The Lady and the Lionheart

The Lady and the Lionheart

by Joanne Bischof

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"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.

Product Details

BN ID: 2940156828883
Publisher: Mason Jar Books
Publication date: 07/28/2016
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 378
Sales rank: 226,202
File size: 495 KB

About 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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The Lady and the Lionheart 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 26 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This unique story is touching, romantic, and exemplifies the love of God. He takes you just the way you are and uses you for His glory. The romance was exceptional and we'll done. Love this book!
Voracious4Veracity 6 days ago
I was in a reading slump, with nothing holding my interest before picking this up. Lady and the Lionheart caught me from the start, and held me as captive as Madame kept Charlie. The book wasn't perfect; it contained some plot inconsistencies and more telling than I generally care for. But the amazing way Ms. Bischof portrayed emotional depth and compelling characters, with such restraint, more than made up for the imperfections, and even overcame my hatred of the circus. I stayed up late reading this book, more than once, and was both satisfied and sad for it to end. I highly recommend it!
TheFlawedStitch More than 1 year ago
Heart-wrenchingly beautiful...The Lady and The Lionheart is a story of love, loss, hope, and redemption; a story that will live in the hearts of its readers for years to come. Having grown up in a circus town, I found myself taken back to my childhood and drinking in all that is the circus. Author Joanne Bischof drew me in with her detailed descriptions of the sights, sounds, and smells of the traveling show, then took me behind the Big Top into the secret life of its performers during the late 1890's. Charlie Lionheart has known no other life than the rolling circus. He stoically performs his acts for the "rubes" but his heart lies in the back lot of tents, vardos, his gypsy friends (the only people with whom he can be himself), and his beloved lions. Ella Bleckley is trying to outrun her past and all the pain it carries and the fear it invites. She longs to go to school and become a real nurse. Even more, she misses her family, the good times they shared, and the feeling of home. Most of all, she misses all that was stolen from her. When their lives collide, past fears awaken, secrets are revealed, and their hearts become entwined. With the ever present threat of losing his young charge, Charlie and Ella wrestle with their feelings for each other and the heavy obligations that overshadow their lives. Bischof has masterfully crafted a magnificent tale of two tattered souls seeking love and acceptance in the midst of uncommon circumstances. A story that spoke to my heart and one I will not soon forget. A solid 5 star rating!
NatalieRae More than 1 year ago
Wow!!! This book came to my shelf by way of raving reviews from my fellow book nerds and you know that feeling like you're being left out of the loop on something pretty major... well, of course, I had to find out if the hype I was reading was in fact, true. Upon the opening pages I was transported back to the Spring of 1890 and the allure of life in the circus. But before I can live amid the earthy scent of the animal's menagerie and the buttery aroma of freshly popped corn, Ms. Bischof thrusts me into the lives of Ella Beckley and Charlie Lionheart. Ella, a young woman with a dream to become a nurse and help others is thwarted only by the nightmare of one tragic event in her past that stalls her courage to believe God has a plan for her life. Charlie Lionheart, is the lion tamer enslaved by a single sacrifice of love to save a life. When Ella enters into his tormented existence, Charlie begins to believe his future may not be such a burden. Oh, ya'll, this book made me cry--TWICE!! Obviously, with all of the chatter my expectations for this book was high and I was critical. Ms. Bischof took great efforts to draw me into a story that I was skeptical of at first and in the first couple of chapters my initial reaction was, "Eh, it's good." But I still wasn't seeing what was drawing such strong accolades from my bookish peers. And then it happened. All at once I began to fall in love with the characters and anxiously turned page after page until I forced (literally forced) myself to close the book so I could get some sleep only to find myself dreaming about these characters and this story world. Ms. Bischof's detailed description had me walking right along Ella as we entered the grounds of a secret world filled with exotic people. It was these people-these characters-who entered my life and my heart with their heartache, tainted pasts, and longing to know the kind of love that sees beyond the scarred and painted sins keeping them from living in purpose and freedom. These characters spoke to my soul. Spoke truths in the very best way a story can and by the time I reached the beautiful ending I knew that what others were saying about this amazing story were true. If you're looking for a story that will change your heart-this is your book!!
