Tuesday, October 01, 2019

The Lady and the Lionheart by Joanne Bischof

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, 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.

My Thoughts
When this book came out it seemed it was all anyone (in the Christian book community) could talk about. I’m a bit ashamed at how long it took me to finally read it, but I tried to make up for it by reading all but fifty pages in one sitting. I know now what everyone was raving about and I’m ready to start raving too. This book was amazing and beautiful and just completely wonderful from start to finish. I’m starting to become a little obsessed with circus themed things especially after a certain musical came out, but this was so much more than just a circus book.
Charlie was everything. His quiet faith, the irreversible sacrifices he made for Holland, his strength, and his vulnerability. How could you not love Charlie?! My heart broke for what he had to endure, but he did it willingly and without complaint as long as it meant protecting his family. Also a man with a baby is the single most attractive thing!
Ella was wonderful too, the way she cared so deeply for people, unwilling to stand by while someone suffered even if helping came at a personal cost. What she suffered at the hands of someone she should have been able to trust made me want to weep and then go hit the louse.
I loved watching Charlie and Ella slip beneath the other’s defenses until they were both so deeply connected to each other. Neither of them expected to fall in love but they were each exactly what the other didn’t know they needed.
Everything about this novel was superb and I loved every single second. I read it while at a super late night babysitting job and the time simply flew by as I lost myself in these pages. I’m adding my recommendation to so many others out there, you absolutely need to read this book!

Meet the Author
A Carol Award and three-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. That same year, her historical novella, This Quiet Sky, broke precedent as the first self-released title to final for the Christy Awards. To Get to You, her 2015 release, was the second. Joanne’s 2016 novel, The Lady and the Lionheart, received an extraordinary 5 Star TOP PICK! from Romantic Times Book Reviews among other critical acclaim. She is represented by Sandra Bishop of Transatlantic Literary Agency.


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