Venom and Vanilla is the fist book in Shannon Mayer's latest series, The Venom Trilogy. Mayer is a bestselling author of many books, and The Venom Trilogy looks like it should have fit right in with her other series.
Venom and Vanilla opens with Alena, who is the owner of a successful bakery, ill with an incurable disease. One that is passed to humans by Supes. Supernaturals who aren't supposed to be this far south. They were contained behind the wall, supposedly to keep humans safe from them. But Alena contracts the disease anyway. She is given a choice, to either waste away and eventually die, or to become a supernatural being, and all that entails. Alena fights for a bit, but eventually gives in, and allows herself to be transformed.
When she wakes up, she notices that she can still pass for human, something many supes can't do any longer. But then, Alena is special. Nobody knows just what she is, only that she's not your run of the mill supe.
Eventually, Alena learns that she's an ancient and powerful creature, one who has powers far beyond those of regular supes. And a creature that the Gods want to kill. Yes, there are Gods. Roman Gods are brought into the mix, in a strange twist. So Alena has to deal with learning the powers she has, all while fighting Roman Gods.
It's a fun book, not particularly deep, but fun. There are some serious problems with Alena, the fact that she speaks like a teenage valley girl, as opposed to a successful businesswoman in her 30's is just one of them. The characters aren't particularly well developed, there isn't any motivation for them, and Alena being summoned to fight Achilles is just...odd, jarring. I didn't like it, but I didn't dislike it either. It just seemed "meh". So I can't really recommend it, but I won't really steer you away from it. Unless you're just starting to read paranormal/urban fiction. In that case, this would be a really bad early taste of a genre that can be very, very good.
I did receive an ARC of this book from the publisher.