Wonderful! The Innkeeper Chronicles books are becoming a favorite of mine. This free novella released on Ilona Andrew's website gave us a look at Dina's sister Maud. We heard some of which Maud had to endure in the last book, this one shows us though why she is so reluctant to give in to loving Arland and marrying another vampire again. The only reason why I gave this four stars though is that I thought the flow was a little lacking between chapters. I am prepared to raise this to five stars when the full novella is released.
After the events in the last book, Maud agrees to go with Arland to his House's planet. Maud is afraid to hope for anything more really after what happened to her and Helen when her husband cost them everything. If I were Maud, I would probably be bitter forever. I don't know if I would want to be courted by a vampire either. However, we get enough scenes between Maud and Arland to know she's fighting loving him. He is everything different than her late husband was (in a good way). I usually don't like to read romance books with a widow, but Maud's husband was an ass so good riddance to him.
Helen gets enough scenes in this one to make her a favorite with readers I can see.
Arland's mother and his mother's husband were a bit frightening, I did love how quickly Arland's mother came to view Maud as a wonderful asset to their house. And her love of Helen was great to see. I want so many stories with this family!
I also loved how this book focuses more on vampire politics and we learn more about them in this one. We also get to see Maud finally get the acknowledgment of how worthy she is when it comes to Arland's family.
I really do want a stand-alone book explaining the innkeepers, vampires, and other alien species our characters have met so far in these books.
The writing was good, will not say much about that though. Reading this on the author website you will probably see some typos. I won't say anything about that in this review. The flow as I said wasn't great. I think it will get all smoothed out in the final version. I also love how these books incorporate pictures into the final version. I wish more books did that.
The ending was top notch and we are left with a dun dun dun (in a good way) when Maud gets an unexpected visit.
Maud Demille was a daughter of Innkeepers. She knew that a simple life wasn't in the cards, but she never anticipated what Fate would throw at her.
Once a wife to a powerful vampire knight, Maud and her daughter, Helen, had been exiled for the sins of her husband to the desolate planet of Karhari. Karhari killed her husband, and Maud had spent a year and a half avenging his debts. But now all the debts are paid. Rescued by her sister Dina, Maud had swore off all things vampire. Except she met Arland, the Marshal of House Krahr. One thing led to another and he asked for her hand in marriage. She declined.
Try as she might, she can't just walk away from Arland. It doesn't help that being human is a lot harder for Maud than being a vampire.
To sort it all out, she accepts his invitation to visit his home planet. House Krahr is a powerful vampire House, and Maud knows that a woman who turned down the proposal from its most beloved son wouldn't get a warm reception. But Maud Demille never shied from a fight and House Krahr may soon discover that there is more to this human woman than they ever thought possible.
Otubar reached over and plucked Helen from the bed. “Come with me, child. It’s time we tested you with other weapons.”
“If you do well, I will give you cake,” Ilemina said.
Helen’s eyes lit up. “What kind of cake?”
“Delicious kind,” Otubar told her.
And that’s what this little novella-swollen-to-novel was—delicious cake with frothy icing! No nutritional value whatsoever. It was a fun little paranormal romance, getting Maud & Arland together with lots of blood and severed limbs along the way.
From the beginning of the Innkeeper series, I have been on Team Arland. Sean Evans was fine as a love interest for Dina, but I loved Arland immediately and I will read anything featuring him. There is no doubt in my mind that Maud is a better match for him than Dina was, so I was thrilled to travel with Maud and little Helen to his home planet and sort things out.
Reading an ongoing, serialized work such as this one is less satisfying than being able to read a fully edited, printed version, but still entertaining. I had something to look forward to every Friday (besides the end of my work week). I will definitely be buying the print version (and not just to enjoy the R-rated bits that the authors weren’t posting to the interwebs) to add to my Ilona Andrews collection, to be enjoyed repeatedly.