CLEAN SWEEP (Innkeeper Chronicles #1) by Ilona Andrews
175 pages, ebook
Available now (December 2013)
Self-published by Ilona Andrews
Review copy provided by author for honest review
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.
First Date: This was truly a blind date–I had no idea what this story was about, all I knew was it was written by the fabulous team that is Ilona Andrews. Still, it could go either way. I made sure to set up an “emergency” call from a friend, just in case, then settled in, a fresh pint of beer at my side (nerves, you know. Social lubricant is a must in situations like this). But I needn’t have worried because Ilona Andrews came through for me.
Second Date: Though short, this story packs an opening wallop and makes me hope that there will be plenty more Dina to come (I know it says it’s the first in a series but you never really know. I have faith, though.). This started out seeming to be non-paranormal, just some dogs disappearing or turning up gutted (poor puppies!). Could be coyotes…could be something paranormal. Dina knows it’s the latter and she’s determined to protect the unsuspecting people of the neighborhood, though she fully believes that werewolf Sean should be protecting his territory. And she’s not afraid to let him know. The banter between Sean and Dani is great, especially since Sean doesn’t really understand what he is (though he does know he’s a were) and he certainly doesn’t know what Dani is. Smart, sassy girl uses this against him to get him back for peeing on her trees (darned territorial werewolves).
Third Date: Oh, I thoroughly enjoyed these dates with Dani. There are some hot alpha men involved (always a plus) and an eccentric resident at the inn who keep things popping, as they try to figure out who’s causing the trouble and how to get rid of it (turns out to be multiple someones — not good!). Some interesting worldbuilding, great characters, and a fun premise with lots of future potential. I’ll definitely be back for more. Thanks for the great dates, Dani! Cheers!
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