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Once Burned (Night Prince, Book 1) [Mass Market Paperback]

Jeaniene Frost
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
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Book Description

June 26 2012

“An author who delivers only the best.”
Romantic Times

“Put Jeaniene Frost on your must-read list!”
—Lara Adrian, New York Times bestselling author

Spinning off from her wildly successful, New York Times bestselling Night Huntress novels featuring vampire soulmates Cat and Bones, Jeaniene Frost kicks off the thrilling new Night Prince series with Once Burned. Vlad Tepesh, the ruthless master vampire and inspiration for Bram Stoker’s dark legend (but don’t dare call him Dracula) encounters a mortal woman with unimaginable power… including the ability to enflame his cold heart. Paranormal romance and urban fantasy fans who hunger for the novels of Kim Harrison, Christine Feehan, and Charlaine Harris are going to love The Night Prince and this dark and steamy tale of supernatural attraction.


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Product Description

From the Back Cover

She's a mortal cursed with dark power...

After a tragic accident scarred her body and destroyed her dreams, Leila never imagined that the worst was still to come: a terrifying ability to channel electricity and to see 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, threatening to consume them. It will take everything they have to stop an enemy intent on bringing them down in flames.

About the Author

Jeaniene Frost is the New York Times, USA Today, and international bestselling author of the Night Huntress series and the Night Huntress World novels. To date, foreign rights for her novels have sold to nineteen different countries. Jeaniene lives in North Carolina with her husband Matthew, who long ago accepted that she rarely cooks and always sleeps in on the weekends. Aside from writing, Jeaniene enjoys reading, poetry, watching movies with her husband, exploring old cemeteries, spelunking and traveling—by car. Airplanes, children, and cookbooks frighten her.


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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Once Burned a little cool Aug. 20 2012
By BTang
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
I can't say I was disappointed in the quality of writing or story telling, which this author is very good at. I just didn't get the warm and fuzzy feeling with the hero and heroine.

We met Vlad in pervious books and this Vlad in Once Burned doesn't appear to be the same character. Of course he is the most feared vampire with the ability to control fire but his relationship with Leila was cold and at times detached. There was no fire and explosions with their romance. I really liked Leila's character and with her special abilities she is the perfect mate for Vlad.

The whole time reading this book i didn't realize this would be another Cat & bones type series. I sure hope that in the next book Vlad and Leila have a better romantic connection. There is plenty of action and suspense to keep you interested in the book and some colourful secondary characters I hope we get to know better.

I rate this book 3.5 stars.
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5.0 out of 5 stars very good one July 31 2012
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
It kept me up lot of nights to follow the story, cat and bones are not my favorites anymore after couple of first books in the series but this one is starting very strong and hope it does not falling in to the boring path of the original series! I also think the other 2 books about other two heroes were very good too, it is just cat and bones who are very predictable lately,...any way, Vlad and Leila's story will take you to the end and makes you angry why the next one is coming so late ( after a year!) and really? seriously, should the wait time be that long?!!! I am so looking forward for the rest of it and other off the road stories of this team!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Love Vlad! July 10 2012
By Tynga's Reviews TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Once Burned is the first book in the Night Prince series, a spin-off of the Night Huntress series, and is featuring my favorite character: Vlad! Vlad has been my favorite since he made his first appearance in the original series and when I learnt he'd have a series of his own, I was beyond ecstatic and Once Burned didn't disappoint!

Once Burned is narrated by Leila, a human girl with rather unusual abilities. After she touched a downed power line in her early teenage years, and miraculously surviving, she came out of the encounter changed. Electricity courses through her body, electrocuting anyone she touches. Like it wasn't enough, by touching someone with her right hand, she sees their biggest sin. She can also access memories of the past, present and even glimpse of the future when touching objects. That's how she ended up in a carnival troop, never staying long at one place and yet it wasn't enough to keep her off the radar. A group of vampires will kidnap and threaten her, she has to locate a vampire for them, a ruthless vampire who can manifest fire and isn't bothered by murder. He might be her only chance at survival though, is it better to deal with the evil you know, or the evil you don't?

Frost latest book was highly exciting, as per usual. We already had glimpses of Vlad's past from his time with Cat (main character of the Night Huntress series) but we got a more throughout display of his history in this novel. He was the inspiration behind the famous Dracula stories and we discover the truth behind the legends. We are also blessed with a glimpse behind the hard shell Vlad always keeps up because even though he won't admit it, he falls for Leila.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars  626 reviews
120 of 129 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The book cover alone is worth five stars...but I loved the story too June 26 2012
By Mistress of The Dark Path - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Leila is a human who hasn't been able to lead a normal life due to a horrific accident with a downed power line when she was thirteen. It left her badly scarred, but also gave her some unusual abilities. When she touches objects, she is able to get impressions about others who have held them before her. This is along with a couple of other unique talents that may or may not be considered a blessing. Knowing such abilities could bring trouble her way, she has managed to limit her contact with others so as to not draw the wrong kind of attention. Even she could only keep up her cover for so long, though. One fateful slip-up and she reveals herself in a very public way.

