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Monday, 25 June 2012

ARC Review: Once Burned by Jeaniene Frost

Once Burned
by Jeaniene Frost
(Night Prince # 1)
An ode to Vlad...

Because you are fierce as few others
Because you are caring to your friends and your people
Because you are a protector amongst villains
All that raw passion, sensuality and heat
You make me melt with just a touch, just a look or a simple word
There is no other like you
I bow to thee
You have my love, my heart, and even though you've found The One know that you will always be number one for me

What can I say? I'm in love!  But I already knew that from the first moment I laid eyes on Vlad in the Night Huntress series.  My love for him has only grown with each of those books to the point that when he's not around I feel his absence.  When I found out that Ms. Frost was giving my boyfriend his own series, well... You can only imagine the fangirl screaming that caused.  Of course with any book that I go into with such high expectations I'm always scared.  And all I can tell you now is this book rocked my world!

But before I continue telling you all about Vlad, lets talk about Leila.  She wasn't what I expected in a very good way.  Her background is very interesting and she has some powers while she's still very much human.  Having worked and traveled with the circus because of an accident that left her in the predicament of shocking the ever loving mind out of anyone she comes in contact with and being able to see their darkest, deepest secrets by just a touch.  Tough to live with, yes, but very cool.  And oh the possibilities!  I also thought her personality was great!  Vlad needed someone with some spice and some kick.  I think she's the perfect blend.  She's funny, she's strong, she's independent.  But she's also vulnerable and soft.  The perfect female for Vlad...well, after me of course.
"Beautiful and diabolical. You make me impatient indeed to claim you." ~ Vlad
And I have to mention that my heart was beating faster when I started reading and the heroine was going by the name of Frankie.  I know, I know, her name is Leila, but when everyone was calling her Frankie I could just pretend that's how Vlad would call her and even though I've only had one person use that nickname for me, I'd take it gladly for Vlad.  See? Just another point that he really should've ended up with me!

The story was full of action and intrigue as Vlad is being targeted by his enemies and he has to not only protect himself and his people, but protect Leila since she's the one that revealed the plot to him.  I thought this was a job well done all around.

Especially with mixing enough romance in with this urban fantasy.  Ms. Frost has always been one for straddling that line between genres and I decided to go with an urban fantasy category for this book but just know that the romance is a big part of this story.  And oh what a wonderful part.  Vlad is smooth even when he's extra cocky about his own self (pun intended).  I wasn't expecting any less from Vlad because he just knows how to heat things up.
"I want to know what your end game is first." ~ Leila
Another flash of teeth, this time showing his fangs.  "To have you screaming my name within the hour." ~ Vlad
At the same time though, there was a tenderness and vulnerability to him that I always knew was there.  He's been hurt, he's guarded himself.  He's not an easy man to get close to and he lets Leila in.  It was beautiful and sweet to watch him change for her and show her the attention, care and respect her always gave her.  Always believing in her and not pushing her aside but wanting her to be better.  Vlad can make Leila stronger and she can make him whole.
"You're not just versatile and complex - it's like you're a schizophrenic!" ~ Leila
And then there's the Night Huntress cast.  Fun cameo appearances by Cat and Bones, as well as Mencheres and Kira.  Bones is just too much sometimes and the banter between him and Vlad is comical.  Yes, there's quite a bit of humor in this book as well.

Did I mention how perfect it was?  OK good because in case you didn't realize it yet, you have to get this book because it will leave you breathless and aching for more.  More story, more Vlad, just .... more!!!!!
"We are all more than the sum of our sins." ~ Vlad
"I' am so Googling 'Vlad Dracul' once this is all over," I stated. "Wikipedia knows more about his past than I do." ~ Leila
*ARC provided by publisher

Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Booksonboard.com


Sheree said...

Great review! Of course, having Paul Marron on the cover as Vlad sure didn't hurt. ;)

winnie said...

Thanks for sharing your thoughts and some quotes! :) I cannot wait to read this myself. I've pre-ordered it but unfortunately will have to wait until it gets shipped to me...

Christina said...

Thanks so much for the review. I can't wait for my oder to arrive! I read the first 20% and am anxious for more.

Maria D. said...

Great review! I can't wait for my copy to arrive from Amazon today...I hope the mailman is on time:)

Jen at Red Hot Books said...

I thought Vlad was perfect! Still cocky and arrogant, without ever being a dick to his heroine. A great read!

Loupe Duffy said...

Yay! I just saw your rating, I'll come back to read after I've listened to it, so many good releases this week on audible I didn't know where to start, so I'm listening to Thief of Shadows, but I'll listen to this next.
Thanks!! 5 stars! I can't wait :)

Sophia Rose said...

LOL! Loved your review style. I've been impatient for this book for a while.

Timitra said...

Have this on my wishlist...can't wait to get my hands on it thanks to your great review Francesca!!!

Under the Covers said...

Sheree, I agree... can't go wrong with Paul Marron!

Winnie, glad you enjoyed it and hope you love the book when it gets there!

Christina, I couldn't have read the 20% and then had to wait. I would've been dying! Hope your copy gets there soon!

Thanks Maria, did the mail man deliver everything you ordered?

Jen, exactly! I love that about him! Just perfect.

Loupe, come back and let me know what you think, hope you love it too.

Sophia, glad you enjoyed the review and hope you get to read the book soon.

Timitra, thanks! And hope you get to it soon!