taralynee More than 1 year ago
Where to even begin... Although I had heard others raving about it, I was not prepared for how deeply The Lady and the Lionheart was going to affect my heart. That's an understatement. Majorly. You know the kind of book that leaves lasting marks after you close the cover? The kind that you can't stop thinking about? The kind that you find yourself pondering into small hours? That's this book by Joanne Bischof. It's about Ella, a nurse with a torn heart and a broken past. She sees herself as small, not whole, unworthy. Though she is kind, she doesn't know real joy. It's about Charlie. Charlie the lion tamer. Oh my. Charlie is the epitome of a picture of God's love. Of giving oneself for another. He's open and often blunt. He's vulnerable. And compassionate. And it's about an orphaned gypsy baby named Holland who is more entangled in a fight between good and evil than she likely will ever fully understand. Taking place in Virginia in 1890, this is quite possibly one of the most unique and imaginative storylines I've ever read. When Ella and Charlie's worlds collide, quite literally, their lives become intertwined in ways neither of them anticipate. This tender story of sacrifice and redemption is one I can't recommend highly enough. There is much raw emotion within these pages, but even more, there is an enormous depth, honesty, and a faith that is almost tangible. I've come to the conclusion that for a book to truly be Joanne Bischof's if it must evoke tears at some point. This is my third by her, and so far this theory holds true. Because of its deeply rich story, I'm likening this book to dark chocolate cake with thick peanut butter frosting. There is so much going on in my mind with the sweet taste of this beautiful story lingering on. Please read this story. Please let it speak to your heart. Let it change you forever.
BookwormMama2014 More than 1 year ago
This is easily one of the BEST books I have ever read. Very rarely has a book pulled on my heart and soul so strongly. I TRIED not to rush through this book, I really did. I wanted to savor it. Let the story surround me and captivate me. Let it permeate my soul. Even now, hours after reading the final words, the message is reverberating through my heart. Charlie Lionheart is officially one of my favorite heroes of all time. His bravery, his sacrifice, his love...swoon...for those he cares about is not just something to admire, but to learn from. Ella Beckley is someone that I want to be best friends with! Her compassion and curious spirit makes her stand out. Yet, she has a past that haunts her. Will she learn that her freedom must come from God and not man? This is a story of healing, of salvation, of freedom...of pain. Being damaged, unclean, scarred, can be a heavy burden to carry. But the Lord says to come to Him and He will give us rest, "For My yoke is easy and My burden is light." (Matthew 11:28-30) In Him, is our freedom and in Him, we will find wholeness. The parallels of this story to Christ and His sacrifice for us is breathtakingly beautiful. You will find threads of The Beauty and the Beast within these pages as well. I believe THAT combination is one reasons that this book is so unique. The setting and characters are vividly painted for your imagination to explore, and makes it so very easy to fall in love with it all. This is the first book of Joanne's that I have read. And I can't believe it took me SO long to get to it. Be prepared for an exciting adventure filled with the wonders of the circus and the tender love that Christ bestows upon us. Love, true love, is a common thread throughout this book. The love of a father, the love between a man and woman, the love of friends and family. The pureness and wholeness of this love is beautiful to behold. Joanne Bischof captures the essence of the circus and the era in words that are so captivating you will struggle to put this book down. THIS, is one of those books that deserves multiple readings! Bottom line, if you haven't read it, read it! Get this book into your hands. I pray that it touches your heart and that if you are seeking freedom and wholeness, that you will find it in our Lord, Jesus Christ.
EA_Hendryx More than 1 year ago
Charming, enchanting, and romantic! Joanne Biscof creates a world and a romance that will forever leave its imprint on my heart. 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. 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 Originally posted on my blog: _______________ 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.
