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Double Review: Ogres and Other Dating Dilemmas – TJ Nichols

Ogres and Other Dating Dilemmas - TJ Nichols

Genre: Paranormal, Romance

LGBTQ+ Category: Gay

Reviewers: Gloria, PRG and Jay

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About The Book

Sean Lloyd has given up on finding love. It’s easier to concentrate on his work as a mytho biologist than figure out people. But that was easier to believe in his twenties. Now his friends are getting engaged and planning weddings, and he’s only planning his next hook-up. He wants more, even if he isn’t sure what that looks like.

When an ogre knocks him over and then sweeps him off his feet, he’s more than happy to go along for the ride. However, mythos aren’t classified as people, and Sean can see how hard it is for his friend Jordan to date a mytho even though his dragon-shifter boyfriend passes for human. Ogres don’t.

Troy Violet was thirteen when the collapse happened. He lost his family and was taken in by another, a much stricter household that cleaves to ways that were considered old even before the collapse. So much has changed in the ten years since, and there are so many more opportunities for an ogre not interested in finding a wife. However, he never planned on falling for a human man.

Some people aren’t happy with the way he is turning his back on ogre society, and they will do anything to drag him back, even if it means breaking a few human laws. 

The Reviews

Linda

It’s been ten years since the mytho world collapsed into the human world, and gave all the human “haters” something else to revolt against. It is not a surprise when there are protests and violence and cries that mythos are not human, but beasts. Humans always seem to find a reason to hate, protest, and bring about violence – we see it every day, you just have to open a newspaper or put on the tv.

This is the world that Troy, an ogre, grew up in, the world he has been trying to live in. Troy doesn’t want to remain in the ogre community, with its old traditional ways, where marriages are chosen by Aster, the leader of the community. Aster wants Troy to become her fourth husband and that is not what he wants. He’s gay, and has made it known that he will not be accepting a marriage with a woman.

At a basketball game, Troy first sets eyes on Sean Lloyd, a man on the human team, while Troy was on a mixed team of mythos and humans. Sean can’t take his eyes off Troy. who is exactly what he wants, huge everywhere (and that is all I will say about that). In the shower, room Troy tries to make his interest known, but Sean just runs.

Sean lacks confidence when it comes to relationships. He leaves before the breakup he is sure is to come, before he can have his heart broken. He’s a mytho biologist, which has not endeared him to many mythos. His work revolves around plants, trees and insects, but many think he was responsible for experiments on living beings.

Troy makes his feelings known, and says he doesn’t care about Sean’s job his job. Sean agrees to a date, but he’s a little afraid because of the tensions between humans and mythos that often result in violence. Troy lives in the ogre region, and humans are not always happily received there. Sean, for his part, lives in the human region, and a mytho there would stand out like a sore thumb. Neither Sean nor Troy feels comfortable in the other’s region but if they hope to have a relationship, it’s a necessary evil.

Aster still refuses to give up on marrying Troy, and gets her other three husbands to use threats and violence. That violence is also against Sean, putting Troy is between a rock and a hard place when it comes to being with the human he has grown to love while fearing for his safety. The passing of the Mythological Persons Bill, making mythos legally human, could finally bring the wall down that has separated the species. Being seen as human and being given the same rights would make being together so much simpler for Troy and Sean, but would undoubtedly lead to more deadly violence.

This is my first book in this series, and I loved it, Sean and Troy are wonderful characters who just want to be able to love who they want, and that is nothing new in our society. The book is filled with violence, sex, love, surprises and secrets, this book has it all.

Five stars.

Jay

This was fabulous, one of those books I couldn’t wait to finish, and yet dreaded finishing because then it would be over.

Having said that, a word of warning. It’s book 8 in a series, and if you haven’t read the earlier stories, you may feel a little lost. However if, like me, you have followed the adventures and romance of Jordan (human cop) and Edra (lesser dragon ‘knight’), this is a wonderful addition to the tale.

Troy (ogre) and Sean (human) were mentioned in some of the earlier novels. This time, we see Jordan and Edra from their perspective, as well as getting the details of their growing romance.

The basic concept of the series is that the Hadron Collider literally collided our world with Tariko, catapulting a lot of creatures thought of as mythical into our present-day society. The resultant attempts to create a harmonious world are fascinating, dangerous and thrilling.

For Troy and Sean, most of the danger comes from traditionalist ogres, who disapprove of Troy’s attempt to mix with humans, but we also see some of the human/mytho problems Jordan and Edra face as they try to wrestle a city into some kind of peaceful co-existence. Additionally, we see Jordan’s wedding from the point of view of the guests instead of the grooms.

The book ends with a promising future for the main characters, but there are minor ones who will, I hope, have their own stories told in the near future. The world building is superb, and the characters are exceptionally well developed.

Like all good fantasy and sci fi the reader is encouraged to think about real world problems, personal and general, from an outsider’s viewpoint. A must-read for anyone who loves queer paranormal tales.

For those who are new to the mytho world, go and start at book 1. You won’t be disappointed.

Five stars.

The Reviewers

Linda

I am an avid reader the mother of 3 sons and grandmother to seven grandchildren. Since retiring I have been doing more reading while volunteering as a CASA worker. CASA is an organization that works with the family court system to ensure that children are in the best living situation. There are way too many children that get overlooked in the foster care system and I visit homes and make visits to the parents. I was born and raised in New York and my husband of 50 years and I live in Upstate New York. 

Jay

I’ve been doing book reviews on my website, crossposted or linked to various social media, for a few years. I read a number of genres but I really enjoy all kinds of speculative fiction so thought I’d like to share my views with you. I love sci fi and other speculative fiction because of the way it can, at its best, make us see ourselves in a new light. Quite apart from the exciting stories, of course! I used to be an English teacher, and I’m a writer (fantasy) so I can be quite critical about style etc. but I hope I can also appreciate properly some books that don’t appeal to me personally but might be simply perfect for others. I have, obviously, read widely, and continue to do so. 

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