This draws the attention of a group of vampires who want to use her abilities for their own evil purposes. They want Leila to track down the world's most notorious vampire, Vlad Tepesh, also known (to his annoyance) as Dracula. She quickly realizes how dangerous helping his enemies will be for her and concocts her own plan. Get on his good side so he might consider not killing her and letting her get back to her semi-normal life. Things don't go the way she expects, though, as the plot against Vlad goes much higher than the lackeys that kidnapped her. Leila has no choice but to stick around and help him until the danger is over. Seems logical enough, but what she doesn't count on is her attraction to the dangerous and cold man. Keeping her heart intact may be the most difficult part of all.

Vlad's meeting with Leila is certainly one where the sparks fly, literally. He is a vampire who can control and manipulate fire. She is a human woman with an electric charge so strong most people will die if they touch her. It would almost seem they were made for each other. Yet their attraction is only part of the equation since danger lurks all around (this is urban fantasy, rather than strict romance so there is plenty of action). Also, Vlad might be willing to protect Leila, but he isn't willing to give her his heart. His goal is to keep her close so his enemies can't use her against him. She has to keep this in mind if she wants to survive (physically and emotionally) while living in his world.

If ever there was a novel that could be both dark and humorous the whole way through, Once Burned would be it. I laughed enough that my husband was no doubt tempted to call the professionals to handle the problem. Jeaniene Frost has an amazing ability to create vivid, sinfully delightful characters that always leave you wanting more. Her newest novel is no exception. Leila is a strong woman who has come to terms with her unusual life and abilities, despite the odds against her. She gives as good as she gets and she is more easy to relate to than you would expect. Vlad is as dark and dangerous as any self-respecting vampire of his notoriety should be. Yet he is also a lot more. He genuinely cares about his people and will do anything to protect them. His enemies are ruthlessly destroyed and betrayal among his own is immediately punished in the worst possible way. Vlad hasn't been coined "The Impaler" for nothing. Next time I read this novel I'm going to have to keep tally of how many people, exactly, were impaled. This sounds gruesome, but the details aren't so vivid that you actually get too upset about it and most people he does it to deserve it anyway.

The story itself and the pacing are well done. There is never a dull moment. I have wanted to learn more on Vlad's background since his appearance in the Night Huntress Series. This novel elaborates on his past in satisfying detail, though there is room left for more growth in later book(s). Not only that, but the author gave Leila a unique background I hadn't expected. Though I won't reveal much, I will say the "bad guy" in this book is a new one not seen in the Night Huntress world before and he is a formidable opponent for Vlad. I was glad it wasn't someone who could be easily vanquished, but instead one who made things quite difficult for the hero and heroine. Though some of the previously known characters- including Cat, Bones, Mencheres and Kira make an appearance, they don't play much of a role in the story. Vlad prefers to handle his problems himself. It ended much like I expected it to, not fully resolved, but concluded enough to get by until the next novel arrives (which is unfortunately next year). At least there isn't a deathly cliffhanger like some novels have.

For those of you who have not read the Night Huntress Series, you're probably wondering whether it's a good idea to grab this novel or not. I will say it can stand alone. There are some vague references to the other series, but much of the time you wouldn't even recognize them unless you knew what to look for. The author was careful to keep this new series separate and provided all the explanations you need to get the most out of this novel. It can be easily read by a newcomer. Having said that, I would still highly recommend you go back to the beginning because Vlad is best appreciated after seeing him first through Cat's eyes (though he doesn't show up until book three- At Graves End). Not to mention I'll be tempted to impale you myself if you enjoy paranormal romance and haven't tried this series yet.

For those who would like the Night Huntress Series reading order, this is it:

Halfway to the Grave (Night Huntress, Book 1)
One Foot in the Grave (Night Huntress, Book 2)
At Grave's End (Night Huntress, Book 3)
Destined for an Early Grave (Night Huntress, Book 4)*
This Side of the Grave (Night Huntress, Book 5)
One Grave at a Time (Night Huntress, Book 6)

*There are also two Night Huntress World books that take place after book four.

Note- I received an advanced copy of this book courtesy of the author.
49 of 51 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best from Frost in a long time June 26 2012
By Jen - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition
Jeaniene Frost is back. Not that she went anywhere, really. But the last couple of Cat & Bones books didn't quite knock it out of the park for me. This book most assuredly did.

