Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Review: Once Burned

(Night Prince #1)
Jeaniene Frost
Adult paranormal romance
346 pages
Avon
Available Now
Received from publisher for review

THE STORY (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.


MY THOUGHTS
Vlad Tepesh has been a staple of the Night Huntress series for several books, often providing comic relief along with unrepentant womanizer Ian to keep us in stitches as he pushes all of Bones’s buttons and then smiles when he succeeds in eliciting the reaction he set out for. Now in the first of his own spinoff series we see a slightly different side of him, a darker, more violent side that forces us to remember just how brutal vampires of this world can be, and even more so, how the vampire with so legendary a reputation came by his infamy. Though the world of the Night Prince series is a familiar one, Ms. Frost delights us with an almost entirely new cast of characters, Vlad’s most trusted advisors and Leila’s closest vampire friend effectively branding themselves in our memories with their tangible presence while never detracting from the strength of Vlad and Leila as a couple, instead they act as additional unbreakable threads binding us emotionally to their story.

As mentioned above, Vlad has previously been a source of amusement as a secondary character to Cat and Bones, his typical dry humor never failing to bring a smile to our faces as he charms Cat and irritates Bones to no end. In this first book of his series though, that humor is largely absent, and though we can’t help but miss it, it’s also nice to see how the vampire with the terrifying history still inspires fear in those around him. We finally get a taste of the true extent of his control over fire, as well as a glimpse at the cruelty that exists side by side with his sense of loyalty and desire to protect his people, making it clear in no uncertain terms just how lethal he can be. While we knew some of his past based on his honesty with Cat in previous books, we get a few more details in Once Burned, snippets that paint a rather bleak picture and lend an unmistakable ring of truth to his words when he tells Leila he will never be able to love her, but his declaration only serves to strengthen our bond with our heroine, rooting for her to show him just how wrong he is.

Leila is a heroine almost as intriguing as Cat, a desirable combination of unusual strength and innocence instantly drawing us into her corner as she finds herself in the middle of both a sensual battle as well as a violent and bloody one. She possesses a fascinating psychometric ability—able to touch certain objects and glean past, present, and future information about those who touched it previously—and a bizarre electrical gift that causes her body to constantly thrum with energy and practically electrocute anyone with whom she comes in contact. Because her touch carries with it a possible death sentence, her sense of loneliness is one that tugs on our hearts, waiting with breath held for the moment when she discovers Vlad’s proclivities with fire also protect him from the pain that would typically accompany her embrace. While the force of Vlad’s dark personality in this story is intimidating, she is never cowed, standing her ground without ever coming across as a woman with something to prove, and instead radiating an endearing genuineness that just happens to accompany a backbone of steel.

Overall, Once Burned is a deliciously entertaining start to what will hopefully turn out to be more than a two book series, the ending leaving us vibrating with tension thanks to certain unresolved elements (though there’s thankfully no cliffhanger). Ms. Frost cannot write book two of the Night Prince books quickly enough.

Rating: 4.5/5

48 comments:

  1. I got this when it came out but haven't read it yet. I'm looking forward to getting to know Vlad better but am sad more humor doesn't come through. I'm so glad this was a winner for you though. Hopefully I can fit it in really soon!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I definitely missed his humor, but I liked seeing the darker side too. He is Dracula and all:) But I hope maybe some of that humor comes through in the next book!

      Delete
  2. Wonderful review Jenny! I haven't read any of this authors work before so I'm not familiar with this world. I love the sound of the two main characters, they both sound really intriguing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jeaniene Frost is one of my favorites, I adore everything she writes:)

      Delete
  3. Glad to see you liked Once Burned, Jenny. To be honest, I wasn't a huge fan of it because I couldn't help but compare it to the Night Huntress series. I guess in a way, when I started this book I was looking for Cat and Bones in Leila and Vlad. I agree about Vlad's humor not being present in the book. Plus, I also thought that plot was not too interesting. Love the review, Jenny! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Awww sorry you didn't love this one as much as I did, but I totally understand what you mean about trying to find Cat and Bones in Vlad and Leila. I was sort of hoping we'd get Vlad's POV in this one instead of Leila's, but I still loved it:)

      Delete
  4. I am thrilled to see you loved Once Burned since we feel the same way about Vlad! Yes I am stills scheduling our smack down to decide who gets to keep him :) :) :)

    I haven't read it (own it) because everyone was disappointed. I can't/won't be disappointed in Vlad but since you liked it I am going to read it this weekend !!!

