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The Lady and the Lionheart

(The Lady and the Lionheart)

4.51  ·  Rating details ·  1,423 ratings  ·  415 reviews
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 st
Kindle Edition, 302 pages
Published August 1st 2016 by Mason Jar Books
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Average rating 4.51  · 
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 ·  1,423 ratings  ·  415 reviews

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Melissa Tagg
Aug 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I've been letting this story nestle in my brain for a couple days, trying to figure out how to review it. But maybe the best thing to note is that a) I read it in one evening (legit, could not stop!) and b) only two days later, I'm ready to reread it. My heart is too full of Charlie Lionheart and Ella to move on to any other book. The emotional depth of this story blew. me. away. It was a gradual heartbreaking, piece by piece, and then a steady and moving healing. I just...ahhh...I don't have wo ...more
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The Lady and The Lionheart had me from the 1st page. It's hard for me to pen how much I loved this book because it was so rich and in-depth, and lovely. Not only is the cover oh soo beautiful. I absolutely could not put this book down. From the people, to the time period and setting, I was just enraptured with this story.
Joanne Bishof did a excellent job of capturing what real love looks like in the pages of this book. Not just the romantic kind, but the self sacrificing kind. Even though t
Rachel McMillan
Oct 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Seriously just one of the best works of historical fiction I have ever read.

Bischof is a master!

Put this on your to-read list, yes, but mostly put it on your must BUY list because you will want to visit Charlie and Ella again and again.

Bischof is the type of writer that has a voice so uniquely and poignantly her own that you couldn't compare or emulate it if you tried.
I could cry. I don't know when I've last read something so achingly beautiful ...

Is it possible to rate Joanne Bischof's books less than five stars? I don't know, because so far, I haven't been able to! She writes with such heart and depth! The Lady and the Lionheart was soul-touching, intriguing, painful, and utterly lovely. I can't even describe how I felt about that ending ... it was perfection! In fact, I was certain I was getting a glimpse of heaven on earth; with just a sprinkle of nostalg
Well, I really did want to give it five stars, because the characters are so vivid and the descriptions so lush... the incredible amount of non-traditionally formatted sentences really had my brain overworked. So many misplaced modifiers, so many verbs before subjects, so many change-of-tense-in-the-middle-of-the-sentence (nearly one per page on average) left my brain reeling to interpret the meaning and actually made me lay the book aside several times. Otherwise, I did find the writing to be v ...more
Jun 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Only a handful of authors craft stories that leave an indelible mark on my heart ~ Joanne Bischof is one of them...guaranteed, every single time. The Lady and the Lionheart is simply stunning, from the provocative beginning to it's exquisite conclusion, this story is mesmerising. Delicate and sententious prose immerses the reader in the sights, sounds, and aroma of the circus, with a tale that leaves jagged edges upon your soul for a time, then binds the wounds with healing and hope. Charlie Lio ...more
m a r y l i z
Sep 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Re-Read July 2018:

Have you ever met a book that changed you and your outlook on life? One that resonated with you, moved you to the point of tears, and spoke truth to your soul?

This is that kind of book.

I have no sufficient words to review this; all I have to say is that I needed to reread this book right now. It came at the perfect time in my life.

This book has changed the way I view life - and I'm so, so grateful for it. The characters and themes live on long after the final page is turned.

Feb 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
With a touch of Phantom of the Opera and Beauty and the Beast along with an analogy to the life of Christ, this new-to-me author swept me away through this wonderful story. Set in a circus in 1890 when sideshow "freaks" were the one of the main attractions; Charlie Lionheart was not only the lion tamer, but also one of the "freaks." He is also caring for his dead sister's baby daughter, Holland. Ella is a nurse he meets when he takes Holland, who has a very high fever, to the local hospital. Cha ...more
Jocelyn Green
May 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing
The Lady and the Lionheart isn’t a book to read so much as it is a world to inhabit, a story to relish, a love to cherish. It is lyrical, achingly beautiful, and larger than life. This novel is Joanne Bischof at her very finest.
Rachelle Cobb
Feb 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: audiobook
Amazing story AND excellent audiobook narrator!
Kerry Johnson
Oct 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorite-reads
There are a few times, after reading a story, that I wish I could unread it so I can go back and savor each emotionally rich page all over again.

