Dina DeMille isn't your typical bed and breakfast owner. Her inn defies laws of physics, her dog is secretly a monster, and the only permanent guest of the inn is a former galactic tyrant with a price on her head. 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, bridging the gap between space vampires, the Hope-Crushing Horde, and the merchants of Baha-char is much easier said than done. To make the summit a success, she must find a chef, remodel the inn, keep her guests from murdering each other, 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....
For the sake of her inn’s prosperity, Dina accepts the challenge of hosting a peace conference between three warring factions and an arbitrator who controls everything like a chess board. Providing the proper services of inter-galactic hospitality while keeping those in her care from killing themselves- and hey, maybe even her, will the inn be standing at the end of it all? It was exciting to see it all play out with a few twisty surprises to really keep Dina on her toes.
Sweep in Peace is book two of the Innkeeper Chronicles. This series works best in order as this one assumes the reader knows the characters and world building introduced in the earlier, Clean Sweep.
This one got off to a slow, but steady start and built up to a crisis point that was breathtaking and a real page-turner. During the build-up, it’s a table setter time where details are important as is the time needed to get to know the three factions and the arbitrating team (this group will be familiar as minor crossover characters from the Edge series).
Dina has time to wonder about Sean the werewolf and about her parents and there is a sense of reflective sadness about it. I missed Sean’s presence too because of the sparks and snappy dialogue the pair got up to in the earlier book. I never got bored, but I did feel the pace.
Caldenia the permanent guest and Orro the temperamental cook lend color and needed light-hearted balance to what can otherwise seem heavier on the atmosphere than the earlier book.
From my perspective, I felt this was a time when Dina’s character was more revealed. Dina is one who needs control (goes back to losing her parents and also growing up in an inn when everyone, but the innkeeper is moving on) and that includes being in on the game plan so when she must stand to the side and watch George, the arbitrator, control the show, she seethes (and she has a point when things start to go down a certain way). Watching Dina cope with another mind more complex and cunning (and definitely more ruthless) than her own was actually what kept the slower, earlier pace from getting boring. In the first book, I felt she was a bit cocky because Sean knew nothing about the broad universe of alien worlds out there and she has the magic of the inn backing her of which she is also knowledgeable so she ran things in that adventure and even found amusement as Sean stumbled along. While this time around, what she knew and understood was not near good enough and she had to wrestle with that and then step up to play her role in the affair when the time came.
But that said, this book was not lacking in excitement. Dina had her usual skirmish with local human law enforcement suspicious of the goings on at the inn, there is a theft to solve and later a murder attempt not to mention warrior species out to kill each other while staying at the inn. The authors built things nicely to the point and delivered that intense finish.
I had to have this on audio after experiencing Renee Raudman narrating the first book. Soooo worth it. She delivers a magnificent performance of Dina and oh so many other unique and colorful characters let alone capturing the tone and emotions of the overall story and individual scenes.
I will be pressing on with this series and recommend it highly to sci-fi and urban fantasy lovers alike.
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