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Once Bitten (Haven #1)

3.54  ·  Rating Details  ·  3,000 Ratings  ·  235 Reviews
Kita Nekai, on the run and the smallest of her shifter clan—a calico cat among lions and tigers—is being hunted. She was expected to accept her role as her father’s successor whether or not her cat was up to the task of leading the clan. She disagreed. Now she’s less than a step ahead of the hunters, bone-tired, cold, and living hand-to-mouth in the city of Haven. And that ...more
Paperback, 272 pages
Published January 9th 2009 by Bell Bridge Books
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Wendy Darling
2.5 stars I really like it when humans turn into animals. I don't know why. But I do. Maybe it's the whole intelligent mind inside dumb animal thing, maybe it's the freedom of moving around in slinky ways.

I downloaded the sample chapters of this book and was pretty excited by the beginning: our heroine is being hunted by someone late at night, and she shifts into a small cat in order to evade her captors. She then cleverly hides inside a shopping bag that is carried out of a woman's restroom. A
Mar 26, 2009 Angela rated it really liked it
Kalayna Price's debut novel, Once Bitten, brings a new twist to urban fantasy. Kita Nekai is a shapeshifter, heir to her clan, and on the run. Initially, her only problem is evading the Hunters that her father has sent to bring her back home. However, things just get worse as she is accidentally turned into a vampire and finds out she may be responsible for creating a rogue shifter who is murdering women. She is given two days to bring the rogue to justice or her life is forfeit.

Price combines v
Bell Curran
2-1/2 stars. I came to read this after getting into Price's Grave Witch series which is quite good and does interesting things with Fae mythology and necromancy. Once Bitten has an equally original fantasy world, but somehow it never came across as very believable.

The heroine, Kita Nekai, is a shifter on the run from some place called "Firth." We're never really told what Firth is. Another world? Dimension? Who the heck knows? A "portal" opens to it once a month. Kita has run away from Firth an
All Things Urban Fantasy
Review Courtesy of

A Dhampir is a half vampire/half human, but what do you call a half vampire/half were? Well, if your Kaylana Price, you call her Kita, or as the men in her life call her, Kitten. Kita is a Shifter who can turn into a cat. Thinking herself and her alter ego calico too weak to take over for her father as the leader of the other Shifters of Firth, Kita escapes to the human world city of Haven and goes on the run from Hunters who would return her
Beanbag Love
Apr 03, 2010 Beanbag Love rated it really liked it
This is definitely a 3.5 but I couldn't decide whether to round up or down.

It took me forever to finish this book! A Kindle freebie, I couldn't figure out why I had a problem getting into it, but here's what I came up with:

1. The heroine is a selfish, spoiled, childish, hothead whose problems are all her own fault, and she spends much of the time snapping at everyone else.

2. She remains ignorant of the details of her own situation simply because she refuses -- in her anger -- to listen to the o
Kobo free download 7/20/11

3.5 stars -
Once again, why haven’t I read this series yet? I received this book as a Kobo free download last summer and waited to fit it into the right challenge. Thanks, SOS Bookshelf Bingo – Shifters shelf! Calico cat shifters!

Once Bitten is the story of Kita Nekai. Kita is the daughter of a Torin or clan leader. She’s left her home in Firth for Haven and is hiding in plain sight among the humans as a cute little calico cat. When in human form, Kita’s hair is beautif
Sarah A.
Dec 28, 2010 Sarah A. rated it it was ok
For the life of me I couldn't understand what this book wanted to tell me! It kept unrelenting pace with events that I didn't care much about. The characters weren't properly intoduced in order for me to like them or at least understand them and have some sort of familiarity with them therefor I coudln't care less what happened to them! Another thing irked me in this book was the 100 times repeated gestures, it seems the heroine "Kita" is a magnet for the touch! EVERY guy wants to touch her some ...more
Jen  (In the Closet With a Bibliophile)
This book was freaking awesome. I have now grown very fond of all books by Kalayna Price. I wish there were so many more to read. *sigh* As there are currently only three, I'll be waiting on bended knee for the rest to be released.