    Again Vlad is mine! That is all!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know this one disappointed a lot of Vlad fans, but I really liked him in it. He was darker, and I'm always such a sucker for the dark, brooding ones, so he just worked for me.

      AND I WILL TAKE YOU DOWN WOMAN! Don't be thinking you can steal Vlad from me ;-)

      Delete
  5. Me! Me! Me!!!!!!

    Okay I need this right now!!!! Even though I still haven't read the Cat & Bones books!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ooooo you must read Cat and Bones Ashley! Bones is so delicious:)

      Delete
  6. I just wasn't a huge fan of the Night Huntress series (no idea why--seems like it's right up my alley but it wasn't) so I'm a little wary of this one but I've heard such great reviews and then you say you love it and the heroine is all kinds of awesome and I think I'll have to read it. *phew*

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If you didn't like Cat and Bones, I don't know that you'll love Vlad, but I saw he's worth a try:)

      Delete
  7. Wow- look at his sexy man chest!! Its like who really cares what this book is about, he could selling meat off a meat truck and it would be a good book.......


    hehehe

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Right? And he's all scarred and damaged and that is so my kind of hero:)

      Delete
    2. Ohh that seals the deal, Im for sure reading it!!

      Delete
  8. I think that this book really set the stage for a good series. I am definitely looking forward to book two!

    ReplyDelete
  9. I'm totally a sucker for the Cat and Bones books even though I haven't had time to read them all. :o Vlad makes me happy in the books so I am so glad he has his own now. :D I really need to check this one out! Why must my TBR pile be so big??? Ahhhhhhh

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know, mine is enormous as well. But there's always time for Vlad I say:)

      Delete
  10. YAY! I'm so happy this book lived up to what I been wanting. I can't wait to read it. I love Vlad. Thanks for sharing the awesome review Jenny!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love him too! I think if you go in knowing his humor isn't a big part of this story, you won't be disappointed when it doesn't show up:)

      Delete
    2. OMG! I just had an idea for a post! I'll email you!

      Delete
  11. I am dying to read this. I love Vlad in the Night Huntress series. I am not sure how I feel about his usual humor being a bit absent but yes I agree seeing the vampire that terrozied our imaginations in his true form would be great. Leila as fascinating as Cat! Woot! I am so glad this lived up to the hype. I hope there are more than two books.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I missed his humor for sure, but I really liked how much darker he was in these books. It felt like there's going to be room for him to grow which I think is necessary for the first book in a series instead of a standalone spinoff book like Spade and Mencheres had:)

      Delete
  12. I don't think I was as enchanted with Leila as you were, Jenny, but you are right. I did root for her to prove Vlad wrong. And yes, I liked seeing Vlad's darker side; I just wish it wasn't so 'expected'. The whole, "I have to keep my people afraid of me" thing kind of turned me off. Who would want to serve him, and how exhausting, even for a vampire, must it be to never be able to let your guard down. Still, I'm a huge fan of this whole world, and like you, I can't wait for more. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't think you were either, but I'm glad you enjoyed this one overall. I completely get where you're coming from with the "I have to be cruel to rule" (and yes, I just rhymed), but it just seems to make sense to me for this world.

      Delete
  13. I...do not know, honestly I tried that first Cat book and was all meh. So would i do better with this one? I doubt it

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Probably not:) But I adore these books!

      Delete
  14. See, I didn't miss Vlad's humor because I didn't get far enough into the Grave Huntress books to meet Vlad. I wonder how much that detracted from my reading of Once Burned. I mean, I loved it, and I was fine with having missed the backstory (tho I read book 1 and part of 2, along with Spade's book) until unread your review.

    Like you, I really appreciated that JF left things unresolved, but didn't end on a cliffhanger. I like it when individual volumes in a series have resolution...even if we know there's more coming in the future.

    Also, I cant help but laugh Everytime a hero tells the heroine he can't offer her love. Famous last words, dude. You're in the wrong genre.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. RIGHT?! Vlad should no better than to throw down a challenge like that when he's in a romance novel:) Stick it to him Leila!

