Tracy W. is the winner of One Fell Sweep! Congratulations Tracy, and thanks to everyone who participated for dropping by.
Tracy W. is the winner of One Fell Sweep! Congratulations Tracy, and thanks to everyone who participated for dropping by.
Dina DeMille may run the nicest Bed and Breakfast in Red Deer, Texas, but she caters to a very particular kind of guest… the kind that no one on Earth is supposed to know about. Guests like a former intergalactic tyrant with an impressive bounty on her head, the Lord Marshal of a powerful vampire clan, and a displaced-and-superhot werewolf; so don’t stand too close, or you may be collateral damage.
But what passes for Dina’s normal life is about to be thrown into chaos. First, she must rescue her long-distant older sister, Maud, who’s been exiled with her family to a planet that functions as the most lawless penal colony since Botany Bay. Then she agrees to help a guest whose last chance at saving his civilization could bring death and disaster to all Dina holds dear. Now Gertrude Hunt is under siege by a clan of assassins. To keep her guests safe and to find her missing parents, Dina will risk everything, even if she has to pay the ultimate price. Though Sean may have something to say about that!
I received an ARC of this book from the author, this does not affect my opinion of this book or the contents of my review…obviously, since I bought it anyway. And I’ll buy a copy for one lucky winner of my Giveaway too, as has become my tradition (and despite the fact that it is getting released on a Tuesday)! a Rafflecopter giveaway
So on to the story. This is the first one of this series of serials where I actually read the serial instead of waiting for the project to be finalized, though I did wait for all parts to be written…because I am not that much of a masochist. So I found it really interesting to try to see where and how it changed. Of course, the difficulty with trying that is that I once again got sucked into the story, hard. It is difficult to play the difference game when you feel like you are in something instead of outside it.
This is the third book in their urban fantasy series, where the earth in question is one out of a multiverse, one that connects to the wider multiverse through key points in the form of Inns. Inns are magical places that are hidden from the earthlings at large, and that function as neutral points on earth for the protection of both earth and the special visitors that come here. They also are symbiotic, Inns need guests. And Dina is the Innkeepeer of the Gertrude Hunt, the setting of our story.
The overall series arc revolves around the search for Dina’s parents who disappeared with their Inn some years ago. While her brother actively searches, Dina’s plan was to draw guests to her Inn in the hopes of encountering someone who could help. Considering the caliber of guests she has attracted, and the courageous way she has addressed problems along the way, it is no surprise that this plan is bearing fruit. Dina rocks.
Other notable points in this story are getting to meet more of Dina’s family and the resolution of the love triangle that was noted in the first book. I was never in doubt about which way that was going to go, personally. But if you were hesitant to pick up this series because of that triangle, you can rest assured it is safe to pick it up now.
But the most important things are the way our kick-ass homemaker grows into her role and owns up to making life and death situations. She also learns to be part of a team. This book wasn’t as “fun” as the first one, nor was it quite the sucker punch to the guts that then second one was (in my opinion), but it was just as good only in a broader way. I guess what I am trying to say is that there was a lot more going on in this one. Heartwarming moments, humor, joy, despair, and hope. This one has it all, and so did Dina.
As for changes from the original serial format? The only thing I actually noticed was the little bit of a twist at the end. It really cleared up one confusing (to me) plot point from the last book, and left us with a hell of a question to ponder while waiting for the next one.
But you’ll have to read it to see what shook out. And I highly recommend this series to anyone who enjoys a little paranormal/urban fantasy.
Adrian Maddox fled his royal life—and tragic past—in Sector One, choosing instead to join up with the O’Kanes. For years, he’s lived by one rule: love fast, love hard, and always be willing to walk away. He’s managed to guard his heart, keep it whole and untouched—until now.
They couldn’t be more different—Dylan, the brilliant, burned-out doctor from Eden who drowns his pain with drugs and self-destruction. Scarlet, the sensuous, sexy rocker from Three, a woman unafraid to embrace the world. And Jade, the whore turned spy from Sector Two, who battled addiction and came out stronger than anyone he’s ever met.
Separately, they make Mad long to open his heart, to tumble head-first into a sea of possibilities and wild love. Together, they make him burn, inside and out, with lust and unbearable, unimaginable pleasure.
Then one fateful moment shakes their world to its foundations—and leaves the sectors on the verge of all-out war with Eden. It’s the biggest fight the O’Kanes have ever faced, and Mad and his lovers are at the dead center of it. They could end up with everything they never knew they wanted—or lose it all. Including their lives.
I received an ARC of this book from the author(s), this does not affect my opinion of this book or the content of my review.
