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, nurse Ella Beckley arrives to tend to this 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.
**I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.**
I can easily gauge how good a book is by how disappointed I am to reach that last page. In this case, I was so sad to have my kindle inform me that I had reached the end of the book.
The Lady and the Lionheart is such a tremendously beautiful novel. The depth of the characters is astonishing and the story itself poignant. From early on, I was just as fascinated with Charlie as Ella was and everyone else in the novel. Between his love for his lions (some of my favorite scenes) and learning more of what has happened in his life, Charlie is a character that I think will linger in my mind. And Ella is just so sweet and likeable. The two are a wonderful contrast to one another but also pair so well.
Honestly, there was just so much I loved about this book. As I mentioned, characters, but also the setting– a circus! How fun is that?!?! And true to so many of Joanne Bischof’s other novels, there are messages and themes in this book that touch the heart and soul. There aren’t too many books out there that I have a strong desire to read over and over again, but I think The Lady and the Lionheart is one that will keep getting opened back up.
If you enjoy historical fiction and unique settings, I can’t reccommend this novel enough and suggest you order a copy soon. I promise that you will be in for a real treat and a book that you will thoroughly enjoy.
The Lady and the Lionheart will be published August 1, 2016.
About the Author:
Christy Award-finalist and author of Be Still My Soul and Though My Heart is Torn, Joanne Bischof has a deep passion for Appalachian culture and writing stories that shine light on God’s grace and goodness. She lives in the mountains of Southern California with her husband and their three children. When she’s not weaving Appalachian romance, she’s blogging about faith, folk music, and the adventures of country living that bring her stories to life.
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