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4.8 out of 5 stars
Clean Sweep
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on 8 December 2013
I was lucky enough to receive a free copy of this book in exchange for a honest review.

My first Ilona Andrews book was "On The Edge" and at that point I was still thinking that it was a one person author, rather than a partnership. I loved that book (but that's a different review) so when I saw that they were asking for people to review Clean Sweep, I literally jumped at the chance. Now this was done as a serial on their website so some reviewers already had an idea of what it was about. I hadn't read the serial so went into this blind.

Let me just say this - it DOES NOT disappoint! This partnership works! In all ways necessary to have a simply amazing book with a depth of story and characters that will delight. The story is robust, without any holes that I could see and is hopefully just the start of a brand new series. I thought the whole premise of Inns being doorways to different worlds, and the Innkeepers that tend and care for them absolutely brilliant. The whole relationship between the Inn and the Innkeeper is one that will fill you with warmth, whether it's 'just' a building or not! I want my very own Inn, let me tell you!

Now, the characters. Dina is only young, at 24 she is one of the youngest Innkeepers. She was given Gertrude Hunt (the Inn) as it was one that had no innkeeper and had gone to sleep. It was Dina's job to awaken the Inn and to help make it thrive again. To do that, she needed guests. She has one, Caldenia. Let me assure you that whatever is lacked in numbers is made up with personality. I loved Caldenia and her insights and bits of wisdom, coupled with the sharp wit that she used to deliver said wisdom was wonderful. But then along come the males to rough up the smooth surface and life that Dina has tried to make. Sean is an Alpha Strain Werewolf with a four-by-four chip on his shoulder. Arland is a Vampire Marshall who holds honour high but will bite you as soon as smile at you for some insult or another. There is only a hint of romance in this book that is actually more flirtation and lust than anything else but it works. The relationship between these three is more about how they defend Dina's neighbourhood against the evil that is there rather than which guy gets the girl.

There is simply so much story packed into this novella, with so much more yet to explore. If you like Urban Fantasy or Urban Paranormal with a hint of Sci-Fi thrown in, then get yourself a copy of this. "Ilona Andrews" is an author to look out for and books to get. You won't be disappointed.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
When Ilona Andrews generously gave us this book in a weekly serial format it became the highlight of my week. When it ended I was at a loss as to what to do with myself - 'do some home work perhaps?' or get on with the housework? Never mind the mundane realities of my life. Ilona knows how to write superior fantasy. The inventiveness of the plot, characters and the oh so clever details are what lift this book from the brilliant into the something that's so damn good I don't have words for it. So even though I've read it already, I am buying this and hugging it to my meagre bosom. So there.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on 9 December 2013
ARC received from the author in return for an honest review.

I love the Kate Daniel's stories by Ilona Andrews so I couldn't wait to read this book, the first of hopefully many books in the Innkeeper Chronicles series.

I simply loved this book. It is similar to the Kate Daniel's stories in that Dina is a powerful and singularly determined girl who despite her best intentions develops feelings for Sean Evans, the local werewolf. Add in to the mix a dazzling vampire called Arland and you have a fascinating story with endless possibilities. There are twists and turns and you have to really concentrate because at times you can easily get lost in the complexity of the background to the storyline. The characters are fabulously quirky and their personalities adorable and with the wonderful blend of humour that is distinctly Ilona Andrews, you can't help but get swallowed up by the story. I can't wait to see where these stories go next and can only hope I don't have to wait too long.

"Clean Sweep" centres around Dina Demille an Innkeeper unlike any other. Dina runs a bed and breakfast but her guests and her house are far from normal. Magic courses through both the Inn and Dina and armed with her magic broom and demonic Shih Tzu called Beast, Dina tries to live a quiet life. Dina's only guest is a wonderfully described "Galactic aristocrat" a life guest of the Inn who is under Dina's protection.

Life in Dina's town takes an unexpected turn when something starts killing local pets. Dina decides to find out what is happening and along with her trusty broom goes in search of what is wreaking havoc. Dina's only ally is the alpha-strain local werewolf called Sean Evans. Sean is new to the town and despite Dina's initial reservations about him she accepts his support in hunting down the creatures responsible for the killings. Sean and Dina soon find that they are dealing with something more sinister than originally thought and following a visit from some vampire soldiers they come to understand the reasons for the attacks. Together with Arland, the charismatic vampire, Sean and Dina focus on luring the attacker out into the open.

