Anzu The Great Destroyer's Reviews > Once Burned

Once Burned by Jeaniene Frost
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's review
Jul 06, 2012

it was ok
bookshelves: d-oh, excitement, fanged-and-deadly, fat-kitty-judges-you, i-am-disappoint, is-it-just-me-goddammit, lust-at-first-sight, suburban-fantasy-so-edgy, reviewed-2012, romance-paranormal, zzzzzzz, facepalm
Recommended for: fans of the author, NH series, Vlad, whatever
Read from June 27 to July 01, 2012 , read count: 1

Is it just me or the cover model is Paul Marron? If yes, then lots of contracts on the dude's head this year!
P.S. That's not how I see Vlad, not even close.
P.P.S. I really don't like the cover. At all!

Vlad is one of my favorite characters in the Night Huntress world. Since I love him so much I doubt that I need to add more reasons to why I was having such high expectations for Once Burned. Plus, it’s Jeaniene Frost we’re talking about here. Well, you can say that my expectations were tremendous. Keep that in mind throughout my review, it will matter in the end.

Vlad? Are you reading this? Good. Here’s a song I want to dedicate to you:

Physical by Nine Inch Nails

*clears throat*

So yeah, two stars. That’s bad. That’s really bad. I know, don’t give me that look. It’s not that I’m an ass, but it did not meet my “tremendous expectations”. Not even one bit. And to tell you the truth my expectations aren’t THAT tremendous. I wanted four simple things:
1. A good story.
2. Vlad being his old arrogant awesome self.
3. An admirable heroine.
4. A terrifying villain.

1. A good story
I did not want the best story on the planet. I’m not that exigent. I simply wanted a decent story that could entertain and awake some positive feelings inside me. Hell, I could go with negative feelings as well. Even so, make it good! Once Burned was sprinkled with cheese from top to bottom. Everything was unoriginal and, my biggest problem so far, tasteless. It lacked personality. It lacked feelings. I have no idea what happened with Frost but if her name wasn’t written on the cover, I wouldn’t say this is one of her books. It’s so unlike her.

Oh, and the humor. Oh, my poor heart, the humor.

Minus one star from my rating.

2. Vlad being his old arrogant awesome self
Vlad’s character was already well built since the previous books in which he made an appearance. I have a certain image in my mind for him. And no, I don’t mean physical image. I’ve been complaining about the cover for a long time. I know. However, I’m not referring to that. I wouldn’t take points away for a cover; that’s being unfair. I’m talking about his attitude. Once Burned’s Vlad is very different from Anzu’s Vlad.

His presence in the book was not strong enough. When you think of Vlad, you think of a golden statue. What Frost brought was a mere bronze one. I wanted him to be stronger, to be more active, more present in the story. I wanted him to play hard to get. Yes, I’m aware of how strange that sounds. But he was TOO eager to get in her pants. I would have liked him to be all like “Bitch please. I’m too hot you your puny human ass.” And then discover how awesome she is and fall in love with her. Or something.

But that’s just me.

Minus one star from my rating.

3. An admirable heroine.
Leila is not the kind of heroine I would like to see next to Vlad. He outshines her too much, and I fail to see why he even fell for her. Their “love” is unlikely to happen. The Vlad I know wouldn’t even spare her a second look.

I get that Frost had Megan Fox in mind when creating Leila’s image so one could say that Vlad was simply physically attracted to her. Yes, it could be an answer, although I doubt that this is the reason he hooked up with her. No wait, it’s more than “hooking up.” He wants to make her HIS. See the difference?

Vlad wanting to make Leila HIS. Leila. No, I’m not buying it.

Audience: Did you not like Leila??

Anzu: No, I did not like her. At all. There is nothing to admire about her.

Audience: What about her accident? She was so strong willed to survive all that!

Anzu: She survived because she was lucky. She’s not strong for managing not to kill herself for so many years. She’s just human. That’s all. Plus her decision-making process is a mess. Her way of thinking is flawed, and she’s just plain annoying. Just have a look at this. Please, just read it.
“Do you have something you want me to relay before I go?”
“Yes.” Vlad’s voice was pleasant. “Tell him the next time I see him, I’ll rip off his head and make a new toilet out of it.”
“He hates you a lot,” I summarized to Szilagyi.

He hates you a lot. That’s her summary. Hates you a lot. What?? What the hell is wrong with this woman?

Ok, let me tell you how a woman worthy of Vlad should have replied.
“I don't know who you are. I don't know what you want. If you are looking for ransom, I can tell you I don't have money. But what I do have are a very particular set of skills; skills I have acquired over a very long career. Skills that make me a nightmare for people like you. If you let my friend go now, that'll be the end of it. I will not look for you, I will not pursue you. But if you don't, I will look for you, I will find you, and I will kill you.”

And that’s how it’s done!

You know who would be a good enough woman for Vlad? Kate Daniels. Ok, Kate is in fact taken but some other chick as cool as Kate. Compare THAT to Leila.

Thought so.

Minus one star from my rating.

