Review: Once Burned by Jeaniene Frost (Night Prince #1)
June 26 2012
Mass Market Paperback
Received from author
Yummy Man – Vlad Tepesh
Kick Ass Chick – Leila
From Goodreads –
She’s a mortal with dark powers…
After a tragic accident scarred her body and destroyed her dreams, Leila never imagined that the worst was still to come: terrifying powers that let her channel electricity and learn a person’s darkest secrets through a single touch. Leila is doomed to a life of solitude… until creatures of the night kidnap her, forcing her to reach out with a telepathic distress call to the world’s most infamous vampire…
He’s the Prince of Night…
Vlad Tepesh inspired the greatest vampire legend of all — but whatever you do, don’t call him Dracula. Vlad’s ability to control fire makes him one of the most feared vampires in existence, but his enemies have found a new weapon against him – a beautiful mortal with powers to match his own. When Vlad and Leila meet, however, passion ignites between them, threatening to consume them both. It will take everything that they are to stop an enemy intent on bringing them down in flames.
It was in 2011, what seems like forever ago, that Jeaniene Frost wrote some of the most *squee* educing words on her blog ever.
“I am also contracted to write the first two books in a new series featuring – you guessed it – Vlad as the hero.”
I swear, there was a small worldwide earthquake the day Jeaniene announced that caused by all the women who *squeed* upon hearing that news.
For any of you read the Night Huntress series, you are well aware of whom Vlad is. Hard to miss him really. Jeaniene writes him as being the ‘real’ Vlad who inspired Dracula, but don’t remind him of this because he hates that. He’s nothing like the book’s version of ‘himself’ and he’s not impressed by it all either. Kind of funny actually. But what you have to know most of all about Vlad is that he is made of awesome…and he knows it.
I LOVE his character. From the very first time I read him in the Night Huntress book, I fell. He’s this tough no-nonsense man who pretty much gets off on intimidating people, yet there is such compassion to him. He doesn’t let you see it often, but it’s there. You see it well in the Night Huntress books when he reaches out to Cat and you see it in Once Burned when he reaches out to Leila.
I have to admit that I really wanted to dislike Leila. After all, she is going after Vlad and he’s mine. MINE! Er…I mean…yeah. Leila is not what I expected her to be. For some reason I assumed that Vlad’s ‘woman’ would be a no-nonsense chick who could smack him around a bit, but Leila is not like that. Leila is smart mouthed and very strong, but she’s not quite the warrior I pictured. And you know what? Screw the idea I had, Leila works better. She doesn’t take Vlad too seriously and she doesn’t take his ‘holier-than-thou’ attitude. Nor does she try to change him in any way. He tells her up front what to expect from him and she’s not delusional in expecting anything otherwise. And even though the end of the book didn’t end with a clean HEA, I think Leila is a great match and I am anxious to see how she breaks down his walls completely.
Vlad has power over fire but he’s not the only one with fun abilities. Leila’s abilities are really neat. She can channel electricity and she can see an object’s owner’s past, present and future just by touching it. Because of her abilities, she hasn’t been able to touch anyone without shocking them – literally. This has left her very alone. You feel sad for her but I never felt pity for her because of how she handles it. It’s how her life has to be led so why dwell on it. Her attitude is awesome and I feel it makes you like her even more.
The story in Once Burned is very interesting. Someone is trying to get to Vlad – what a surprise there, that he would have the ability to p*ss someone off to that extent *note sarcasm* – and Leila is taken by the bad guys to try and track him. Instead, she calls him for help and that’s what starts it all. There is some closure at the end of this book but there is still a lot to be answered and discovered. I would not call this a cliffhanger but you definitely want the next book to come out like…now, so you can get to all the juicy bits that you know are waiting for you.
There is only one little part of this book that had me scratch my head and that was how Vlad encouraged Leila to ‘date’ Maximus, one of his men only to ‘take it back’ soon after. I felt bad for Maximus since he was pretty much set up to fail. He’s a nice guy, I really liked him. I found him sweet and sexy. I don’t quite get why that was done. But other than that little point that didn’t click with me, I loved loved loved this book.
You do not have to read the Night Huntress books to enjoy Once Burned. You will, of course, know a little bit about Vlad if you do but he is very well explained in his book that you don’t miss much if you just jump straight to this one. And Leila isn’t introduced in the Night Huntress books at all so there no feeling lost when it comes to her either. That means even those who are not caught up with Cat & Bones’ books can enjoy Once Burned. And I really think you will.
Jeaniene did not disappoint with this book. People, like me, who are crazy about Vlad and who had probably too high expectations for this book won’t be disappointed. He is still the arrogant jerk we love to lick and Leila really is a good match for him (damn it). A wonderful pairing in a captivating book set in an imaginative world. Once Burned is a wonderful paranormal romance read and a terrific beginning to a fun new series. I can’t wait for the next book.
Giggle worthy quotes
“If he wasn’t a dangerous vampire whose intentions toward me were still suspect, I’d have reveled in a smolderingly attractive man holding my hand. For the past decade, that had only happened in my dreams.
With a flash of discomfiture, I remembered Vlad could hear my musings. A current slid into him, powered by my embarrassment. Instead of pretending that he hadn’t caught my thoughts, his mouth curled into a sly smile.
‘That one tickled. If electrocution is your way of flirting, I commend you on your originality.’”
“’Leila, this is my friend and honorary sire, Mencheres, a his wife, Kira,’ he said, indicating the long-haired Middle Eastern man and the blonde. ‘Also let me introduce my friend, Cat.’ The redhead, and for some reason, she looked familiar. ‘Her husband Bones’ – here Vlad smiled coolly at the short-haired brunet – ‘is not my friend.’”
“His lips twisted. ‘No. I can give you honesty, monogamy, and more passion that you can stand, but not love. That emotion died in me long ago, as I suspect you already know.’
I took a deep breath, fighting a twinge that made no sense because he was right. I had guessed that about him.
‘Good’, I replied in a steady voice. ‘I was worried that you’d turn into one of those obsessed, emo movie vampires, and that would be embarrassing for both of us.’”