This story so captured my heart that I’ve had a hard time moving on since turning the last page. I’m not even sure how to find the words to review it. The Lady and the Lionheart swept me away with its emotional tale and changed me along with the characters. Days later, I actually find myself missing Charlie and Ella so much I’m tempted to pick the book back up and read it all over again. 😉
I stepped inside their fascinating world and had a difficult time leaving. I would think about the story during the day and count down until I could return to reading at night. The setting was so intriguing and mysterious. The life of the circus was painted so well I felt like I was walking inside the Big Top myself and watching the show with my own eyes.
The people (and lions) we meet within Charlie’s world pulled at my heart, but none so much as Charlie Lionheart himself. Both he and Ella were so real to me, I almost feel funny calling them characters. 😉 The dark secrets of their past broke my heart, but it was their inner strength and kindness that drew me to them the most. I fell in love watching them fall in love. Their road to finding a happy future is bittersweet, but it’s made them who they are and they’re blessed because of it.
Pick up this book and you’ll find mystery and history. You’ll be entertained and you’ll be changed. It’s one romance I’ll not easily forget. The Lady and the Lionheart is without a doubt one of my favorite books of 2016. Maybe even one of my favorite books ever. 😉
This review is my honest opinion. Thanks to the author for my copy.
ABOUT THE BOOK:
Raised amid the fame and mystique of the Big Top, Charlie Lionheart holds the audience in the palm of his hand. But while his act captivates thousands, it’s away from the spotlight where his true heart lies. Here he humbly cares for his pride of lions as if they were his brothers, a skill of bravery and strength that has prepared him for his most challenging feat yet—freeing an orphaned infant from the dark bondage of a sideshow. A trade so costly, it requires his life in exchange for hers, leaving him tarnished by the price of that choice.
As the circus tents are raised on the outskirts of Roanoke, country nurse Ella Beckley arrives to tend to this ill Gypsy girl. All under the watchful eye of a guardian who not only bears a striking resemblance to the child, but who protects the baby with a love that wraps around Ella’s own tragic past, awakening a hope that goodness may yet reign. When their forbidden friendship deepens, Charlie dares to ask for her heart, bringing her behind the curtain of his secret world to reveal the sacrifice that gave hope to one little girl—boldly showing Ella that while her tattered faith is deeply scarred, the only marks that need be permanent are his own.
A Carol Award and two-time Christy Award-finalist, Joanne Bischof writes deeply layered fiction that tugs at the reader’s heartstrings. She was honored to receive the SDCWG Novel of the Year Award in 2014 and in 2015 was named Author of the Year by the Mount Hermon Writer’s conference. Her 2014 novella This Quiet Sky broke precedent as the first self-released title to final for the Christy Awards. She lives in the mountains of Southern California with her husband and their three children. Watch for her 2016 Victorian novel, The Lady and the Lionheart coming this summer!