Wednesday, October 19, 2016

ARC Review: Venom & Vanilla by Shannon Mayer

Venom & Vanilla
Author: Shannon Mayer
Series: The Venom Trilogy (Book 1)
Publication: 47North (November 1, 2016)

Description: 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 Thoughts: This was a fun urban fantasy novel. Alena begins the book dying of a rare virus. Her only hope is to be turned into a supernatural. However, Alena was raised in a strict fundamentalist church that is opposed to all supernaturals. She is meek, modest, and subservient to her husband. But when she learns that her husband has already found her replacement and plans to sell her beloved bakery, Alena finds her assertive side.

She is turned into an unusual supernatural by Merlin. Turns out she is a monster destined to by slain by Achilles. But Alena isn't ready to accept her fate. She reconnects with the brother she thought was dead but who is now a Naga. Learns family secrets from her outrageous grandmother. And decides to change her fate.

Though she has trouble letting go of her useless specimen of a husband, she becomes attracted to the powerful and sexy leader of the vampires. She feels guilty despite the fact that her husband was cheating on her. Alena begins to embrace her assertive side but she is still very conservative in her language. Part of the humor in this story comes from her attempts to swear but "donkey butt" is about the worst she can come up with.

This story creates an interesting world filled with supernaturals but also reincarnated gods and heroes from mythology. I liked that Zeus's current kingdom was a Big Box store. Alena gets advice and guidance from Eros, who prefers to be called Ernie, but isn't sure if she can trust him because he seems to be shifting sides with each utterance.

This series has possibilities. I'll be eager to read more.

Favorite Quote:
"No, no. You need a thong for those leggings. Otherwise your panty line shows, and that would be a crime against your nature. Friends don't let friends be frumpy." Ernie threw a piece of string at me. String. I held it up on one finger. Make that three pieces of string. "This. Is not underwear."
I got this one in exchange for an honest review from Kindle First. You can buy your copy here.

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