Venom and Vanilla by Shannon Mayer

Venom & Vanilla (The Venom Trilogy #1)

By: Shannon Mayer
Pages: 240
Series: The Venom Trilogy #1
Publisher: 47North
Published on: November 1, 2016
Venom and Vanilla by Shannon Mayer

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?

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Welcome everyone back from the Holidays.  I hope that everyone had a good time spent loved ones. We drove 3 hours to spend 24 hours with family just to drive back 3 hours on Christmas.  I had planned on attending a New Year’s Day party, but my battery was dead and it was late.  So I just said screw it and read a book.  Enough about me, let’s get down to the book.


Venom and Vanilla is modern day with a spin.  There are supernaturals who are freely living among us, well kind of freely living among us.  There is a disease that kills humans in a matter of days, and apparently, it just gives the sniffles to supernaturals.  So of course, the government wants to block access and what do they do?  Oh they throw up massive walls (sound like anyone we know?)  to keep the Supes from interacting with the human folk.


The main character is infected and on her way to die when her lovely husband Roger comes in to tell her that he is shagging another woman. Also he is going to sell everything that she holds dear so he can go into a pet grooming business, although he hates animals.  Devestated, and when it couldn’t get worse, Merlin shows up. Merlin is a wizard who can make your wildest dreams come true, and when you are losing teeth and hair and are about to die, living is your wildest dream.  There is always a catch and that catch can be a real doozy.


The rest of the story is pretty much a long spoiler and so I have to leave you with Merlin and Alena. This book is full of supernaturals of all tastes, and some people everyone may know, but not in the same way.  Oh did I tell you that Merlin was a bit of a dick?  Yeah he is a bit of a dick.


Things the author did really well is capture the essence of Greek Mythology and the personalities of individual Gods and Goddesses.  I mean seriously Nike wearing Nikes.  Teehee.  Anyways, I also like the twist on religion that she gives.  You can tell the author doesn’t like a specific religion, but not for the reasons many think.  The religion in her book is so bonkers that the main character throughout the book can’t get over what she grew up not being able to do.  She is a cute, quiet, churchmouse.  However, with her new skin it just isn’t possible.


Things I would have liked to see in this book, but may be in the next one.  I really wanted Alena to grow a set earlier, especially around her ex-husband.  I mean he is a dick with a capital D.  Yeah, there are some off the cuff sex jokes that she makes about him, but overall she is still that little churchmouse, even when she knows that it is the time to either ball up or die.


She needs to seriously get over being married, she isn’t alive. The divorce is kinda final, so get horizontal with Romeo. He is a hot tattooed vampire, with a little shifter blood. The reason why I think this is Alena keeps saying it ad nauseam every time that she sees him.  “He moves like a feline” well duh we are talking about supernaturals and vampires are not born they are made, so why couldn’t a shifter be born and then made into a vampire?


Also, while she can bake circles around everyone, she is not the smartest.  I mean she is downright slow sometimes.  Not that it is a bad thing, but while I love her kick ass style at the end.  Seriously that car needed to be stolen, who puts paw prints on a sports car. She is also a little ‘poor me’, ‘what do I do next’, etc etc etc.  At least her vampire besty is a little more independent.  Oh and Merlin can suck it, seriously what a jerk.


Overall a good book, will probably buy the next one to see where it goes. I want to see what else Merlin is up to because you know it is so good.  I would like to see less religion and more kick ass snakey style.



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About Shannon Mayer

A long time ago, in a galaxy far away, I was born into a family of Star Wars nuts. I have a lot of siblings (somewhere I lost count but I think there was more than could be numbered on one hand) and being one of the young padawans I was subjected to Star Wars marathons, on a regular basis. If you've read any of my books you'll see there is often a reference to said movies as a small homage to my upbringing. May the force be with you and all that jazz.

I started writing when I realized I didn't want to grow up not believing in magic, or not believing in creatures everyone else said didn't exist. That being said, I have never seen a fairy, unicorn or dragon. I had a neighbour who swore they fed the leprechauns in their garden, but I never caught the little buggers no matter how long I lay in wait. (And consequently had to help the neighbours plant new flowers to replace those I killed waiting for the leprechauns to show their faces.)

Along the way, I found my husband who is the rock that keeps me from floating away into my dreams, and we have a little boy who is the centre of our world. Living on a farm keeps us busy (as if the writing wasn't enough) and I have more than my share of stories about wrestling with cows, helping birth calves and ending up in the creek during the process, falling in the mud (we'll call it mud but we all know that on a farm, mud is rarely mud) and chasing escaped livestock in the hopes the four legged convicts don't make it to the highway.

I've taken up archery, and the goal is to move into horseback archery in time (you know, when I can hit the target on a consistent basis) and when no one is looking, I love to bake (this doesn't happen often as it's hard to keep the sweet treats in stock with two boys in the house.)

As to what's coming next for me? More stories (since those never stop inside my head, I might as well share them with all of you!) and more adventures. Pretty much, when the fancy strikes, I'll jump on it. Leap before you look I'm sure that motto was created for me.

Or was that . . . think big and dream bigger, ready, set, pull the trigger . . . yeah. That one is a good one too. But only if you have a gun. And are hunting elephants. Which is not cool because of so many reasons. Let's stick with the first one with an addendum.

Leap before you look and let your dreams carry you on their wings. And that, my friends, is me in a nutshell.

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