mackenzie_carol More than 1 year ago
The Lady and the Lionheart is the first book I have ever read by Joanne Bischof, but it has most definitely made me a forever fan of her work. I have never read a novel that has so moved me—and I’ve read a LOT of books in my lifetime—but this story that Joanne perfectly wove together still has me all torn up days after I started it. I laughed, I cried (sobbed really), and I fell in love with Charlie, Ella, and little Holland in a way I never expected. When I first heard about this novel, I had a feeling about it right away. Therefore, I quickly added it to my list of books to purchase, but I never, EVER expected it to be the most heart-wrenching, touching, beautiful, lovely, impossible-to-fully-describe story that I now know it to be. If I don’t get to read another book for the rest of my life, I will be glad to know that The Lady and the Lionheart was my last, because it will be the freshest in my memory and is a wonderful novel to finish with. As hard as I try, I cannot come up with words to describe Charlie Lionheart. He is beyond explanation, beyond imagination, and beyond perfect. No, I don’t mean perfect in the literal sense, because he clearly makes mistakes, but I have never encountered a more perfect hero. I don’t want to spoil a bit of this story because I want everyone to read it and experience it for themselves, but I want you to know your heart will break over Charlie and how we find him at the beginning of this novel. I sobbed, literally sobbed over his treatment and the pain and humiliation he has to endure, and I sobbed even more as I realized how undeserving he was, how sweet and wonderful and kind of a man he truly was underneath all of his marks that I wish never had to be permanent. I’m trying and failing at finding the words to describe such a man, and all that he gave to have baby Holland as his own, and the only thing I can relate it to is Jesus and the humiliation and torment He suffered. While I know the two can’t truly be compared, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a better human representation of just a slice of what he gave so that we could be free from our chains. As someone who cannot imagine Charlie’s sacrifice and all that it took from him, I can’t fathom someone ever going through worse just for people who might never thank him for it. So, not only to I praise Joanne for creating such a perfect, selfless character in Charlie, I thank her for touching me so deeply, and for giving me what I felt like was just a taste of all that my Savior suffered. Ella Beckley has also suffered much when we meet her at the beginning of this story, although hers is of a much different kind. My heart went out to her as well, but I was so completely unable to comprehend all that Charlie faced that I think I couldn’t emotionally take in her pain as well. I did feel it on a surface level, and I did cry for her too, but I wish I could have really grasped it as much as I ought. I have just been so emotionally drained—in a good way mind you—at the hands of this story, that I am literally dying to read it again so that I can grasp all that I missed. Believe me, I will just as soon as I’ve caught up with some of my other reading, hopefully in the next few weeks, because I know I couldn’t take it all in the way I wanted to. Anyway, Ella is such a sweet character as well, and I loved her incessant questions and bright, plucky spirit, and the way that she broke down Charlie’s walls.
CameraCourt More than 1 year ago
This is one book I kept hearing exclaimed by fellow bloggers AND some favorite authors, so I knew I had to see what all the fuss was about as soon as I could. And WOW, was it all well-deserved! Let me continue by saying this is now one of my absolute favorite books! This story is a beautiful picture of the Gospel, of the freely given sacrifice, the love of Christ for His bride, the constant call for us to have a relationship with Him. The dynamic (and romance) of Charlie and Ella is wonderful! They perfectly complement each other. Both have pasts filled with pain, and through this story we see how Charlie has chosen to react — and his encouragement for Ella to do the same — to choose hope. Charlie finds strength in Ella, I think. A determination to press on, a reassurance that his life choices were right, even though he feels like he doesn’t have much to offer. Ella is longing for home in more than one sense (both earthly and heavenly belonging), though she doesn’t realize it until Charlie’s discerning presence arrives in her life. And Ella, in turn, sees the contrast of Charlie’s response to some damaging things that have happened to him with her own responses. Joanne Bischof creates beautiful scenes with each turn of phrase, conveying feelings with just a simple description. There was so much raw emotion expressed by Ella and especially Charlie that I couldn’t help being caught up in it all, tugging my heart with moments both bittersweet and joyous. And little Holland! She is so important as a catalyst between these two and a ray of light. I want to mention the supporting characters because they contribute so much to the story, even the lions. They are gracious, important, and colorful (it IS a circus, after all!). The lions and corresponding circus act is so unique and intriguing! They are really just overgrown cats, and I was happy to see them portrayed with a little humor. The message of this story resounds long after reading it. It’s impactful in its display of a pure love with raw — and sometimes painful — honesty. The underlying theme of sacrifice is beautifully realized as secrets are slowly revealed regarding Charlie’s past. I believe it’s a story I will come back to multiple times and see new truths and joys with each reading.
ReginaFujitani More than 1 year ago
Oh my goodness! This book! You have to read this one! You will fall in love with Charlie and Ella's story. There is so much depth and feeling written into this book, you'll been on an emotional roller coaster! Seriously!
