by Ilona Andrews
Series: Innkeeper Chronicles #1
Narrator: Renée Raudman
Length: 7 hrs and 55 mins
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Purchase*: Amazon | Audible *affiliate
Narration: 5 cups
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.
Clean Sweep by writing duo Ilona Andrews is the first in the Innkeeper Chronicles series and once again, I listened with narrator Renee Raudman. A cross between science fiction and urban fantasy, Clean Sweep, was an absolute blast on audio.
What is interesting is how this series began. Longtime fans of the Innkeeper Chronicles will know that this was originally a serial on Gordon and Ilona’s website. I would have loved to be a part of reading it and interacting with them. Having said that, I adore Raudman on audio and I am glad that the Andrews team published it on audio. At just under eight hours, I quickly consumed this and I am eager for more.
The world is fascinating in that magic on Earth is contained in these magical inns scattered all over the Earth. Supernatural creatures come from space to visit Earth and stay at these inns. Cool right?!? I love magical homes, inns, and castles that become almost characters themselves. A keeper runs each inn and Dina our protagonist, is an innkeeper. They protect the guest, keep humans from learning about them and remain neutral during times of dispute, war etc. Poor Dina does not have the luxury when her town is threatened. Oh boy!
“…Something isn’t right with you and this property. Strange things happen around it. I don’t know what is going on, but I will find out. You could make it easier on yourself by coming clean.”
“Sure. This is a magic bed-and-breakfast and the two guys in my kitchen are aliens from outerspace.”
“You will show that thing to me and from now on, I will deal with them.” I opened my eyes really wide and fluttered my eyelashes at him. “I’m sorry, I must’ve missed your coronation ceremony. Silly me.”
We get a little romance with two suitors. One might infer a love triangle, but it is not developed enough to cast labels and Dina clearly lets us know whom she favors with a running thought commentary in her head that I found hilarious. We have Arland and Sean, an alpha werewolf vying for her attentions and aiding with the threat to both inn and community. Andrews weaved in snark, made the male figures alluring and humorous for our benefit. In typical Andrews fashion, they are taking their time developing the romance and that is just fine by me. I look forward to seeing how it all develops.
“I have spent my spare time studying literature popular with young women of this planet. One should always study the battlefield.”
Sean glanced at him. “And?”
“I suggest you give up now. According to my research, in a vampire-werewolf love triangle, the vampire always gets the girl.”
“That suit has gone to your head.” “It’s not the suit, buttercup.” “I don’t do pet names.” “Do you do werewolves?” “Okay, I’m not talking to you anymore.”
Clean Sweep was a winner and further confirmation that I adore the Ilona Andrews writing team and their spectacular world building.