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Review: Clean Sweep (The Innkeeper Chronicles #1) by Ilona Andrews

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This is a short novel, about 60,000 words.

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.

I loved this book! Loved it!

I first read this book a while ago. It’s available – in its organic form – as a serial on the Andrews’ website. I knew what to expect but boy was I surprised!

I hate squeeing. I swear, it’s rather undignified. But there’s really no way to truly explain how much I enjoyed this new and updated edition. This updated version of Clean Sweep has been copy edited and four beautiful color illustrations added. I can’t emphasize enough the need to read this on something that has color. I read it on my computer once I realized there were illustrations. The Illustrations…really gave me fond memories. My first few hard and trade fantasy books were illustrated – here and there but illustrations still. The copy-edit is seamless (as it should be) and has given more back story and detail to an already rich world. Dina, the heroine, has had some additional background filled in and the ending is less abrupt.

This book is written in a flavor you’re familiar with if you read Ilona Andrews: strong characters, new and fascinating magic systems/worlds, real alpha males instead of Alpholes and female characters that aren’t doormats.
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Speed Dating (Harlequin NASCAR #2) by Nancy Warren

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One minute I’m locked out of my hotel room, and the next…Dylan Hargreave thinks I’m an actress paid to pose as his girlfriend at a North Carolina society wedding. How did this happen to me, of all people? Kendall Clarke, award-winning actuary, the veritable shining star of number crunchers who, just hours ago, learned her responsible fiance; (sorry, ex-fiance;) called off our wedding because he’d gotten one of my colleagues pregnant. What are the odds? Don’t tell me you’ve never heard of Dylan Hargreave. Celebrity NASCAR driver? People magazine’s Sexiest Man of the Year? Those eyes. That smile… Forget sensible! I’ve assessed the risk…and I’m taking it! I usually keep the brakes on, but as of now I’m taking a vacation. From me.

Kendall Clarke is an actuary, she’s engaged to a co-worker and she is 20 minutes away from winning the most prestigious award at her company. Her scumbag fiancé shows up at her hotel room to tell her that he’s been cheating on her with a fellow co-worker – who’s now pregnant – for several months. He’s breaking the engagement and he’s sitting with his new fiancée.

Kendall is shocked, embarrassed, and hurt. In her anxiety she manages to lock herself out of her hotel room, dressed only in an expensive slip. By chance she sees a man walking out of his room just as her bosses are walking around the corner. She slips into the room just in time.
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Rock Chick Renegade (Rock Chick #4) by Kristen Ashley *spoilers!*

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Jules has got a score to settle against the drug dealers of Denver. Vance has made it his mission that Jules won’t get dead while dishing out vigilante justice. Jules doesn’t have time for romance, she’s too busy saving the world and she enlists Zip (the gunstore owner), Heavy (an ex-PI) and Frank (a mysterious recluse) to help.

The Rock Chicks of Fortnum’s Bookstore get involved to provide romantic advice and guidance, none of which Jules accepts at first. The Hot Bunch of Nightingale Investigations adopt Jules as one of their own. Even though Jules tries to hang on to her inner Head Crackin’ Mamma Jamma, the Rock Chicks; Hot Bunch; Jules’s long-suffering Uncle Nick; Jules’s friend the rotund, African-American, Jackie-O wannabe, May; and especially Vance will stop at nothing to wear her down.

But Jules makes some bad guys pretty angry and one is dedicated to taking her out. Vance and the Hot Bunch have to pull out all the stops to keep her alive. At the same time, Jules and Vance learn the true meaning of home but once they find this precious entity they’ve been searching for all their lives, will Jules’s enemies tear it away?

NOTE: I read about 70% of this book before the RAGE took over and I had to quit. Then (crack being what it is) I skimmed the rest of the book. I would still consider this a DNF.

I can’t say I haven’t been entertained by reading Kristin Ashley books. I’ve had the shit entertained out of me…but this is NOT a writer that I would let a young girl read. Kristen Ashley books seems to glorify having a strange man walk into a woman’s life and tell her what to do. In a very stalker-like abuser-like way.
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