LifeofLiterature More than 1 year ago
No words! There really are no words to describe how truly wonderful this novel is. After I finished the last page, I sat there and let the poignant and breathtakingly beautiful story sink into my soul, part of me wishing it never had to end. I have read a lot of (really, quite a few) books and I have never connected with and fallen in love with characters so quickly and so deeply as I did with this story. Ella has had a difficult past, but her courage and her ability to let God change her heart are remarkable and her spiritual struggle has something with which every reader can connect. And Charlie (oh, Charlie!) has the biggest heart; he is gentle with his lions but he is honorable and passionate about his family and will fight for anyone he loves with an ardor that will grab you instantly. The author does a phenomenal job describing the scenes and the characters. Some authors can write novels, but Joanne Bischof can paint pictures and create stories that go deeper and last longer in your mind. It is truly a gift. She made me cry and she helped me connect with the characters in such a unique and precious way. I loved the scenes she describes of the circus; I could almost taste the buttery popcorn and see the colorful banners. The growth of the characters is such a joy to read. I cannot say enough good things about this story and suggest everyone run to their nearest store to purchase a copy. It has easily slipped into its rightful spot as one of my favorite books of all time.
readerscozycorner More than 1 year ago
Be still my heart! This is my first time reading a book by Joanne Bischof, and I am very sad that I have waited this long to do it. I loved the setting of this book. Reading about the circus from a lifetime ago was so captivating. I was in love with Charlie from the first page he was on. I saw the strength and love and honor he exuded and was completely taken with his character. The character of Ella touched my heart so! I found myself wanting to wrap her in a big hug and be her friend. The story begins with Ella helping Charlie take care of someone close to him. Little does she know that helping him will change her life forever. Ella and Charlie are the perfect pair and I spent the whole book wanting them to get there fairytale. This book is so captivating and impressive. I was amazed at how easily I was transported back in time to a place I now long to visit, (even if time travel isn't possible.) I guess I will just need to read this book over and over. I can't say enough about how wonderful this book is. My only negative is that I need a sequel! Trust me, when you read it, you will too. I was blessed to win a copy of this book from the author. I was not required to give a review.
jlsgrant More than 1 year ago
I'll have to say this was my favorite read of the summer. It was the perfect story for laying in the hammock with a big glass of ice tea! But it would be just fine with a blanket and a cup of tea ;) If you love books with well developed characters, quirky and wonderful, sweet and not so sweet! You will absolutely fall in love! Joanne Bischof does such a great job creating realistic settings that you feel like you right there in the big top! So grab some popcorn and some fresh squeezed lemonade, and head over to Roanoke, Virginia, 1890!
EmberCW More than 1 year ago
It isn't often that you find a book as deeply moving as this one. The author weaves a flawless tapestry of sacrificial love, forgiveness, and acceptance through this novel. You are transported into the unique setting of a circus in the 1890's. But not all is well under the big top. This book gives us a look at both the beauty and the dark side of circus life. More specifically, the freak shows. It is truly amazing just how cruel people can be. When the book first introduced me to Charlie Lionheart, I wasn't sure I liked him. He started off a bit grating, though his love of baby Holland shone through strongly. But within a few chapters, I came to love him. That gruff exterior hid a very hurting heart and a man of incredible strength and sacrifice. Ella is a sweet girl who is struggling with her own heartaches. She gets a lot more than she bargained for when she steps away from her job to help a baby in need. She has a lot to learn about not judging by appearances. And the lions! Oh, I do love the lions: Axel, Hans, and Kristov (Frozen reference maybe? ;-) ) are just perfect. The Big Top performance with them is one of my favorite scenes from the book. Okay, any scene with them is just awesome. The ending of this novel is just perfect, a faintly bittersweet Happily Ever After from Holland's viewpoint. Joanne Bischof has created a masterpiece here. Now, I need to take my leave and go read it again! Safety Ratings: Romance: clean and sweet. One character is a rape victim. There is a scene where a prostitute does flirt with the hero when a particularly foul character wants him to do something immoral, though it is very tastefully done. Language: clean Drinking/Drugs: a tiny amount of brandy is used once for medicinal purposes. Violence: almost nothing.
