Sweep in Peace by Ilona Andrews
|Book Name:||Sweep in Peace|
|Release Date:||November 13, 2015|
I make no secret of the fact that I am a huge, HUGE fan of the husband and wife writing team that is Ilona Andrews. They write, I read. Sweep in Peace is their second book in a self-published series that started as serial postings on their blog. I did not read it there. I refuse to torture myself waiting for the next snippet. The ARC I received was the first time I laid eyes on the story, and my patience has been rewarded.
Dina DeMille owns and operates the Gertrude Hunt Bed-and-Breakfast. It is not your typical B&B, as it only services guests of the out-of-this-world variety. It is currently in need of visitors, for financial and other reasons. The B&B needs magical energy to thrive. Here is the blurb from Goodreads:
Dina DeMille doesn’t run your typical Bed and Breakfast. Her inn defies laws of physics, her fluffy dog is secretly a monster, and the only paying guest is a former Galactic tyrant with a price on her head. But the inn needs guests to thrive, and guests have been scarce, so when an Arbitrator shows up at Dina’s door and asks her to host a peace summit between three warring species, she jumps on the chance.
Unfortunately, for Dina, keeping the peace between Space Vampires, the Hope-Crushing Horde, and the devious Merchants of Baha-char is much easier said than done. On top of keeping her guests from murdering each other, she must find a chef, remodel the inn…and risk everything, even her life, to save the man she might fall in love with. But then it’s all in the day’s work for an Innkeeper…
Dina and the inn are rather desperate for guests. Dina must keep the inn operating (and alive) to serve as a way of finding her missing parents. Her family’s inn had suddenly disappeared one day, taking her parents along with it, leaving no clue as to how or why. Dina and her brother spent years traveling the galaxy looking for any traces of them. When she finally decided to settle down, she acquired the Gertrude Hunt B&B and uses it to screen visitors, hoping someone would recognize her parents in one of the portraits.
There is an underlying sadness to this story obviously, but how it is told is vastly entertaining. I had a small smile on my face the entire time because of the humor that the authors manage to infuse into the telling, despite the gravity of the situation. It brings just enough levity to balance out the seriousness, making you want to keep reading and cheering her on despite the odds. And isn’t that what part of hope entails—the perspective that requires you to take a step back, be able to find a little humor in life, and keep going?
Even with hope, there are enough staggering obstacles in Dina’s way to give her pause. Her inn is the last choice for the Arbitrator (who is, by the way, a now grown-up character from the Edge series—a bonus for fans of the authors) looking to find a venue for a diplomatic peace summit that no one would touch with a ten-foot pole. Dina, being as desperate as she is, accepts the task and soon finds that she may have to give up more than she bargained for—like her hope of finding her parents, not to mention her possible true love.
The one long-term guest of the B&B is a riot, literally. She brings deliciously biting humor and an enormous bounty on her head. She has come to be not only a guest of the inn but Dina’s friend who watches her back when Dina’s life is threatened by one of the summit attendees. Everyone could use a friend like her Grace, Caldenia ka ret Magren, who wouldn’t hesitate to rip out your enemy’s throat with her teeth but is settling for quiet retirement in a magical B&B.
As the peace summit stalls, the Arbitrator takes matters into his own hands, but the toll seems to require a life sacrifice. A peace at whose cost? A whirlwind exposition of the how’s and why’s of the ulterior plan is found in the last 10% of the book. This is my only quibble with the story. Most of the book was like an uphill climb on a rollercoaster until the end where it plummeted to a stomach-swallowing finish. There was so much detail all crammed into the explanation that it took some re-reading to understand it all and feel the full impact of the decision. While some readers may enjoy this type of ending, it’s not my preferred cup of tea.
Regardless, Sweep in Peace is, overall, a tremendously delightful read. The Ilona Andrews team is a master at composing stories with fully engaged characters in complex relationships. Throw in some impossible situations and a good dose of funny, and you have another excellent urban fantasy tale.