Oh, my. The Lady and the Lionheart made me want to do this.

Not that I won't enjoy the story a second time (believe me I will, with its beautifully-gorgeous-amazing-absolutely-perfect cover included), but when a story is this romantic and sweet, this lovely and moving, it would just be a neat option to erase and repeat. Sigh.

Erase and repeat. Sigh.

Abigayle Claire
Oct 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: e-book
This book fully lived up to my expectations. It was so, so touching, and I loved the themes that played out in the struggles of the main characters had due to their pasts. I've always been fascinated by the circus, so it was lovely to see it portrayed in a sweeter, though still realistic, light. The entire mood of this book just made me very happy. And I thought Ella's journey with faith was one of the most realistic and least preachy I'd ever read. My only complaint would be plenty of romance, ...more
Jan 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2016
What I loved about this novel the most is the symbolism. Although symbolism was my favorite aspect, there was much more to appreciate about The Lady and the Lionheart. The imagery was very strong and I could easily picture the hospital, midway and other places described.

Main characters Charlie and Ella are from vastly different worlds. Charlie is a lion tamer in the circus. He was raised under the big top and knew no other way of life. Ella grew up in a large and supportive family in the hills o
Kara Swanson
Oct 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing

That was how I first came to know of this novel, and I was not prepared for the impact it was going to have on my heart.

It was a chilly evening in a cozy mountain town. I sat at a table warmly lit by the glow of a fire, with three other young ladies.
Two of them were teens like me, just starting off on this journey, just learning what it meant to turn a blank piece of paper and a pen into your heart song.

The third at that table was Joanne Bischof—author, friend, mentor, Godsend.

Christine Indorf
Jan 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: religion
I'm rereading some of my favorites of this year and this was on the list. This book is by far is my favorite Christian fiction of this year so it deserves a reread. Still is as wonderful as the first time I have read it. It was such a clean and loving romance. I just read Verity and I needed a clean romance after that book. When its written like that it makes you fall totally in love with the character not just them having sex. If you need a clean romance that will have you fall in love with the ...more
Jul 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Oh my goodness, this book is a masterpiece. 😍 Joanne Bischof is without a doubt my favorite author.
Susan Snodgrass
Oct 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Some books seriously deserve way more than the 5 stars allowed by Goodreads. I just a moment ago finished The Lady and the Lionheart and now I must figure out a way to craft a review worthy of this amazing story. Truly, words fail me as my mind whirls trying to come up with an adequate review. Joanne Bischof grabbed my attention with her very first book, 'Be Still My Soul' in her Cadence of Grace series, and I've made sure to read every word she writes. She writes with such depth that the reader ...more
Hannah Rodriguez
Mar 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
oh gosh.
how ca i summarize this book without it becoming be screaming in your face READ THIS PERFECT PIECE
okay. this was so perfect and beautiful and feels. charlie makes me have emotions. ella is so broken yet so perfect. holland has a beautiful name. GO READ THIS NOW OR MY WRATH WILL FALL UPON YOU.
Jen. (JenGalaxy4 Christian Book Reviews)
Mesmerizing. Captivating. Spellbinding.

Charlie with his lions. Charlie during his performances. I’ve never read anything like it.

This was awesome! Absolutely a Five Star Book! Just…wow!
From the first page I was swept away into the emotional story of Ella and Charlie. The moment Charlie came into the hospital with little Holland, I wanted to cry. Of course, I didn't really know WHY I wanted to, but as the story unfolds the characters life become raw and open.

