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Alike As Two Bees

3.92  ·  Rating details ·  120 ratings  ·  34 reviews
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 e
Kindle Edition, 67 pages
Published March 2nd 2012 by Etopia Press
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Average rating 3.92  · 
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 ·  120 ratings  ·  34 reviews

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Jul 22, 2015 rated it really liked it

Elin Gregory is so talented, and writes such wonderful historical romances! Right now, you can snap up almost all her titles for $2.99 (or less)!
Not a period I’ve read romance for (that I can think of), so when my automatic recommendations turned this up I pounced on it! Philon is an apprentice stonemason, and as he works on portraying Castor and Pollux, he’s copying from a horse he’s seen on the beach. Her rider Hilarion is clearly interested in him, and Philon’s apprehensive and eager about that… even as Hilarion’s brother, Aristion, starts to bully Philon’s fellow apprentice. Hilarion comes to his rescue, and Philon… well, he falls a ...more
Michael Joseph
Mar 08, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: gay-historical
This review was originally written for Speak Its Name. This version contains a bit of a spoiler, so if you don’t want that, read the version that appears at Speak Its Name where it’s been edited out.

Anatolios and Philon are young apprentice sculptors in Classical Greece. Anatolios is a precocious boy of just 13 years. Philon is much older, around 20, and treats Anatolios like a brother. Their master Nikias treats both boys as his own sons. They are both talented, and Anatolios may one day even s
3.5 stars for a historical set in Athens about marble frieze sculptor Philon and Hilarion (I'm not exactly sure what he does, but he's the nephew of the man commissioning the marble work). Their story is sweet and well-told with one non-graphic sex scene. Gregory does a lovely job of setting the scene and era without a ton of details and this was an enjoyable read.
Victoria (Eve's Alexandria)
A beautiful sleepy gentle romance set in a mason's yard in ancient Greece, and quite unlike anything I've read in the genre. Lovely delineation of characters and place, with exploration of power within a homoerotic culture, and full of feeling despite being so short. I'll be reading more Elin Gregory as soon as possible.
Oct 09, 2012 rated it really liked it
When I was first realizing I was gay, I was thrilled to discover (to realize) how many of my favorite stories were really about gay lovers. That is to say, I grew up loving stories of ancient cultures, especially Rome, Egypt and (yes!) Greece. Then to discover that the real relationships of some of my heroes were being subtly turned into best-friendships pissed me off. But not too much. I was all too happy to discover that Achilles loved Patroclus as much as I suspected, that Hercules/Heracles l ...more
4 stars from me. A nice little historical read.
Aug 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Lovely little story!
Gerry Burnie
Gerry B's Book Reviews -

As far as I can determine, Alike as Two Bees by Elin Gregory [Etopia Press, 2012] is the debut novella for this author, and as such it is a worthy effort.

Set in ancient Greece the story focuses on Philon, a sculptor’s apprentice, who is characterized as a somewhat shy but talented boy. His character is rounded out be his fellow apprentice, Anatolios, a precocious thirteen-year-old.

Playing opposite them are Aristion, the bratish son of a wealt
Susan Roebuck
May 16, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Alike as Two Bees is populated by characters whose energy and exuberance will stay with me for a long time.
The author evokes Classical Greece by portraying the every day life of a group of stone-masons who are under the guidance of fair but stern Nikias.
Our hero is twenty-year old Philon who might be quiet but is skilled at his craft and ever-ready to come to the aid of young Antolios, a wonderful character with a charming mix of child-like naivety and an adult's perception of knowing exactly wh
Jul 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing
A very sweet novella, with just a bit steam coming off it. I only wish every romantic scene was written like Elin Gregory's - then they might actually be romantic instead of the ridiculous farces they tend to be. The writing was impeccable, the horses were characters (always a plus), and I loved the human characters. More, please.
Nov 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A novella that makes you feel like you've visited Ancient Greece - full of familial love, a m/m romance, bullies, and art

Elin Gregory has become one of my favorite authors, and this novella demonstrates once again her skills as a writer. While this story is set in the 5th century BCE, during the time of Pericles, Pheidias and Socrates, it takes place away from the grandeur of Classical Athens and in a nearby small town. And while it evolves into a m/m romance between 19 year old Philon, an appre
Sweet novella set in ancient Greece about a talented young sculptor's apprentice and a gentleman ex-soldier (or so I assume, since we are never really told what Hilarion does or how he got his scars). The side characters are pretty clichéd, but the budding feelings between the two men ring true.
Sasha Ambroz
Dec 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: own
It is sweet and though short is rich with characterisation.
Ruth Fasham
Aug 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
Enjoyable sweet novella. Would love to read more in this world too as I enjoyed many of the other characters too.
Jul 23, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: historical, 3-5
3.5 marbles

Elin Gregory draws us into the ancient world of Greece, where democratic ideals didn’t necessarily penetrate to the countryside and the hand that holds the purse rules the world. Lovers are just as sweet in that past. Alike as Two Bees takes us to the sculptors’ yard where beauty we are accustomed to finding in museums is just today’s work.

