Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Review: Lessons After Dark, by Isabel Cooper

Title: Lessons After Dark
Author: Isabel Cooper
Publisher: Sourcebooks
Genre: Historical Paranormal Romance
Publication date: 1st April 2012
Source: review copy from publisher via NetGalley

Description: For years, Gareth St. John put his supernatural talent for healing in service to the British Army. Now he’s the doctor at a very unusual new school that helps people with special “talents” learn how to hone their abilities. Olivia Brightmore became a fake medium to support herself after her husband died, but she never expected to discover real magic as the school’s newest teacher. Olivia tries to keep the handsome doctor at arm’s length, but she can’t resist the urge to get under his skin.

He’s no proper gentleman, but she’s no honest woman.

My thoughts: I had no idea from the description that this story took place in a historical setting, but luckily I had no problem with it. It's set in one of my favourite time periods - late 1800s England. Olivia turns up at the school not really sure what to expect, but knowing she doesn't really have much choice in her current circumstances, and that it could be the lifeline she needs to a respectable, more stable life.

Whatever else it might be, her new job certainly isn't normal, as Olivia spends her first afternoon coaxing a young girl down from the ceiling, where she's floated to and got stuck. Unfortunately while she impresses the pupils and the couple who run the little 'school', Olivia's early meetings with Gareth don't go very well, and he is convinced she's a fraud because of her previous job.

As the story unfolds, Gareth and Olivia gradually come to trust each other, and despite wanting to shake each of them a couple of times, their relationship was realistic as it developed and they worked through things both individually together. It was really interesting to see the various magical abilities that the children had, too. The world building was very believable, and although there are some magical elements, they are carefully fitted in to the world of the late 1800s, kept quiet for the most part.

Although this is the second book in the series, it was fine to pick up without having read the first one. I really enjoyed it, and I will definitely look for the other books in the series as they are written. I would definitely recommend this book, and I give it 8 out of 10.


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