The story is fast paced and has so many facets to it making it a compelling read. I love the magic elements of this book especially the way the house responds to Dina and her magic. The vampires are not your traditional vampires but more of an alien interpretation. Dina has a hidden depth to her which is intriguing and I'm sure as her abilities grow so will my love for her character.

Congratulations to Ilona Andrews on a memorable and thoroughly enjoyable read!
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Clean Sweep was originally published as a free serialised novel on the Ilona Andrews website, I hated the idea of having to wait between instalments so I decided to hold off until the story was complete before reading it. When the authors were looking for beta readers to help edit the story before it was published I jumped at the chance of helping and I feel it's only fair to point that out even though I've tried very hard not to let that effect the way my review has been written. If you look closely you'll spot my name in the acknowledgements but even though I received a free ebook from the author I loved it so much that I also purchased a print copy to sit on my bookshelves.

Anyway, to get back to my review I have to tell you that I'm a huge fan of Ilona Andrews and their Kate Daniels series, they have become an auto buy author for me and Clean Sweep just helped to confirm the reason for that. They really do create such fantastic and unique worlds and I adore all of their characters, the fact that they treat us to strong heroines and alpha heroes who respect women and never step over the line into a-hole territory just seals the deal.

This story may have vampires and werewolves but it's far from your normal paranormal affair and you will also be treated to alien worlds and unusual races - the scope for future adventures in this world is just astounding! Dina is an Innkeeper, part of a magical race who offers safe haven to intergalactic travellers who are visiting foreign realms. She has an almost symbiotic relationship with the Inn she runs, the house protects her and she is able to draw from it's strength but without her keeping the Inn would wither away and die. Innkeepers have a duty of care to their guests and will do anything in their power to keep them safe but they are supposed to remain neutral when it comes to anything outside of their territory. Dina finds herself unable to sit back and do nothing when something starts attacking people in her neighbourhood though and she soon finds herself in a whole heap of trouble.

I don't want to say too much about Dina's relationship with the Inn so I'm just going to say I loved it, the Inn is almost like an additional character in the story and I really enjoyed getting to see how they were able to work together against their enemies. Dina has certain abilities on her own but she is stronger by far when she is in her own territory and has the Inn's power to back her up. She really is a great main character, someone who is honourable and determined to do the right thing even if it puts her life at risk, in fact Dina is the kind of person you'd want at your back if you were in trouble. There has been tragedy in her past but that has just made her all the more determined to make a success of her Inn and to build a legacy that she can be proud of.

The romance takes a back seat in this story which is a good thing because the authors spend more time focusing on their world building and introducing the characters but we are treated to a couple of alpha hotties who I'm looking forward to getting to know better. Normally even a hint of a love triangle would have me running in the opposite direction but I'm glad to say that isn't the case here and I'm actually really intrigued by both of the potential love interests. First you have Sean, an alpha werewolf who knows very little about the supernatural world and where he came from, he has his eyes opened in a big way but although it comes as quite a shock he takes most things in his stride. The scenes between him and Dina had me laughing out loud on several occasions and I loved seeing her put him in his place rather than going stupid around him just because he's a sexy man. They have great chemistry and I want to see them spending more time together as the series continues.

The other guy Arland is a vampire from a powerful family, he is noble and proud but very respectful when it comes to Dina. He understands her abilities so knows just what she is capable of but he still wants to help keep her safe. Both guys are protective and they can be quite growly towards each other but Dina won't accept any of their crap and she is more than capable of standing up to them. We don't get to know Arland quite as well but there are some great scenes with him and I found myself really liking him too. I'm not going to say who I think Dina will end up with because although I have picked a team I don't think it would take a lot to make me switch sides!

