When I finished Conquering Venus by local author and friend of BGB, Collin Kelly, (see my review here) I remember thinking I couldn’t wait for the second novel in this trilogy. But a couple years have passed and I asked myself “Do I really have time for the second book, Remain In Light, when frankly, how could it be better than the first one?” Two weeks before leaving on my own Parisian journey, I figured what the heck. I settled right in and immediately felt comfortable and thrilled to be back with my friends Martin, Diane and Irene.
Remain In Light opens three years after the end of Conquering Venus with Martin living in Paris with Irene on rue Rampon. I was happy to see that the former agoraphobic Irene, is now able to leave her apartment and join the world. YAY! And is Martin over David? Well, not quite. But Diane is restless in America and returns to Paris to join them. Before leaving however, she is confronted by David’s psycho parents and learns that David is back in Paris – another reason for her to cross the ocean – to protect Martin.
Once Diane lands on rue Rampon, she settles into her hotel and lands a job with Martin’s unsatisfying neighbor/beau. Irene’s hope for continuing the normal routine of the past three years has vanished as strange events begin to occur. While in London for Princess Diana’s funeral, Irene’s apartment is robbed, she spots a private detective spying on her from the Bel Aire Hotel, and her own private detective suddenly has some clues for her about the man she’s been searching for. It could be just a coincidence that everything is happening at the same time, but there is no such thing as coincidence.
Irene’s 30 year search for the truth behind the death of her late husband, and Martin’s recent meeting of beautiful boy Christian intertwine and connect in ways I didn’t suspect (I tried to guess though). Without being obvious about it or making me feel stupid, Mr. Kelly does a great job bringing up events from the first book so he can wrap them up in this novel.
The greatest quote in the story comes at a point that I can’t mention because I would reveal too much, but not only are they words of advice for us all, but may just set Martin up for the third book:
“Try to be hapy Martin,…People deserve second chances, Remain in light; don’t dwell in darkness.”
Mr. Kelly did it again for me with Remain In Light and yes, I look forward to catching up with Martin, Irene and Diane in the final installment. Would you understand Remain In Light without reading Conquering Venus? Why try? Read them both.