Publisher: Magic Hour Press

Released: September 20, 2017

Genre: Romance Literary Fiction, Psychological/Sociological Fiction

TRUE GRANDEUR is the tale of Conrad Arlington, a young man who moves to Los Angeles to pursue his dream of becoming a great artist. Within a few short years of his arrival, Conrad’s success as a writer brings him to the attention of Gracie Garrison, a beautiful and alluring socialite whose glamorous lifestyle is just as mysterious as the rumors that surround her. After spending a spirited and adventurous night on the town together – one fueled by an excess of beautiful people, extravagant parties, gallery openings, and the madness of a fallen director – Conrad ultimately falls in love with her, believing them to be destined. However, when he awakens the next morning to find that Gracie is gone, he is distraught, and thus embarks on his relentless journey to find her, resulting in a tumultuous spiral of passion, art, and romance as he searches his soul to try and uncover the greatest mystery of all – true love.

At its core, True Grandeur is not just a love story, but rather an in-depth study on contemporary romanticism, of how ideals shape one’s need for individuality and importance, and of how sociological factors such as fame, wealth, and social class contribute to one’s ability to receive – or not receive – true love. It’s a story of what it means to feel deeply, and attempts to accurately illustrate the internal progression of feeling that is the artist’s journey.

Her eyes did not pull from me but burrowed ever deeper into my soul, and I could feel the moment at hand. I had it! It was right in front of me. This was my chance. She was looking at me, studying me, waiting for me to connect, waiting for me to do something dear and beautiful and true. Oh the simplicity of it. Her marvelous face, her beautiful eyes, if only I could look at them. If only I could look deep into them and shut my mouth right there and kiss her! But every time I tried my mind would dance away, and my eyes would float to the walls, or the ceiling, or the floor, or some other despicable place not meant for eyes with such true intention. She tried with all her might to pull me to her, but my wretched pride wouldn’t have it, and I could feel the inner turmoil of my nature waging war against the self-destructive tendencies that were my other half.

In the life of luxury and fame, who determines who makes the cut and who doesn’t? True Grandeur by Cal Barnes is vividly wicked and sinfully courageous at the same time. This book will leave readers to think about the underlying message within. With such depth and passion for his characters, Barnes reflects an enigmatic ability to captivate and awe the reader into reading the tale of Conrad Arlington.

Conrad has moved to Los Angeles to pursue his dreams. He is destined to create great work of art, moving pieces that will touch the lives of those around him. Conrad has managed to get his foot into the door, but then she happens. The one who stops his heart and quickens it at the same time. Gracie Garrison, a blonde haired beauty, with tons of spirit and no commitments tying her down. She glides in and takes the stage during one of his auditions and that is when he decides that true love may very well be the ultimate price to pay for his work. That is until—she disappears as quickly as she’s come into his life.

Through Conrad’s eyes, the reader is able to see passion, vigor, lust, resentment, and desperation, and grief as Barnes shares the extent of what a life in Hollywood could be condemned to. At times, one can even state that it may be an overload of sensory aspects and emotion that can be felt. This story is not just one of romance and true love, but it is purely psychological as well. Barnes sheds light on the need for his characters to find their individuality through a world of cruel and unfair odds. It is sociological and represents the masterpiece as Conrad himself instead of his work as his personality forms over the course of the story. The novel is written quite well, with little to no errors and the pace is nice and quick. The characters are well developed, while still remain mysterious and alluring. If you are a reader of romance literary fiction and psychological fiction, you may want to pick this one up for a quick read.

A physical copy of this book was provided to Turning Another Page by the author and in no way affects the honesty of this review. We provide a four-star rating to True Grandeur by Cal Barnes.

Cal R. Barnes was born in Salem, OR in 1988. After briefly studying creative writing and drama at Portland State University in Portland, OR, Cal moved to Los Angeles in 2009 where he immediately began acting and writing screenplays. After a few years he also began producing films as well, enjoying all aspects of the creative process. Cal currently lives and writes in Los Angeles. He is a connoisseur of literature, film, yoga, fruits, vegetables, coffee, tea, and sunshine. True Grandeur is his first novel.