Sweep With Me - Innkeeper Chronicles 5
Once again the galaxy's strangest inhabitants are staying at Getrude Hunt Inn but at least Dinah now has Sean to help her control the chaos. Sweep With Me is somewhere between a novella and a full length book and takes place at the same time as book four. Dinah is still recovering from the traumatic events and dealing with the consequences of what happened in One Fell Sweep. First she has to get through the three days of the Treaty Stay, the annual celebration where the Inns honor the galactic treaty that protects Earth. During those three days the Inn must accept any guest including a flock of Koo-Ko (space chickens) trying to settle a religious debate, an infamous Medamoth warlord claiming he's on a pilgrimage, and one of the mysterious Drifan from another dimension. Its a mix of the serious and ridiculous that culminates in an epic display of power that Dinah and Sean have to keep hidden from the rest of Earth.
The Inns live off of the personal power that their guests bring but a Drifan Liege is too strange and frightens the Inns. But this Drifan, Liege of the Green Mountain, appears to be human and lacks their usual aura of power. She also has an appointment with a ruthless human businessman that isn't content to wait and amuses Dinah and Sean with his efforts to gain entry. That appointment is more than it seems because the Liege invites Dinah to attend and also sets up to broadcast it to most of the galaxy.
The Medamoth is on a pilgrimage to view the sites of famous last stand battles, such as the nearby Alamo. Medamoth are a predatory warrior species known to attack on instinct which is not a good combination with the space chickens. As an Alpha-Strain Werewolf he asks Sean to spar with him, just for exercise, and is impressed when Sean thoroughly kicks his ass. It is fairly obvious though that he is more interested in Sean than in the Alamo.
As for the Koo-Ko, they are mostly there for entertainment value. Their species all follow the same faith, but they are divided by a single theological question. To prevent war they settled a second planet. Now each planet has sent representatives to see if they can settle the issue and reunite their people. The Koo-Ko can argue about absolutely anything so Dinah sees little hope that they will succeed.
All of the guests and inn residents are ultimately seeking to regain a sense of peace, which goes along with the entire theme of the Treaty Stay celebration. It's a relaxed and entertaining read that finishes with an epic duel of extra-dimensional power in Gertrude Hunt's backyard. While only half the length of other books in the series, and possibly optional to the overall series plot, its a worthwhile read for anyone who enjoys the series. The audiobook version is narrated by Natalie Naudus, who also narrated book 4, and once again she receives mixed reviews of her performance.