Hello, it’s Karen again, and I’m late, again. This time by a whole week… 😦 Sorry! I really need to work on that. lol. But I do believe I will be writing posts on Saturdays instead of Fridays from now on. Just easier to do. This week I’m reviewing an old and favorite author, Julie Klassen. She is, without a doubt, a wonderful author of the regency era. I first read her years ago, and have been reading her ever since. Her recent book, The Dancing Master is a find example of her abilities as an author, and one that I had a great amount of pleasure reading.
I have to admit, I do love a good regency. But I have to say, I am a little disappointed with a lot of regency. Most seem simplistic in their story-lines, the usual focus on etiquette, women needing to find a husband, that sort of thing, which is a trademark of regency, but some leave it there. There really isn’t conflict, and a good story needs at least some sort of conflict. That is where Julie Klassen is amazing. She incorporates the classic elegance, civility, and etiquette, with a good dose of tension and mystery. In The Dancing Master, she shows her special touch when introducing us to Alec, a dancing and fencing master who had to flee London with his family after a scandal. But what that scandal was isn’t clear, and the author loves to tease what that mystery could be. But unfortunately, he finds himself in a town where dancing, his main trade, is forbidden. In a world where dancing is an essential social grace, it is very disconcerting to find himself in the one town that doesn’t have it. But why the matriarch of the village has forbidden it is anyone’s guess, and no one’s answer. But her daughter, Julia, has other ideas, and dreams of being able to dance in grand balls. When Alec arrives, she thinks that she can finally be free to follow that dream. But how can either of them pursue dance in a village where it’s prohibited? Could they finally put to rest a mystery long held by secrets? And are the feelings they’re developing for each other a hindrance, or a taste of what love feels like? Well woven with imagery of England’s countryside, this story brings to life an age long gone. The characters have so much depth, it’s hard not to fall for them all. The description is fantastic, pulling you into the old manors and dancing rooms. And the story is engaging, with just enough mystery to pull you along, dying to find out ‘why’, just waiting ’til you’re hooked to let you in on its secret. This is definitely a book I’d recommend, although, I could say that about all the author’s works.
Interested? You can learn more about the author through her website and Facebook. And if you’re interested in the book, you can get it for your Kindle, NOOK, or a paperback version at your local bookstore.