Author: TJ Nichols
Publisher: TJ Nichols
Cover Artist: Tiferet Design
Publication Date: April 2, 2019
Length: 203 pages
Reviewed by Sammy
Police officer Jordan and dragon shifter Edra might have to work together, but they don’t trust each other—even if sparks do fly between them.
If anyone finds out Jordan’s a mytho sympathizer, it could kill his career. No one can know that he frequents the satyr dens and uses the drug Bliss. A dead satyr might not get much attention, but two dead humans who appeared to overdose on Bliss? That shouldn’t even be possible.
And it might not be an accident.
Edra, Mythological Services Liaison, has been covering up mytho crimes to protect the community’s reputation. With a mayoral election looming, the last thing his people need is a scandal like this one.
To get a murderer off the streets, Jordan and Edra will be spending a lot of time together, and it won’t be easy to keep up with their deceptions. Or keep resisting each other.
With a brief but packed introduction outlining an experiment that went disastrously awry, the world of Tariko was literally pulled down onto earth by using something known as the Hadron Collider. Now all manner of creatures live among the humans and after years of being herded into internment camps, hunted and killed and essentially hated and reviled, the world has settled and humans have begun to grudgingly accept that the mythos as the Tariko inhabitants are called. However there is still great resistance to the cultures and lifestyles that came with the mythos. In order to try and bring some sort of justice to the vast array of hate crimes still being committed against his people, Edra agrees to be the liaison between Mythological Services and the police. While still trying to cover up any crimes done by his people, Edra finds himself having to work closely with a detective that actually seems to want to help the mythos—a rare cop indeed.
Jordan likes his job but just having come off a long undercover job, the last thing he wants is to become known as the cop who sympathizes with mythos—a definite career killing reputation to have. However, he really doesn’t understand why everyone loves to hate the mythos and his own dabbling in illegal Bliss (a sexual enhancement drug that is forbidden for human consumption) has taken him into contact with many of the creatures. When he is told he will liaise with the human looking dragon from Mythological Services, Jordan is less than thrilled. However, as time goes on he sees how the police have turned a blind eye to the myriad of injustices done to the mythos—everything from theft to murder. Jordan is determined to do his job and if it brings him closer to the tempting dragon shifter Edra than that is something Jordan will have to deal with—that and the incredible feelings of lust he experiences for the man every time they are close to one another.
Throw everything you know about fantasy novels out the window. When author T.J. Nichols decided to begin a new series with the release of Lust and Other Drugs, no realm was off limits primarily due to the fact that the new world created was inhabited by mythological creatures. From gods to dragons, ogres to satyrs and everything in between this is not your normal run of the mill paranormal story. Instead it is a unique take on some very real hot button issues we face today, namely bigotry, xenophobia and rising hate crimes. Wrapped up in a mystery with a sensual slow burning romance, this story sets the scene for future installments which I think may feature Edra and Jordan, the two main characters, again. I’m guessing here but given that the novel ends with a tentative happy for now or perhaps a ‘we’re ready to take the plunge toward a happy ever after’ is a more apt description, I think the author isn’t quite finished exploring the dynamic between these two. Either way I am hoping we get more of these guys because they are incredible and their chemistry is amazing.
I appreciated the way in which the author chose to have Jordan grapple with his own bias against the mythos and have to come to terms with the idea that he could possibly want to have a relationship with Edra, despite the tension that would cause at work and the bigotry the two of them would face both from mythos and humans. This novel didn’t sweep away the doubts that Jordan and Edra had, instead it gradually made the lust they immediately felt for each other slowly morph into something more solid and real—something that could no longer be denied or brushed aside.
I also loved the little secret that Jordan had and how Edra was the first man to appreciate it—that made for some very sensual moments between the two of them. Edra’s interesting mating habits and his surprising desire for the detective that was mirrored in Jordan’s own growing affections, made watching their story unfold that more exciting and fascinating. No matter how unique and surreal the mythos were, this story had me hooked from the first page by keeping the action moving and the sexual tensions high till the very end.
If you are a fan of the paranormal/ fantasy genres then Lust and Other Drugs is the novel for you. It is a fascinating first book in what I hope will become a collection of stories that features these two interesting men.
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