DianaFlow More than 1 year ago
Roanoke, Virginia 1890 Author Joanne Bischof has penned a poignant, hauntingly beautiful romance set amidst the exciting scents, sounds, and entertaining thrills of the Big Top—and of a lovely young woman who inadvertently gets tangled up in a web of darkness and secrets that takes place behind the scenes of this mysterious world. After suffering from an unspeakable act at the age of fifteen, Ella Beckley lives an unobtrusive, quiet life as an employee for Dr. Penske—running errands, boiling water, and tidying the scullery. Deeply scarred by her past, her shame has driven her away from her home and God as well, and she is content to live her bleak, drab existence...that is until Charlie Lionheart enters her life. Mr. Lionheart is an enigma - a handsome, charming gypsy whose courageous act in the circus both terrifies and captivates thousands. He humbly cares for his pride of majestic lions with love and skill, and gives his very life in exchange for an orphaned baby—a trade that costs him a terribly high price. Lionheart enlists Ella's help with the sick baby and as she arrives at the circus, her forbidden friendship with him deepens and she learns the true depth of this man's sacrifice for this gypsy child. Suffering in his own dark, secret world of adversity, will Lionheart's faith and love be the key that unlocks the suffocating fear that envelopes Ella—awakening the promise of new hope and inward healing—and perhaps even romance? Breathtaking, fascinating, mesmerizing...there just aren't enough adjectives to describe this achingly beautiful novel! Charlie Lionheart was the ultimate hero, who with his animal magnetism (sorry - couldn't resist) not only held the captive audience in the palm of his hands, but my heart as well! The scenes with the massive lions were so well written and realistic, that I, too, felt the heart-pounding terror and fascination along with the crowd. Not to mention the angst-filled, toe-curling romance—ahh, such sweet torment. My emotions soared throughout this entire book and when I reached the lovely conclusion I sadly, with tear-filled eyes, said goodbye to some of the most endearing characters to ever grace the pages of a novel. As a matter of fact, please meet them below! Joanne Bischof has stolen my heart and deeply touched my soul with her writing, and I'm convinced she will yours, too.
bnwdance More than 1 year ago
Joanne Bischof has a way with words that is just beautiful. It is a poem written into a story. Her writing is lyrical as it is deep and profound. I have never been more surprised in reading a book as I was in this one scene and it filled my eyes with tears and my heart with such joy and hope it almost burst. Not only is her writing astounding but she does her research! I learned a lot about the circus world and reading this book really gave me more a glimpse into what those in the circus went through and how they might have interacted with those outside of the circus. This book is rich with spiritual depth and truth. The scars of our body and souls are all there to be healed by God and His love. And as Joanne shows us in this story, He often does His healing through the lives of His people. I know that this review is not going to do justice to the story, it was just stunning. I could read Bischof's writing over and over. Her way with words is soothing and deep. I just encourage you to read this book and be drawn into Charlie and Ella's world. I highly recommend this book!
Meghan_G More than 1 year ago
When a novel leaves you speechless with tears in your eyes--you know it will forever remain a special kind of favorite. I have been aching to read this latest (and her first) full-length offering from one of my favorite authors, Joanne Bischof, for months ever since I had begun hearing bits and pieces about it. Historical romance, Beauty and the Beast, Les Miserables, the circus world--all in turn of the century Virginia? Not only does that combination sound too good to be true--but incredibly unique. Hence my increasing excitement especially when I got my hands on it. I was not prepared for just how much God would touch my heart through the work of this gifted author. And I am so, so glad I did not rush through the story as I was tempted to. This is a story to be savored. The Lady and the Lionheart takes the reader on a gypsy's journey into the circus world of Charlie Lionheart. A man with a loyal, steadfast heart that fits his name. He is also a man with quite a number of secrets, a shield over his heart--but a deep, abiding faith. Ella Beckley is a seemingly "plain and boring" heroine--not my words, the novel's! Read and you'll find out the context of such a description. But Ella bears her own scars not unlike Charlie's, except longer buried. Despite storms of doubt and fear assailing, Charlie and Ella are drawn together with a mutual love over a very special infant who needs a family--and a care only Ella, a nurse, can provide. Then, what follows is a God bigger than their scars and pain and pasts--and futures--turning their lives upside down and inside out, drawing them nearer to Himself, deeper into His love...crafting a divine romance for these two characters. Two characters who, when the novel ended, felt like dear friends I had watched traverse up and down mountains to get to where they ended up: rooted in the love of the Lord. I so hated to see it end--but what an ending. This novel was, for me, one of those true rarities where I tried hard not to rush through it. To take in every aspect of the Victorian traveling circus world, to pay attention to every little detail about Charlie and Ella...I can honestly say that I was utterly embraced and whisked away into the story thanks to the talented storyteller who wrote her heart into every line of this redemptive story. So much so that I did not want to see it end. Written with a bright, homespun warmth and graceful finesse, Joanne Bischof's The Lady and the Lionheart is a powerful story of how God makes beautiful things out of the brokenness of His people by the power of Jesus' name--the ultimate LOVE.
