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    REVIEW: Lust and Other Drugs by T.J. Nichols

    Mytho: Lust and Other Drugs – T.J. Nichols

    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, the 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.

    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 to keep resisting each other.

    Book 1 in the gay urban fantasy series that follows Jordan and Edra as they solve crime and figure out how to improve Mytho and human relations. For readers who like dragon shifters and forbidden romance.

    Lust and Other Drugs is the first book of Mytho Investigations and my first book by T.J. Nichols. It’s part dragon shifter romance, part police procedural, part commentary on humanity.

    The book opens by explaining how mythological creatures, a.k.a. mythos, came to be in our world. The mythos are from a world called Tariko which imploded into ours when physicists fucked up their hadron collider. At first, it was pure chaos, and then slowly, some European countries came to recognize creatures who can communicate as people and the mythos gradually integrated into society.

    It’s been ten years since the collapse. In the US, some states and cities are mytho-friendly, and many are not. Jordan Kells lives in San Francisco, where the current mayor is anti-mytho, and many crimes against the mythos are swept under the rug. Jordan is the rare police officer who acknowledged mythos are people and he is determined to work their cases seriously.

    A case involving satyrs and their infamous drug, Bliss, had him crossing paths with Edra Tendric, a.k.a. Knight Tendric, the mytho liaison. Edra piqued my interest immediately. At first blush, he’s nothing more than a glorified social worker, helping mythos integrate, find schools and jobs, and help them with their cases.

    The mythos greatly respect Edra. They call him by his title, Knight. And he really is a knight! He’s no longer allowed to carry a sword, which is a pity because he would cut a fine figure in complete regalia. Apparently knights can do lots of things, from protecting dragons, making sure people follow the rules to super secret black ops missions.

    The world-building here could be info-dumpy. Understandable as many things needed to be explained, from satyr culture to what happened to Atlantis to Edra’s backstory. It’s a fantastic world to get lost in, the kind where you can create an infinite number of stories.

    As much as I love the fantasy and lore, the circumstances surrounding the murder mystery was painful. The story showcased the worse side of humanity: the bigotry, xenophobia and violence towards those who are different. Some mythos could pass as humans, but some, like satyrs, were seen as nothing more than animals.

    The story is in dual POV. In Edra’s POV, we see insights on mytho nature versus human nature, particularly religion, culture, and sex. The scenarios in the book reminded me a lot of what’s happening in some countries. There is even a side plot about the imminent election, and it’s a close fight between the pro and anti mytho mayoral candidates.

    One key theme of the series is how no one cares about mytho cases, especially if the perp is human. And this is one fight Jordan refused to give up. Our boy set out to investigate the satyr deaths with everything he got. Sadly, said investigation and the conclusion of the case wasn’t well-executed. This is on the writing itself rather than on Jordan.

    The scene that touched me the most was when it hit Edra that Jordan was indeed genuinely determined to get justice for the murdered satyr. Our dragon knight almost burst into tears. They, the mythos, matter to a human!

    The romance was a slow-burn second chance, especially for Edra, who lost his mate in the collapse. It’s a good enough start, but my interest was more on Edra and Jordan doing their jobs and navigating the fragile trust they built with each other and the other human and mytho characters. Although, I am curious to see how they fare when their secret relationship becomes public, so I’ll be reading the rest of the series.

    Lust and Other Drugs is a well-conceived urban fantasy. It’s a very fascinating world, even if it’s a troubled one, with intriguing characters I’d love to read more about. All in all, a tale worth a dragon knight’s loyalty!

    4 Stars – minor quibbles but I loved it to bits

    Soundtrack: Matter
    Artist: Yatch
    Album: I Thought the Future Would Be Cooler

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