Once Burned is the long awaited Night Huntress spinoff, featuring Vlad. Right off the bat, I have to tell you that he makes this book sing. Not every cocky hero is a winner. In fact, most of them are downright off-putting for me. But Vlad finds just the right balance of swagger and depth. He is arrogant, but his walk matches his talk. And perhaps most importantly, he is never a jerk to his heroine. It isn't love at first sight. He doesn't write her sonnets or pick her flowers, but I could see respect there. I could believe it when I watched her fall in love with him.

Leila is human, but she isn't normal. An accident with electricity in her childhood left her with serious side effects. Now, she can not touch others without discharging power. She also carries the gift of psychometry. She can touch a person or a thing and see past, present, and future events tied to it. And whenever she touches someone for the first time, she always sees their darkest moment.

As the story begins, Leila accidentally gets a vision of a murder about to take place. She manages to prevent it, but in the process, she ends up calling some unwanted attention to herself. A group of vampires kidnaps her, planning to use her gifts to track down Vlad for his enemy. What they never expect is for her to reach out to him psychically instead. She makes a deal with Vlad to turn over her kidnappers in exchange for a rescue. And it works! But Vlad isn't quite willing to let her go after that. He hopes to use to her find the mystery man who ordered her kidnapping, in exchange for keeping her safe from future attacks. It's as they work together and grow to know one another that the two move beyond a business arrangement.

I like Leila. She is genuine and loyal, smart and pragmatic. I enjoyed watching her fight her feelings for Vlad. It made it even sweeter when she eventually succumbed. The sex is really hot. Nothing kinky, just really sensual and satisfying. The plot is interesting, the writing is conversational, and the pacing was so good that I didn't want to put down the book, even hours past my bedtime.

Night Huntress fans will be happy to know we get cameos from some familiar faces. Make no mistake, though. Vlad is the star of this book. He is sexy and complex. He is possessive and protective. But he doesn't give his heart easily and that bears mentioning. I wouldn't have wanted it any other way.

Very, very good.
16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 4.5 stars for Once Burned (Night Prince, book 1) June 26 2012
By Stephanie G (Reviewer for Paranormal Haven) - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
All Leila wanted was to be a gymnast but after a terrible accident, that dream ended and she was left with the power to electrify a person with just a touch and see their deepest secrets. She's come to terms with living life alone but everything changes after she's kidnapped by a gang of dangerous vampires and told to find the vampire who can control fire and has no mercy for his enemies. Vlad Tepesh, yes that Vlad Tepesh, doesn't like being spied on and when he gets his hands on Leila, he realizes that she's not the enemy but a beautiful and strong woman who calls to him like no one before. Using Leila's extraordinary ability, they work together to locate Vlad's enemy before he finds and destroys them both.

Leila fears her powers and what they can do. Having the potential to severely harm someone by touching, Leila has to keep everyone she cares for at arm's length. Her life is turned upside down after she's kidnapped and forced by a group of vampires to find Vlad. I liked Leila from the beginning. She has a good reason to feel sorry for herself but she doesn't. She just makes due with the cards she's been dealt and does her best not to hurt anyone. After she meets Vlad, I really enjoyed watching how he taught her not to be afraid of her powers and to use them as a weapon. Vlad has a very strong presence and a weaker person would have given in to his demands but not Leila. He doesn't change who she is at the core but rather helps her improve and become a stronger and more confident woman. There were a couple instances where I thought she made a questionable decision or said something she should have kept to herself but overall, I thought she was a solid heroine.

Vlad is very much the master vampire we've come to know: powerful, lethal, arrogant and caring when it comes to his people. Leila is not what he expected to find when he went searching for the person who was spying on him. She surprises him and keeps him on his toes because unlike just about everyone else around him, she doesn't bow to his commands. Watching them spar were some of my favorite moments because I was never sure what the outcome would be. Sometimes it would be emotional and at other times it would be hilarious. Either way, as the reader I was the winner because they were the most entertaining moments of the book.

You get bits and pieces of his history from previous books he's in but in Once Burned, we learn more about the vampire behind the legend as he searches for the person who's after him. I liked the history but then I also liked the spin that was put on it for it to make sense for his character. Jeaniene Frost puts a lot of work into Vlad's history and how it ties into the current story and I loved every bit of it.