This is a series that I adore. Dark and gritty, sensual with a biting edge, and in my opinion, feminist erotica. Post -pocalyptic dystopian, which I can’t get enough of. And characters you just have to love set in an intricately built political world. You really can’t just jump in here at the 7th book. It won’t work. Start at the beginning and dig in. Fair warning, the first ones are skewed mostly to the erotica side, but as we go along Kit Rocha builds this whole world and political system that is kind of a darker, and way sexy, Panem.
And this particular story is one that we readers have been clamoring for. For one thing these are some of the most mysterious characters, and for another, after the triad the authors pulled off, how would they pull off a quad? Mad, Dylan, Scarlet, and Jade have serious demons, and this particular story is erotic /fic in just about any configuration you can think to make. And it is intense, and explicit, and not to be missed or skimmed over, because it redraws the terms and boundaries of their relationships and their souls. And for just how sexy it is, it also feels a bit like a cuddly puppy pile, especially at first, because it is also about comfort and caring. And the remarkable thing is that they analyze why they are broken, and what in them is “them”, and what in them is what they were made to be. And as a quad they are whole, and they shore each other up, and they SEE each other, because some things you simply can’t fix…you just have to live with who and what you are now. So it is heady being inside their heads.
On the political/societal front, things come to a massive head. Outright war is on our doorsteps. But sometimes that isn’t even the worst of it. The lives Eden twisted and destroyed and turned into their twisted playthings are PEOPLE under it all, not nameless, faceless things, people…and as I’ve said, sometimes people can’t really be fixed. But sometimes they can remake themselves, and that is often the theme in this series. And if Ashwin Malhotra doesn’t get his ever loving redemption, if not a full-fledged happily ever after, then I WILL freaking riot.
But that is a side thing (but I am serious Bree and Donna, so, so serious), and we have to focus on the now.
And here is what I mean by this being feminist erotica. Yes, there are sexual power plays, and yes, some characters ink collars and cuffs on each other (and that is predominantly women). And yes, there is a ton of sexual submission going on, and what some might argue is coded language. But the flip side to it is, who has the power if sexual submission is what you like and want? And that isn’t all women are in this series. The sexual games are titillating, but if you care to look, the rest is often powerful. Women can be healers, and power brokers, and powers in their own rights. Women can be Sector Leaders, and some of that is because even in the midst of the chaos women can teach their daughters powerful lessons “…how to tell right from wrong, and how to use whatever power she had to protect those who had none….because her mother had loved her enough to tell her she could do anything.” And the powerful men in this series don’t take that for granted, they don’t diminish it, and whatever sexual games they might play-they recognize that the sex (submissive or otherwise) isn’t the defining feature of the women. And there isn’t any BS about the men having to have equal outside power to count, or holding extra internal power to compensate, they just are who they are and they respect each other.
And the love story here of 4 broken individuals who remade themselves, and reshaped themselves-for themselves- somehow made themselves into pieces that fit together perfectly, a puzzle that might not make sense to anyone but them. I’ll admit, I had my doubts about how well a quad would work, how they could balance so I felt that everyone gave and got what they needed, so no one was lesser. But it turned out beautifully, and I can see this relationship working for all of them.
That ending though, war, and not everyone has made it out alive so far, and the future looks pretty grim. We have a title, Beyond Ecstasy, and our two new main characters are revealed. But so far, no date, though it is listed as 2016, so hopefully not too long, I can’t wait.
BEYOND SHAME (87,000 words, 354 pages)
All Noelle Cunningham has ever wanted is a life beyond the walls of Eden, where only the righteous are allowed to remain. But ruins lie outside the City, remnants of a society destroyed by solar storms.
Those ruins house the corrupt and the criminal–men like Jasper McCray, bootlegger and cage fighter. He’ll defend the O’Kane gang with his life, but no fight prepared him for the exiled City girl who falls at his feet.
Her innocence is undeniable, and so is their attraction. But if she wants to belong to Jas, she’ll have to open herself to a world where passion is power, and freedom is found in submission.
BEYOND CONTROL (100,000 words, 398 pages)
Alexa Parrino escaped a life of servitude to become one of the most influential people in Sector Four, where the O’Kanes rule with a hedonistic but iron fist. There’s nothing she wouldn’t do for the gang–and for its leader. But she bows to no one, not even Dallas O’Kane.
Dallas fought to carve order out of the chaos of the sectors. Danger threatens his people, but his liquor business is flourishing, and new opportunities fuel his ambition. Lex could help him expand his empire–and no one says no to the king of Sector Four.
