Clean Sweep

(Innkeeper Chronicles, #1)

On the outside, Dina Demille is the epitome of normal. She runs a quaint Victorian Bed and Breakfast in a small Texas town, owns a Shih Tzu named Beast, and is a perfect neighbor, whose biggest problem should be what to serve her guests for breakfast. But Dina is...different: Her broom is a deadly weapon; her Inn is magic and thinks for itself. Meant to be a lodging for otherworldly visitors, the only permanent guest is a retired Galactic aristocrat who can’t leave the grounds because she’s responsible for the deaths of millions and someone might shoot her on sight. Under the circumstances, "normal" is a bit of a stretch for Dina.

And now, something with wicked claws and deepwater teeth has begun to hunt at night....Feeling responsible for her neighbors, Dina decides to get involved. Before long, she has to juggle dealing with the annoyingly attractive, ex-military, new neighbor, Sean Evans—an alpha-strain werewolf—and the equally arresting cosmic vampire soldier, Arland, while trying to keep her inn and its guests safe. But the enemy she’s facing is unlike anything she’s ever encountered before. It’s smart, vicious, and lethal, and putting herself between this creature and her neighbors might just cost her everything.

"I suggest you give up now. According to my research, in a vampire-werewolf love triangle, the vampire always gets the girl.”

Ah, Ilona Andrews, you write so well.

What's even better than knowing I liked this intro into the series is knowing I have the second book waiting.

I'm not going to offer comparisons to their well-loved Kate Daniels world, except to point out the writing duo certainly know how to whip up a fantastic paranormal goodie. They changed the world here to be as inventive as the Kate world, but they did it completely differently. Here there's a bizarre blend of science fiction blended with mythology blended with...well, incredible imagination.

Vampires and werewolves and tigers, oh my, they exist, but here they are unique and all from their own planet origins. It sounds weird, I know, but it works in this book and the bizarreness drops in your life slowly so that you're not overwhelmed by it right away. The heroine is an innkeeper, an invented mythical being for this series, and she's awesome. Her powers are through a connection with a magical inn she cares for, and those powers are sensationally unique.

Dina is a fun character - she's serious but her powers are intriguing, her connection to her missing parents a juicy mystery, and her mildly rebellious outlook is decent. Sean is a character I instantly attracted to - his humor, his toughness, his alphaness, be still my heart. There's a lot of fun characters waiting for the reader in 'Clean Sweep.'

Story-wise, it's also good, as Dina has to join forces with strange allies to fight a ferocious foe. Not only do they have to come up with a way to combat the villain, but they have to solve the mystery or who, when and why first. It's not just action, but it's brains, and that's the most entertaining of all. The ending fight scene was well done, although short, which isn't a bad thing.

Overall a promising opening to the series. Coupled with Iona Andrews addicting writing style and a creative fantasy world, there are hopefully many more adventures on their way.

Oh, and sometimes there are pictures!

   Book Quotes:

“In my experience, the ex-military guys came in two types. The first grew long hair, sprouted beards, and indulged in all the things they hadn't been able do while they'd been in the armed forces. The second did their best to pretend they never got out.”

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