Monday, January 25, 2016

#AudioBook #Review: Clean Sweep by Ilona Andrews - 5 Wine Glasses

19090384Title: CLEAN SWEEP
Series: Innkeeper Chronicles #1
Author: Ilona Andrews
Narrator: Renee Raudman
Format: Audible, 7 hours and 55 minutes
Published: 03-19-14 (Ilona Andrews, Inc.)
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | Audible
Reviewer: Linda
Source: Purchased from Audible
Rating: 5 out of 5 Wine Glasses!

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. 

Linda's Thoughts: 
“Mr. Evans?" I called. "A moment of your time?"
He looked at me as if he'd never seen me before. "Do I know you?"
"My name is Dina. I own the bed-and-breakfast."
He glanced past me at the old house sitting at the mouth of the subdivision. "That monstrosity?"
Aren't you sweet? "Yes.”

CLEAN SWEEP by the writing team of Ilona Andrews is an absolutely fantastic beginning to the authors' new Innkeeper Chronicles series. It is the first book I've ever read by these authors and I was blown away! After reading this, I was so enamored that I was motivated to purchase the audio sequel to this book, SWEEP IN PEACE, and the complete Edge series in audio. I understand that the Edge series with The Innkeeper Chronicles. Yes, this book was that good; I was so impressed with it that it made my top ten list for calendar year 2015.

As the story begins, we meet Dina. Dina runs a magical Bed and Breakfast in a small Texas town. Her B&B looks normal on the outside. None of her neighbors realize that her inn is actually part of a network of inns that cater to other-worldly guests. The inn, itself, is a magical entity with powers that it derives from the guests that stay there, so the more guests that the inn houses, the more robust the inn. When a deadly creature starts assaulting her neighbors, Dina is forced to take action.

This book will keep you on the edge of your seat. Dina is a quirky heroine who I liked right away. Her Shih Tzu's call name is 'Beast' and it lives up to it. Her broom is a weapon extraordinaire. Then... I fell in love with sexy Sean Evans, an alpha. badass wolf shifter who teams up with Dina to fight the creatures who dare to infringe on his territory. I sure hoping to see more of Sean in future books!

This tale sported a colorful assortment of supporting characters from werewolves to vampires and much more. Caldenia, one of Dina's guests, was one of my favorites. Here's a short snippet from a conversation between her and Arland, a vampire.

“I believe I've met your grandfather, the Bloody Butcher of Odar." 
"That's correct." "I remember now. A delightful man, wonderfully dry sense of humor." 
Arland blinked. "My grandfather has been called many names in his lifetime. Delightful was not one of them. He remembers you also. You tried to poison him." 
Caldenia waved her fingers. "I've tried to poison everyone at one time or another. Don't take it personally.”

One of my favorite scenes occurred in the Costco near Dina's bed and breakfast. Dina had gone there to stock up on some essentials and found herself under attack by one of the creatures. Another customer unwittingly jumps into the fray and, together, they bring it down. Every time I've walked into my local Costco since listening to this read, I've caught myself looking around for any lurking danger:

“The woman stared at the ruined body. Blood dripped from her arm. A fine spray of red covered her face --must've been cast off when she slammed down the cans. She wiped her face with her left forearm and kicked the stalker's corpse with her sneakered foot. "Don't mess with Texas.”

Following please find a few more of my favorite quotes from CLEAN SWEEP:
“It's being handled. Your involvement isn't necessary. You're free to continue on your serial urination spree.”

“It's not funny. I've got a naked drunk vampire running around in my orchard.”

“…Something isn’t right with you and this property. Strange things happen around it. I don’t know what is going on, but I will find out. You could make it easier on yourself by coming clean.”
“Sure. This is a magic bed-and-breakfast and the two guys in my kitchen are aliens from outerspace.”

Kissing Sean Evans was like drinking a shot of the strongest liquor in the world while it was on fire.

CLEAN SWEEP was voiced by Renee Raudman. This was the first time I'd ever listened to her narrate anything and I'm totally sold. Her voice was very clear and pleasing to listen to. She delivered a solid performance with both her female and male voices sounding thoroughly genuine. Obviously, I was smitten since I went right out and purchased five more audios that she's narrated.

I don't know how I have missed reading any books from Ilona Andrews previously. CLEAN SWEEP was well-written and excellently orchestrated. It was fast-paced with a solid plot line and set in an incredibly amazing world. I've not been able to forget this book since I listened to it and can't wait to jump into SWEEP IN PEACE. I highly recommend CLEAN SWEEP to anyone who enjoys paranormal urban fantasies that border on science fiction. It's out-of-this-world entertaining!

Suggested Reading Order: 

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