A spin-off of her Night Huntress series, Once Burned had everything I've come to expect and thoroughly enjoy from a Jeaniene Frost book while having its own identity. The action is bloody and fierce and the suspense will have you glued to the pages but I think it was Vlad and Leila's developing relationship that's the highlight of this book. Vlad is centuries old and after everything he's been through, there's a part of him that he locked away and only Leila is capable reaching him. As a warning to all my fellow paranormal romance fans (this is more urban fantasy with a strong romantic element) there is no HEA wrapped perfectly in a bow waiting for you at the end of this book but I did think there's enough to keep you satisfied until the next book in the series is released. Which unfortunately is next year.
28 of 34 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not Hot at All June 30 2012
By MangoMagic - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
First and foremost, this is my first J.Frost novel. I picked it up while browsing for a "decent" horror/romance novel. The sample I got on my kindle made the novel sound way more interesting and well-thought out than it truly is. Honestly, I regret purchasing this novel.

While the female antagonist initially started out as strong-willed, intelligent and sassy she eventually, like many female characters in these types of novels do, succumbed to overly-emotional and irrational behavior. It's as though the author started out writing one fierce female character only to accidentally end with an entirely different character altogether; both characters are named "Leila" but pre-page-100-Leila was 100x more interesting than ending-Leila. It was quite disappointing. As for the male antagonist, he's pretty much like every other vampire riding the high on this vampire-mania that's gripping the nation. "Arrogant, deadly, dangerous, sexy," seems to be the four requirements for being so irresistible, the ladies swoon when you show up. While I was forgiving of his singularly harsh nature since the premise of the novel is that he is THE Vlad "the Impaler" Tepesh, towards the end when his character didn't flesh out, it got not only tiring but annoying. You're hot (literally). OK. I get it. Must you beat me over the head with the concept?

Then there is that "ending." Does no one know how cliffhangers work anymore? What sort of ending was that? A non-ending I would say. I understand the author wants to create suspense for the sequel but I don't think that's how it's done--or at least I didn't enjoy reading it done that way. One star for the semi-impressive heroine (even though she fizzled out at the end). Another star for the mildly amusing plot.

I would not recommend this book. Besides Leila (whose backwards life-threatening logic borders on suicidal insanity) and maybe Marty, there isn't much characterization. The plot is non-existent and the villain isn't really a villain; just some old dude blowing stuff up for the "lols" as my brother would say.
30 of 37 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Bitterly Disappointed Aug. 19 2012
By BookChatterCath - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I have been lusting after this book since I first heard about it last year and then in January when the cover was released, well hell, I hungered for it.

Vlad has been one of the reoccurring characters in Jeaniene Frost's The Night Huntress series that has held my attention with his smart sexy mouth and heated sexy glances, his soulful sexy eyes and drop dead gorgeous sexy body...you get the idea!

Vlad Tepesh exudes primal sex, and yet this book, does not :(

Before I complain, I'll start with what I did enjoy.

The story flowed well, it had plenty of action and intrigue to keep me guessing.
Leila has an interesting gift, and she's a bit ballsy, although we don't get a lot of background on her other than a brief look at how she got her injury.
Vlad and Leila's journey together has a good amount of attraction, and they have to work together in order to solve a mystery and save the lives of their friends.

Had I not read any previous books by Jeaniene Frost I probably would have given this book a 4 Star rating.

However there are some things that I just couldn't get past.

It says right there on the front cover 'A Night Prince Novel'
So I was expecting a book based around Vlad, from Vlad's point of view.
Not so.
Its a book based around Leila, and written from her POV.
I initially didn't mind, but as the story progressed I got bored with the constant self berating and 'oh darn, he can hear that/knows what I'm thinking' commentary.

Vlad and Leila's attraction was well...dull.
Vlad has to be one of the most lusted after vamps of all time with extraordinary powers, a body to die for, and hundreds of years of experience under his belt.
He knows how to lure a lady, how to turn on the charm, but I found his pursuit of Leila stilted and awkward.
And when they did finally come together, it was pretty average.
I was hoping for fireworks, not unlike those of Cat and Bones in book #1 *wink wink* but what I got was safe and (dare I say) lacklustre.

Speaking of Vlad; the Vlad in this book is different from the one I know from TNH books.
The Vlad I know is a tease, darkly sexy and broody, has a wicked sense of humor and flirts mercilessly with all females.
This Vlad was moody and arrogant, and I really didn't care for him all that much.
I actually felt bereft.
Who was this impostor because it sure as hell wasn't my Vlad?
Maybe that's what was missing, not enough Vlad.

And the ending - what kind of ending was that?
Yes, I know it the first book in a series but what the hell?
I don't think it made sense to end it so abruptly, so half arsed!

Perhaps I would have enjoyed Once Burned more had it been written from Vlad's POV...
or if there had been more heat, more great sex...
or maybe I would have enjoyed it more if the ending had been more complete...
I'll never know.

What I do know is - I was left feeling angry, bitterly disappointed, and almost had a throw-it-against-the-wall moment!

I couldn't with good conscience give Once Burned anything more than 2 Stars :|
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