Dina Demille, Innkeeper of Gertrude Hunt, bed-and-breakfast for supernaturals, is approached by an arbitrator to host the Nexus summit. Nexus is a mineral rich rock that has been settled by two battling entities, the vampires and otrokar, also known as the Hope Crushing Horde. It is also settled by the Merchants of Baha-char who bleed profits off the vampires and otrokar to get their minerals off the planet. After decades of vicious battling for control of the Nexus, all parties have agreed to a sit down conference. All the other Innkeepers have refused to allow these parties into their Inns for fear of bloodshed, not only between the parties, but for the safety of their other guests and staff. That leads the arbitrators to Dina’s door. With only a 3 1/2 star rating on her tiny Inn, Dina knows a successful summit will be a huge boost to her Inn and will bring in many more guests. The money for a successful summit will also help her be able to make improvements. So Dina agrees to the crazy risk to her life and to her future.
The vampire Marshall Lord Arland, who we met in the first story, is among the Vampires of the House Krahr who are in attendance. There is also Nuan Cee and his family representing the Merchants of Baha-char, who we also met in the first story. The otrokar or their PR friendlier name, the Hope Crushing Horde, are a new introduction to the series.
Another new introduction, who is easily my new favorite character, is the top level, Red Cleaver Chef who Dina was able to hire for the summit. She was desperate and was told that Orro was in hiding after he lost his Red Cleaver standing after one of his guests was poisoned. Dina was truly desperate and goes in search of Orro. Orro is a Quillonian which is humanoid creature, sort of a mix between a dog and porcupine and he is also a prima dona. He has the best drama queen moments over everything. He has got to stay in this series. Orro likes playing the martyr but Dina uses his own vanity to convince him that only he could succeed in the challenge of serving these warring parties and keeping them in culinary bliss.
Dina does everything possible to keep the peace between the parties and risks life and limb for them. What Dina doesn’t know is that there are certain parties who are determined that the summit fail and the arbitrator who is determined that it is successful. And none of them are concerned that Dina and her Inn may become collateral damage.
I thought Orro was hysterical and the narrator did a wonderful job of playing up his drama queen theatrics/hissy fits beautifully. We have to keep him. Have. To.
Although it started a bit slow while Dina used magic to revise the inn for the guests, created a ballroom, hired Orro (love him), once the guests arrived there was a lot going on in this story. While logic told us, the readers, that this war was not winnable and that a “you keep on your side and we’ll keep on our side” solution would be perfect, there are decades of spilled blood and lost love ones and thoughts of them are what are keeping the parties from agreeing to any thing less than complete domination of the planet. So it kept you guessing how they would finally get a resolution.
We were missing Sean Evans, the werewolf, who left Dina with a kiss at the end of Clean Sweep and wanted to get out into the wide galaxy for a look around. Dina spent what little free time she had lamenting where he went and if he would come back and we wondered too if he was going to show his face, especially since Lord Arland was there again trying to stake a claim on Dina. We do get to see Sean again but not until very, very late in the story.
I am enjoying the series. My only hope is that we don’t get stuck on characters. The potential for new storylines and characters is endless and yet the first story after the initial set up novel included characters staying at the inn who we met in the prior book. Yes, it is good to bring back characters that the readers already know, but I am hoping the future books will only contain Dina, Sean, Orro and Caldenia and then branch out with new visitors each time. I would hate to see it stuck in a rut so soon.
- Started reading
- 4 February, 2016: Finished reading
- 4 February, 2016: Reviewed