I could go on and on about the things I loved about this book but I really think you should just read it for yourself rather than have me spoil it for you. The special edition print version contains beautiful images of the main characters (these could only be improved if they were in colour) and I believe these illustrations are included in the ebook too. I'm excited that this is the first book in a new series and any new books will automatically go to the top of my to buy list the second they are released! If you're looking for a new urban fantasy series that is unique and memorable then Clean Sweep is a must read, as is anything else Ilona Andrews has ever written!
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This is a review of the Audible audio book version of Clean Sweep. I love the writing team that is Ilona Andrews and their Magic series. Kate is a strong, smart female lead who is also balanced with humor and softness. I expected something similar coming into Clean Sweep. The idea is a good one - a magical inn and innkeeper who is supposed to maintain neutrality amidst the magical goings-on outside her property's boundaries.

I just never felt invested in this story or any of the characters. Dina is in no way equal to Kate (from the Magic series) - this character is markedly weaker and wishy-washy with none of the sarcastic humor from either the Magic or Edge books. Additionally, the narrator was verging on ridiculous and obnoxious constantly which definitely took me out of the story. She has an overly fake sweet tone that grates and then she over accentuates the Southern accent to the point of parody - almost as if she were trying to be offensive. I found myself just not wanting to finish the book at all as a result. I may try again later.
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on 14 February 2015
I had the pleasure of reading this book bit by bit as it was posted. It was always disappointing to come to the end of yet another excellent chapter and realise that I'd have to wait for the next hit. It's even better than I remembered and makes me even more eager for the next portion of "Sweep in Peace".

If you are a fan of the couple's work then you will be familiar with fantastic writing and brilliant characters.

This book takes place in the same world as the Edge series, but you don't need to read them in order to enjoy this or follow this series. It's pretty self contained.

This book follows Dina, an Innkeeper on Earth who handles herself with considerable aplomb considering the things she comes face to face. Outwardly unflappable, knowledgable and competent, she manages to handle her guests quite well, even the humanitarian ones.

If you want a book with a strong and relatable character who isn't afraid to whack people who underestimate her with her broomstick, this is the book to read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Dina is the Innkeeper of a quaint Victorian B&B that caters to aliens visiting (or fleeing) to earth. With this position comes a large amount of power, wielded strongest within the confines of the Inn's domain. Her Inn isn't particularly well established, so Dina certainly can't afford any penalties should any guests complain or are harmed because of her actions; however she can't sit neutrally by as a predator starts savagely killing the local dogs. She's trying not to draw the attention of the local law enforcement; difficult when dragging around alien bodies before they can be discreetly disposed of, and she's finding it increasingly difficult to hide the strange goings on from her human neighbours. Despite her abilities, Dina needs help confronting this enemy, and she finds this in the luscious forms of alpha werewolf Sean and vampire Arland.

I'm a fan of this author and wasn't left disappointed by the start of this new series. Despite the alien sci-fi theme running throughout, there is an old school sword and sorcery feel to this book as heroine Dina brandishes about her handy morphing broomstick (which does everything but fly). In fact Dina's broomstick wielding abilities put Gandalf and his staff to shame. There's a good amount of humour amid the action and I particularly loved her little dog; the aptly named Beast who shouldn't be disregarded as posing no threat. The banter between Sean and Arland amuses; particularly as both are interested in Dina, but there isn't much action romance wise. Instead the focus is hunting down the creature responsible for some gory deaths.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 8 December 2013
I read along when this was originally serialised; it has only improved by being publised in one read. The small additions have added to the enjoyment, and to see that we'll be spending time at the inn in new year put a smile on my face. A good read, being that little bit different; not that I'd expect anything different from this innovative team.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 6 December 2013
Another fantastic story, beautifully written, just the right amount of suspense and magic. Just need book 2 to keep the happiness going.
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on 24 February 2015
Still coming to terms with Mr Furry Face and Kate bowing out I started Clean Sweep with reservations. I needn't have worried. a new character is born!. Dina Demille, another strong women, another role model for small , disabled women everywhere. She can do things I can only dream of.My little home is over two hundred and fifty years old. With its three foot thick walls it keeps me warm in the winter and cool in the summer and when the wind blows in from the sea and the thunder rolls around the mountains across the bay I put my hand on its walls and reassure it that it's going to stand for many years more.my garden is my refuge too and woe betide anyone who transgresses within it's hedges and walls. So, really, we are not that different, Dina and I. Now if I could only find my broom!. An excellent tale , an excellent beginning. Thank you Ilona Andrews.
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