Falling into bed is easy, but their sexual games are anything but casual. Attraction quickly turns to obsession, and their careful dance of heady dominance and sweet submission uncovers a need so deep, so strong, it could crush them both.
BEYOND PAIN (89,000 words, 350 pages)
Live fast, die young–anything else is a fantasy for Six. She’s endured the worst the sectors had to throw at her, but falling in with Dallas O’Kane’s Sector Four gang lands her in a whole new world of danger. They’re completely open about everything, including their sexuality–but she hasn’t survived this long by making herself vulnerable. Especially not to men as dominant as Brendan Donnelly.
Bren is a killer, trained in Eden and thrown to the sectors. His one outlet is pain, in the cage and in the bedroom, and emotion is a luxury he can’t afford–until he meets Six. Protecting her soothes him, but it isn’t enough. Her hunger for touch sparks a journey of erotic discovery where anything goes–voyeurism, flogging, rough sex. He has only one rule: he won’t share her.
In Bren’s arms, Six is finally free to let go. But his obsession with the man who made him a monster could destroy the fragile connection they’ve forged, and cost him the one thing that makes him feel human–her love.
Madeleine Sutter was once the belle of the ball at the popular resort town of Misty Lake, New York. But as the sole survivor of the community’s worst tragedy, she’s come under suspicion. Longing for the life she once enjoyed, she accepts a rare social invitation to the event of the season. Now she will be able to show everyone she’s the same woman they’d always admired—with just one hidden exception: she awoke from the accident with the ability to heal.
Doctor Jace Merrick has fled the failures and futility of city life to start anew in rural Misty Lake. A man of science, he rejects the superstitious chatter surrounding Maddie and finds himself drawn to her confidence and beauty. And when she seduces him into a sham engagement, he agrees to be her ticket back into society, if she supports his new practice—and reveals the details of her remarkable recovery. But when his patients begin to heal miraculously, Jace may have to abandon logic, accept the inexplicable—and surrender to a love beyond reason…
Mr. Piedmont worked swiftly, the sound of crumpling paper filling the awkward silence as he wrapped her purchases and bound the tidy parcel with string. By rote, his freckled hand reached to the nearby jar of candy. Placing a single peppermint stick on top of the bundle, he slid it toward her, then turned to face the shelves lining the wall behind him.
Tears blurred Maddie’s vision as she stared down at the red-striped treat, the simple reminder of who she once was—who she still was, if only one of her neighbors could manage to look her in the eye long enough to see it. She swallowed hard.
“Thank you,” she murmured to the shopkeeper’s back before he walked away.
Maddie left the store and proceeded to her final errand. As she’d anticipated, a letter from Amelia awaited her at the post office. Maddie would wait until later to open it. Their recent correspondence had rattled her to the bone, and she knew any public display of emotion would be ripe fruit for hungry local gossips.
Not that maintaining decorum could help her cause now. People already believed the worst about her. These rare trips to town only served to remind her that nothing had changed.
Shoving the letter into her skirt pocket, she headed south on Main Street. To her relief, the band of young hooligans that had taunted her earlier was nowhere to be seen. She hurried out of town nonetheless. Each dreaded trip was a tax on her nerves, and when added to the anxiety of what awaited in Amelia’s letter, Maddie yearned for the comfort of home.
When she reached the outskirts of town, she took the path through the woods that opened to a large field. She welcomed the sound of chirping crickets and birds. As always after she exerted herself with a lengthy walk, her leg was beginning to ache. She slowed her pace, then stopped to rest at her favorite spot on her grandfather’s sprawling property. Sitting on a felled birch log in the broad clearing, she stretched out her leg. The cramped muscles unfurled as she enjoyed the serenity of the surrounding forest, the gentle spring breeze through the swaying trees. The sun felt heavenly, and she lifted her face to bask in its glow.
She’d avoided town all winter, hibernating like a bear in a cave. She’d emerged from seclusion renewed by foolish hopes, but the first outing of the new season had been just like the last. A bear would be better received.
Maddie sighed in defeat, dug out the letter that was fairly vibrating in her pocket, and unfolded its pages. The bold strokes on the delicate cream sheets conveyed Amelia’s confident tone and dramatic style.
My dearest Mads,
I received your response denying my request, but I refuse to take no for an answer. I simply cannot get married without you!
You swore an oath to one day serve as my bridesmaid, and it is time for you to honor it. My deep love and concern for you force me to hold you to your promise.
The past is the past, my dear friend, and you must lay it to rest. Eventually, the town will follow suit. Consider attending my wedding as your first step toward getting on with your life.
We arrive in Misty Lake in three weeks. I look forward to seeing you then.
