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Something Human

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4.20  ·  Rating details ·  422 ratings  ·  126 reviews
They met on a battlefield and saved each other’s lives. It’s not the way enemies-to-lovers usually works.

Adares comes from a civilization of democracy and indoor plumbing. Rus belongs to a tribe of tattooed, semi-nomadic horse-breeders. They meet in the aftermath of battle, when Rus saves Adares’s life, and Adares returns the favour. As they shelter in an abandoned temple,
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ebook, 245 pages
Published August 25th 2018 by Sexton's Cottage
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Average rating 4.20  · 
Rating details
 ·  422 ratings  ·  126 reviews


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K.J. Charles
Oct 21, 2018 added it
Shelves: bi, historical, m-m
This was absolutely delightful. Set in an alt-Mediterranean sort of world, with a Germanicish tribe at war with Greekish colonisers. Rus, a fighting priest, digs out a trapped fallen soldier from the aftermath of a battle, without realising the warrior he's saving is the enemy. Adares, who is more an administrator, then saves Rus from his poisoned arrow wound, and the two hole up in a temple to recuperate, falling in love on the way.

It's beautifully written (and very well edited, which makes a
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Teal
From the opening scene, set on an impromptu battlefield in the immediate aftermath of the battle, I knew I was reading something special.

At The End I experienced that Holy Grail of a feeling, that sense of "THIS is why I read."

I read to have exactly this experience: to be swept up into a new and immersive world, to spend time with flawed and fascinating characters, to watch a love story unfold that's heartfelt and heartwrenching and utterly unique to these two people.

Five full stars for this on
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Moony Eliver
Nov 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It might not sound like a compliment, but this author made me feel like a complete idiot. Multiple times.

And it’s a very good thing.

Almost all books that I love feel hard to review, but this one has some extra-large difficulties because of some masterful elements that would be spoilers to even try to explain. Let’s just say, I was surprised — outwitted — a couple of significant times and lots of other small ones. And delighted every time. Like, the kind of tickled that put a goofy grin on my fac
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Elena
4.5 stars

This book taught me two things:

1. Be careful what you wish for. After endless complaints about characters not talking enough to each other, karma will turn around to bite you and you’ll get stuck with half a book of interesting, but (seemingly) pointless, talking about everything from drainage systems to mythology.

2. You can’t always judge a book by its sample. And sometimes not even by its first half.
Many thanks to Teal and WhatAStrangeDuck, if it wasn’t for your reassurances I’d have
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Xia Xia
A wonderful BR with my friends Cristina, Ele, Linda, Moony, Rosa and Teal.

4 stars. An enjoyable historical AU romance, which I wish I could have loved as much as my friends. I've added the reasons why this was not a 5 stars for me in the spoiler tag.

(view spoiler)
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WhatAStrangeDuck
I read a lot, and by that I mean a LOT m/m historicals and one of the qualities that I really, really appreciate is the ability of an author to straddle that fine line between not making the characters feel too contemporary but still at the same time making them feel completely approachable and likeable. This is what this book does for me. I feel that I get those guys. Both of the MCs are highly intelligent and in their own way kind of nerdy but in an environment that suggests some sort of Europ ...more
Fabi
Talent!!! So well written and edited that in 245 pages there was one, a single tiny wrong word. That is unheard of in today's mass ebook market.

But kudos not only for a product well designed, the story itself is breathtaking. It's a fantasy world so well crafted that I felt it was real. I was there!

The plot models a historical setting yet the action takes a backseat to the character development. Without even trying I felt like I got to know both main characters intimately. Their dialogue is smar
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Cristina
Something Human is a delightful historical novel set in an indefinite Mediterranean past and focusing on two characters coming from very different cultural backgrounds.

Adares comes from a refined and sophisticated civilisation reminiscent of Greek and Roman antiquity, while Rus is a young priest born in a semi-nomadic tribe of horse-breeders.

After meeting on the battlefield and saving each other's lives, Adares and Rus discover that, despite their many cultural differences, there's something d
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annob
I absolutely adored this gem of a historical romance. It goes straight onto my shelf of top 5 romances of 2018.

