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4.7 out of 5 stars
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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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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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VINE VOICEon 16 December 2013
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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on 3 February 2016
Another good book from Iona Andrews , I do get fed up with having to buy trilogies or series of books 6 plus etc to get to the end of a story. I storyline is based round a magic boarding house called Gertrude hunt in Texas run by Dina who visitors can come from other planets, it's not for the locals. There are werewolves vampires & many other species with travels to other planets /alternative universes you have to read this it's really is another great book. I've read the follow up to this & vant wait for book 3 to be written/ launched. That's the only problems starting a trilogy where all the books have not been written, by the time they come out , you will have forgot the storyline or just don't buy it because you don't know it's been launched.
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on 14 March 2016
4.5 stars if amazon did 1/2 stars

This was a lot of fun - something a little bit different to your standard PNR/UF, as it was actually a combination of fantasy and sci-fi.

I liked the way the different races/species etc where described, enjoyed the storyline, liked the world/set up and enjoyed reading about the characters' interactions. Loved the way Sean's werewolf nature was described throughout too.

Great start to this series - will definitely be reading more.

Just a note, there isn't really any romance in this one, although it seems to be being set up to become something in the future.
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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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To be honest, peeps, I never know quite what to say to express the depth of my feelings towards Ilona and Gordon's writing. I always assume that everyone loves them just as much and any sort of endorsement is unnecessary which makes my reviews seem awkward.

I would say that Andrews couple managed to create a cross between their Kate Daniels series and The Edge series with a sprinkle of their sci-fi novellas, and it's utterly charming.

Reading Clean Sweep was like snuggling to my favorite pillow with a bowl of popcorn and an all time favorite movie, - comforting and awesome. It was familiar and at the same time new and exciting.

Dina as it happens was a deep well of knowledge. I have a feeling that 3-4 books into the series she will still continue to deliver many surprises to the readers. I also really enjoyed the different planets and dimensions thrown in, which would ensure that as a reader I would never get too comfortable or bored with the world-building.

I also admit that although Sean reminded me of the Beast Lord, I was glad that the dynamics between him and Dina weren't settled and that Arland made them into a loose love triangle, because there was just way too much yumminess in the first book for the main heroine to make some sort of a final choice.

Overall, an exciting, wonderful, cozy urban fantasy! Now I want to drop everything and re-read enything the tandem Ilona Andrews has ever written. If you have never tried their books this is your chance to enjoy urban fantasy at its finest for a very small price. I'd also recommend Silver Shark - one of my favorite novellas from this couple. Enjoy!
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VINE VOICEon 8 December 2013
I hadn't realised that Clean Sweep had come out in novel form so had a lovely surprise this morning when I picked up that it had.

I didn't read the serialised version of Clean Sweep that the authors kindly published on their website (I am hopeless at waiting for the next installment of a book!) But this did mean that I got to read the story fresh and all in one go.

This a great story, I loved the premise and the new world(s) Ilona Andrews has created - and the characters - and the humour - and pretty much everything else about the book.

I love the Kate Daniels and the Edge books, but I have a real soft spot for a couple of the authors' free sci-fi based short stories - whether that is the tales of the Kinsmen and or a rather unusual exploration of galactic diplomacy. So this story was already onto a winner with me.

I'm always surprised - and impressed - with the way that this writing team can come up with a setting and a story that makes me think, 'I haven't read that before' and 'now I want to read a lot more about it'. This book had that effect in abundance - the idea of the Inns as inter-stellar safe-houses; the few little peeks off-world; and the introduction to a few of the dangerous creatures and violent societies that make up the universe... reduced me to grinning enthusiastically, I love it!

Dina is a great lead character, resourceful, principled but finding her way in very difficult circumstances. She has the requisite tragic backstory, which it would be a lot of fun to unpack and explore.

Her two leading men, Sean and Arland are undeniably gorgeous but also manage to be entertaining. Sean definitely has a lot more light and shade to his character and depth to his relationship with Dina. Arland arrives late to the book and doesn't fully round out as a character (yet) but he has got a killer last line that won me over quite a bit.

If you're a fan of the author(s), buy the book because it's great and it's the right way to say thank for time spent to create the original serial. If you haven't read one of their stories before, this is a good place to start with something short, fun and not too dark - but don't forget to check out the rest of the back catalogue.
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on 19 November 2014
The doings of Dina Demille and her unusual guest house ought to be a better story than it is. When mangled corpses start turning up in her neighbourhood, Dina puts aside her "no interference" policy and sets about to find the culprit. Cue monsters, genetic manipulation, alien warlords and the macho local werewolf.

Although the story is unusual in that it drifts into sci fi adventure territory, I found it overwhelmed by its entirely hackneyed storyline. I never really engaged with the rather stereotypical character of Dina whom I found as bland as a US high school soap. The other characters are familiar stalwarts of romantic fantasy and there is the inevitable chick lit eternal triangle of two posturing alpha males and the woman they are chasing.

Stick to Kate Daniels.
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VINE VOICEon 9 January 2014
This is fun. The authors are playing around with the usual rules for urban fantasy - the vampires aren't supernatural undead, but a predatory strain of humans, and the werewolves were genetically created to defend their planet - something I found more satisfying as an explanation than the standard supernatural one!

The heroine, who narrates the book in the first person, is totally sorted and really doesn't need assistance from too-tall, well muscled males; the werewolf hero ticks all the required alpha-male boxes but is also rather sweetly unsure at times; and the vampires are massively fine and beautiful and capable. I loved their intro:

"House of Krahr!" the vampire with the banner barked quietly.
"Krahr," the other vampires exhaled and glared at me.
Usually they roared their house name at the top of their lungs, trying to intimidate... Oh. They were trying to be inconspicuous, I bit my lip to keep from laughing. I'd never had a attempt at intimidation whispered at me before."

This is full of smile out loud moments, mixes urban fantasy standards with a bit of sci-fi and space travel, has bits in the middle (like the two in Baha-charan - what's their story?) and an end that leaves so much more to come. Excellent!
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