Review: Lionheart by Fran Seen

Title: Lionheart
Author: Fran Seen
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Type: Standalone
POV: First Person – Dual


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 family’s 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 there’s a catch—Lula isn’t allowed to look at him. No one in the manor has ever laid eyes on Mr. Rahim’s face. Although, Mr. Rahim has eyes on everyone—security footage relays on a constant loop in his office.

Everything Lula isn’t meant 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?




ARC provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

Tallulah (Lula) Fowler was a recent graduate. But instead of starting a new life, she went back to her small hometown to support her family. She got a job at the secluded Bluegrass Manor as a housekeeper of an elusive man.

Alo Rahim was a war veteran struggling to fit in a normal life. Disfigured from war, he built up a fort around his heart to keep himself in. But his walls slowly crumbled as his new housekeeper helped him realize there was more to life than hiding in the shadows.

I haven’t read a lot of fairytale retelling, but what I love the most about it is discovering how an author interpreted the story and made it their own.

When I returned home, I felt like a ghost, walking around unseen in the backdrop of the happy lives my family had crafted in my absence.

Alo started as somewhat a stuck up weirdo. He hid from people while he saw everything that’s going on in the manor through CCTV. Deep down he was just a scared and sad man who needed a friend. I like seeing him evolved in a believable pace.

Lula put herself out for people she cared about, but often time not realizing she was the one that needed to be taken care of. I like how she subtly chipped away Alo’s surface without being overwhelming or annoying.

Lula had her own gravitational pull, and I found myself caught in her orbit.

The story was slow burn, focusing more on their friendship than romance. I like how their communications started with a one sided observation and text messages. Others might think he’s a creep but I thought it’s kind of cute haha!

Perhaps my tragedy was compounded into a shorter, more violent time, but her tragedy lingered on, following her like a shadow.

The pace was a little slow towards the middle, but the writing was good to propel it forward. I like how the writing was polished without being overly lyrical.

Lionheart is a story of two people learning to find their place in this world. It would appeal to readers who like entertaining slow burn story.

Final Verdict:

This review is also available on Goodreads.


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Fran Seen is a writer of romance. When she’s not pounding away on her keyboard, she’s an explorer of really old cemeteries, mother to four extremely ugly fur-babies, reader of super spooky stories, supporter of the Thin Blue Line, and a make-believe political commentator.


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