As usual I was conflicted with how to rate this. So I'll leave it at four stars and list my likes and dislikes :)

What I loved:
-Charlie Lionheart. He's probably going to be on my list of favorite hero's. It wasn't so much t
Tricia Mingerink
Dec 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Oh. Wow.

I have been hearing about this book for a while. It won a bunch of Christian fiction awards. It seems like everyone was reading it. I figured it couldn't possibly live up to the hype.

No, it didn't live up to the hype. It blew the hype out of the water.

I seriously couldn't stop listening to this book (I had the audiobook version). It is sooooo compelling. It is not my usual style of book since it has very little action and is heavy on character, but it is the characters and the setting
Carrie Turansky
Mar 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
The Lady and the LionHeart is sure to become a classic in the tradition of Redeeming Love! The story of Ella and Charlie will take hold of your heart and not let go even after you turn the last page. The rich symbolism makes this beautiful story even more meaningful. I have enjoyed many of Joanne Bischof's books, and this one is her finest yet. I highly recommend it and wish I could give it more stars! ...more
Sarah Grace Grzy
Sep 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: want-to-own
Oh. My. Goodness. RTC
Old, short review from May 16th: Words are failing me at the moment on how to express my love of this book and I’m going to have a very busy weekend, so I decided to go ahead and at least get the star rating posted and worry about the full review when I have more time. I’m giving this 4.5 stars with the .5 only being taken off because of some technical writing stuff that distracted my inner editor. (So much winking and pursing of lips, LOL) Otherwise IT WAS SO AND BEAUTIFUL OH MY HEART!!! The lo ...more
Andrea Cox
by Andrea Renee Cox

There are things in my past I cannot change. Things that have broken me, left behind scars... Only one God could reach into those dark places and heal them. The scars remain, as do the lessons learned, but the pain has been transformed to divine joy.

The Lady and the Lionheart reminded me of my journey with God to discover just how far inside a person His healing touch can go. This story of a tattooed beast and a soiled beauty was a charming, deep, richly flavored tale with suc
Just an all-around sweet story. I couldn't help but love these characters. Full review to come.

The emotional depth and genuine quality of this story captured my heart so easily. Both Ella and Charlie have believable back stories, setting the stage for their interactions with each other as well as the world around them. I don't know that two characters have won me over so quickly. They aren't perfect by any means, but are realistically kind and striving for better lives.

Charlie is one of my favor
Haley S
Wow! I am speechless. This book is Amazing! Charlie is the best! *sighs*
It was so good I finished this book practically in a night. I couldn't go to bed until I read "the end."

Official Review:

I have found my new favorite book! I have fallen in love with Charlie as well. From page one to page whatever-the-last-page-was, I loved this story.
Okay, so I started the book two days ago. I finished it last night. Two days ago, I was only able to read up to chapter five. Last night, I finished the enti
Feb 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing
3/13/17 Update: I just love this book so much. SO MUCH.


Within the circus is where the majority of the story takes place. And where the setting comes alive, the characters do more so. Charlie Lionheart and Ella Beckley are two characters made up of so much depth and heart. They have entirely different backgrounds and upbringings, yet they find each other. A lion tamer and a nurse. They both carry hurts from their pasts and pain that is hard to grapple with. Both of them find it difficult
Heather Gilbert
Oct 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Everyone remarks upon what a beautiful cover this is, and to be sure, it is. But the CONTENTS of this book are more beautiful still. Themes of freedom, forgiveness, and redemption flow through this unforgettable story, merging into a modern-day beauty and the beast tale that goes so much deeper than the original.

Charlie Lionheart. Holland. Ella Beckley. These names will not be forgotten to readers, as they join the traveling circus, seeing the sights and experiencing it in a whole new way. With
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An ECPA Christy Award winner and an ACFW Carol Award winner, Joanne Bischof writes deeply layered fiction that tugs at the reader’s heartstrings. 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. Joanne has a long-standing passion for romance and a budding fervor for theology. She is more and m ...more

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