Author: Fran Seen
Genre: Contemporary Romance
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.
This review is also available on Goodreads.
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.