Review: Once Burned by Jeaniene Frost

Posted September 5, 2012 by Sophia Rose in Reviews / 0 Comments

Review: Once Burned by Jeaniene Frost
Once Burned

One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

Series: Night Prince #1
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Published by Avon
Released on June 26, 2012
Pages: 389

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Finally, Vlad’s story!  Ever since he was introduced into the Cat and Bones series, I was intrigued by Vlad.  When other secondary characters got their own books, I patiently waited and now, REWARD because Vlad gets more than one book to tell his story.  And it’s obvious why when you get a chance to read this one.  No one book could contain him and his ego- hehe (Leila’s got his number there)!

This book is told first person point of view from Leila’s perspective.  I reconciled myself to not having Vlad’s thoughts most of the time because Leila was a good foil for him.  There are several times when she has no idea what he is thinking or she jumps to conclusions about him based on his track record, but it didn’t take me long to realize that she wasn’t seeing the half of what was going on.  Vlad is a great example of the vampire version of an iceberg because what you see on the surface is only the smallest portion of what he harbors below and out of sight (and this book starts to mine below the surface for that information).

The storyline is pretty straight forward in that an enemy of Vlad’s wishes to use Leila’s gifts to trap him.  But instead of being used as a tool and maybe killed, Leila uses her gift and the special connection with Vlad to call for his help when she is kidnapped.  He helps her and then takes her with him because she will no longer be safe from the other big, bad scaries who go bump in the night and will want her for her gifts.  Leila soon discovers that Vlad is one of the biggest and baddest scaries of them all even while she is falling hard for his charm.  Vlad’s hidden enemy is not sitting by idly and so it will take both Vlad and Leila to hunt him down even as he is doing whatever damage he can to exact pain to Vlad.  Meanwhile, Vlad and Leila give in to attraction even while he assures her that there will never be love involved.  In the end after a climactic meeting with the enemy, a shocker occurs and the book ends on that note (stay tuned until Spring of ’13).

The plot was arresting from the start and there was never a dull moment.  It was full of excitement and Vlad and Leila were combustible when they got together.  He is scary to her and she does fear him, but I loved seeing that she did not just roll over every time he barked out orders.  Leila had a mind of her own and Vlad was forced to respect it.  I was not 100% sold on the origin of Leila’s gift, but just went with it for the sake of a well told story.

If you want a story to compare this one to, it strongly reminded me as I read it of Kresley Cole’s Lothaire (and that’s a good thing).

I should point out that this book could be read as a stand alone, but I don’t recommend reading it as such because there will be much to confuse and take you out of the story.  The world building is minimal here and assumes you’ve read the other series and there are references and characters that make more sense when the other series is read first.  Plus Vlad is a recurring character in the other series and it is there that you would first learn to appreciate him and how other vamps think of him (the references during the scenes with Cat and Bones won’t make sense without having read the other books).

Now, I’m chafing with impatience as I await the next installment in this spin-off series.  I recommend the book to all Cat and Bone’s fans (they make a cameo appearance as do Mencheres and Kyra), Paranormal Romance lovers or Vlad Dracula fans.

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I was born and raised near Sacramento, CA. I have read since I was four years old and developed tastes that run the gamut of literature. I went away to college and have a degree in education, a certificate in family history research, and a certificate in social work. I worked for a non-profit agency with low income families for 20 years which included being responsible for the children’s library and promoting/teaching adult literacy. I have lived in Southeast Michigan for the last 18 years and I am currently a book addicted homemaker with a cat and husband who keep me grounded. Recently, I made it a challenge to review each book that I have read as a favor to author friends who said reviews are important. I have done reviews for Good Reads, Amazon, eBay, and Smashwords, but mostly at Goodreads and Amazon.

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