Genres: Adult, Urban Fantasy, Paranormal, Romantic Suspense
Also by this author: Magic Bites (Kate Daniels, #1)
Series: Innkeeper Chronicles #4.5
Source: My shelves
A charming, short novella in the Innkeeper Chronicles, from #1 New York Times bestselling author, Ilona Andrews.
Thank you for joining us at Gertrude Hunt, the nicest Bed and Breakfast in Red Deer, Texas, during the Treaty Stay. As you know, we are honor-bound to accept all guests during this oldest of innkeeper holidays and we are expecting a dangerous guest. Or several. But have no fear. Your safety and comfort is our first priority. The inn and your hosts, Dina Demille and Sean Evans, will defend you at all costs. [But we hope we don’t have to.]
Every winter, Innkeepers look forward to celebrating their own special holiday, which commemorates the ancient treaty that united the very first Inns and established the rules that protect them, their intergalactic guests, and the very unaware/oblivious people of [planet] Earth. By tradition, the Innkeepers welcomed three guests: a warrior, a sage, and a pilgrim, but during the holiday, Innkeepers must open their doors to anyone who seeks lodging. Anyone.
Ilona Andrews is one of my favorite husband-and-wife writing duos, ever! They’re the only ones I know of, but IA is also one of my top two favorite authors. The Innkeeper Chronicles, of which this book belongs to, is the passion project that they publish chapter-by-chapter on their website. They don’t have a book deal for these books, it’s just something that they do in their free time and it’s absolutely agonizing to read a book like this, with chapters or only chapter parts released every few weeks, but they’ve been doing this since I was in eighth-grade, so I’ve been following along since then :)
Once they finish their passion project, they take what’s been published on the website, edit it, polish it up and self-publish the finished version for readers (like us) to consume and ADORE. These are one of my favorite books by IA, maybe just because it’s so much fun. It’s abundantly clear that they’re not writing to make money on these, and they’re not writing for approval, but just for themselves, and for fun. NOT that you can tell those things in their other books, but it’s just very obvious in this one. I mean, space werewolves and vampires. Enough said?
The Innkeeper Chronicles follows Dina Demille, who is an Innkeeper. As a short synopsis, Earth is only one of many life-planets in the galaxy, and it’s the only one not privy to the secret. So inns and innkeepers are on Earth to be a kind of Waystation for other-worldly creatures who may pop in for a visit. Innkeepers are tasked with making sure that the other-worldly creature is kept a secret during its stay. As an innkeeper, Dina has full control over her Inn. Things sink through the floor, she can add hallways and rooms with a push of her mind, and she has a special bond with her Inn that allows her to protect her guests and protect the secret.
Gertrude Hunt’s magic flooded into me, clean and strong.
The past already happened; the future was now. I was an innkeeper, this was my inn, and everything and everyone within it was in my care.
The Innkeeper books are always so much fun!! Sean Evans, the love interest, is a werewolf who goes through some shit over the course of these books and he breaks my heart. But in this one, we finally get to see him bounce back. He’s charming, and joking and loyal, but he’s also ferociously protective over Dina and her Inn. But mostly Dina. He’s also a weapons enthusiast, and as he’s now tasked with security for the Inn, he’s constantly coming back with new, fun toys to protect the Inn.
But Dina, she’s my favorite, and her relationship with Sean is very sweetly romantic and caring. Dina puts absolutely everyone in front of herself and runs herself ragged, but she also is fiercely protective of her guests and when she chooses to let the sharp edge of her tongue fly, you have no choice but to sit down and watch the dressing-down happen.
This comes with a whole slew of characters that make this adventure super fun — including Orro, a Quillonian chef that just makes this book so much better ✨ Overall, I adored this novella and its glimpse back into the life of Dina, Sean, Caldenia and the other residents of the Inn. It’s not a full-length novel, so it doesn’t carry the main story ARC, but it’s a full-length adventure, so you won’t be disappointed with this 140-page story.
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What are you currently reading right now? Any novellas you’d recommend? Let me know in the comments below, I’d love to hear from you!