Genre/Tags: Gay Romance, Historical to Contemporary, Supernatural 

Author: H L Day

Story Rating: 5 Stars

Narrator: Jake Whalley

Narrator Rating: 5 Stars

Length: 9 Hours & 15 minutes

Audiobook Buy Links: Audible Australia

“You will be trapped in stone forevermore, your beauty hidden by a façade so ugly that people will not like to look upon it. You will feel, but you will not be able to speak. You will hear, but you will not be able to communicate. You will endure across the ages, a silent witness to the decades that go by”.

François Damont’s only crime was loving the son of a witch in a time when it wasn’t permitted. For that sin, he’s been cursed to spend eternity locked inside the body of a gargoyle. A chance to break the curse comes only once every 25 years, lasting for no longer than 28 days. He’s been unsuccessful for hundreds of years. Why would this time be any different?

History lecturer Daniel Smith is still reeling from a broken marriage when he stumbles across a mysterious man. Frankie might be hiding something, but the connection between them is too strong to ignore. Can he unlock the mystery before it’s too late?

Strange dreams. Dark forces. People who may not be what they seem. Time is not the only thing against them. And perhaps Daniel knows more than he thinks he does

A sweet MM paranormal romance featuring magic, witches, and a relationship that might just be able to endure anything.


This is about the narration more than anything else. The original book review can be found here.

I read the e-book of The Beauty Within as an ARC, I think, and I really enjoyed it, gave it 4.5 stars, but I’ve had this audiobook sitting on my phone since it came out because of my lack of time. I listened to it in a 24 hour period over a couple of sittings, finishing two days ago. That speaks volumes as I don’t have that kind of time but I made myself find it so I didn’t stray too far from this beautiful love story. I didn’t want to leave François and Daniel for any length of time.

All of the characters remained exactly as I felt them to be the first time I read the book, including Richard, whom I really couldn’t stand in e-book or audiobook. Sorry not sorry, Richard

So…. This is one hell of an audiobook. Jake Whalley is magnificent. It’s like being in the book – in 16th century France and then in Sheffield, England in 2018. I know how this book ends and I still cried my eyes out listening. I felt angry, I clutched my chest. I had to keep reminding myself, ‘Kaz, it ends well.‘ From a totally objective standpoint – I’ve read the book – I know it has a HEA but I felt the pain of Frankie and Daniel so much more viscerally thanks to Whalley’s performative narration. He really, REALLY embodied these characters. It was like he was living the experience as well. I’ll sheepishly add that the sex scenes are face-melting. There aren’t many but, holy hell….

H L Day has a knack of finding quality narrators – the pitch perfect Anderson Richards for Exposed, the superb Brad King for the Too Far series, and now the dynamic Jake Whalley. I feel so lucky to hear stories I love being given the respect they deserve. I love voices. I obsess about embrace characters. I feel it all deeply and that can be joyful and that can be painful and that can be messy. No matter what, they mean a lot to me so it’s always special when a good book is elevated even higher because of the narrator. I think the authors I follow respect their characters and give them the voices they need and I’m very grateful to them all. Thank you H L Day and Jake Whalley, your combination of words and voice made The Beauty Within the best kind of magic.