Title: The Beauty Within
Author: H.L. Day
Publisher: Amazon/Kindle Unlimited
Length: 217 Pages
Category: Fairy Tale Romance, Fantasy
Rating: 4 Stars
At a Glance: The Beauty Within is a gentle story that celebrates the simple joy of falling in love. This book offers readers who love fairy tales and their uncomplicated, universal message that love conquers all, a full measure of romance.
Reviewed By: Lisa
Blurb: “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 twenty-five years, lasting for no longer than twenty-eight 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.
Review: The Beauty Within is a modern day fairy tale with its roots grounded in the medium’s traditional themes. The story is sweet, sometimes heartrending, and it presents the classic fairy tale conflict in which Frankie must find true love, against all odds, to break the curse he’s been under for centuries. And it does so with the additional romantic notion that even death cannot stop true love.
This story begins in France, in the year 1571, with the budding love affair between two young men, François and Estienne, who will ultimately tempt fate and lose everything in the process when a witch curses François to an eternity of consciousness encased within a grotesque (a close cousin to the gargoyle), accusing him of seducing her only son into committing forbidden and sinful acts. François is doomed to watch time pass while the world turns from season to season, without end, observing people and seeing society morph but unable to participate with one exception: every quarter century he is reanimated and allowed to remain in his human form for twenty-eight days. And in that time, he can break the curse if he succeeds in finding a pure and perfect love.
Falling in love with someone and, more vexing yet, making that person fall in love with him, is something François hasn’t accomplished in four hundred and fifty years. But then, he’d never met Daniel Smith before either.
Daniel is a man who still believes in love despite the fact his marriage has recently failed, which is unsurprising, really, considering what destiny has in store for him. H.L. Day introduces a nice spin on the idea of love at first sight in the ways in which François (aka Frankie) and Daniel connect with each other, and I liked that she allowed this to play out within a series of occurrences that were triggered at the moment they met, when the course of their lives changed forever.
The Beauty Within is a gentle story that celebrates the simple joy of falling in love. This book offers readers who love fairy tales and their uncomplicated, universal message that love conquers all, a full measure of romance. It harnesses the longing and fear and the belief and disbelief in miracles as, unbeknownst to Daniel, Frankie’s time with him grows ever shorter, and Frankie begins to lose hope that Daniel is “The One” who will break the curse. It doesn’t dig deeply into layering the characters, as most fairy tales don’t; the entire point of this story is the shadow and evil and the love that will vanquish it, even as those sinister forces are at work to ensure that doesn’t happen. And the final face-off with that evil, along with the ultimate expression of sacrificial love, plus a little help from an unexpected ally, delivers the emotional punch to solidify the romantic ending.
You can buy The Beauty Within here:
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