by Jeaniene Frost
Series: Night Prince #1
Published on June 26, 2012 by Avon
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Genres: Adult, Paranormal Romance, Romance
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.
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When Jeaniene Frost first announced Once Burned and the spin-off series in the Night Huntress World. . . I freaked. Not just a little bit but A LOT. Especially because I really liked Vlad’s character in the Night Huntress series so I figured that I’d love the new series just as much. Now while I enjoyed this book, I’m not sure I LOVED loved it (much like my reaction to Up from the Grave).
Vlad was all alpha male and okay, I get it, the whole possessive vampire thing but I thought we were moving past that? His character, while having so many potential layers (based on the previous series and his interactions with Cat and Bones), but it felt like it almost flatlined with “powerful alpha dude.”
And Frost introduces a new character, Leila, just your average circus performer who happens to be filled with electricity after a freak accident as a child. As a character, she was. . . okay. I was reminded of Cat in Halfway to the Grave — either super badass or submissive with Vlad to appease him. Even when she stood up to him I felt like she wasn’t REALLY putting much effort behind it. I’m all for the spunky urban fantasy heroine type but that’s all Leila really was for me so I’d like to see more depth from her in future books.
Now what I knew I’d get in a Frost book was lots of fun and action. I was definitely entertained for most of the book once some of the world details were set up. Things started shifting more toward the romance near the end and it’s clear that Leila and Vlad are going to have relationship issues that (knowing this author’s past work) will likely span multiple books.
Which is a bit frustrating. I have hope that they resolve things in the next book because it really isn’t that great of a cliffhanger. Their romance was kind of all or nothing. I felt the sexual tension build but no underlying emotional connection that I could really support. Maybe that’s coming up? I’m not sure.
Despite all that, yes, I absolutely enjoyed Once Burned. It’s a quick read, there’s a lot going on and characters aside, Frost is a great writer and I love the world she’s created. Will be looking forward to reading the sequel!