(I know that this is an old review but in somehow the content of this post got deleted and this is just a reupload.)
I’d been raised to do the right thing. Even when it hurt me.
Maybe most especially then. Because suffering was a part of life, and without it you grew prideful und full of ego.
I am happy that I could start reading this book, I have been so thrilled what Shannon’s new series will be like. And… I loved it!
I have fallen in love with the cover. After seeing it you knew that Shannon Mayer will provide us with a new powerful female protagonist. And even the clothes and the color could not have been chosen better. Also the title “Venom & Vanilla” fits perfectly with the book. It contains both parts of the main character, first the strong part of her, that shows fangs and should not be messed with (would end deadly…) and her soft part with her big compassion for baking. As the first book mainly is about the main character adjusting, finding her new place and balancing between her old self and the person she is now.
The book starts with thanks to her readers and a star wars reference, one of the things Shannon really is into. You start your reading with a smile on your lips when you know this.
Alena Burker is a business woman with her love for her own bakery. She also owns a lot of money and has a husband that helped her get away from the Firstamentalists. Her only problem? Alena got a deadly disease and her husband already treats her as if she was dead. And the only cure seems worse than the disease. But that’s not all when she gets entangled into the supernatural world, she needs to learn that there are a lot more problems coming her way.
The story needs some time developing until it reaches the point on the back of the book but it still is not boring. Next to it, there is no introduction of the characters and the world, you will be thrown into the cold water, that will seem similar to Alena in the later part of the story. I really like it when there is no or just a small introduction into the plot, it keeps the book exciting.
At the beginning, I could not think about a way to entangle the Greek mythology into this book. I have been pretty surprised about how appropriate and well mixed with the story it was in the end. You would never anticipate the main character to be a Firstamentalist and to never use a swear… Just not after you read the Rylee Adamson series. (Rylee could not handle to not swear, so why should Shannon Mayer’s next character not be similar to it?) But you surely will not get disappointed, you know her characters need some time, but then they surprise you when they show their fangs! My new favorite character? Surely Yaya, honestly I just love crazy grandmothers (do some of you remember the Disney movie Mulan? there is the best example). And Yaya is just like that. As much as Alena gets new friends while adjusting to her new life, she also gains new enemies. Nevertheless, staying out of trouble would be boring and surely is not the style of Shannon Mayer or her characters.
In the end, I can say that I really enjoyed reading this book. Shannon finds the balance between deep thoughts, humor, and action in her fantasy books. Additionally, she also creates one-of-a-kind characters like Alena that you just need to love and sympathize with. I can fully recommend the start of her new series and now need to wait patiently for the next book’s publishing!