia and Alex try to figure out their attraction to each other, which intensifies as Julia uncovers secrets about her family and Alex comes to terms with his own past. A mysterious man who has returned to town with a past of his own helps them each as they deal with their histories.

This book was slightly slow to get started, but once I got to know the characters, I was glad to experience the story as it slowly unfolded.

Enter to Win and Get Social

Find out more about Julie Klassen at her website. See what others think about the book at the Litfuse tour page. Participate in a live chat with Julie Klassen on January 23. RSVP now.

Follow the instructions below to enter to win your own copy.



Email Author    |    Website About Jennifer Donovan

Jennifer Donovan has been a part of the 5 Minutes for Mom team since 2007. She writes product reviews, covers events, and manages the 5 Minutes for Books weekly column and website. She lives in Houston and blogs at Snapshot about life with her family.

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{ 50 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Prairie Wife January 6, 2014 at 9:31 am

I love Historical fiction (and Downton Abbey), this books looks like a great read for me!

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2 DEBIJOT January 6, 2014 at 10:15 am

I also love Jane Austin books – a book of that genre sounds great.

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3 anne January 6, 2014 at 11:22 am

This historical sounds captivating and special. thanks.

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4 Amyc January 6, 2014 at 12:43 pm

Anything by Julie Klassen is interesting to me!

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5 Stephanie January 6, 2014 at 5:54 pm

I love historical fiction and this story sounds like a great book to read!

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6 angie January 6, 2014 at 9:57 pm

historical fiction has always been interested I love to study history and when it is written where the story is set in history and the life of a character becomes very interesting for me

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7 Beth S January 6, 2014 at 10:12 pm

I really enjoy reading historical fiction, so this book has caught my eye.

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8 shelly leatham January 7, 2014 at 2:40 am

I love historical romances and this period is one of my favorites!
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9 Barbara H. January 7, 2014 at 3:46 pm

I’ve seen this around and wondered about it – thanks for the opportunity to perhaps win it!
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10 Julie January 7, 2014 at 5:47 pm

This sounds like a great book!

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11 Tammy Gordon January 7, 2014 at 6:57 pm

I enjoy historical fiction.

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12 Shannon Baas January 7, 2014 at 9:03 pm

I love a variety of book.s

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13 Heather B January 7, 2014 at 10:14 pm

I have always enjoyed historical fiction books

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14 leilani January 8, 2014 at 10:32 am

i love julie klassen and this new book sounds great.

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15 danielle lima January 8, 2014 at 6:00 pm

I love Historical Romances

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16 beth shepherd January 8, 2014 at 10:06 pm

I like to read historical romances.

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17 Denise m January 9, 2014 at 11:46 pm

i love the time period, watching Downton Abbey right now

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18 Liz January 10, 2014 at 4:04 pm

This is pretty much like every book I read or show/movie I watch!

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19 riTa January 11, 2014 at 2:24 pm

Because of it’s connection to the worlds of both Jane Austen and Downton Abbey.
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20 Ginny January 11, 2014 at 6:52 pm

I read & enjoyed Klassen’s book Lady of Milkweed Manor, so I’d love to check out this one too.
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21 Adrienne January 11, 2014 at 8:12 pm

I like to read historical fiction.

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22 Amelia Drew January 12, 2014 at 5:18 pm

I love historical fiction as well as trying new authors!

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23 Daniel M January 13, 2014 at 10:08 pm

me mom loves all jane austin bet she’d like this one too

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24 Jen Thomas January 15, 2014 at 12:22 pm

I love historical fictions and this sounds interesting!

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25 lisa January 17, 2014 at 7:42 am

love historical fiction books. looks great!

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26 Les Johnson January 17, 2014 at 4:09 pm

The story sounds amazing and I love the historical era.

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27 Sharon January 17, 2014 at 8:42 pm

because i am a fan of the author’s work. i loved her book about the apothecary’s daughter!

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28 Lilith Katz January 17, 2014 at 8:48 pm

I enjoy reading historical fiction

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29 Ashley January 17, 2014 at 11:02 pm

I like reading historical fiction.

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30 Hannah Peasha January 18, 2014 at 1:42 am

Julie Klassen is one of my favorite authors!

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31 Karen Drake January 18, 2014 at 11:09 am

I love historical fiction and I think I would enjoy this book a lot.

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32 Allison January 18, 2014 at 12:08 pm

Historical fiction is quite enjoyable when I have the time to read something.

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33 Michele C January 18, 2014 at 12:48 pm

Historical fictions are one of my favorite books to read.

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34 susan smoaks January 18, 2014 at 5:15 pm

this would be a great book for me to read one lazy weekend. it sounds fantastic.

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35 Brandy Davis January 18, 2014 at 7:27 pm

The fact that it is historical fiction.

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36 cassandra mccann January 18, 2014 at 10:08 pm

I love reading historical fiction and would love to win this
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37 Susan P. January 19, 2014 at 12:10 am

I am a fan of Jane Austen, Downton Abbey and historical fiction so I think I would enjoy this book.

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38 Ann Barham January 19, 2014 at 12:36 am

I really like historical fiction.

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39 Karen Gonyea January 19, 2014 at 8:13 am

I love this genre of books :)

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40 Danielle Jones January 19, 2014 at 8:39 am

I have always been a fan of amish romance books and now i’m starting to branch off to historical fiction. I’m loving the elegance of past times romance. This book looks like a good read and I love the cover.

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41 april yedinak January 19, 2014 at 10:43 am

Because I love books set in this time period.

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42 lauren January 19, 2014 at 12:10 pm

Love historical romances

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43 Anita Yancey January 19, 2014 at 12:23 pm

I love historical fiction and the characters in this story sound wonderful. Thanks for having the giveaway.

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44 Misha Estrada January 19, 2014 at 12:29 pm

I love books of this time period.

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45 Shari Klyn January 19, 2014 at 1:49 pm

It doesn’t matter what kind of book it is, I love to read!

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46 Jane H January 19, 2014 at 4:04 pm

Nothing like a good romance on a cold winter night. Thank you for introducing me to this one.

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47 heather c January 19, 2014 at 4:55 pm

Key Work: Jane Austen. Big fan of anything resembling her work.

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48 Buddy Garrett January 19, 2014 at 5:01 pm

I love reading books set in this era in England.

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49 Nancy January 19, 2014 at 6:27 pm

I like books of this time period.

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50 Renee G January 19, 2014 at 6:56 pm

This sounds great. I love reading historical fiction.

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