Genres: Contemporary Romance
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I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
An Arab-American soldier and a stargazing woman connect in this high-tech Beauty and the Beast retelling.
In an attempt to pay off her familyÔÇÖs debts, Lula answers a Craigslist ad for a job opening at the formerly vacant Bluegrass Manor. A stern and brooding man offers her the job, but thereÔÇÖs a catchÔÇöLula isnÔÇÖt allowed to look at him. No one in the manor has ever laid eyes on Mr. RahimÔÇÖs face. Although, Mr. Rahim has eyes on everyoneÔÇösecurity footage relays on a constant loop in his office.
Everything Lula isnÔÇÖt suppose to notice about Mr. Rahim intrigues her: the cadence of his accented voice, the stoutness of his build, and his self-imposed prison that mirrors her own.
Lionheart is a romance of huge stakes that asks one question: Is love enough to mend a broken soul?
This is an awesome post, if I do say so myself. ┬áWe bring you a triple threat; not only do you get to read a review on the next book you’ll be adding to your TBR, but you also get to meet the woman behind the words and see a book trailer!
Once Upon A Page would like to welcome Author Fran Seen! ┬áThank you for taking the time out of your schedule to answer some of our questions and letting us get to know you a bit better. ┬áTo all of our book lovers, we encourage you to take a few minutes to check out the author interview, read the review, and see the book trailer.
I was fortunate enough to have read a previous work by this author. ┬á(If you’re interested, the review for┬áLoneWolff┬ácan be found here). ┬áSo, of course, when the chance arose to review┬áLionheart,┬áit was a no-brainer.
The premise of the book is the retelling of the Beauty and the Beast. ┬áAlo, the Beast, is a recluse by choice. He suffers from demons and residual trauma from the war. ┬áAs with many veterans, he struggles to adapt to his redefined persona now that he’s no longer a warrior. ┬áHis┬áloneliness is palpable; he’s lost within himself. ┬áI believe his self-imposed solitude is truly the beast, not Alo.┬áThe fact that Seen in no way trivialized his torment and went to great lengths to ensure she accurately represented his pain and horror is greatly appreciated. ┬áShe certainly sheds light on this hidden pain of our wounded warriors. ┬áPTSD is a beast unto itself.
I am grateful Lula finds a chink in his armor and is able to scale his seemingly impenetrable walls. ┬áUnlike the traditional Belle, Lula has her own demons. ┬áShe struggles with the guilt associated with her sister’s accident, the fact that her father can’t keep it financially together, and how her mother just walked away. ┬áThe added wrench in the┬ásituation is her sister’s boyfriend, her ex. ┬á Despite the bleak prospects of her life, Lula’s optimistic outlook cannot be squelched. ┬áShe breathes life back into the desolate mansion and the vacant soul of Alo.
Seen asks if love is enough to mend a broken soul. ┬áIf you define love as a single-faceted emotion, then I would respond no. ┬áHowever, if we are talking about the various dimensions and depths encompassing this highly-sought four-letter word, then I shout a resounding yes! ┬áLula seems to know that love means being a friend, being a shoulder, being a listener, forcing the difficult conversations, and looking beyond what the eye can see. ┬áThat is the beauty of Lula; she can see the beauty beneath Alo’s beastly pain.
I pondered for quite a while trying to determine who was the “Lionheart” in this story. ┬áI’m not sure what Seen had in mind, but my assessment is the title defines both of them. ┬áBoth Alo and Lula are warriors. They have fought different wars with difficult collateral damage, but they fought their way to each other.
It’s a beautiful story, written in such a fashion that you forget it’s a tale as old as time. ┬áI hope you will be as captivated by this story as I am!