THE LADY AND THE LIONHEART
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 this 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 watful eye of a guardian who not only bears a striking resemblance to the child, but who protects the baby with a lvoe 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.
I've heard chatter about this book all across cyberspace. Can't count how many people said, "Oh, you must read The Lady and the Lionheart!" And it made the rounds on people's top reads of 2016 lists. The buzz kept getting louder and I was beginning to feel like I was the last person on the planet to read this book! Not for lack of trying but for some reason it was either sold out or unavailable to ship to my country ('cause Canada is so exotic and all!) But finally...FINALLY...I understand the hype and I'm eager to chime in.
I can sum it all up in one word. Charlie. Seriously swoonworthy. Tough and determined. Gentle and kind. Passionate. Committed. Loyal. Fierce. And oh so tender! His faith is his anchor, his desire to share the power of God's grace touched me in ways no other hero has. He has a servant's heart and his powerful example of sacrificial love is mind-blowing. Sigh.There's just something about Charlie. If I was into making lists and composed a Best Hero Ever in the History of the World one Charlie would be right at the top.
And then there's Ella. The perfect foil for such a noble hero. She hides a tragic past behind her cool professional demeanor. She doesn't know what to make of Charlie. Truthfully, he doesn't make the best first impression but she does find him intriguing and it isn't long before she finds herself entangled in his world. There's an exquisite Beauty and the Beast quality to their love story. I savored every single word. It's not the kind of novel you want to hurry through because I happen to agree with Charlie: "If you're passionate about something, why rush?" (p 123) And I am passionate about this book. I might just have to read it again.
If you would like an opportunity to win a copy of The Lady and the Lionheart please leave a comment below or email me at kavluvstoread AT yahoo DOT ca. If you post a comment and add your email address please use AT and DOT instead of @ and . to protect yourself from spammers. If you enter the draw via email please remember to put the title in the subject line so it's easier for me to spot your entry. Draw will be held and winner announced on Sunday March 5 2017. Offer open to international readers. Good luck!