Maddie’s breakfast turned in her stomach. How on earth could she attend? No one, save Amelia, wanted her there. Certainly not Daniel. The mere thought of facing her former fiancé and all the others who’d blamed and abandoned her…no. Maddie hadn’t the courage. Amelia didn’t understand. How could she? She was not present when it happened. Nor was she here for the aftermath.
I received an ARC of this book from the Publisher, via Netgalley, this does not affect my opinion of this book or the content of my review.
You typically expect doctors to be Mary Stus in fiction (assuming they aren’t the evil villain), but this one is something of a cad and a rake. Jace is also more than a bit of a know-it-all ass. Maddie on the other hand, it is hard to get a handle on her, all puffing, preening, flirtation one minute, soundly grounded and reasonable the next, and flighty as all hell the next one.
But, as we see just how the townspeople have treated Maddie, and how she bears up under it and faces down her fears, you can’t help but learn to like her. She learns to truly live again and we watch her blossom on the page, and it is HER doing, not the love of nay man or the regard of any other person. Frankly I don’t think anyone else besides her grandfather (and their two servants-who aren’t really fleshed out) and Dolly (a minor character) are worth anything at all. And that includes the supposed hero and her best friend.
Frankly I liked her best friend Amelia until she single handedly managed to ruin almost everything there at the end and then blithely went on about her life. And while there was some degree of chemistry between Jace and Maddie, I didn’t really warm up to him until the very end at all.
For all that though, I liked Maddie so well, and enjoyed her journey so much that it bumped up my rating tremendously. I was also interested in the events of the town and how things would resolve. And I am especially hoping that as this series plays out that we get to see Dolly’s happily ever after.
But don’t read this expecting some epic love story, or a woman who gets rescued by the love of a man, because in this case it is almost like the classic video game situation only in reverse. Jace is the princess in the tower with no agency, and he is Maddie’s prize in the end for completing her quest. But for readers who like that sort of thing, of which I am one, I heartily recommend this book.
Link to Follow Tour: http://www.tastybooktours.com/2015/10/the-lady-who-lived-again-sole-survivor.html
Goodreads Series Link: https://www.goodreads.com/series/151338-soul-survivor
A three-time RWA Golden Heart nominee, Thomasine Rappold writes historical romance and historical romance with paranormal elements. She lives with her husband in a small town in upstate New York that inspired her current series. When she’s not spinning tales of passion and angst, she enjoys spending time with her family, fishing on one of the nearby lakes, and basking on the beach in Cape Cod. Thomasine is a member of Romance Writers of America and the Capital Region Romance Writers. Readers can find her on Facebook and follow her on Twitter: @ThomRappold.
Rafflecopter Giveaway (One Digital Ebook Copy of THE LADY WHO LIVED AGAIN)
a Rafflecopter giveaway
I read and loved this so well I jumped at the opportunity to give everyone a chance to win (scroll to the bottom for the giveaway link) copies of this.
Kachka Shestakova, formerly of the Black Bear Riders of the Midnight Mountains of Despair in the Far Reaches of the Steppes of the Outerplains, gazed blindly over the beautiful lands she’d been living in for near on six months now. Lots of grass and trees and fresh water lakes. Ample food supplies and happy people ruled by a benevolent ruler.
Horse gods of Ramsfor! It was like hell on earth!
And Kachka had no one to blame but herself. She’d given up her painful, harsh life as a Daughter of the Steppes when she’d saved her sister from their mother. It was still a decision she’d make again if she had to, but she’d never thought that her life would end like this. She’d assumed that their mother would have tracked them down and killed them both. Kachka had been wrong. Her mother never had the chance because she’d come face to face with Annwyl the Bloody, Queen of the Southlands.
The royal had killed Glebovicha Shestakova, cut off her head, and ripped the eyes from the skull. All in front of the Anne Atli, leader of the Outerplains Tribes. It had been a bold move on the queen’s part. Or, as those closest to the queen had said more than once, “a completely insane move.” Kachka didn’t know. She didn’t talk to the queen. Or really anyone unless she absolutely had to.
All of Garbhán Isle was littered with dragons in human form. She couldn’t tell one from another without her sister’s help. Kachka didn’t hate the dragons. She just didn’t understand why a human would mate with one as they would a man. True, men were mostly useless, but they served their purpose: trash removal, child rearing, and breeding.
Although in the past few decades, the breeding part had changed where dragons and humans were concerned. The queen herself had a set of twins who were half human and half dragon. And it was because of them—and the other offspring that came after—that the humans’ gods had turned on their worshippers. Leaving them to fight the followers of Chramnesind by themselves.
