book review lesson after dark isabel cooper

Book Review: Lessons after Dark by Isabel Cooper

Series: Book 2 in the ‘Englefield’.

“Human nature, my dear, straining at gnats and swallowing camels. Lie boldly enough and a man will believe whatever you tell him. Look nervous and nobody will believe you if you say the sky is blue.” ~~ Isabel Cooper (Book: Lessons after Dark)

Once upon a time ago I got addicted to choosing these pocket size books from the library.

The cover art of these books, help them stand out of the crowd and so far the stories are good too.

So I picked ‘Lesson after Dark’ too. Let’s see how it turns out….

Genre: Paranormal-Historical Romance.

Main Characters: Olivia Brightmore, Dr. Gareth St. John.

‘Lessons after Dark by Isabel Cooper’ ~~ Synopsis:

Olivia, a widow with no means to support her, arrives at EngleField as a magic teacher. Despite being appointed, Olivia’s doubtful she’s got the teaching job.

Upon reaching the property, she’s happy to know she still has the job.

But there’s a small issue of Dr. Gareth St. John, who had met her before when she used to pose as medium to dupe people. She fears Gareth poses a threat to her new job position.

Gareth would have trusted anyone but not Olivia. He does not trust her or her claim to teach magic. He’s adamant on discussing the pros and the cons of hiring Olivia for the job with his friend-cum-owners of the school Simon Grenville and his wife.

But to Gareth’s surprise, his friends are aware of Olivia’s shady past.

Olivia has changed ever since finding out that there’s something like magic. And she did what she had to survive. But she can see Gareth wants to continue judging her based on her past actions.

She tries to make peace with his attitude. As she can’t do much about changing his mind towards her, but she can focus on her job.

Gareth on the other hand decides to keep an eye on Olivia’s teaching methods. So what if their employers trust her? He knows too much about her to trust her and that too around children with powers. Who knows what kind of tricks she’d teach?

After observing Olivia teach children for a while, Gareth discovers to two things: first she’s a dedicated and well-informed teacher. Second, he’s getting attracted towards her. The latter knowledge is an entanglement he does not want in his life.

Soon they find it difficult to avoid their growing attraction to each other. While on the other hand an ancient demon is threatening to come out of its hiding.

The demand of the time is that Olivia & Gareth leave their differences and work together to beat the demon. 


It took me some time to like the story and the characters. There are scenes that made me wonder what they are talking about.

So I did some research and it turns out ‘Lessons after Dark’ is the second book in the ‘Englefield’ series.

The pace of the story is slow and sometimes it feels it’s not moving much.

The school in the story is almost like the X-Men academy. It’s an exciting premise, but I didn’t like the secondary characters much especially the students.

I was expecting them to create trouble as after a while it’s clear the adults have no intention of creating much trouble.

Then there’s a small issue of it being a second installment and sometimes you want to know more about Simon and Joan.

I liked the conflict between Gareth and Olivia but their romance is cold. The characters don’t have the necessary chemistry to make their romance believable. Their chemistry does not develop as the story progresses.

I’m blaming it on Gareth and his inability to move on. By the time he moves on, it’s too late and does not come across as intended. And of course, there’s another small matter of when and under what circumstances they had met before.

I feel it should have been explained a little in this book too. Maybe there’s a mention of their brief meeting in the first installment ‘No Proper Lady.’

Actually, this aspect made it very difficult for me to understand why he’s nursing such a powerful hurt/distrust of Olivia. Okay, I got it that she probably duped him. But I need to know the details.

The paranormal aspect isn’t that exciting either. There are demons yet all of it lost my interest. Something that rarely happens.

Chances are this one is one of those books you should read only after reading the first installment in the series.

I can’t go back now. But probably would search for the ‘No proper lady’ in the library.

“There will be times when you make the wrong decision. There will be times when there’s no right decision.” ~~ Isabel Cooper (Book: Lessons after Dark)

Hit Or Miss: OK.

Ratings: 2.5 stars/5.

Buy:  Amazon iTunes

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Priyanka Sharma

Writer, Blogger | Book Reviewer | Artist |

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