Title: Once Burned (Night Prince #1)
Author: Jeaniene Frost
Source: Self purchase
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Length: Novel (ebook 290 pages)Release Date : June 26, 2012 by Harper Collins
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.
Oh, Vlad, you are the epitome of the Alpha male and I. Love. It!
Okay, I'll be honest, the first few chapters were rough for me. I'm not sure if it was because I was getting back into the swing of reading a first person POV or if my brain just wasn't cooperating (it's been a looong day) but after around the 30 page mark things slammed into place. Somewhere between Vlad and Leila's explosive relationship, a revenge seeking vampire, a few tense 'meet the family' moments, and the struggle to save a beloved friend I become completely enthralled. I glanced at the clock and was shocked to realize I had been reading for almost 3 hours straight! Talk about getting caught up in a book!
Just a quick rundown because I hate spoilers!
During a storm Leila was electrocuted by a power line and almost died. When her body started to heal she realized she wasn't quite the same anymore. Her body started storing electricity that could literally kill a person by a simple touch, not to mention the pesky ability to see past/present/future when handling objects. Somehow her abilities come to the attention of a very old and very peeved vamp bent on revenge against Vlad. Some of his goons kidnap her and force her to track him. In her desperation for survival she reaches out to Vlad and promises her help in exchange for his protection. His idea of protection is to whisk her away to his stronghold in Romania where they work together to unravel the mystery of who wants him dead. So begins Leila's adventure into a world of murder, torture, and ,most frightening of all, a romantic relationship with Vlad!
The end of Once Burned is slightly open, but I wasn't left with an incomplete feeling. There was nice balance of enough resolve to leave me happy, but enough tension to keep me chomping at the bit for the next installment of the Night Prince series. (At least two more books are expected. The next is scheduled for a 2013 release)
So, even though I had a rough start I quickly remembered why Jeaniene Frost has a special spot on my bookshelf. I can't recommend Once Burned or any of other titles enough!
A couple of my favorite parts:
Vlad's very delicate (HA!) way of breaking the news of who he is to Leila's Father and sister:
I am Vladislav Basarab Dracul, born 1431 as a mortal, but reborn in 1462 as a vampire. I am but one out of mills of vampires, ghouls, ghosts, and demons that live in secret among you"Leila describing Vlad's "soft side" :
Piling the drama on a little thick, aren't you? I thought.
Then a thud made my gaze swing to the right.
My sister had fainted.
Look, I don't blame you for disliking Vlad. He impaled you and coerced you--both unforgivable. Still, there's another side to him."
"Sure," Marty replied flatly. "The side that burns people to death."
*The Night Prince series is a spinoff of the Night Huntress novels, but I don't feel it's necessary to read them to understand Once Burned. Although, seriously, if you haven't read about Cat and Bones you're missing out!*