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Reviewed by Divine Zape for Readers' Favorite
True Grandeur: A Hollywood Novel by Cal R. Barnes is a well-crafted tale of romance, a story of one man’s search for love, for purpose, and ultimately for himself. When Conrad Arlington moves to Los Angeles, it is with the intention of pursuing his dream of becoming an artist. But he quickly attracts the attention of the mysterious and glamorous Gracie Garrison, a trendsetter with a unique charm and beauty. After a night of intense passion, with gallery openings, extravagant parties, and exciting encounters, Conrad wakes up to discover, to his utter chagrin, that the woman he believed to be his soul mate is gone. Now he sets out on the difficult journey to locate her. It’s what he discovers on this journey — about the woman he loves, about the idea of love, the world he lives in and himself — that will surprise readers.
A character-driven story, True Grandeur: A Hollywood Novel is well-plotted and the reader is plunged into a world of glitz, with characters that are real and compelling, imagined to be complex. The conflict moves from being personal and sets the tone for interpersonal relationships. Cal R. Barnes’ prose is beautiful and readers will love the insightful passages and the psychological depth of the story. One of the things that immediately caught my attention was the beautiful and well-crafted setting. It wasn’t hard for me to visualize people, to get the colorful aspects of the setting as I read on. The pacing is spot-on, quick, and gripping. The story is a masterpiece in the area of entertainment and the magnetic characters, coupled with the intensity of action, will arrest the attention and interest of readers.