4. A terrifying villain.


Minus one star from my rating.

The score so far
5 - 1 - 1 - 1 - 1 = 1 star

One fucking star! That’s shameful.

Because I can’t possibly make myself give a book containing Vlad one star, I’ll add an extra one because of his awesomeness that never ceases to amaze me.

That’s a result of two stars. Am I not being fair? Am I being a hard-to-please bitch?

No, I’m not.

Oh, and by the way, I thought this series was a PNR. And I was going on and on with the book and not for one second did I think that I’m making a mistake. That it reads like something else.

Well, guess what? It’s actually an Urban Fantasy. Really? How does Once Burned even belong to the Urban Fantasy genre? No Jeaniene Frost, I will not be fooled! Once Burned reads like a typical cheesy romance without the hero’s POV. That’s what it is for me.

And P.S. thanks for ruining Vlad’s book. Much appreciated.
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Reading Progress

1.0% "I couldn't help myself."
06/27 page 48
13.0% "Crush crush crush" 11 comments
56.0% "Aaaand it went typical romance. Yay. :/" 11 comments
74.0% "Not getting better."
100.0% "I am very disappoint." 11 comments
05/09 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-50 of 90) (90 new)

message 1: by Dija (last edited Feb 06, 2012 09:53AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Dija I don't like the cover that much either. It makes this seem like some sort of pornographic series, when really, all I want is something as good as, if not better than, NH.

Aly is so frigging bored Yep, it's Paul :D

Mariya @Dija & Anzu: Agreed! I'm not a fan of the shirtless guy's covers! I expected something more. *disappointed*

Dija They just seem so overrated and cheap, you know? We probably seem so abnormal for thinking like that, LOL.

And Mariya, I love your new DP! Which manga is it from?

Aly is so frigging bored It's not that he's shirtless... Paul is just to beautiful to be Vlad :D and since we, romanians I mean, learn about him in history and always see his photo it's so disconcerting...

Aly is so frigging bored you can't come from this dude:

to Paul....

Dija Bwahahahahahahahaha!! I'll never look at Vlad in the same light again! XD

message 8: by Mariya (last edited Jun 12, 2012 06:42PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Mariya LOL funny!

and @Dija: It's from Sekai Ichi Hatsukoi! ;)
I'm a huge fan of it and it brings out my fangirlness like big time! Hehehehehe!

Aly is so frigging bored Dija wrote: "Bwahahahahahahahaha!! I'll never look at Vlad in the same light again! XD"

:))))) yes :D but I still find him hot, the one from our books, that is :D The Romanian one was a little bit crazy, although it's said everyone was too afraid to steal and stuff when he ruled :D

message 10: by Dija (new) - rated it 4 stars

Dija @Mariya: Is that sounen-ai?

@Aly: And was he really a vamp? :D

Aly is so frigging bored Deeeee =))))) history doesn't say anything about it, but who knows? I know he was crazy though :D

Samina ~ Escapism~ Blimey, that did spoil my image for Vlad.I mean I did imagine him with a longish face with long hollow cheeks slightly roguish.However this one is more Rawr!
The manga seems to be yaoi.No wonder I was unfamiliar.

Mariya @Dija: yes. The cutest shounen-ai ever. ;)

message 14: by Anzu (new) - rated it 2 stars

Anzu The Great Destroyer Yep, it's him... saw it on Google. And yes he's too pretty to be Vlad and yes the book looks cheap and yes I'm not so happy about reading it right now..

Anna (Bobs Her Hair) Jeaniene Frost blogged about who she thought Vlad looked like. Michael Fassbender is her choice. see

message 16: by Anzu (new) - rated it 2 stars

Anzu The Great Destroyer Ah yes, much better :D

Brittany B. Agreed Anzu. Def not what Vlad should look like, but the author often doesn't get that much input.

message 18: by Anzu (new) - rated it 2 stars

Anzu The Great Destroyer I think the author should be the one choosing AT LEAST the cover models. An author has the best image of what the characters look like. I appreciate when they actually pick the covers. Some even hire illustrators to recreate a certain scene from the book. That is amazing. Choosing a random hottie for the cover, making him topless and sweaty with lots of glowing lights around is not cool.

Aly is so frigging bored I like them shirtless :D but you have a point. I think all covers will look better if they let the author decide which models to choose and what settings...

message 20: by Maria (new)

Maria Schneider It's rare the author has any say in the cover. Even self-published authors mostly choose from stock photos. I know one author who hired the model and did a photo shoot (The Heretic by Joe Nassisse) but I actually liked his old cover with the sword better.