I found the writing to be simply superb. Both main characters and their world came alive in the eerily quiet dramatic first scene. I loved the attention to detail when it came to mannerisms and speech pattern of each of them, since they came from two different cultures. And I loved the strategic planning that clearly went into the story arc even more, as more crucial details about them
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Kathleen
Sep 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
4.5 stars

Beautifully written, nicely edited. Superb world building. Deftly drawn, endearing characters. An exciting yet sweet fantasy by an author new to MM romance. Alice Degan writes under the nom de plume A.J. Demas. A fabulous start in our genre.
Linda ~ they got the mustard out! ~
2.75 stars, rounded up

Once again, I'm the odd one out. I didn't love this. I didn't hate it. It was just kind of there.

I'm not sure what I was expecting from this book. I liked One Night in Boukos quite a bit, and it was apparent very early on that this book was written with the same easy flow as ONIB was. However, when set up against a war background, the laid back tone was too easygoing for the setting. I kept expecting tension - these were two guys on opposite sides of the war, after all - bu
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Meep
Oct 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Meep by: Teal
Shelves: historical
This was something different. A simple slow moving story that somehow manages to feel profound.

Set in fictional ancient times it borrows from Greek and Celtic histories. Not a setting that would generally appeal to me, but it works. The characters from opposing sides of the battlefield are both relatable. They're intelligent and interesting in their differences as they compare religious and social beliefs and get to know each other. Neither afraid of battle yet both well reasoned and willing to
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Ekollon
Out of the gate I had high expectations for this book because it had some pretty impressive recommendations. I was all, "Yes! Let's see what all the fuss is about!"

And then I got started, and I said, "Oh. Oh no. I'm not feeling this book at all. This is going to be one of those, 'Hahah, sorry everyone, I know you loved it deeply, but I totally didn't, please don't murder me in my sleep, yeah?' books isn't it?"

But then it got better. I think it was about 41% when I was like, "OMG I FINALLY SEE W
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Kaje Harper
This is historical alternate-universe, set in a world like ours with echoes of the Ancient Romans/Greeks and Celts. Two men on opposite sides in battle save each other's lives, and then find themselves isolated together, away from the ebb and flow of the fighting, long enough to get to know each other. Long enough for attraction and a meeting of like minds to become something more.

Adares has a very appealing mix of self-confidence, curiosity, and intelligence. Rus is also intelligent, more insti
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Manfred
Sep 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I absolutely enjoyed this story, from beginning to end.
It usually doesn`t take a lot of convincing to have me read a historical romance.
I especially love Roman or Greek settings and although this was not really the case here, the places and people resembled Greece very much, from the names to the places to the ideas of small independent cities.
Adares, one of our main characters, is buried alive under a cart and unable to free himself, after a battle.
When Rus, one of the enemies finds him, he hel
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Caipi
I'm not a huge fan of historical novels but I have greatly enjoyed every page of this beautifully written love story!
Thank you Manfred for this great recommendation, without which I would never have read this wonderful book!

4.5 stars
Erica
Jun 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Beautiful writing, lovely characters, fantastic world building. This one is meant to be savored. My only complaint would be that I want more. What happens after the end?

I have a few other books by this author on my TBR. Looks like I need to move them up in priority.
Rosa
I liked this one a lot but at times the writing style got me lost. It's like I was really immersed in these characters and in their world but then, something got "lost in translation", like I needed a bit more in some of the conversations and interactions between them. But still, the story was good, I liked Rus and Adares world and how it's changing and I loved the epilogue. The Little Temple is an awesome addition to the story.

Thank you friends for the awesome BR as always! I think I enjoyed t
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Elin
Aug 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Sheer happiness


Demas's books always make me happy. This combines culture I'm very fond of, in disguise but perfectly recognisable, and an absorbing culture-clash love story. Very highly recommended.

