Once Burned (Night Prince #1) by Jeaniene Frost
Publication date: 26 June 2012 by Avon Romance
Category: Adult Paranormal Romance
Keywords: Paranormal, romance, vampires, Dracula
Format: Mass market paperback, eBook
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.
Fans of Jeaniene Frost’s Night Huntress Series have been clamoring for a Vlad book for a while now. When Frost announced last year that he would finally be getting his own story, I am think there was a collective squeal from Vlad lovers around the world. I was excited to see how Frost handled portraying the vampire from whom all other vampire legends derived.
This was a really fun book. I love Jeaniene Frost because her books are usually action packed, funny, and have some good steamy love scenes. Once Burned delivered on all counts. It wasn’t quite as funny as a Cat and Bones book but I think that’s only because Bones is such a cheeky character. I think Vlad is much more serious than Bones so the feel is a little more serious but still highly entertaining.
While Vlad has made many appearances in the Night Huntress series, his past has remained a bit of a mystery. In Once Burned, we learn about his past and the events that shaped him. Having lost everything before and been betrayed, he is wary to trust. But he is not as cold and ruthless as he seems. It’s obvious that he cares for Leila even if he won’t say it in so many words. There is a scene in which Leila gets into his head and sees him picking out what to wear in order to meet her family that made me go “awwww” a little.
I really, really liked Leila. She’s lived a lonely life, estranged from her family and unable to touch anyone. But she doesn’t wallow in self-pity and or invite sympathy. She’s tough and brave and extremely loyal, often putting herself in danger to help others. I love that she isn’t afraid to stand up to Vlad and calls him out when he’s acting like an arrogant ass. Her unusual powers are what initially make her intriguing to Vlad but it’s her compassionate and fiery nature that really draws him in. Since this is a Jeaniene Frost book, I expected the chemistry to be hot and I wasn’t disappointed.
There are also some fun secondary characters to keep things interesting. Maximus and Marty stand out the most and I do hope that Maximus finds a girlfriend one day soon. Cat and Bones make a very brief appearance, which is fun. Their scene is quite brief but it was nice to see them.
The only thing I was really disappointed in was the ending. For some reason I thought Vlad was just getting a book, not a whole series. But it looks like Frost has been contracted for at least two Vlad books. If you’ve read Cat and Bones then you know that Frost isn’t always the queen of closure and the ending of the book feels somewhat unfinished. Since I thought this was the only book, I was expecting it to wrap up neatly and was surprised at the abrupt ending. But that's my only real complaint. But other than that small issue, this book lived up to my expectations and more. Now I just have to be patient and wait for the next book to come out. :(