I love Cat and Bones tales, kind of liked Spade's one, and liked Mencheres's one, so I had high hopes for this one. I ended up wondering why the author bothered, as not much at all happened.
We learned very little about Vlad's background - how he'd started off and what he'd become; I mean, the guy is the stuff of legends, has been around for 6 centuries, yet he came across as bland...and almost a bit of a eunuch. Leila herself was described as scarred and destroyed, but all we heard about really was her 'power' and her beauty. I couldn't see the supposed attraction between them, and have to wonder if the author, who is normally great, set this book up so that we're forced to read the next to find out what happens. The duology has to end in a HEA, that's a given with her, but this one did make me think that she'd written it not out of love for the character, but for monetary reasons. Vlad has been such a shadowy figure for so long, yet in this one, he almost seemed...boring. Also, I couldn't help but see some similarities between this and Christine Feehan's Carpathians series...enemies that don't truly die, homes carved out of caves, flying...
Even the love scenes, few that there were, were tame. I suppose, as 'filler' until the next C&B tale is out, it was OK-ish, but thank goodness for the resale value of paperbacks (vs Kindle), as this is not a Keeper.
on 5 May 2014
I picked up this book thinking it would be another everyday vampire book, even after the decent reviews. Oh! Was I in for a shock. The story was sooooooo gooood with a really great plot and had me completely hooked on all the characters, especially VALD (yum yum !) Although he appears arrogant and ruthless, which he certainly is, he also has high morals. Leila has the power in her right hand to trace people I including the dead by their remains through their essence and see their greatest sin and their past, present and future as well as having a strong electrical current running through her and is able to direct it through her right hand. She works with her close friend a dwarf vampire within a circus and is kidnapped by a really nasty vampire to locate VALD a vampire Lord. She traces him but he senses he's being spied on and she tells him that she is being forced to trace him. VALD agrees to rescue her and when he does she goes with him to his castle in Romania where she agrees to help him find out who's trying to kill him. She falls for him and becomes his lover and things get very heated. Lots of trouble comes their way as she is also being targeted. The story twists and turns keeping you gripped all the way. You must read this book, I finished it in one day (at 2-45 in the morning) as I couldn't put it down and went straight onto book two when I woke up in the morning.
on 21 February 2013
I couldn't put this down. I was hooked from the first page, and bitterly disappointed to get to the end - especially with having to wait for the next book in the series. I have no patience!
Thoroughly enjoyable. I can't really single out any part that I enjoyed more - I loved the whole thing, start to finish. Vlad is magnificent - at last, a proper vampire. I loved his reaction to Hollywood vampires - and I agree wholeheartedly! Vlad is certainly no angst-ridden specimen bemoaning his lost humanity. He's real, flawed, intriguing, dangerous - and sexy as Hell!
I cannot wait for part 2.
I'm a massive fan of Jeaniene Frost's Night Huntress series and I enjoyed the spin off stories about Spade and Mencheres but Vlad has always been a favourite of mine so I had high hopes for the first book in his series. I'm so pleased to say that Once Burned didn't disappoint, Vlad has found a worthy heroine in Leila and the story contains the great mix of romance and action that any Jeaniene Frost fan will already know to expect. Although this story fits into the overall Night Huntress time line after One Grave at a Time I would actually say that this series can be used as a starting point even if you haven't read any of the other books. Personally I would recommend reading them in order though because Cat and Bones will always be one of my favourite fictional couples and you don't want to miss out on meeting them.
Once Burned is narrated by new character Leila, a human woman with some very interesting abilities. When she was a teen Leila suffered a severe electric shock after touching a power line and ever since then her body has held onto an electrical charge that shocks anyone who she touches. Along with conducting electricity Leila also developed the power to touch an object and get a glimpse into the lives of people connected to it. Leila is aware that vampires exist, in fact her only friend is a vampire who is able to survive the effects of Leila's electric shocks without permanent damage but she has done her best to stay off the radar of anything supernatural. Unfortunately for her she hasn't succeeded and she is kidnapped by a group of vampires who want to use her ability to track down Vlad and ambush him. Leila is left with only 2 choices, she either helps the vampires who she knows are planning to kill her or she warns Vlad of their plans and hopes that he will help her.
Vlad is sexy, arrogant and scary as hell - he didn't inspire the legend of Dracula for no reason after all! His fierce reputation has been earned and he doesn't flinch away from dealing out harsh punishments when they are needed. As much as he is prepared to be brutal to his enemies he does it because he cares about the people who are under his protection. He wants his enemies to know that he will stop at nothing to keep his people safe and if anyone crosses him or those he considers his then they won't live long but they'll still suffer enough to make them regret it. Vlad has spent hundreds of years ruling with an iron fist but he obviously has the respect of the people in his line and they know that as long as they don't betray him he will give them anything they need. Although he is incredibly pushy and arrogant he does have a softer side that Leila is only just starting to uncover and I want to see more of that side to him.