      Delete
  15. OMG! I can't believe I haven't bought this one yet... and all her books are on my MUST get list. Will remedy that shortly.

    YES!! *fist pump* So glad you enjoyed this one so much. It sounds so perfect for the Nighthuntress world. Oh I think I'm going to love me some Vlad!!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Gosh, I am so behind with my adult books. I haven't even read the Night Huntress series yet. :P This sounds like a great start to the new series. Leila and Vlad sound like fantastic characters, especially Leila with her psychometric abilities. I look forward to meeting them one day! Brilliant review, Jenny! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The Night Huntress series is one of my favorites, I adore Cat and Bones:) They're go-to reads when I'm in a reading slump or having a bad day, they just make me smile:)

      Delete
  17. I'm such a loser and have yet to visit the Night Huntress world. I have to catch up on that series and start this one! Really curious to see how Vlad is portrayed in this one.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hahaha I feel that way about so many books! There are just not enough hours in the day to read all the books I want to:)

      Delete
  18. Jeez. I guess I should get off my butt and read the Night Huntress series, huh? I am sort of distracted by this cover, though, so slkj*lakdsf. :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ummmmmm. YES! Don't you want to meet the hotness that is on this cover? Yes, yes you do:)

      Delete
  19. I am reading the NH series as fast as I can so I can read this one. He's the only reason I started, but I am so glad I did. I love this series and it's a nice change of pace from YA! Great review, Jenny. Thanks, now I just have to read faster!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So glad I haven't led you astray with this series! I love reading some adult PNR in between all the YA stuff, I need the sexy times sometimes:)

      Delete
  20. I need to get caught up on the Night Huntress series before I can start this. This sounds positively delicious, Jenny! I love the idea behind a psychometric ability. Like Evie in The Diviners. Love that Vlad is immune to the lethal effects of her touch (of course!). I can't wait to pick this up. Great review. :)

    ReplyDelete
  21. I just scanned your review since I haven't read the Night Huntress series. You may have answered this in the review, but do you think I should read the Night Huntress series first or does this stand by itself enough?

    ReplyDelete
  22. Welll....I guess I REALLY MUST read the Night Huntress series already! EVERYONE seems to love it; and Once Burned sounds so fascinating as well! I really want to meet Vlad and Leila already!! Awesomeee review Jenny! I'm definitely planning to start NH soon :)

    ReplyDelete
  23. I haven't gotten to this book yet. I know I'm the only person on the planet who is kind of meh when it comes to Vlad. lol

    I thought that about Mencheres though too and ended up loving his book so I'm definitely going to give it a shot.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Great work! This is the type of information that are supposed to
    be shared around the net. Shame on Google for not positioning this publish higher!
    Come on over and visit my website . Thank you =)
    Visit my web site :: nfl jerseys wholesale

    ReplyDelete
  25. Hello would you mind letting me know which web host you're working with? I've
    loaded your blog in 3 different browsers and I must
    say this blog loads a lot faster then most. Can you recommend a good hosting provider
    at a reasonable price? Thank you, I appreciate it!
    Here is my blog ... nfl jerseys

    ReplyDelete
  26. I knoω this site offerѕ quality ԁeрendіng аrtiсleѕ οг reѵiеws аnԁ
    other information, is there аnу othеr sіte ωhісh pгeѕents theѕe stuff in quаlіty?



    My web ѕіtе ... link building service

    ReplyDelete
  27. How I Got My Ex Husband Back...........

    I am Shannon by name. Greetings to every one that is reading this testimony. I have been rejected by my husband after three(3) years of marriage just because another woman had a spell on him and he left me and the kid to suffer. one day when i was reading through the web, i saw a post on how this spell caster on this address Makospelltemple@yahoo.com , have help a woman to get back her husband and i gave him a reply to his address and he told me that a woman had a spell on my husband and he told me that he will help me and after 2 days that i will have my husband back. i believed him and today i am glad to let you all know that this spell caster have the power to bring lovers back. because i am now happy with my husband. Thanks for Dr.Mako. His email: Makospelltemple@yahoo.com OR. his phone number: +2348108737816.

    ReplyDelete