Thursday, December 3, 2015

"Clean Sweep (Innkeeper Chronicles #1)" by Ilona Andrews

Full Disclosure: I only read this book because it was written by Ilona Andrews. I wasn't terribly interested in the plot or the cover, but then again, when I picked up Magic Bites, I wasn't *that* into urban fantasy, either. Since I've become an Ilona Andrews fangirl, all their books are on my Amazon wishlist, and this one had a recent price plunge. Given I'm in a rather 'meh' book mood, I assumed it couldn't hurt to read something by some authors I stalk.

Although this isn't technically like Written in Red, it gave me the same impression from the start. We have a lone heroine who runs an inn for some mysterious characters (at this point, only one). When dogs in her neighborhood start getting killed off, she decides to take action, especially when the werewolf in her neighborhood won't get involved. So what's a normal human woman to do? Perhaps things aren't as they seem...

The Plot (As Seen on Goodreads):
'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.'

My favorite part of the book is... things aren't as they seem. I love that there's a bit of a mystery aspect to this book with regards to its paranormal content. More than that, there's plenty of snark to be had, an old sentient mansion (love that), and most importantly, a shih tzu. Why most importantly?

Tsuki and Torrie: Camping Canines
Back when Torrie was a freshly adopted beastie, we had another older dog named Tsuki, who was a shih tzu mix. I had adopted Tsuki when he was 15 (unbeknownst to my mother and I), and I was 16 at the time. It had come as a shock he was 15, and I made him promise me he would live a year. He lived to be a month shy of 18 years old. Shih tzus, for all their fluff, are tough little things- and I was glad to see that feature exhibited in Beast, the female shih tzu in Clean Sweep.

Beyond that, I just liked the way the characters interacted- Ilona Andrews is great at making me laugh and making characters come to life. Dina really doesn't want the help Sean wants to give her, but she gets it anyway. The mysterious killings kind of took a backseat to that, so in a way this book was character driven- not a bad thing, in my opinion.

Clean Sweep is an absolutely flipping adorable urban fantasy read. I finished it with a smile on my face- more than I can say for most of my reads, which sometimes leave me with mixed feelings. However, it was on the short side, and being a lover of longer books, I had wanted a little extra- a little extra I'll have to get whenever I get my hands on Sweep in Peace, the next book in the series. So if you like urban fantasy and don't mind some sci-fi crossover, I recommend you look no further than Clean Sweep.

Rating: 4 of 5 Stars for a read that brightened my day!

Content: Ages 16+ for violence.

Page Count: 235 pages


  1. A comparison to Written in Red! You've sold me with just that. Although, admittedly, just the fact that Ilona Andrews is the author, I was already sold. :-) I am glad you enjoyed this one. Your mention of your Tsuki makes me want a shih tzu.

    1. I'm not sure why it reminded me so much of that other than they both have a small town feel, but nonetheless, the comparison stands. :) Tsuki was a pretty special shih-tzu, since the vet thought he was blind and deaf, but he could still snag treats out of the air before the then-two-year-old Torrie knew they were there.
      Thanks for stopping by and cementing my shih-tzu obsession, Wendy!
      ~Litha Nelle


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