26 September, 2017

REVIEW: ONCE BURNED by Jeaniene Frost

Title: Once Burned
Author: Jeaniene Frost
Series: Night Prince #1
Genres: Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Avon
Release: June 26th, 2012
Source: eBook
Pages: 346

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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.

EXPECTATIONS: I no longer expect much from romances about Dracula, so I went in morally prepared. After all, I just wanted another story on Vlad the Impaler, and I knew the potential it had to be terrible. Yet the fact that the title didn’t have “love” or even “Dracula” in it gave me some hope. But then, I have hope for every book on Dracula I take.

THE WORLD: Your every day mundane world, with an exception that there’s supernaturals living undercover. Our protagonist got powers due to an accident, but whether that happens a lot is not (yet) stated. What we do know is that there’s vampires, and that Vlad Basarab Draculea is alive, well, and still a prince, merely ruling over different kind of folk. There’s more like him out there, but he’s unique by having fire-y abilities, so we’ll just have to see where this escalates.  

CHARACTERS: Leila, the protagonist, is a performer at circus. She lives with her gang, and politely drinks disgusting health smoothies her boss makes her, only because they do make her feel better. After an accident where she grabbed a live electric cable Leila has a nasty scar over large portion of one side of her body, one arm of hers can send lightening flying, and she’s psychic too. Past, future, greatest desire, greatest regret, that sort of thing. Vlad Dracula is an age old vampire, previously a voivode of Wallachia (current Romania), now the Prince of Darkness. A unique specimen able to create fire, and fire-proofing, apparently. He meets Leila via his enemies, and I’m glad to say, she bet her chances of survival on him. I do like how they’re both written a lot. Neither is bending, and both have their ways of working things out, very different ways, ways that sometimes clash, and make for romance content, even if it’s tacky and seen before.

ROMANCE: Leila, if attracted to Vlad from the first or second glimpse, is put off by his arrogance, and thus plays along when he informs his staff: this mortal woman is free game, seduce her, if you will (if she’s willing). All the while Vlad’s certain they’ll all fail, because he already knows whose company (and bed) Leila would prefer. It’s a matter of time, really.

GOOD: The plot wasn’t all too dull, and Dracula was written pretty well, I believe. By far not perfect, not by my standards, but hey, author knew some important things, did her research very decently, and I will absolutely give her credit for it.

BAD: Well, it’s just one of those romances. The ones where you know exactly how it’ll go. Characters are mighty predictable. Basically, the book is no more than a light read to rest your mind after you’ve read something heavy.

OVERALL: Right. No matter what I said, I liked it. It was simple, easy to read, had vampires in it, heck, had Dracula in it, and a female protagonist who was neither dumb, nor weak. She had wit, and used it, she had power, and wielded it. I appreciate me some of that, thanks.

What do you think about ONCE BURNED?



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