Friday, January 6, 2017

The Lady and the Lionheart by Joanne Bischof | Re:View

Charming, enchanting, and romantic! Joanne Biscof creates a world and a romance that will forever leave its imprint on my heart.

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Sometimes a book comes along and just makes you go *ahhhh* in a happy, contented sigh type of way. The Lady and the Lionheart was that book for me. It just made my end of 2016 favorites list (even though I cheated and finished it in 2017) but maybe that was because it needed to be on my favorites list for 2 years in a row.

I had heard such amazing things about this book - not to mention its rather impressive 5 star pick by RT Book Reviews, so I knew I was in for a treat when I first began it. But soon none of that mattered because I was lost in the world and falling in love with Ella, Charlie, and Holland's story.

In many books that I read, I find myself wanting more from the male characters portrayed--not so with The Lady and the Lionheart. Charlie is a wonderful, solid, complex, and masculine protagonist and I absolutely loved that about him. Ella was also complex and layered in a wonderful way that left me feeling the freedom to connect with her on a deep level. I felt sympathy, excitement, happiness, and curiosity with her as she made her way through the story.

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I absolutely LOVED the story world as well. Joanne did such a fantastic job of portraying the circus in such a complex light. It wasn't all popcorn and happiness. She delved into the other, sometimes darker, sides of a later 1800s/early 1900s circus and what it would have been like for her characters. I will also admit that I fell in love with the lions (aka Charlie's brothers). Their personalities added so much to the book even though they played a smaller role.

I won't say much more because I don't want to spoil any of this enchanting story for you. Suffice it to say that you should read this. I highly recommend it to historical fans, fans of wonderfully crafted romance, and circus fans (like me), but I would also say that--if you aren't a huge fan of history--you will feel right at home reading this because the world is so well crafted. It's believable in that the historical context fits the story but isn't the sole focus of the story. I enjoyed that fact very much!

I am so thankful to have experienced this story. It will truly live on in my mind and my heart.
That...and my crush on Charlie 😉

My rating: 5*
Purchase: The Lady and the Lionheart

Book Description
(from Amazon)
"Heartachingly beautiful" - RT Book Reviews, 5 Star TOP PICK!

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.
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I received this book for free but was under no obligation to post a review. I do so under my own motivation and the opinions I have expressed in this review are honest and entirely my own.