Fires are raging in the San Francisco hills, and dragon eggs have been stolen out of the nest of the greater dragons who live there. As the liaison for the mythos at Mythological Services, dragon shifter Edra knows that they must find those eggs before the female dragon destroys the city in her anger. Edra begins to dig into the disappearance with the help of San Francisco cop, Jordan, who has recently been promoted to working with mythos within the police department. The trail soon leads to the local mermaids who inhabit the bay near Alcatraz. Unfortunately, mermaids are the most dangerous of the mythos and getting their cooperation is next to impossible — they would just as soon kill the men as talk to them. When other mythos artifacts are discovered stolen, it becomes clear that the case is bigger than they once thought. But with the mermaids involved, investigating is not easy. Things are even more complicated by the fact that the city has no desire to help the mythos, and certainly no interest in arresting any human culprits.
On the personal side, Edra and Jordan are slowly finding their way in their new relationship. The chemistry between the men is intense, but they are taking things slow. As a lesser dragon, Edra can either mate for life, or he can fulfill his lust with a casual hookup and move on. If he just has sex with Jordan, Edra will lose interest in anything more. Edra and Jordan have decided to give a real relationship a shot and see if the bond forms between them that could lead to mating. The feelings they have for one another are strong and growing stronger. Having no sex in the meantime doesn’t thrill either man, but the bigger problem is figuring out if this is what they each really want. Edra lost his mate and the heartbreak was overwhelming. He worries what will happen if they bond and Jordan later decides he isn’t interested in a mate for life. The fact that Jordan still can’t manage to tell his friends that Edra is a mythos doesn’t bode well for their relationship long term. Jordan is also addicted to Bliss, and Edra is worried he is mixing up his lust for Edra in his need for the drug. For his part, Jordan is unsure if he is ready to be a dragon mate, and he worries that he is not good enough for someone like Edra. Edra seems to be pulling away and after growing up with parents who thought him unworthy of love, Jordan is sure that it is some failure on his part causing the issues. And, of course, both men have the added complication of the fact that they work together and both sides would be upset to see the men together romantically. Not to mention that human/mythos relationships are almost unheard of and frequently end in violence against the couple.
Now Jordan and Edra are facing challenges on all fronts. They need to figure out if mating is what they really want, and if so, how they can keep their jobs and face the world as a couple. They also must figure out a way to solve a case that makes both of their departments happy, while staying out of reach of murderous mermaids and making it out alive.
Greed and Other Dangers is the second book in T.J. Nichols’ Mytho series and I am enjoying these books so much. This is a great follow up to the first book, Lust and Other Drugs, and continues Edra and Jordan’s romantic journey really nicely. The books follow fairly closely plot-wise, so I think it is helpful to have read the first book. However, Nichols does provide a both a Prologue that explains the foundation of the world building, as well as a “Previously” chapter that recounts the basics of the first book. I really appreciated the reminders and I wish more authors provided this information for their series books. So given that information, I think readers could jump in here if desired.
What makes this series a standout for me is the incredible world building. Essentially, the fantasy/mythological world of Tariko “collapsed” into the human world ten years ago, merging the human and mythos civilizations. Since that time, humans have mostly subjugated the mythos and often treat them like animals, even those who are able to speak and have human qualities. San Francisco is considered one of the more enlightened cities in dealing with mythos, but they still are frequently harmed or mistreated and the police and the city largely look the other way. Nichols has done such a great job not only with the series premise, but also fleshing out all the details. The world is populated with vampires, dragons, mermaids, satyrs, ogres, and more. They each are unique in their traits and behavior, often in fun ways that contradict some of our usual lore. Nichols manages to drop in so much depth and detail, without overwhelming the story. I just loved watching Edra and Jordan navigate this world and learning all about these fantastical beings. Nichols then overlays the suspense plot of the missing eggs and the attempts to bring the culprits to justice, something that isn’t easy when dealing with the complications of human/mythos relationships and the politics of the city. As with the first book, I think the case comes to a close a little abruptly. I would have a like a little more resolution here, but perhaps there is more to come in future books.
Overlaid on top of this all is Edra and Jordan’s growing relationship. Nichols does a great job building the sexual and emotional tension between the men. They have decided to try to see if the mating bond can form, but it is not easy for either of them. Not to mention all these problems laid on both of them from their jobs and their communities if they even think about being together. Plus, the added pressure of making a lifetime decision. I could really feel the tension as the men struggle between their feelings for one another and their practical fears. I think that the middle here could have been tightened a bit and the ultimate resolution given a little more room to grow, as things feel like they move forward quickly after a lot of indecision. But I really enjoy the men together and watching them work through the complications.
I am very much looking forward to more in this series to see what else is in store for Edra and Jordan, particularly the aftermath of their decisions. There are elements of the case that may be unresolved and, of course, a lot of potential fall out for the men when word of their relationship gets out into the open. I am really excited to see how it all plays out in future books.