It was shaping up to be quite the long-lasting war from what Kachka could tell. The Southlanders and the inhabitants of the Quintilian Sovereigns Empire were unwilling to give up their multitude of gods. And those who did choose to follow Chramnesind were unwilling to let the others worship anyone else. Armies were being built. Battle plans arranged.
And Kachka wasn’t involved in any of it.
That didn’t really surprise her, though. She wasn’t of these lands. She was a Rider, and her people’s fighting style and reasons for fighting were vastly different. The Anne Atli and the Daughters of the Steppes did have an alliance with Queen Annwyl and the Southlanders, but it was less about fighting by the Southlanders side and more about not stopping the Southlanders and their other allies from traipsing through Outerplains territory when necessary.
What dug into Kachka’s soul more than anything, though, was that before her sister had returned home with that request to speak to the Anne Atli—the title given to all their leaders since the first Anne Atli wrestled power away from the useless men—on Queen Annwyl’s behalf, Kachka\ had been moving up through the ranks at a nice, steady pace. She would never have been the Anne Atli, but she could have led her own troops into battle. Perhaps sat in on the all-tribes meetings when large decisions were made.
In other words . . . she’d have had a purpose.
Kachka needed a purpose. She needed a goal. She needed to make a name for herself. Their mother had never liked Kachka or her sister, but Kachka’s skill and willingness to throw herself into battle couldn’t be denied.
Where did that leave her here?
Of course, she could join the Queen’s Army, but marching in formation and taking orders from mostly men . . . no.
She was a Daughter of the Steppes, not some sheep blinded to the decadent life offered in these Southland territories.
Which left Kachka . . . where? Exactly?
“Um . . . excuse me? My lady?”
Kachka cringed at the ridiculous moniker these Southlanders insisted on using. She’d gotten tired of correcting them, so she let out a breath and snapped, “What?”
“Margo”—the leader of the kitchen staff—“was wondering if you could perhaps, if you’re not too busy, round up some meat for us? Some of the Cadwaladrs will be attending dinner tonight and the butchers don’t have enough to feed them all. You know what hearty eaters dragons are. So she was just—”
As the sheep went on—begging—and Kachka stared her in the face, she raised her bow, an arrow already nocked and ready, and shot the first thing she saw from the corner of her eye. The bison cried out once before dropping to its knees and bleeding out from the wound on its neck.
“Anything else?” Kachka asked.
The woman was pale now, her head shaking in answer.
Disgusted—hunting was not a challenge for a Daughter of the Steppes; it was more like breathing—Kachka turned away and started walking.
“Kachka?” She stopped and looked over her shoulder to see her sister.
“Fuck,” Kachka muttered as her sister walked over to her.
“You can’t be nice?” Elina asked in their native tongue.
Kachka’s sister wore a bright purple eye patch where her left eye should be. It had been the last thing their mother had taken from Elina. Over time, she’d grown accustomed to the loss, her skills at using her bow improving day after day. But the eye patches . . . this ridiculous purple one could have only come from that idiotic She-dragon, Keita. Her obsession with what Elina wore bordered on the disturbing. Wasn’t it bad enough the Shestakova sisters had already become decadent and lazy? Must they also become pathetic as well?
“I was nice,” Kachka replied, but when Elina pursed her lips, Kachka threw up her hands. “What more do you want from me, sister?”
“How about not terrifying the staff?”
“You mean the sheep?”
“And stop calling them that! You know they hate it!”
Seriously, how can you not love these women? I adore and re-read the entire series often.
Link to Follow Tour: http://www.tastybooktours.com/2015/10/feel-burn-dragon-kin-8-by-ga-aiken.html
Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23453137-feel-the-burn
Goodreads Series Link: https://www.goodreads.com/series/62647-dragon-kin
Originally from Long Island, New York Times bestselling author G.A. Aiken has resigned herself to West Coast living, which involves healthy food, mostly sunny days, and lots of guys not wearing shirts when they really should be. Writing as Shelly Laurenston, she is also the creator of the wickedly funny Pride series for Brava. For more info about G.A. Aiken’s dangerously and arrogantly sexy dragons, go to www.gaaiken.com.
And the winner is…….
a Rafflecopter giveaway
I hope you enjoy these books as much as I have. And if you didn’t win, I hope I have done a good enough job of extolling this series’ virtues that you’ll consider picking them up for yourself.
And, as an added bonus, it looks like the first book, Clean Sweep, is on sale for $1.99 for a limited time.
And I just wanted to thank all of you, who made this my best giveaway ever. Almost 600 people signed up, which is huge for me. And thanks for all the fun comments, I appreciate every one of you.
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.
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.