When Marcus Foxworth survives a plane crash that other passengers do not, he finds himself a changed man. He retires from his cutthroat business and takes his wealth to the verdant countryside of Limousin, France. Along with his trusty PA, Cade, Marcus sets about making a new life for himself around the quietness of village life. It’s a chance to reconnect with his French roots and begin using the money he has spent so many years acquiring.
But aside from adjusting to his abrupt lifestyle change, Marcus finds himself confronted by nosy neighbors, an exuberant hound, and a troublesome ghost. Marcus and Cade must decide if the warmth of this strange new world is worth the chaos or if they’ve made a terrible decision.
The Limousine Voyager starts off with an excellent premise and has a ridiculously enjoyable cast of secondary characters, but becomes tangled in an unnecessary Scooby Doo-like paranormal mystery and a pair of uninspired romances. Limousin (yes this is correct so why the word Limousine is used in the title I don’t know – its probably a joke I’m missing) is a region in France and our main character Marcus has a familial connection to the place. So once he survives his near death experience, he is drawn to the site in hopes of finding himself. The story skips over the six months following the accident, during which time Marcus is reinvented, and I wish it wouldn’t have. This abrupt time shift disrupts the narrative and we’re left never quite knowing who Marcus really is. But his character is well rounded and engaging despite this. Cade seems like an unnecessary appendage and while he doesn’t weaken the story, I’m not sure he adds anything either. The writing here is generally good. It does occasionally read as somewhat stiff and awkward and while those moments are annoying, they don’t detract in any meaningful way from the wider work.
The real joy of The Limousine Voyager is the village of Lamberet. From the effusive and devoted mayor who accidentally runs his cat over with a lawn mower, to the local housekeeper and white witch who tries to help Marcus with his ghost problem, the people of Lamberet are wildly original and utterly French. They are unique and familiar all at once and feel very much like close friends from the beginning of the book to the end. Add to this the descriptions of the countryside itself and you have an almost poignant sense of time and place.
I’m not sure, given the already complex plot, why the author felt The Limousine Voyager needed a ghost, but it didn’t. From the start this particular subplot cluttered the narrative and failed to add anything to the wider action. Instead it offers a convoluted and rather boring way to let Marcus to discover information about his family. Perhaps the most frustrating aspect of this book is the lack of believable romance. Both Marcus and Cade find lovers, but their interactions are formulaic and unyielding, completely devoid of passion. I had zero connection to either Fabian or Guillahume and neither relationship felt particularly realized — there was potential, but none of it was ever obtained.
The Limousine Voyager has a strong array of characters that draw readers in from the first page. The setting and generally strong writing go far to make a positive impression. Unfortunately a rather silly paranormal subplot and two apathetic romances prevent this from being an excellent book.