Leila's abilities make it very difficult for her to be around people so she has become quite a loner but because Vlad is immune to her power she finally has the option of being close to someone. The chemistry between them is fantastic but I really liked the fact that they are both wary of building a relationship and are taking things slowly. Things are definitely moving in the right direction for them but I'm glad their story hasn't been crammed into one book and that we're going to spend more time with the pair. Vlad and Leila don't quite manage to beat Bones and Cat to become my favourite couple in the series but they are definitely a fun pair to spend time with and I'm looking forward to seeing more of them.
As with the rest of Jeaniene Frost's books Once Burned is a great read full of action, romance, hot sex, humour and great side characters. It was nice to see a brief appearance from Cat & Bones but I'm glad that their presence didn't overwhelm the story and take away from the main couple. This is Vlad and Leila's book and too much of the other characters would have spoilt that. There is a bit of a cliffhanger ending to this one so I'm glad I waited until the release of Twice Tempted before reading it and I can't wait to get started on the next book.
on 7 August 2012
Being the huge Jeaniene Frost fan I am, I had to get this book when it was released. I was especially looking forward to reading it not only because it's another Frost book, but because it's Vlad's story! Vlad is one of my favourite characters from the Night Huntress series, but we never saw enough of him for my liking, so I was so happy that he now has his own book. And it's amazing!
What I was surprised about, although this is Vlad's story, it's told entirely from Leila's perspective. This may not be that surprising considering the Night Huntress series is told entirely from Cat's perspective, but I assumed, as all the other spin off novels - those in the Night Huntress World series - had dual narration, that Once Burned would too. I guess that as it will be a series in it's own right, and we'll have more books about Vlad and Leila, it's going back to one narration. I was slightly disappointed as I was so looking forward to getting into Vlad's head, but really, once you're engrossed in the story, it hardly matters.
Leila kind of reminded me of Cat when we first met her in Halfway to the Grave. She's not a vampire, she's completely human, but after an accident with a downed cable line, she can now channel electricity, tell a person's darkest sin just by touching them, and sometimes see their future - not only that, but she can also see memories left on objects. Trying to make the most of a life where she has to always be on alert so as not to touch anyone, everything goes wrong when she is kidnapped. Having heard of what she can do, someone wants her to find out where a certain dangerous vampire is, and where he will be in the future.
Despite the crap she's had to deal with, and her horror over being kidnapped, she's quite gutsy. No, she's not automatically a badass, but she's smart, and she knows her power more than anyone else. What's a few lies about what she can or can't do if it's going to keep her alive and useful? Not only that, but she's not afraid to stand up to one of the most dangerous vampires going, and not cowering just because of who he is - like she forgets she's talking to Vlad the Impaler!
Vlad! Oh, Vlad! He drove me bloody mad! He is just as amusing as he is in the Night Huntress series, but my god, is he arrogant. Most of the time, it's just funny, but the rest of the time? God, I wanted to slap him! Of course Leila is interested in him, of course she wants him, of course he will have her. It's like he can't comprehend any other option. He's not just arrogant when it comes to Leila, but that's what made me so mad. Yet... he can be surprisingly lovely. In his own way, he genuinely cares, and he has the moments where he is the most sweetest, most perfect guy (even if slightly old fashioned)! He's just so brilliant! In lots of ways, Vlad is a mass of contradictions. When it comes to his enemies, or anyone who displeases him, event his own people, he is ruthless. His idea of punishment for something that wasn't exactly someone's fault is just horrific. Yet, when no-one's done anything to displease him, he's a nice, normal guy. And when it comes to Leila, he's sweet and lovely, very protective, says he's selective with who he sleeps with, and seems to be quite sensitive, and then goes and says he will never love her. And how he acts at the end of the book! Oh my god! I still love him, but sometimes he disgusted me and infuriated me - but what can you do, when he's the most powerful vamp in history? But I think this all shows just how awesome a story this is and how Frost is such a brilliant a writer, that I went through so many emotions. I do think Leila will be able to take him down a peg or two, though. And the chemistry between the two of them is just amazing! I'm really looking forward to seeing how their relationship progresses in the second book.
Once Burned is just as actioned packed as we've come to expect, and in some instances, possibly even more so. There's a whole new level of twisted when it comes to the violence, but it's just so exciting! And the cliffhanger ending! The mystery of this story did seem slightly similar to that of Eternal Kiss of Darkness, but in the very basics, and on the whole is quite different. Once Burned is a fantastic addition to the stories set in this world, and I am so looking forward to the sequel in the Night Prince series, Twice Tempted.