OntoHerBookshelf More than 1 year ago
I am continually impressed by Joanne Bischof’s writing. No matter what genre she writes, she continues to get better and better at her craft. As a fellow writer, she is someone I definitely look up to, and as a reader, someone I will be eagerly awaiting every new release from. The Lady and the Lionheart is poignant, gripping, and sweet. The dark shadows of the circus are explored, and as the secrets that are held close to the hearts of those Ella cares about, I felt for these characters. Joanne is able to write her characters with such authenticity, that I honestly thought about them when I wasn’t reading. I considered their unique struggles, and the story of redemption behind those. I also found myself humming or thinking about the hymn that Charlie loves. She delves into real-life problems in this fictional story in such a raw, real way that it’s impossible to disregard. This book touched my heart, and it’s definitely on my favorites list. If you’re looking for an intriguing view of what the circus was like in the late 1800s, characters that are nearly breathing, and an honest look at what it means to discover and live out the redemption we have in Jesus, then please take a look at this book. You won’t regret doing so. I was given a review copy of The Lady and the Lionheart from the author. I received no monetary compensation for my review. The opinions expressed are my own.
BonnieRoof More than 1 year ago
Roanoke, Virginia - Spring 1890 Lugging an armload of linens up the stairs, Ella Beckly hears violent footsteps from behind before a bear of a man rushes past with a baby in his arms, nearly crashing into her and scattering the linens. Ella, a woman with little schooling and self-taught nursing skills, works in the scullery of Dr. Penske's private practice - which caters to Roanoke's upper crust. Thus begins her relationship with Charlie Lionheart, a Romani Gypsy descendant and lion tamer with Graven Brothers Circus - which has been stranded and detained in the town by unexpected snow. Assisting with patients only when necessary, Ella has never treated a patient herself. Too quickly diagnosing the baby as having a simple fever, the doctor assigns Ella to her care. With gentle but intensive protectiveness, Charlie remains by the baby's bed overnight - soothing her hot body with cold cloths and chips of ice, whispering words from a hymn. Returning to work the following morning, Ella is greeted by shouts from Charlie's terrorizing the hospital as the feverish baby is being dismissed and sent home. Charlie, having only a handful of coins with him and the doctor suspicious of Charlie, feeling his hand tattoo an indication of a felon. Feeling the baby could have rheumatic fever and recalling the pain of the death of her own infant several years prior, Ella risks her job by leaving work, unauthorized, and follows Charlie back to his tent/wagon home at the circus, bringing her bag of herbs, roots, and medicines to treat baby Holland. Charlie also breaking the rules by bringing a "rube" (outsider) into the privacy of his circus life. Scarred from her pregnancy by a stranger, the birthing of her son at the age of barely 15 years, the baby's death after living only a couple of hours, and being branded a harlot by her community - Ella had fled her home and arrived in Roanoke several years prior, in search of a better life. Charlie has hidden secrets also, enduring untold pain to free an orphaned infant from a permanent life in the circus. Joanne Bischof has written a mesmerizing and unforgettable story of life in a circus and a tender, touching romance between a woman who has turned her back on her faith and a courageous, gentle, man who embraces his faith in his determination to protect those he loves. The depth of the characters and their emotions and struggles, the realism of life in a circus - it's animals and performers, Charlie's love and brotherly care for his three lions - Han, Kristov, and Axel, kept me engrossed in a story that warmed my heart, elicited tears, and inspired me with it's elements of hope, forgiveness, and redemption. It's a 5+ star novel and re-telling of Beauty and the Beast - whose characters remain with me, it's depth of beauty truly adequately indescribable! I was provided a PDF of 'The Lady and the Lionheart' by it's author in exchange for my honest opinion, which I have given.
