Once Burned (Night Prince #1) by Jeaniene Frost

Title: Once Burned
Author: Jeaniene Frost (author website)
Release Date: June 26th 2012 by Avon
Age Group: Adult
Genre: Paranormal Romance
My Rating: 1 star2 star3 star4 star

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…

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.

The Story

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…

The 101

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.

The Verdict

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:

  1. Halfway To The Grave
  2. One Foot In The Grave
  3. At Grave’s End
  4. Destined For An Early Grave
  5. This Side Of The Grave
  6. One Grave At A Time (September 2011)
    • Once Burned (Night Prince #1) (June 2012)
    • Twice Tempted (Night Prince #2) (March 2013)
  7. Up From the Grave (2013)

Get Once Burned by Jeaniene Frost from:

Amazon | Kindle | Angus & Robertson | Booktopia | Borders/Bookworld | Dymocks | QBD

56 thoughts on “Once Burned (Night Prince #1) by Jeaniene Frost

  1. I adore pretty much ANYTHING Jeaniene Frost writes and she wows me again with this new spin-off series of hers! I seriously can’t wait to see what more she’ll bring in the book’s sequel next year. I’ve already preordered it . . . though it’s not like I’m so eager for it or anything. Haha.

    Lovely review, Sarah!

    • YES YES YES!!!
      Oh goodness, I love Jeaniene, I love Cat and Bones, I love Spade and Denise and I love Mencheres and Kira. NOW I LOVE VLAD AND LEILA.
      SO EFFING MUCH.

      I think JF is one of those authors just guaranteed to make me happy. I SO know what you mean, Erin! I’m dying for the next book (and I LOVE THE NEW COVER). And did you hear we’re getting a third book?

    • YESSSSS. I liked her a LOT. But JF has this knack for writing tough, ballsy, inately likeable characters without them being perfect Mary Sues. I like this. I want book 2 a LOT.

      I also owe you and Tara BIG TIME, because I’m fairly sure it was you who introduced Tara to NH, and Tara who introduced me ;D

  2. I love anything by Jeaniene Frost, her books are so so freaking good. Vlad, and Leila’s book wasn’t as good as Bones & Cat, but it’s still the first in the series, so there is a lot of potential in the second one. Nevertheless, I can’t wait to read more about Vlad. He’s one of a kind. Great review!

    • I am with you 100% there.
      I am all over ANYTHING Jeaniene writes.

      Also, yes: I don’t think NP was quite as good as Cat and Bones, but I think very little is. I really loved seeing another side to Vlad, though? SO EXCITED FOR MORE! Thanks, Aman!

  3. My friend introduced to me to the Night Huntress series a couple of years ago, and I fell in love with it. Straight away. Jeanienne Frost’s writing is incredible, and I love both Cat and Bones, as well as Ian and Vlad and…you get the picture. ;) I’ve heard that this one isn’t as good and that Vlad’s image is different from the cool, tough one we see beforehand, but nevertheless this is definitely one I’m looking forward to reading. Brilliant review, Sarah! :)

    • Oh goodness. Aa’Ishah. YES. I read OFitG, and then read the rest of the published books (I think there were 5 + the two Night Huntress World books at the time) in a week and a half.

      Honestly, I think Once Burned is on par with First Drop of Crimson and Eternal Kiss of Darkness. It’s good, but nothing has ever quite matched up to Cat and Bones for me, including Spade and Denise and Mencheres and Kira. Even though I love them.

      I liked this a lot, and I liked Vlad a lot. He’s not as funny and cool as he was in NH, but I think a lot of that humour and what we saw was because of the relationships he had with the main characters. Whether it’s the antagonism with Bones or that wonderful friendship and meeting of equals he has with Cat. So… he’s not as funny, but I think that’s because we’re seeing another side of him? And I like that side a lot. I don’t think I ever thought of him as sexy before.

      I stand corrected ;D

  4. Awesome review, Sarah! I absolutely loved this book! I have to say, I tend to think of the Night Huntress series as urban fantasy, and the Night Huntress World and Night Prince series as paranormal romance. Meaning that I don’t expect there to be as much focus on the action and the conflict, so it didn’t surprise me or disappoint me much. I generally prefer there to be equal focus on the action/conflict and the romance, but it’s Frost, so I let it go for these books.

    I LOVED Vlad in this book! Granted, he’s not as funny, but he’s more open in this book, and I loved getting to know him on a deeper level. Oooh, how I hurt for him. BUT OH MY GOD, THE ENDING! I won’t say anything in case of spoilers, but I was not happy with our Vlad. Oooh, I was not. But SO looking forward to seeing where things go in the next book! And really looking forward to seeing more of this new kick ass Leila! Looooove these series!

    • Joooooooo! ♥♥♥

      YES, this: “I tend to think of the Night Huntress series as urban fantasy, and the Night Huntress World and Night Prince series as paranormal romance.”

      I agree 200%
      Yet… I think I expected a little bit more from OB? Maybe because it’s Vlad? But… I loved it. I really loved it. And I think you make a great point about him being not as funny, but I think we see a different side of him. A lot of that humour is drawn from the antagonism with Bones, and the friendship with Cat, and, I mean, it’s there, when they show up. But what we see is deeper, and more real, and… KDJGFSKLFSGJK. THE ENDING. YES YES YES. WANNT BOOK 2 NOW NOW NOW!
      Did you hear we’re getting a third book now? :D

    • Eeeee! BOOK 2! OMG OMG OMG. CHAPTER 32 ♥♥♥ *fans self*

      I love Night Huntress. So much. And… oh my goodness. Kristilyn. Book 3. Bones.

