Venom & Vanilla 

(The Venom Trilogy #1)

by 

GoodReads Summary:

Successful Seattle baker Alena Budrene doesn’t want to die. But when she’s infected with a lethal virus spread by supernatural beings, her only chance for recovery is to make a deal with the devil—or in this case, a warlock.

Though he saves her life, it looks nothing like the life she once knew—and neither does she. Alena is a new breed of “Supe” no one has ever seen before. Even the supernatural police don’t know what she is. Now exiled to the northern side of the Wall, which marks the divide between humans and Supes, Alena is thrust into a dark and magical new world.

But just as she begins to adjust to all things supernatural, she realizes that her transformation is the least of her worries—and it was no accident. She was chosen…to be killed by a Greek hero trying to make a name for himself once more.

Alena was brought up to be subservient, preferring creating to fighting, and vanilla and honey to blood. But that was then. Now, to survive, she must stand up for herself—and this time she’s got fangs. But will she be ready to use them?

My Review:

I was offered the second book in this series because I had this first book, but I hadn't read this one. So, I got busy and read them both yesterday. It's a good thing they really run right into each other.

This first one jumps right into the deep end of the story in the hospital with the heroine dying of a horrible disease. The author does a really good job of explaining this disease and how it affects the body while the mind stays clear through it all. You get a crystal clear picture of just how the body deteriorates around this person in quarantine. No one is allowed near them because it is so highly contagious...at least to a certain portion of the population. But that's not common knowledge. So everybody stays away.

Strangely enough, this is where Alena makes a new friend, Dahlia. She's in the bed next to her dying as well. Dahlia seems to know so much more than Alena does about what's going on. Alena's been very wrapped up in her bakery and recently found out that her husband, Roger, has been cheating on her. So Dahlia informs Alena on a few things and opens her eyes to a few more things. When the warlock comes to make his deal, things fall apart for Dahlia. Alena saves the day for her and when they meet up on the other side of the Wall, Dahlia doesn't forget either their friendship or Alena's good deed. She's on Alena's side from start to finish in spite of the rules against mixing with other breeds.

Alena also meets Remo, the head vampire. He seems quite taken with her too, at least if his kiss is anything to go by. And she loves the way he smells of cinnamon.

She's very busy making friends and enemies without really trying. Everyone knows about her before she's even met them and has already decided which side they're on. Given the fact that there are a could of gods and demigods hanging around, the field is a little bit lopsided. It seems she's been set up by someone and is intended to die to make someone look good.

Of course, she has to survive to go on in the second book, so I'm going to stop right here and not let any more of the story slip out. You'll just have to pick up a copy of this romp up for yourself and find out how she wins the day.

I acquired this book in Kindle format from Amazon. This is an honest review and I am not being compensated in any way. All opinions are fully my own.
~ Judi E. Easley for Blue Cat Review

Book #2 in the Venom series by Shannon Mayer, Fangs and Fennel, is being released tomorrow, January 10, 2017.