AbbyBabe126 More than 1 year ago
Have you ever read a book that when you finish, you close the book and hold it to you just so you can hold the story closer? The Lady and the Lionheart by Joanne Bischof was one of those books for me. Ella is a girl from a small town that moved to Roanoke, VA to escape her past and the whispers of her neighbors. She wants to become a nurse and has gotten a job at a doctor's office where she is more like a maid than a nurse since she does more organizing and cleaning than nursing. Late one night a man comes into the physician's office frantically looking for the doctor for his little girl and she is left with the responsibility to care for her. Charlie has been with the circus since he was born. He is the lion tamer, just like his father was. When his ward, Holland, become ill he seeks a doctor's help in the town the circus is in. The doctor looks down on him for being a member of the circus and sends him and Holland back to his tent the next day. The nurse, Ella, comes to his tent daily to help care for Holland and he quickly develops feelings for her. Charlie has a dark secret that he keeps hidden from rubes, non-circus people. Can Charlie trust Ella to share his secret with her? Will it change how Ella sees him? Ella has secrets of her own. Can both of them trust each other enough to share their secrets and their hearts? What will haooen when the circus has to move on? What does a lion tamer in the circus have to offer her? The Lady and the Lionheart was one of the best books I've read all year. I couldn't put it down. I wanted to find out what happens with Charlie, Ella, and Holland but I didn't want their story to end! It will definitely be a story that I'll read over and over!
amybooksy More than 1 year ago
The Lady and Lionheart is another fabulous read by Joanne Bischof. Portion of the story is set in my hometown. I found it exciting that my town made it in the book, giving me more of a visual of what it was like during my great grandparent's time. I loved Charlie, Ella and Holland and felt a connection to them from the start. I found the story line well written and quite unique, with it being evolved around the circus during the Victorian times. Miss Bischof masterfully knows how to invoke emotions, making the reader engaged throughout the book. One of many reasons why she is one of my must read authors. 100 stars
Britney_Adams More than 1 year ago
The Lady and the Lionheart is a story to be savored! Joanne Bischof is a magnificent storyteller, and her words never fail to leave an indelible mark on my heart. Such is the case with this tender and touching tale; each and every word engages the senses and stirs the emotions. I loved slipping behind the curtain and experiencing the sights and sounds of the Big Top world. Completely smitten by Charlie and Ella, my heart ached for these special characters and their extraordinary journey. Beautifully poignant, The Lady and the Lionheart is not to be missed!
Mauri More than 1 year ago
THE LADY AND THE LIONHEART is a hauntingly beautiful story of Charlie, Ella, and Holland, but also an exquisite rendition of Christ's love and sacrifice for us that affected me deeply. I read many, many books by a wide variety of authors. This is not the first time I've been moved by a book, but there is just something very special about Joanne Bischof's writing. I highly recommend you read THE LADY AND THE LIONHEART and her other books as well. If you read with an open heart, you might just find you are changed, in a very good way. I received an ebook for review but this is one I will be purchasing in paperback for my library, to take from the shelf and savor again. THE LADY AND THE LIONHEART is a keeper.
BrittanyMc More than 1 year ago
I don’t know if a novel has ever touched me so deeply or reached into my heart as completely as The Lady and the Lionheart did. It is simply one of the most beautiful love stories I have read, but beyond that, there is this amazing thread running through it that illustrates God’s redemptive love for us. This unique love story was beautifully written, whisking me back in time and bringing the mysterious world of the circus and all of its performers to life right before my eyes. But what captivated me was the tale of Charlie and Ella, two souls who were hurting for very different reasons, and their journey toward peace. They were both characters whom I fell in love with immediately and continually wanted to know more about. I loved the little peeks into their past that helped me understand what had shaped them into the two special individuals that they were. I loved how patient and caring Charlie was toward Ella and others. And I was impressed that even though Ella had experienced much pain and betrayal in life, she was still drawn to help Charlie with the care of a sweet baby when others wouldn’t. The Lady and the Lionheart was a story that didn’t stop at the last page for me. These characters stayed with me and I repeatedly found myself thinking of them long after I finished reading the novel.
Nettie1 More than 1 year ago
This is a book that I will carry with me forever in my book lover's heart. The romance is so heartfelt and the hero so powerful yet endearing. One of those "larger than life" characters that you wish you could know off the pages of the story. My, my, my! The scenery and the lions...oh the lions! When I closed the last page of this book, I found myself imagining what came after. Don't you just love that when a story grabs you in such a way? Oh Yes! This book was awarded a rare 5 star/Top Pick from Romantic Times. It deserved it. One of those lifetime books to cherish for this reader.