Karen Wellsbury
Mar 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: m-m, fantasy, historical, lgbtq
Having seen some really positive reviews for this I was intrigued.
A war has been fought between Rus' tribe, germamesque, tattooed horse breeders, and Adares Mediterranean colonisers, and Rus ,a priest, saves the life of Adares and they retreat to a temple to recover. As they find out about each others cultures, Rus' symbolic blue tattoos, his chastity and what it means and Adares initially more open culture they start to fall in love.
They then part for a while, as two men form opposing cultures
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Bev
4.5 stars from me. This was perfectly charming, and a joy to read. Wonderfully written, and expertly edited as K.J. Charles mentions in her review...such a refreshing change from most published stories nowadays. I also loved the cover. Maybe the author could give us a glimpse into Adares and Rus' future in Tios at some stage..pretty please 🤗 ??

Now onto One Night in Boukos, which also has an attractive cover.
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Joyfully Jay
Sep 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sammy
A Joyfully Jay review.

4.5 stars


Something Human takes us on a whirlwind trip into a created world that feels like a mixture of an old Arthurian legend and a modern day romance. Every piece of this world meshes beautifully with the idea of siege warfare between two diametrically opposed tribes vying for dominance in an ancient world. Adares, the archon (King, for better want of the word) of the Phemian people, was never supposed to be in power, but his tribe loved him—so much so that they opted t
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Sophie
Oct 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
A lovely, lovely book set in a world that is reminiscent of late Ancient Rome. There were a few times when the language seemed to jar with the world, but apart from that it was wonderfully immersive as well as a soft and gentle love story. I really enjoyed this and highly recommend it.
Lee Welch
Sep 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
‘Fall off your horse’ beautiful. This is an enjoyable, well-written m/m romance with great world-building/period detail. It’s a story about love across cultures, and the two leads have convincingly different world-views, and negotiate those differences in believable – and sometimes charming – ways. Both leads were engaging. Both were decent people trying to do the right thing in a difficult situation. I really wanted them to be together and I believed their relationship would last. Special menti ...more
Jerry
What an absolute delight. A great world building story set in an imaginary Mediterranean style country with Greek type colonizers and Germanic style invaders. A simple love story between a wounded invader who saves a trapped colonizer. Love insues and the hearts and minds of both tribes of people are changed.
This is one of those books that makes you wish is was longer, actually I would like a whole series with both tribes and how they further evolved. I also want to see in detail how this amazin
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Gillian
Dec 10, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4 solid stars

I think I have a new (to me) favourite author. This was a fantastic story that kept me turning the pages long after my bedtime. I absolutely loved the characters, and could have kept reading about them long after the book ended. Truly delightful.
Leanne
4.5 stars rounded up :)

Utterly charming main characters. Beautifully written!

hedgehog
Good writing, which makes this even more of a letdown than a book where everything is uniformly terrible. This is a pseudohistorical world that is more or less Roman Britain with different names, and while in a fantasy the author is free to pick and choose whatever aspects of their real-world historical counterpart they wish, it sure was jarring to read mentions of engagement parties, novels, still lifes, characters being called "knaves", and so on in something that was otherwise mapped exactly ...more
Rachel
12/28/18 Currently 99c via Amazon: http://a.co/d/8SIiRN1 ...more
Victoria (Eve's Alexandria)
Technically I finished this last night on the train home from London, all but the last 2% of the epilogue which I had to hold over till this morning because I couldn’t bear to rush it in the final minutes of the journey. I *loved* this dual perspective m/m romance set in the ancient world, the unlikely pairing between Adares, a worldly bisexual administrator and Rus, a closeted tribal priest. They save each other’s lives at the end of a battle and end up trapped together, wounded, in a temple fo ...more
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A.J. Demas writes about love and imaginary politics in a fictional ancient world. She lives in Toronto, Canada, with her husband and cute daughter.

A.J. also publishes fantasy and historical fiction with a metaphysical twist as Alice Degan.

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“In Luth poetry, there was a formula used to indicate a very beautiful woman: you would fall off your horse trying to keep looking at her, as you rode past. That was what the Phemian Adares was like. He had a face like one of the gods painted on the Kossian urns that stood in the summer hall of the kahar- except that unlike them he was always breaking into a smile. And such a smile. You would fall off your horse.” 2 likes
“That reminded Rus of Kuth saying the Kossians didn't respect their women. Neither did the Luth, really, when you scratched beneath the surface. You didn't use "womanly" as an insult for men if you truly esteemed women. It made him sad to think about.” 0 likes
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