Cheri Reviews Walking the Labyrinth by Lois Cloarec Hart

When I was sent a copy of Walking the Labyrinth, put out by Ylva Publishing, I was very intrigued by the description. I’ll share it here for you.

Is there life after loss? Lee Glenn, co-owner of a private security company, didn’t think so. Crushed by grief after the death of her wife, she uncharacteristically retreats from life.

But love doesn’t give up easily. After her friends and family stage a dramatic intervention, Lee rejoins the world of the living, resolved to regain some sense of normalcy but only half-believing that it’s possible. Her old friend and business partner convinces her to take on what appears on the surface to be a minor personal protection detail.

The assignment takes her far from home, from the darkness of her loss to the dawning of a life reborn. Along the way, Lee encounters people unlike any she’s ever met before: Wrong-Way Wally, a small-town oracle shunned by the locals for his off-putting speech and mannerisms; and Wally’s best friend, Gaëlle, a woman who not only translates the oracle’s uncanny predictions, but who also appears to have a deep personal connection to life beyond life. Lee is shocked to find herself fascinated by Gaëlle, despite dismissing the woman’s exotic beliefs as “hooey.”

But opening yourself to love also means opening yourself to the possibility of pain. Will Lee have the courage to follow that path, a path that once led to the greatest agony she’d ever experienced? Or will she run back to the cold comfort of a safer solitary life?

That really does sum up the book pretty well. There were a few things that made me want to read this book. The main characters were older, Lee had experienced the type of loss that scares the crap out of me, and there’s some mysticism mixed in there, too. And, overall, I wasn’t disappointed. The first half or so of the book is dealing the the assignment that takes Lee away from home and gives her and Gaëlle the opportunity to develop their friendship. The second half of the book was, for me, much more engaging and interesting. Although, I do admit to shedding a few tears in the first chapter.

There were a couple of things that pulled me out of the story a bit but they’re probably not things that most people will care about. I’m pretty picky about dialogue and some of the conversations felt more scripted than natural. They still allowed me to connect with and learn about the characters so, again, it’s likely not to be a big deal to anyone other than folks who focus strongly on conversational exchanges. The only other thing I want to mention that bothered me is that the group of characters that are in their very early 30’s seemed to be closer to 16 in their actions and speech. At first I thought it was just one character but then there was a whole group of them and they all seemed to have the mentality and emotional responses of teenagers. It just didn’t ring true to me. But, again, that’s in the first half of the book and I quickly forgot about them once they were gone.

Overall, I liked the book and think that lovers of romance novels – particularly folks looking for older protagonists and/or mysticism – will enjoy it, too.

Click here to download a sample or to purchase Walking the Labyrinth

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