Friday, June 22, 2012

Early Review: Once Burned by Jeaniene Frost

(Night Prince #1)
Jeaniene Frost
Release: June 26, 2012

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.

"'You think my blood is the only tie between us?' His voice was low, yet edged with palpable hunger. It seemed to rub me in places I'd only ever touched before, making my anger fade under a flash of desire. Vlad was so close that his hair was a shadowy veil all around me, and when he began to caress my face with light, sure strokes, it was all I could do not to close my eyes in bliss. 'This is our true tie,' he whispered, his breath falling hotly onto my lips. 'You're meant for me, and I will have you.'"

Once Burned is the first in Frost's new Night Huntress spinoff. If you're like me, you jumped up and down when you learned that Vlad was not only getting his own book, but his own series! So far the Night Prince series has two books scheduled with the possibility for more in the future. After reading Once Burned I sure hope we will be getting more than two books worth of Vlad!

Vlad is a strong vampire, perhaps the strongest of all time, and he rules his people with an iron fist. He doesn't take any shit from his servants and won't hesitate to torture friend or foe. His people adore him and serve him loyally. It was great to finally see Vlad as the leader we knew he was. We had a small glimpse of his life at home in one of the Cat and Bones books when Cat retreated to his home for a bit, but other than that we haven't really gotten to see Vlad being Vlad.

"'I want you afraid of me for the same reason I want my people to fear me,' he said, his voice as much of a caress as his fingers on my hand. 'Then you won't attempt to cross me. In the future, someone may try to betray you to persuade me. If that happens, remember this: I find and kill my enemies no matter how long it takes.'"

Leila is a good match for Vlad, she is strong-willed and tough but at the same time womanly and sexy. The story is told from her point of view, so its a good thing I found her very likable! She is the survivor of an electrocution accident when she was younger that left her with electrical current constantly running through her body. When people touch her they get a small shock and when she touches people with her right hand she can injure them with a stronger current of electricity. She also has another ability, when she touches people with that same right hand she can see visions of their past or future, and often when she sees their past she sees their greatest sin.

Even though her gifts are very cool and I like how they grow as she learns just how powerful she can be as the story continues, I did have a little bit of a problem with them. Its almost like "comic book style" how she acquired these powers: electrocution leads to electricity power and the ability to see people's past and future? How are those connected? I really liked Leila's character, but I could have used some sort of other explanation for her gifts. It was a little unbelievable, even for a paranormal novel.

Vlad and Leila are definitely attracted to each other when they first meet, but there is not insta-love here. You might remember from previous books that Vlad has always suffered from a sadness over the loss of his first love. Vlad warns Leila before anything ever even happens between them that he can't ever fall in love with her, and Leila has some conflicting emotions over her feelings for Vlad. But, of course, that doesn't stop them from eventually getting it on! Vlad doesn't disappoint in the hot and sexy department, that's for sure. He is just as steamy in the bedroom as we all thought he would be. One of the things Frost excels at is her ability to write seriously steamy bedroom (and shower. . . . .) scenes.

"I stretched out my hands as if to ward him off. 'Not yet. I want to know what your end game is first.' Another flash of teeth, this time showing his fangs. 'To have you screaming my name within the hour.'"

For all my love of Vlad and how much I like Leila as his match, I cannot give this five stars like I want to. Partially for my issues with her powers but also for another reason. One of my favorite things about Vlad in all the Cat and Bones books was his sarcasm. The way Frost balanced sexy, scary, and snarky was really wonderful and made him one of my favorite side characters in the world of UF and PNR. But in Once Burned, Vlad lacks much of that dark wit. Where did it go? Perhaps without Bones to bounce his snark off of, he has no snark? I felt like that was really missing from this book. Hopefully, we will get to see more of Vlad old personality as the series continues and his and Leila's relationship grows.

Overall I really loved this book. Even with its minor flaws I still highly recommend it!

Recommended for fans of: Vlad (duh), the Night Huntress series, paranormal romance, vampires, strong heroines, midget vamps.



  1. Midget vamps ha! I had to laugh at that one. Oh Marty, I've only seen him a few times in an excerpt and I already like him. You know I thought this book was out already as I was reading Harper's 7 chapter preview so when I reached the end and went to go buy it on the kindle I was so sad to hear that its not out until next week. -grumble grumble- Come on Tuesday! I haven't read any of the Night Huntress books but I have read the spin-offs and got to see a little bit of Vlad there. He definitely deserves his own series.

  2. haha I can't wait till this one is out! I just finished Destined for an Early Grave so I'm craving more and more of Vlad!!

    Ning @ Reading by Kindle Fire

  3. I loved Vlad's sarcasm too. That was one of the reasons he was my favorite character. I'm going to miss it. Still, I can't wait to read his book!!

  4. I appreciate your review, but even if you didn't like it, there's no way I couldn't read it. I've been waiting for this book for ages and I have to see for myself how Vlad's story pans out.

    1. Oh I definitely liked it! I gave it 4.5/5 stars!!!! I just missed some of Vlad's personality that I had been looking forward to.

  5. So glad you thought it was good. I'm dying to read this one, but at the same time I have been a tad nervous that it wouldn't be as good as the main series.

    Thanks for sharing your review!

  6. I am always looking for new books to read and this one sounds wonderful. Thanks for the review so I know that its worth the $ to pick it up.

  7. Love Vlad and was looking forward to reading this one.

  8. whoa...cant wait for reading,,iam curious what happen with vlad...
    nice make me cant wait...

  9. Hyaaaahh... I knew it I will love this book... Can't wait for Vlad stories!!! xD

  10. I loved all those little teases. Would love if my husband would randomly say "Your meant for me, and I will have you" I'd melt :) This book sounds amazing, can't wait to get my hands on it

  11. I have not read any of Ms Frosts books but have heard great things about them. This book does sound like a really good story. Thanks for the great review.

  12. i'm so interest.. love jeaniene's book, cat-bones awesome.

    thanks for early review, go to order then :)


  13. Thank you for this review. I have been thinking about reading it and now think I'll give it a go..


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