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 was totally not what I expected. That’s not a bad thing, honest. I’m not exactly sure what I expected but I think it may be because I’m familiar with the Kate Daniels series. If you’ve read any of those books you know that the world that was created in that series is dark, dangerous and among other things, at the mercy of magic. The world that Dina inhabits is no less dangerous but the story is lighter and the magic is hidden from ‘mundanes.’ It isn’t really fair to compare the two, but I honestly say that I like them both.
Dina was a great heroine. She was smart, funny, strong and capable. I also liked Sean… eventually. Arland, I’m still not sure about. Which works, because I don’t think that Dina was sure about him and his intentions by the end either. I loved the interactions between the characters and the way they developed. They not only learned a lot about each other but about themselves as well.
As great as the characters were, it was the world building in Clean Sweep that impressed me most. Mainly because it never stopped. The story opened with a simple innkeeper living in a small town who wanted to stay out of the trouble that was brewing around her. From there it took a life of its own and it’s something that you will have to read to understand. Among other things, the whole concept of vampires and werewolves was totally unique. I can’t wait to see where the rest of the story leads.
Some of you probably read this when it was posted on Ilona Andrews’ website. They posted it as installments and readers were treated to a new story in increments. I think this is one case where showing up late to the ‘party’ worked in my favor. I’m glad that I got it all at one time and I’m even happier that there is more to come.