At the turn of the century, the Victorian upper classes live in a vibrant but strictly-ordered world that encourages gentle, intellectual pursuits. Theirs is a life of ease and elegance, but it can be snatched away from them in an instant if the rules of polite society are not followed. Gothic novelist Geoffrey Hawes has never been willing to let such restrictions hold him back, and he refuses to honor conventions for which there is no discernible value. When he spends a social season in a community created to celebrate the Arts, music, and philosophy, he is unexpectedly befriended by the daughter of the Governor, Miranda Claridge.
Bitter and disenchanted with the privileged and wealthy, Geoffrey finds his beliefs repeatedly challenged by the intelligent and vivacious Miranda. In the midst of their heated debates on the mores of the upper class, this unlikely friendship blossoms into a passionate love. He encourages her to pursue her interest in painting and gives her a new understanding of what relationships between men and women should be. Meanwhile, Miranda begins to open his eyes to all that is wonderful and beautiful and good in the world.
Geoffrey at last accepts that he has fallen in love with Miranda, but misunderstandings and lies come between them. Knowing that Miranda believes it is her duty to marry, he prepares himself to hear news of her wedding. Geoffrey attempts to escape the pain of her perceived rejection by traveling and throwing himself into his work. However, he cannot run forever. One day, he encounters Miranda again and soon discovers that she is not the same woman he left behind. Can the couple realize that they each must relinquish some of their prejudices and preconceived notions before it is too late? Can love really conquer all?
Dedicating The Truth Seekers
Ever read the dedication at the front of a novel and wonder what the story is behind it? Dedications to spouses or children are pretty self explanatory, but then you get ones that say things like, “To Malarkey with great appreciation for the noodles,” and you find yourself (metaphorically) dying to know what it all means. Beyond that, I was always curious about the choice of “recipient” in and of itself. These days, authors prefer to dedicate their works to friends (living or dead), family (ditto), and the occasional house pet (I refuse to speculate). The fact remains that there is always a well-thought-out reason behind the choice.
I dedicated my first novel, The Truth Seekers, to my best friend. We’ve been friends since 1987, when my confused father agreed to make a half-hour drive so I could spend the weekend with a girl I’d never met. On the way home two days later, I told him to get used to the drive, and by the time I turned sixteen, I’d logged more freeway driving time than anyone else in my Driver’s Ed class.
Since that first weekend, we’ve done a lot of the things girls do with their friends. We talked about boys, listened to music, shared our crushes, and talked for hours about nothing. We also hurt each other, sometimes in big ways that left scars. But we survived those awful moments, and I think it was in large part due to the ways in which our friendship was unique.
On the surface, my best friend and I have very little in common. She is tall, often dazzling, reinvents herself over and over in ways that I cannot explain, and is so genuinely beautiful that it’s frankly annoying. I am short, often caustic, couldn’t be in more of a rut if I tried (I love my rut), and my looks are what I would call “squidgy.” People adore her, whereas they approach me warily, like they’re not sure whether to cut the red wire or the blue.
She has consistently refused point-blank to consider that I might be anything other than brilliant and beautiful. I can’t begin to express what having a friend like that does to your self-image and confidence. My first writing partner, she helped to bring a new dimension to my writing, encouraging both more realism and more ingenuity than I would have attempted if left to my own devices. If anyone some day comes to write my biography, it will have to be noted that my friendship with her is one of the most influential relationships of my life. I would not be me without her.
So I dedicated my first novel to her, because the only reason I’m letting the world see it is because she told me it was good enough. Actually, she said, “Oh my ***, shut up! You are so ****ing talented and it’s a ****ing good book. Just shut up and do it. You’re so ****ing brilliant, and if you don’t stop putting yourself down, I’m going to ****ing ***** the **** out of you. ******-*****.”
Because she also has a way with words. It’s one thing we have in common.
Elizabeth Lawrence is the author of both contemporary and period romances. Each book incorporates its own unique blend of humor and reverence, the peculiar and the mundane. In addition to her novels, Elizabeth serves as a freelance editor. A lifelong writer and former paralegal, Elizabeth divides her free time between her husband and two sons, her three cats, her collection of cozy murder mysteries, and her mildly severe caffeine addiction. A native of Lawrence, Kansas, Elizabeth now works from her home in Cleveland, Ohio.
Join the Book Giveaway on Goodreads now