The Lady and the Lionheart / by Joanne Bischof. 1.31.2018

Mason Jar Books ISBN 9780997513707

Adult Rating: *5

Twenty-year-old Ella Beckley is a nurse in training, running from a past she wishes she could forget. Charlie Lionheart is a lion tamer in a circus, working to repay a debt he is bound by contract to fulfill. Though from worlds as opposite as night from day, each has scars they bear—hers on the inside, his on the outside—and each has experienced society’s harsh and unforgiving treatment because of those scars.

From the moment their paths cross, they are drawn to each other, Charlie needing her services for his sick baby girl and Ella being pulled by, yet fearful of, the quickening of life the two stir in her shattered heart. Together, can two broken people find healing, true love, and the freedom that comes through forgiveness and trust?

In The Lady and the Lionheart, Joanne Bischof authentically brings to life the dazzling sights and sounds of the circus and the alluring pull of the gypsy life. The circus scene provides such a unique backdrop for an equally unique and skillfully woven plot that captures readers with its powerful message, element of mystery, unforgettable characters, and gentle romance. The writing flows effortlessly with the grace and fluidity of an aerialist: each word, each line building together in one harmonious symphony. It is a story full of emotional depth, moving readers to tears of sorrow and joy.

Charlie Lionheart is the hero of every heart, the man whose selfless love and sacrifice paint a picture of God’s love for His children and Christ’s redeeming work for His bride, the church. Ella is the perfect picture of so many who long for the healing that comes through forgiveness and unconditional love. This is a story for the outcasts, those that are different, those that have been looked down upon by society for reasons often beyond their control. Ultimately, this novel is a message to every broken heart best summed up in Charlie’s own words to Ella, “You are loved and you’ll not be forgotten” (p. 317).

Justina McBride, CLJ