The Lady and the Lionheart by Joanne Bischof

Two worlds collide when the circus comes to Victorian-era Virginia.

Synopsis:

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.

  The Lady and the Lionheart

My Thoughts:

No question about it, this book deserves all the stars! I didn’t just read this story, I lived it. Joanne Bischof created a vivid masterpiece, a world that I didn’t want to leave. This story lingered in my imagination and heart days after I finished the last page.

I fell in love with the characters. Even the secondary characters, and yes, even the lions! Each had a special role and each held a piece of my heart. You couldn’t convince me that it wasn’t real, so don’t even try, my heart wouldn’t believe you!

If you haven’t yet picked up this book, you need to run to your nearest library or bookstore and settle in for a delightful story that will hold you captive long past the final chapter! If you fall into the category of “I read it a year or so ago” then it may be time to dust it off and read it again! You can be sure that this story holds a place of honor on my keeper shelf and will be pulled out again for future enjoyment.

(I purchased a copy of this book for my own collection. I am not required to write positive reviews. The opinions I have expressed are my own.)

Favorite Quote:

About the Author:

Joanne-BischofA Christy and Carol Award-winning author, 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. 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 lives in the mountains of Southern California with her three children and is currently working on a new 2-book series for Thomas Nelson/HarperCollins Christian (releasing 2018).

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  The Lady and the Lionheart

 

A Love Restored by Kelly J. Goshorn

Synopsis:

With pert opinions and a less-than-perfect figure, Ruth Ann Sutton doesn’t measure up to Society’s vision of a perfect lady. When she accepts a position teaching in a Freedman’s School, it threatens the only marriage offer Ruth Ann is likely to receive. She’s forced to choose between life as a lonely spinster or reinventing herself to secure a respectable proposal.

Determined to rise above his meager beginnings, Benjamin Coulter’s reputation as a fast learner and hard worker earns him the opportunity to apprentice with a surveyor for the railroad—a position that will garner the respect he craves. After a chance encounter with Ruth Ann Sutton, Benjamin is smitten with her pretty face, quick wit, and feisty personality. When others ridicule his choice, will Benjamin listen to his heart or put ambition first?

My Thoughts:

I knew the moment I read the synopsis that I’d enjoy this story, what I didn’t expect is all the emotions I’d feel as I read the story! Kelly Goshorn has written a phenomenal story, one that not only drew me into the lives of the characters but a story that touched my heart and has lingered with me long after I close the page.

Ruth Ann is spunky, determined, and broken. She has a big heart for others, especially her students at the Freedman’s School.  But, like so many of us, she carries with her a heavy baggage of words that were careless tossed her direction. Sometimes it is easier to believe the negative messages people tell you than the positive messages. For some reason, those negative messages seem a lot stickier.

What to say about Benjamin Coulter? I went from loving him to wanting to smack him upside the head, to feeling for him, and his personal struggle, and cheering for him and hoping for the best outcome. He is quite the hero. He will wrap himself around your heart for sure! Benjamin has his flaws and tends to have to learn his lessons the hard way. His love for Ruth Ann is endearing, heartbreaking and profound.

I saw myself in each of these characters and was reminded of several important truths. It is infinitely important that we choose to listen to God’s voice and to know who we are in Him. It is just as important that we don’t allow our perception of beauty to be dictated by others. I was also reminded of how easy it is to fall into the trap of wanting to please other people, and seek their admiration and respect when our focus should really be on pleasing God and seeking His approval.

This is a story that you don’t want to miss! I give this book 5 enthusiastic stars and would encourage you to pick up a copy to enjoy for yourself today!

(I receive complimentary books for review from publishers, publicists, and/or authors, including Netgalley. I am not required to write positive reviews. The opinions I have expressed are my own.)

Favorite Quote:

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About the Author:

KellyJGoshorn  Kelly Goshorn weaves her affinity for history and her passion for God into uplifting stories of love, faith and family set in nineteenth century America. Kelly earned a B.A. in Social Studies Education from Messiah College and a M.Ed. in History Education from The Pennsylvania State University. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Romance Writers of America.

Kelly has been enjoying her own happily-ever-after with her husband and best friend, Mike, for 28 years. Together they have raised three children, four cats, two dogs, a turtle, a guinea pig, a gecko, and countless hamsters. Thankfully, not all at the same time. When she is not writing, Kelly enjoys spending time with her young adult children, scrapbooking with friends, board gaming with her husband, and spoiling her Welsh corgi, Levi.

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 A Love Restored

 

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