Two worlds collide when the circus comes to Victorian-era Virginia.
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.
Just then a child in the row behind Ella cried out, “Look, Mama!”
Charlie, dressed in his center ring finery, strode into the arena, as strong and strapping as ever. Face powdered and painted with two jagged teardrops under his eyes, he walked with stoic authority, tall boots forging a fresh trail straight toward his audience. Ella didn’t know a single man could hush a packed house with no words, but…then there was Charlie Lionheart.
Woah, I have no words.
I had no idea what to expect, I had seen that several online friends liked The Lady and The Lionheart, I had seen that it won several awards, and I saw that the cover was perfection. I got it along with nearly twenty other ebooks with a twenty-five dollar Amazon gift card I got for Christmas, and was under strict orders to buy ebooks only. Wonderful, right? heart eyes
And so I bought it.
Promptly forgot about it until my dad was at a doctor’s appointment, and I needed something to read, because I didn’t want to fall asleep as I had on the drive to the doctor’s. I started The Lady and The Lionheart with baited breath, it’s not often one comes across a book like this one. The amazing strength of character Charlie had, the sweetness of Holland, the brokenness of Ella, all of the other characters that were cast in this quiet little book that showed pain, love, sacrifice, grief, sin, forgiveness, and Christ’s love for his creation.
I truly do not know what to say.
This book … It is not something that I will forget soon. I was mesmerized by the descriptions, filled with love and grief for characters that were so real you would think you could touch them, and a romance that was beautiful.
This is not a book to be taken lightly, there is such pain in it; many sins are mentioned, many cruelties that could very well have happened in history. This is a raw, faith-filled historical romance that you will not be able to put down until the last page.
I now understand how so many enjoyed this book, how it won the awards it did, and why it is now a favorite historical romance.