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Horses, love, and the tang of thyme and honey…
In Classical Greece, apprentice sculptor Philon has chosen the ideal horse to model for his masterpiece. Sadly, the rider falls well short of the ideal of beauty, but scarred and tattered Hilarion, with his brilliant, imperfect smile, draws Philon in a way that mere perfection cannot.
After years of living among the free and easy tribes of the north, Hilarion has no patience with Athenian formality. He knows what he wants—and what he wants is Philon. Society, friends and family threaten their growing relationship, but perhaps a scarred soldier and a lover of beauty are more alike than they appear.
The blurb sounds more intense and elaborate than the story actually is, as pretty much everything from the historical setting to the characters and the conflicts are skated over because of the short length. Alike as two bees is a standard sweet romance blooming under the combined efforts of a supportive child and a contrary bully, and besides historical details here and there, that’s all that there is to it.
Still, Ancient Greece and men sculpting powerful bodies can only call to the imagination, and the author turned that to good account. She drew an enjoyable scenery made of blinding sun, sandy beaches, singing cicadas and hands stroking stone and flesh, although more successfully for the former than the latter.
All in all, it is undemanding historical escapism providing a nice, relaxing pause. Recommended if it’s what you’re looking for.
RATING: 3 STARS