Til then, here is my review:

This particular novel is about a shifter turned vampire. Kita (coolest name by the way), had grown up as a calico cat shifter. I was cracking up at that one, nothing like being a six pound kitty to really make you feel as uncomfortable as po
Jul 06, 2012 Amy rated it did not like it
Shelves: fantasy
About the time I find that the main male-lead, who I think is a horrid asshole that should get his ass kicked repeatedly, is supposed to be the misunderstood love interest, I realize that I've accidentally read a psuedo-romanace novel. Damn. I kept reading and waiting the entire book for him to get his come-uppance and instead of realizing what a vile son of a bitch he was and over-coming his whole vampire allure mesmerizing thing, they start getting all fuzzy toward him, which is what I call st ...more
Jan 16, 2010 Amber rated it it was ok
I got this book free off my Kindle and since I'm broke I'm trying to balance my reading of free classics with some fantasy, mystery, basically whatever they will let me download for free. I was sceptical about the book in the beginning. I didn't feel properly introduced to the characters or the fantasy land the author created. I enjoy true fantasy, where lands are created and such, but felt like the author assumed I knew more than I did. The plot felt jumpy. It also took me a long time to connec ...more
Jul 26, 2010 Cindyg rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites
This is definitely a winning book and hopefully a winning series. I already have book two...I thoroughly enjoyed the world Kalayna has created. I found her characters engaging and likeable. Kita handles becoming a vamp and losing her ability to shift as well as one would expect her to. She spends a lot of time being mad at Nathaniel for turning her but at this point in the series, you find yourself understanding why he did it. I really like Bobby too; he really cares about Kita...I think he love ...more
Mar 05, 2010 Jennifer rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Jennifer by:
Once Bitten turns the shapeshifter genre into something brand new. The origins of shapeshifters are explained in a way that is surprising, yet somehow logical. The focus is on the spiritual, the soul, and gives the definition of shapeshifters being dual-natured a slightly different meaning than is normally seen.

There are many supernatural types featured in this book. Shapeshifters of all flavors, demons, magic-users, vampires are all strongly focused on with the possibility of others lurking in
Jun 18, 2011 Kitty rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: paranormal
I had mixed feelings about this book - before and after reading it.

Before: learning it was about a shape-shifter cat, my first thought was "cool - I like cats". My second thought was "but how can a person turn into a cat, when a cat is so much smaller than a person?". But my third thought was "how can a person turn into any animal? if I can enjoy a book about werewolves, is this really that more far-fetched?" So I gave it a try.

Here's what I liked about it: without giving any spoilers, this book
May 10, 2011 Claire rated it really liked it
OK Here is the blurb from GR.

Kita Nekai, on the run and the smallest of her shifter clan-a calico cat among lions and tigers-is being hunted. She was expected to accept her role as her father's successor whether or not her cat was up to the task of leading the clan. She disagreed. Now she's less than a step ahead of the hunters, bone-tired, cold, and living hand-to-mouth in the city of Haven. And that's the high point of her day. She's also drugged, "accidently" turned into a vampire, and senten
Jun 06, 2011 Emily rated it liked it
Shelves: urban-fantasy, 2011
I enjoyed Grave Witch, so I picked this up to see what Kalayna Price’s Haven series was like. Once Bitten was OK-not as good as Grave Witch, which had a more likeable heroine with some cool powers (and a cute dog!). In Once Bitten, Kita’s behavior can be kind of repetitive and annoying, and the investigation into the rogue dragged (lots of walking around and taking the subway and dodging hunters, while searching for clues) on too long. The vampire side of the plot line was much more interesting ...more
Traci (Mad Hatter Reads)
My Rating: 3.5 Stars

In most books with shifters, the beasts in question are usually large-breed (wolves, big cats, bears, etc.). Kalayna Price has created the unusual...a small-breed shifter. Kita shifts into a calico cat, which she uses her advantage by posing as a family pet while on the run from hunters from her home dimension of Firth. But the hunters are only the start of Kita's problems.

There's plenty of action in Once Bitten and it's a great start to the Haven Series. All the action takes
Jan 03, 2016 Resii rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
ab Seite 130 nur noch überflogen und trotzdem habe Ich nicht viel Handlung verpasst. Das spricht natürlich sehr für das Buch. Ich hasse es so dermaßen, Wenn Die Autoren einfach mal Das ganze Potenzial einer Idee verschwenden. Einfach nur traurig.
I found this way too easy to walk away from in favor of doing other things until 3/4 of the way through the book when it finally stopped meandering and actually became absorbing reading for me.

However that being said Kita spent way more than 9 lives in Once Bitten so not sure how she will fare in next book Twice Dead but as have digitally on my kindle and a used trade paperback copy to find out will be doing so soon.
Aug 27, 2010 Kathryn rated it liked it
Recommended to Kathryn by:
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kathy Martin
Jan 30, 2011 Kathy Martin rated it it was amazing
Nice urban fantasy about a cat shifter who has run away from home. Kita is having a really bad day. She is attacked by a rogue shifter, turned into a vampire, sentenced to death by a demon judge, and has her sentence delayed to give her a little time to find the rogue shifter. She has to dodge Hunters who target rogue shifters. She has to get used to being a vampire. And she has to become a detective when she is mostly used to being a house cat. Lots of fun dialog and interesting situations in t ...more
Apr 25, 2016 Bluegravity rated it liked it
Please read the whole synopsis before you decide, because there's negative and positive:

