Title: Once Burned
Author: Jeaniene Frost (author website)
Release Date: June 26th 2012 by Avon
Age Group: Adult
Genre: Paranormal Romance
A smoking hot vampire lead, an electrifyingly kickass heroine, and bloody fantastic action, Once Burned by Jeaniene Frost delivers, with a very different take on everyone’s favorite Prince of Darkness…
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.
Leila Dalton is anything but normal. As a child a terrible electrical accident tore apart her family, left her scarred, and worst of all, with the ‘gift’ of psychometry: She can see a person’s past, present and future by touching an object they’ve come into contact with.
Oh, not to mention she electrocutes anyone she touches.
When a chance encounter exposes her abilities, Leila’s talents arouse the interest of some very dangerous ‘men,’ bent on exacting revenge against an ancient enemy: none other than Vlad Tepesh — Dracula himself. But Vlad rescues her, spirits her away to his Romanian castle, and, as if finding out the Prince of Darkness isn’t fiction wasn’t enough, turns out to be the first man Leila’s ever encountered who can withstand her lethal touch…
Frost has a knack for tough, likable heroines, and our newest Frost heroine is engaging, sympathetic, and with enough dark secrets to create an excellent balance with our favorite Prince of Darkness. Unable to touch another human being thanks to the lethal electric current that runs through her body, the discovery that she can touch another person — Vlad — makes for some incredibly sexy moments and complications.
Long a fan favorite in Frost’s Night Huntress series, Vlad’s charismatic, arrogant and dangerous as ever, though it’s worth noting much of the humour that has previously characterised our favorite ‘showy old bat’ is dampened. I’d posit, however, that this humour is largely drawn from the easy friendship and banter he shares with a certain redheaded vampiric vampire hunter, and Cat (and friends), while making an amusing appearance in this book, are not its focus. What we see instead is a deeper side of Vlad: a history of pain, an immovable dedication to his people and more of the intensity that made him such a compelling character when he first made his appearance in At Grave’s End.
But this isn’t the happily-ever-after love story Frost’s provided in previous Night Huntress spin-offs. Vlad and Leila each see something in the other that draws and attracts, and their relationship grows from one of mutually agreeable usefulness to something far more interesting. The romance is emminently palatable, yet, despite life-and-death stakes, the story lacks a feeling of conflict, despite it existing at every turn. As Jane at Dear Author states, the story feels ‘safe’. There’s an instant attraction between Vlad and Leila, and a guaranteed romance. Of course, that’s always guaranteed romance in romance novels, but it’s generally preceded by greater obstacles than Vlad and Leila face. In Once Burned, the romance is a matter of ‘when’, never ‘how’.
It’s difficult to discuss Once Burned removed from the context of its parent series, especially when characters as beloved as Vlad ‘Dracula’ Tepesh are key. But it does work as a standalone, and a satisfying start to a series in and of itself. Having said that, if you’re after an introduction to Frost’s work, do yourself a favor and start at the beginning: Halfway to the Grave. One of the strongest aspects of Once Burned is its building upon characters and a world already brilliantly developed.
Vlad’s long awaited story is thrilling, but more than anything, this is Leila’s story, and this new heroine is one fans and newcomers will easily connect with and enjoy. The pressure for Once Burned to deliver may have been crushing, but it doesn’t disappoint. Once Burned delivers all the elements we’ve come to expect from Frost at her best: action, engaging characters, heady romance and steamy sex-scenes. A must-read for Frost fans.
Books in This Series:
- Halfway To The Grave
- One Foot In The Grave
- At Grave’s End
- Destined For An Early Grave
- First Drop Of Crimson (Night Huntress World #1)
- Eternal Kiss Of Darkness (Night Huntress World #2)
- This Side Of The Grave
- One Grave At A Time (September 2011)
- Once Burned (Night Prince #1) (June 2012)
- Twice Tempted (Night Prince #2) (March 2013)
- Up From the Grave (2013)