      VLAD. VLAD SHOWS UP IN BOOK 3! I have a feeling you’re kind of going to love it. AND HIM :D

      And then there’s the Night Huntress WORLD books and and and… oh, you’re going to have FUN :D

    • Keertana ♥♥♥
      Seriously, if you love PNR/UF, you HAVE to read One Foot In The Grave. It’s like, my #1 most recommended book, and #2 fave series, behind Harry Potter ;D

      Thank you so much! xx

  5. Ahhh yes , I must get myself up to date on this series. I powered along and marathoned them a bit back, but having thrown this one under my belt. Glad you loved it! I know it has received some mixed vibes. Looking forward to ‘Up From The Grave’, * waggles eyebrows * . Woot!! Love me some Bones!!

    Mich

  6. I love Bones & Cat, but have yet to read any of the spin-offs. I’m not big on romances with really low-stakes obstacles, but I’d trust Frost to do it well. (Pun intended.)

    • Bones and Cat are hands down my favorite fictional couple. LOVE.

      How many of the main Night Huntress books have you read? I think they’re genuinely better if you read First Drop of Crimson and Eternal Kiss of Darkness inbetween NH books 4 and 5. It irritates me that it effects the main story arc, but… I really, really enjoyed them. Anne Rice, egyptian vampire lore hints in EKoD were fun :)

      I mean… to be fair, there really ARE high-stakes, life-or-death obstacles in Once Burned but… I just wasn’t feeling it? Maybe it’s just due to how familiar I am with Frost? I KNOW that she’ll make everything OK? :D

  7. You kind of scared me because it seemed like you wanted to say something bad about Once Burned but couldn’t quite do it. Obviously I have to read this one because Frost is Awesomness and Vlad is…Vlad is…

    WILL YOU MARRY ME VLAD???!?!?!?!!??!

    Woah, were did that come from. Anyways, yeah, Vlad is pretty cool.

    • Oh, noooooo! Jenn, I really DID love it. I promise. It’s just… I think it’s hard to ever measure up to my expectations of early NH when it comes to Frost? I’m constantly comparing her to herself, if you know what I mean? :P

      I liked this is a lot. It’s SUPER sexy, it’s hot, I loved Vlad and I loved Leila. I know you’ll love this ♥

  8. erm so I don’t know anything about this series but oh look at them veins on the shirtless dude! yay for tough, likable heroines and sexy times. sorry this story felt safe but it sounds like it’s a good one in the series overall. :)

  9. You got me at “a smoking hot vampire lead”. Why, why, WHY have I not read Jeaniene’s Night Huntress series yet? I swear I’ve been meaning to read them since AGES ago!! Anywayyy I’m glad you enjoyed this Sarah<3 ONE DAY I'll definitely read this and the Night Huntress series!

  10. It’s interesting to see the heroine start out with the super powers, that hasn’t happened in the other books. We’ve discussed before that it’s not as funny as Vlad normally is, but I’m excited to learn more about his history because I really don’t know much of the back story of “Dracula” at all.

    • It IS. I mean, well, Cat kind of did have super strength and healing and… you know? And she’s written some short stories, but Leila is straight-up not normal. And in a way we haven’t seen outside of the vampires before. And seriously… Vlad’s far more Tepesh than he is Dracula. Like, there’s nothing in common with the Stoker book, but it’s fun, Lauren! I think it’s more Paranormal, like EKoD and FDoC than the urban fantasy of the main NH series?

  11. This has been recommended to me quite a few times, and I remember receiving the first two books a couple of Christmasses ago. I need to get a move on and start! It sounds wonderful. :) The series structure is confusing me a little though… there are two different series within the main series? O_o Ahhh… I need to catch up!

    • Ooooh, Sam, if you ever like to read adult PNR/UF there is no series I would recommend more. One Foot in the grave is a great, FUN book, which convinced me that romance novels aren’t all the same, and aren’t all silly or fluff. It’s… you know, I think, with Cat as heroine, it’s a great book for mostly YA readers? If you ever do get to it I can’t wait to see what you think ♥

  12. I… erm… em….
    *tugs at imaginary collar*
    *smooths beard*
    I still must… Yes… Read that Halfway to the Grave book. More accurately, ‘re-start’….

    ANYWAY. Spin-offs are exciting! Especially when you’re such a huge fan of the original series. I’m glad this doesn’t disappoint, even if there is a ‘safe’ romance. I think the badass action and steaminess more than make up for any small flaws :D BRILLY REVIEW, LOVELY GIRL.

    • *whispers* I won’t tell anyone if you don’t ;D

      “I think the badass action and steaminess more than make up for any small flaws.”

      HELLS YES! And… sometimes it’s fun just to read a romance you know is going to happen the way you want and *grins* and ♥

  13. I’ve heard of Jeaniene Frost’s books a few times now and I really want to read her books! (well, to be precise, I want to meet Bones. The guy Sarah loves and adores? ;) I’m glad to hear that you enjoyed Once Burned though, Sarah!

    LOVE your review! Can’t wait to start this series now ♥♥♥

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