The Lady and the Lionheart by Joanne Bischof

Before we get to today’s article, let’s take a moment to pray for the folks in the path of Hurricane Irma and anyone who will be touched by Hurricane Jose. Also, for those who were impacted by Hurricane Harvey, Hurricane Katia, the earthquake in Mexico, and the wildfires blazing across western portions of the United States.

Father God, please comfort and protect the people in the paths of these storms and natural disasters. Help them to stay as safe as possible and evacuate as needed. Please infuse each heart with Your love and comfort. Help hearts all over the world to draw closer to You because of these disasters we’re facing. Thank You for all the volunteers and authorities who have all been helping residents through these storms. Bless each of them for their commitment to helping those around them. In the name of Jesus Christ, I praise You for being our Port in the storms of life and ask safety and recovery for those in the path of these storms. Amen.


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 such heart and raw pain laid bare for the audience to do with what they will. That’s what I cherish about Joanne Bischof’s stories: Her heart—vulnerable and honest—flutters on every page, through every word.

I was surprised that the faith thread wasn’t clear or really noticeable until chapter nine. This was different and unexpected. But then faith oozed into the fabric of the story and swept into a magnificent crescendo, so it turned out not to be a bother that faith was a latecomer. Better late than never, as they say.

My favorite thing about this book was one of the most heartbreaking: Charlie’s agony. He’s such a soul-shattered man, yet his sorrow and pain and grief and torment scream for mercy in such a tantalizing way that it’s difficult to look away, even though that’s exactly what he would want because he’s that sort of a protector. It was painful and brutal and exquisite. I also loved that Charlie was Romani Gypsy. Very nice and unique touch! I’d enjoy reading more stories about Romani Gypsies, if written well.

A few errors sneaked into this book, which dampened my reading experience a smidge (which is why my rating was four stars instead of five).
* A pulse is never taken with the thumb by a nurse or doctor, because one’s own pulse may be felt in one’s thumb. This would prevent a true reading of the pulse one is trying to take.
* There were grammar and punctuation mistakes throughout, including missing commas, unclear or unnecessary fragments, misaligned indentations, and misspelled words.
* A couple of items were forgotten (Ella’s herb box — though it magically reappeared later without explanation; a note tucked into Charlie’s pocket — what did it say?!).
* There was a modern term/way of thinking: A person being thought of as “less than.” This way of thinking only really became popular in usage in recent years, not in 1890, when this story takes place.

Content notes (which did not affect my rating):
* opium usage
* discussion of a rape (handled with grace)
* tattoos

The Lady and the Lionheart was a beautiful story of healing, forgiveness, and loving the “unlovable.” Fans of Cynthia Ruchti, Kathryn Cushman, and Lisa Wingate will love it.

I was not compensated for my honest review.

What lessons have you learned from receiving God’s healing?
How do you deal with emotional or physical scars?
Have you or your friends or family been directly affected by any of the natural disasters plaguing North America the last few weeks?
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Remember, if you’re participating in my Autumn 2017 Reading Challenge, visit this page to let me know which book you’ve read for each category.

Haven’t signed up yet? No problem! Visit this page to sign up. This challenge goes all the way through December, so it’s not too late to join in the reading fun!

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