Review: Once Burned by Jeaniene Frost

Once Burned Jeaniene Frost

While Vlad has always been a favorite character of mine from the Night Huntress series, he has not necessarily been a character that inspires me to throw on my lusty pants. Don’t get me wrong, he definitely has sex appeal and I’ve taken notice, but he appeals to me on other levels and has always intrigued me. He’s arrogant, sarcastic so damn evil. He has a well deserved reputation for being brutal, unforgiving and straight up deadly. Vlad is not a vampire you want to cross. But along the way, we have seen brief glimpses of another side of him with his friendship with Cat Crawford from the Night Huntress series. He doesn’t let his kinder gentler side show through often, and he is by no means a marshmallow, but he is loyal to those he cares for and I’m glad we finally get to know his back story.

Every good (bad) vamp eventually meets someone who gives him a run for his money. That’s what our heroine, Leila does. First she pisses Vlad off big time by getting into his head. That’s a big no-no. Vlad is a Master Vampire and no mere mortal should be able to something like that…and live to tell about it anyway. Leila is a unique mortal though. Because of an accident years ago when she was nearly electrocuted, she is unable to touch anyone with one of her hands without zapping them. She can also see someone’s past, present and future by touching an object they own. That’s a very powerful gift and unfortunately she has attracted the attention of one of Vlad’s enemies who plans to exploit her talent to get to Vlad.

As soon a I read that Leila suffers from “skin hunger”—not being able to touch other people—I worried she’d be a heroine who falls for the hero simply because he fulfills a desperate need. In this case, she is able to touch Vlad without doing him harm. But Leila is a totally different kind of heroine. While I sympathized, I didn’t feel sorry for her because she didn’t feel sorry for herself. She didn’t need Vlad to “complete her” and their romance was not an immediate coming together and falling in love. They fight, disagree, talk, fight some more and eventually earn each others admiration and respect.

Leila appeals to Vlad in more ways than one:

“Beautiful and diabolical.  You make me impatient indeed to claim you.”

And Leila gives Vlad his due:

“Not Dracula,” I said with a faint smile as I turned around.  “Vlad Tepesh, former Voivode of Wallachia and the most arrogant, deadly, frightening man I’ve ever met.”

Vlad’s world is very violent and I liked that he is not overly softened for the sake of becoming a likeable hero in his book. I say overly softened because we do see him fall in love but he is not transformed into another character for the sake of showing he has a heart and can love. He’s even a scary-ass vamp during the sexy times.

The book in written entirely from Leila’s point of view and as much as I loved Leila, I wish we would have had a chapter or five from Vlad’s point of view. Vlad’s character is BIG and comes through well from Leila’s perspective, but I still found myself wishing for a little time in Vlad’s head (even though that pisses him off).

I expected a tidy little HEA and that was not the case at all.  Leila and Vlad are amazing together and I can’t wait to see what happens for them next. Without giving anything away, I’ll just say that after reading the epilogue I started researching a way to hack into Jeaniene Frost’s computer to get the next book. (If the FBI is reading this I’m TOTALLY kidding)

Once Burned is a gritty, dangerous world and I can’t wait for the next book in the Night Prince series.

Favorite quote:

“I’m the only authentic Vlad.  Everyone else is merely an envious imitation.”

Rating: A-
Once Burned by Jeaniene Frost
June 26th 2012 by Avon
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  1. Selena Mc says

    Great review FV! So far, I’ve read nothing but positive reviews for Once Burned, so I’m super excited for tomorrow. I’m sorry that Jeanienne didn’t have Vlad give his POV in this book. The sexy quotes kinda make up for it. I’m hopeful that she will let us hear what he’s thinking in the next book. Just one more day :) yay!

    If you need help hacking Jeaniene’s computer, just ask. And…just in case the FBI is reading this, I’m also kidding, lol.

  2. says

    I was planing on not reading this until the next one was out -as I’m not the biggest fan and had hopes of controlling my reading urges- but no dice — I’ll probably won’t even make it until the weekend, the reviews are making me want to read it. I must admit, though, that I was hoping this would be told in 3rd person like the other two spin-off books. Oh well, sounds really good and now I can’t wait. 😉

  3. says

    That sounds amazing! Great review and now I am super excited for this book. I liked the other spin-offs ok, but really wanted to read about Vlad. I am happy to hear he is still as scary deadly as always, even though he finds a sweetie.

  4. J9 says

    Great review! So this is first-person narrated by Leila? I’m so not a fan of romance being first-person.

  5. Jeannie says

    I got this ebook today based on your review & couldn’t stop reading until I finished! Fantastic book! Loved Vlad & Leila, and can’t wait to see what’s in store for them. How on earth are we supposed to wait until the next one!

  6. says

    Oh my god, icant believe I haven’t bought this yet! I blame your previous post on Kristin Ashley (coughiveboughtallhetboojscough) which morphed into a summer reading obsession.

  7. Cindi says

    I can’t wait! I can’t wait! I can’t wait! The cover alone has made me desperate for this book, and now your review as well. Gotta go. Gotta go. Gotta go.

  8. Kim Withey says

    I purchased this book as soon as it came out. (Actually I tried to get Barnes to fork it over to me the day before but was denied.) You review is dead on. I did want a little time in Vlad’s head but am not surprised that we were denied. We don’t really get into Bones’ head either. I also loved Leila’s Barbie and Ken reference. I laguhed out loud at that one. My husband is still looking at me like I need help.

    • says

      J. Frost’s other spinoffs are told in 3rd person so I was kind of hoping this one would be too since I wanted in Vlad’s head. But still, I really enjoyed this one and am looking forward to more.

  9. says

    This is such a good review. I found it via GoodReads, because I just started reading the book (I’m on chapter 5 or so), and I was curious how paranormal romance fans were liking it, since I’m a newbie to the genre.

    I completely agree with you about the lack of chapters from Vlad’s perspective. It’s not that I don’t like the heroine (indeed, quite the opposite is true), but I just find Vlad so damn sexy and interesting! Also, I had no idea that this book was a continuation of a previous series – and since I’ve never read any Frost, hopefully I won’t find myself getting overly confused. :)

    I absolutely love your blog, btw! You got yourself a new follower! :)

    • says

      Oh Nikola! I hope you come back an see this response. You have GOT to read Frost’s Night Huntress series. It’s a must!! The series is one of my all time favorites and if you like Once Burned I’m pretty sure you will love Bones and Cat!!

      Thanks for stopping by!


  1. […] Once Burned by Jeaniene Frost ** [AMZ – BN – S – K] Cat and Bones have always been my first PNR love so to say I was apprehensive about this book would be putting it mildly.  I wasn’t a big fan of Spade and Mencheres and I didn’t want to be disappoint by Vlad.  Good thing I wasn’t!  First I kicked myself for not reading it and then I kicked myself for reading it! I hate waiting for the next book.  Sophia’s review here. […]