I received an ARC of this book from the author, this does not affect my opinion of this book or the content of my review.
Dina DeMille doesn’t run your typical Bed and Breakfast. Her inn defies laws of physics, her fluffy dog is secretly a monster, and the only paying guest is a former Galactic tyrant with a price on her head. But the inn needs guests to thrive, and guests have been scarce, so when an Arbitrator shows up at Dina’s door and asks her to host a peace summit between three warring species, she jumps on the chance.
Unfortunately, for Dina, keeping the peace between Space Vampires, the Hope-Crushing Horde, and the devious Merchants of Baha-Char is much easier said than done. On top of keeping her guests from murdering each other, she must find a chef, remodel the inn… and risk everything, even her life, to save the man she might fall in love with. But then it’s all in the day’s work for an Innkeeper…
It is absolutely no secret that I adore husband and wife writing duo Ilona Andrews. Their works are just magical. This is the second book in the Innkeeper Chronicles and it is an interesting project because this is a self published venture that is initially written as a serial for free on their website, and then is copy edited and published for a modest price. So if you haven’t started this series, once you get caught up you can read along for free. I personally don’t do that because serials drive me barmy, but it is certainly an option, and I would imagine it is interesting to get small peeks into the writing process.
To that end, and to show my great love, my cheap butt is personally hosting a giveaway. And also to support an author who most rationally releases their book on a Friday, as in my opinion all books should be released – Tuesday releases are misery. As Sweep in Peace is being released on Friday 13, the giveaway will be open until November, 13, 2015 12:00 am at which point a winner will be chosen to receive an ebook copy of both Clean Sweep and Sweep in Peace. This giveaway is open to US residents age 18 or older who can receive ebooks through Kindle, Nook, or Kobo.
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This is more of an Urban Fantasy series than a paranormal romance. Clean Sweep had some romantic elements, and there was the beginning of a light love triangle (which is something I normally despise but which didn’t bother me here), but this is more about Dina’s journey than anything else. Yes, eventually I am sure she will get her happily ever after, I can even guess who it will be, but it is more about her than any pre-supposed “him” right now.
So in an alternate version of current reality (or maybe it is this world…if you believe in magic), Dina is an Innkeeper. This doesn’t sound too magical until you realize that The Gertrude Hunt is no mundane Inn, it is a living, breathing, entity; and within its grounds Dina, with her trusty broom, reigns supreme. And from it she has access to other worlds and to other dimensions of this world. She’s a truly kick-ass homemaker. There is also a small tie-in to Andrews’ Edge series, but it is a small easter egg for fans and I don’t think you have to have read that series to enjoy this one. While the characters from that series are main characters here, they are fully formed in this story without requiring the back story from that series. I recommend you go back and read those, because they are excellent, but it just isn’t a requirement if you aren’t looking for that sort of commitment.
The gist of the matter is that magical Inns require magical guests to maintain their magic. It is a strange and wonderful symbiotic relationship. Dina comes from a family of Innkeepers, and at some point they and their Inn went missing. When she failed to find them she revived the long dormant Gertrude Hunt in order to get guests from all over the universe and across dimensions in hopes of news of her family. But being new and lacking guests, the Inn has been in a slump. So when the Arbitrators, the universe’s neutral faction, come calling with a business proposition to host an arbitration, it is an offer she literally can’t refuse. No matter how disastrous she thinks hosting warring factions will be. And she knows it will be disastrous.
And damn if it didn’t start out with a bang. It was just as disastrous, if not more so, than anyone could have foreseen. There was plenty of action and drama as one would expect when you get warring factions together. Sneaky maneuverings and stratagems. Excellent storytelling and world building, characters you root for and empathize with. All in all, a simply wonderful urban fantasy (with an emphasis on the fantasy) tale. And then BAM! Andrews hits you with the curve ball. Maybe I would have seen it coming if I hadn’t been sucked into the story so hard, but there was simply no time to analyze where all this was going. And that curve ball left me unbalanced just enough that when the pinnacle hit, I’ll admit it, I sobbed like a little baby.
The story is excellent, even better than Clean Sweep, and that is saying something. The premise is interesting, the world building is excellent, and I love Dina to bits. Yes there are other characters, and they are more than one dimensional set pieces, but this is Dina’s story and she rocks. So 5 stars and a sobbing plea to the AuthorLord for more Innkeeper.