Allow me to begin by stating that I had tried to read the book a couple years ago, and didn't get very far. My first thought was that it was another shallow shifter love story because of the bad beginning, talking and general confusion in even following the storyline- it was confusingly shaky at best. I groaned mentally when I realized I'd come across it again, and considered dropping it again... But I strugg
Feb 28, 2016 Mark rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jackie (Literary Escapism)
I have to say, I enjoyed this book. It’s not often I come across a newly turned vampire who tries to ignore her new dietary requirements. It made for some really interesting reading and I do admit, I had a hard time putting this book down. I haven’t heard that there is a sequel planned yet, but I’m really hoping there is. I want to see what happens between Bobby, Kita and Nathanial.

For my full review, click here.
Daniella Vargas
Feb 05, 2010 Daniella Vargas rated it it was ok
People have low standards if they think this is great fiction. The main character acts like an immature little girl that was written by an immature little girl trying to be grown up. The entire plot is one contrived, over-the-top thing after another and I don't think the writer really knew where she was going with the story so just kept trying to see how many different supernatural creatures she could throw into the plot. I'd rate this stale chocolate.
Feb 16, 2015 Katie rated it liked it
There is a great deal going on in this book, and as the reader you get tossed into it very quickly. I enjoyed other books by this author, so didn't really read the summary before starting and I kinda wish I had. I did figure it all out, and I'm glad I read the book, I just did not know what I was getting into. This is a fast paced story, like the summary says, the main character is given a deadline to find a killer, and the book ends at the end of that timeline.
There are three main characters,
May 20, 2015 Rachel rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: urban-fantasy
I have no idea if this is a "first book" but it reads like a first book. The story is not particularly unique (there really are very few "UNIQUE" urban fantasy plots at this point) but I like a good urban fantasy with excellent writing, unique takes on our historical fantasies and magical worlds, and good characters. I recently read two other books by Kalayna Price and I enjoyed them, so I was excited for this one. It was honestly hard to read. I WANTED to like things about it...but the writing ...more
Apr 25, 2014 Laurel rated it it was ok
Kita, the main character so frustrating and I nearly turned the book off a number of times. If I was her vampire master, I would have probably offed the two of us to end the misery. She excels at ignoring everything told her or running away from any conversation that conveys information she doesn't want to hear. She makes bad decisions. She is upset about being a vampire, fairly I would say, but she needs to snap out of it! Seriously.

Keeping in mind all of the above, Nathaniel, her vampire mast
Dec 14, 2015 Katie rated it really liked it
I liked this book. It has a new story I having come across: a shifter turned into a vampire. In this story she is running away from her clan birthright and from a land called Firth. She has come for earth as we know it. While trying to find a new home she gets tangled up with a vampire and turned. Afterwards she is found by the Judge and under threat of death, must find a rogue that has been killing women.
All in all, I enjoyed the book. I haven't seen any alpha traits in her though, and that's h
Sep 23, 2014 Jessica rated it really liked it
Shelves: urban-fantasy

My four-sentence or less take on the plot: Kita ran away from her pack (or whatever a group of cats is called) a long time ago because of...reasons...but somehow also manages to get bitten by a vampire, becoming a vampire cat. There is also a love triangle, more or less.

Rating: 7

What worked: Kita is very rounded as a character in that she's actually rather obnoxious. I liked the side characters more, which really isn't a problem. If this series was longer, I'd be concerned, because I felt simila
Amy Goodloe
Dec 20, 2014 Amy Goodloe rated it really liked it
Shelves: urban-fantasy
Hmm, a shape shifter who becomes a vampire. That's something I hadn't come across yet, although I suppose the reverse happens to Tyler on the Vampire Diaries. (Ooops. Did I just publicly confess to watching that?)

I enjoyed some aspects of the story more than others. Kita feels like a unique character to me, which is saying something given how much urban fantasy I read. But I don't like where her relationship with the vampire might be going, and I definitely could've done without some of the gory
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USA Today Bestselling author Kalayna Price writes the Alex Craft Novels, a new dark urban fantasy series from Roc, and the Novels of Haven from Bell Bridge Books. Her works have been translated into several languages and are available (or have been contracted for release) in the US, UK, Australia, New Zealand, France, Poland, Russia, and Germany. Kalayna draws her ideas from the world around her, ...more
More about Kalayna Price...

Other Books in the Series

Haven (3 books)
  • Twice Dead (Haven, #2)
  • Third Blood (Haven, #3)

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“You didn't save my life, you postponed my death. There's a difference.” 24 likes
“I have seen your disregard for other's hearts. I would not choose to trust you with mine” 14 likes
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