Philon, plucked from among the stonemasons to train as a sculptor, is old for an apprentice because of his change in trades. He hangs back rather t
Sammy Goode
Jul 13, 2012 rated it it was ok
Rating is a 2.5

Alike as Two Bees takes us into the world of Greece in ancient times and immerses us in the world of a sculptor, Philon, who has deliberately placed himself in a minor role and strives simply to work well, and remain unseen. He is effective at his attempt until one day while taking a younger boy swimming a nobleman, Nikias, notices him. He, too, has had his share of disappointments and bears the scars to provide it. But Philon, snared by his beautiful handiwork and his proud and
Lena Grey
Apr 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Set in Ancient Greece, 'Alike as Two Bees' by Elin Gregory tells the tale of Philon, an apprentice sculptor, and a soldier named Hilarion; how they meet, develop a mutual attraction, and fall in love. The detailed descriptions of the operation of a stone masonry gave me a greater appreciation for the magnificence of Greek architecture. I've seen many pictures of these amazing buildings and statues, but never stopped to think about someone having to carve every detail by hand.

The characters in th
Nov 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Almost as Alike as Mary Renault

There is no higher praise I can give an author than he or she has created an atmosphere, and characters, that would do the late, great Mary Renault proud. Elin Gregory has done this in a remarkably compact, easy flowing, not-without-conflict, tale of ancient Greece and a culture which accepted, if not totally encouraged, MM romance.

While in Philon and Hilarion, Ms. Gregory has come nowhere close to the depictions Ms. Renault gave us of Alexander, Hephaeston, and al
Cathy Brockman
Jan 13, 2013 rated it really liked it
The blurb above says it all. Philon is a sculptor’s apprentice and is using Hilarion’s horse as his model. But it’s not only Hilarion’s horse that has caught his eye. Hilarion appreciates the fine work of Philon but appreciates the young man even more.

I found this a very sweet, loving, moving, and well written romance. The names and towns are slightly hard to pronounce but I know that is because it is old age. It doesn’t hurt the book at all. I found it heartwarming and sexy, I without any expli
The TBR Pile *Book review site*

I have an Italian friend who makes the best spaghetti sauce ever, and all that’s in it is olive oil, fresh tomatoes, onions, pepper, and herbs. Sometimes from the simplest ingredients comes the best meals ever. Needless to say this story is simple as the plot nor the characters are that original but I found that all the ingredients complimented each other so well that it made a very flavorful story despite the unoriginal template.

This has an almost Dirty
Catherine Cavendish
Oct 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I can say this because I read this a few weeks ago and it is with me still. This is a beautifully written story set in classical Greece, and Elin Gregory manages to create such depth in her characters and story and such a strong atmosphere, I was sad to reach the last page.I have the strongest feeling there is much more to come from this writer and I look forward to reading it. 'Alike As Two Bees' is such a lovely story.
Stevie Carroll
May 11, 2013 rated it really liked it
A sweetly understated story in a less commonly-used historical setting. Lots of lovely details about the lives of the men working on the interior decoration for a new house, and their observations about the house's future inhabitants and their friends. I loved the details of the different places we were taken to within a small geographical area, and just wish there'd been space for more description. An excellent range of characters too, and I'd also love to see more of their adventures.
Oct 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Alike as Two Bees by Elin Gregory is a delightful read. Set in classical Greece, this story kept me turning the pages and not wanting it to end. Philon is a young apprentice sculptor who befriends Hilaron, cousin to the sculptor's employer.
This story tastes of honey and olives and feels warm and welcoming.
I was sorry to see this book end. I hope to hear more of their story at another time.
I got lost in this book and look forward to more from this author.
Jun 16, 2014 rated it it was ok
After reading Gregory's 'On A Lee Shore', this one fell flat to me. The characters had no personality to me, except for Anatolios and Aristion (although he was very much built on a stereotypical bratty boy). There wasn't much of a plot and the sex scene was utterly ridiculous - I have no idea how she managed to describe the entire thing with only euphemisms and nothing explicit. I've seen this done well but here, it was painfully obvious. And just plain weird.
C.C. Williams
Jun 12, 2012 rated it really liked it
This was a truly charming and delightful read (really closer to 4.5 stars)!

The characters were well drawn and engaging, and the story, while not long, felt complete and well developed. I enjoy historicals very much and was pleased with this entry for the classical period.

I definitely recommend this novella!
Dianne Hartsock
Mar 14, 2012 rated it really liked it
A charming, sweet love story nestled in the arms of ancient greece and the every day life of a sculptor and the man he comes to care for.
Page Crusherz
Mar 28, 2012 rated it liked it
Short, enjoyable, but not overly memorable.
Robin L
Dec 05, 2015 rated it liked it
The passion was missing from this sweet story making it feel a little incomplete.
Lea Blottiaux
Dec 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing
A Good Read

I enjoyed the story of Philon and Hilarion. It was good short story of an ancient historic romance. A Good Read.
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