Sweep of the Heart – Innkeeper Chronicles Read Online Ilona Andrews

Categories Genre: Fantasy/Sci-fi, Magic, Paranormal, Romance Tags Authors:

Total pages in book: 139
Estimated words: 130991 (not accurate)
Estimated Reading Time in minutes: 655(@200wpm)___ 524(@250wpm)___ 437(@300wpm)

Welcome to Gertrude Hunt!

We are so happy to see you once again. Your innkeepers, Dina Demille and Sean Evans, will see to your every need. No matter what accommodations you require, the inn will oblige. Physics are not an issue for us. Our Red Cleaver Chef is delighted to impress you with his culinary mastery. Rest assured that your safety is our first priority.

Enjoy yourselves, relax, and above all, remember the one rule all visitors must abide by: the humans must never know.

Sweep of the Heart is a serial novella set in the Innkeeper Chronicles featuring Sean Evans and Dina Demille.

*************FULL BOOK START HERE*************


A new adventure begins. But first, cake.

There was great wisdom in striking the iron while it was hot.

I took a sip of my iced tea and brushed a little bug off the skirt of my yellow sundress. I was sitting on the back porch of Gertrude Hunt Bed and Breakfast in a comfortable wooden recliner. In front of me our backyard spread, flooded with golden sunshine. The lawn was still green – we’d had a lot of rain this year – but the heat of Texas summer poured from the sky, bringing everything to a standstill. The squirrels napped in their nests deep within the oaks. The mice and bunnies hid in their burrows. Even the bugs fell quiet, too hot to trill. Beast, my tiny black-and-white Shih Tzu, lay on her back by my feet and snored softly. The fan in the porch roof above me was going full force, but my forehead was still sweating.

Such a lovely hot day. Perfect day to take a nap.

I drank another swallow of my tea and closed my eyes. Behind me, Gertrude Hunt unfolded, a complex collection of rooms and passageways many times larger than its physical footprint visible from the street and the subdivision on the other side of it. I focused on the kitchen. A seven-foot-tall shape moved within it, big, with foot-long quills thrusting from its back. The shape wiped down the counter, holding the rag with large, clawed hands.

Nap. Nap, nap, nap, you want to nap… If only I had powers of suggestion, my life would be so much easier.

I opened my eyes.

Next to me Caldenia fanned herself with a glittering fan and took a sip of her Mello Yello. “Still no luck?”

I shook my head.

“Then I will have to help you, my dear.”

She rose, put her straw hat on, and strolled into the kitchen. At first glance, our permanent guest looked just like an older Southern woman with a gentle tan, long platinum-gray hair pulled into an elegant updo, and a beautiful face with what people called “good bones.” She chatted with neighbors, grew tomatoes with resounding success – I made sure that the inn watered them and added fertilizer at appropriate times – and mastered the art of smiling without showing her teeth. They were pointed and sharp, like those of a shark.

I concentrated on the kitchen.

“This heat is stifling,” Caldenia announced. “I’m going to retire for the afternoon. You could use some rest as well, Orro. If I were you, I’d take this opportunity to nap before dinner begins.”

Orro rumbled something.

I felt Caldenia move through the kitchen and up the stairs toward her suite.

In the kitchen, Orro stopped, stared out the window…

Come on…

He carefully folded the towel, hung it on the towel rack by the sink, and ambled out of the kitchen, heading toward the narrow winding stairs leading down.

I held my breath, tracking him with my magic. Down the stairs, down, down, and to the cozy den where he made his lair. He stepped inside and shut the door.


I jumped out of my recliner. Beast leaped three feet into the air, landed on her feet, and barked once, looking from side to side.


I swung the back door open and dashed inside the kitchen. Beast chased me.

I sprinted to the oven, turned it on to bake at 350°, and spun around. The door of the pantry flew open, displaying 3,000 square feet of space filled with shelves and refrigerators. Tendrils of striated wood burst from the ceiling, shot into the pantry, and dragged ingredients onto the island: sugar, flour, baking powder… I grabbed eggs, butter, and a bag of Granny Smith apples from the only refrigerator visible in the kitchen. The inn hauled a heavy KitchenAid mixer out.

“Not that one, the small one,” I hissed. “That one is too loud.”

The KitchenAid vanished back into the pantry and another tendril delivered the handheld mixer into my hands. I put two large bowls onto the island and reached out with my magic.

The creature who ruled our kitchen with an iron claw was settling into his nest bed. Operation Apple Cake was a go.

I creamed the butter in the bowl and added a ¾ cup of sugar to it. Baking a cake for the man you love was stressful enough. Baking a cake in a kitchen run by a Red Cleaver chef was an impossible feat. Orro viewed both the kitchen and the pantry as his sole domain. Trying to cook anything meant being observed over your shoulder, treated to a detailed critique, followed by multiple offers to help, followed by hurt feelings when said offers were politely and repeatedly declined, culminating in pouting and declarations of woe. If he was really in the moment, he would throw an existential crisis into it.