Aly is so frigging bored I think Larissa Ione is involved in her cover process(didn't know how else to refer to it:D)

message 22: by Maria (new)

Maria Schneider Aly (Lothaire) Daciano wrote: "I think Larissa Ione is involved in her cover process(didn't know how else to refer to it:D)"

Oh, I didn't mean NO involvement. Some authors have more than others, but it ranges from none to doing it completely. I think the vast majority have very little say though. I also think it is changing and publishers are getting authors involved earlier--and for the better!

message 23: by Brittany B. (last edited Jun 27, 2012 11:32PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Brittany B. Aly (Lothaire) Daciano wrote: "I think Larissa Ione is involved in her cover process(didn't know how else to refer to it:D)"

Yes Aly, I think you're right. She always thanks the her art dept for the cover.
I'm not as crazy about a lone shirtless guy, though (for this one). Plus I picture him with a sexy 5oclock shadow, if not a well-groomed beard.

I keep a full bookshelf in my guest room/office of all my books. Including my legal books, my favorite hard cover novels, classics etc. My fiancé is never amused when he sees a PB cover of a naked man, and my friends think I read porn. Oh and forget about reading a Gena Showalter at a coffee house... Lol.

Cat never had the best covers, but at least her clothes were on... :)

Brittany B. And I not like shaved chests.... Vlad is supposed to be a little scary and very manly. I'm not into the guy on the cover.

message 25: by Maria (new)

Maria Schneider Brittany B. wrote: "And I not like shaved chests.... Vlad is supposed to be a little scary and very manly. I'm not into the guy on the cover." All you ever see these days is shaved chests on's the latest fashion apparently.

Aly is so frigging bored I don't like men with chest hair so it's ok with me...

message 27: by Maria (new)

Maria Schneider Aly (Lothaire) Daciano wrote: "I don't like men with chest hair so it's ok with me..."

I'm a whatever is natural kind of gal.

Aly is so frigging bored I'm not :D Since I have to go through waxing why shouldn't the man go too? I am very vindicative like that :))

message 29: by Maria (new)

Maria Schneider Aly (Lothaire) Daciano wrote: "I'm not :D Since I have to go through waxing why shouldn't the man go too? I am very vindicative like that :))"

I'm not a waxing kind of gal either! There is the most hilarious waxing scene and follow-on scene in this story:
No One to Trust (Lexi Carmichael Mystery, #2) by Julie Moffett It's the second in the series and it's hilarious. There's sort of a romance or would be, but the girl is a total geek (which is probably why I loved the book!) Your comment reminded me of the scene--good for a morning smile!

Brittany B. Aly, what do you wax??
OUCH! Please say your eyebrows.

Aly is so frigging bored Dude legs mostly. Don't you do the same??

message 32: by Anzu (new) - rated it 2 stars

Anzu The Great Destroyer What is this conversation turning into??

Aly is so frigging bored Are your eyes burning? :))

message 34: by Maria (new)

Maria Schneider Mine are. I'm outta here! In the books no one has to shave or toe nails or ANYTHING remotely ... normal.

I think I'll go read.

message 35: by Anzu (new) - rated it 2 stars

Anzu The Great Destroyer *wipes a lone tear from her eyes*

No, I'm cool. A heroine is trapped in a cave for a month and she comes out clean and hair-free. LIES! All lies!!!

message 36: by Dija (new) - rated it 4 stars

Dija My face can't decide whether it wants to wear a "WTF? O_o" or a "LMAO! XD" look after reading this thread.

message 37: by Maria (new)

Maria Schneider Dija wrote: "My face can't decide whether it wants to wear a "WTF? O_o" or a "LMAO! XD" look after reading this thread."

Oh, so *that's* why your face is twitching!!! :>)

message 38: by Dija (last edited Jun 29, 2012 08:12AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Dija Precisely. I think I'll go with the Wtf one for now, since I seem to be scaring my sister with the dual and opposite expressions.

Aly is so frigging bored Guys you are so funny :))

Anzu you are so right! It's like all book heroines(it's not only romance) are genetically altered. If so, where can I sign up?

message 40: by April (new)

April They never seem to get a visit from Aunt Flo either. >>JEALOUS<<

message 41: by Anzu (new) - rated it 2 stars

Anzu The Great Destroyer Eh. Movies. Books. Tv series. Unfair.

Brittany B. Lol, not a waxer Aly. I have total respect for anyone who does. I've seen 40-yr old Virgin? Put me off of waxing forever. I do shave. I'm not a hairy chick.

Ok now I'm giving TMI.

message 43: by Anzu (last edited Jul 04, 2012 01:34PM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Anzu The Great Destroyer Hahahaha did you know that in 40yr old virgin they actually did it to the guy? It was all real! I respect him for this madness =)))

Uhm.. If you're a natural blonde then it all makes sense :p

message 44: by Alkyoni (new) - added it

Alkyoni ouch :p

message 45: by Anna (Bobs Her Hair) (last edited Jul 06, 2012 11:03AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Anna (Bobs Her Hair) What Alkyoni said! Ouch!

Vlad's view was missed. I did like Leila. She doesn't have warrior skills but she comes with other gifts. The villain's presence could have been stronger. Better luck next book, Anzu! *crosses fingers*

Aly is so frigging bored You murdered another one love :))

Mags~CVAddikt~ Yeah ... Vlad deserves someone like me Kate ... I don't like Leila that much either ...

Love your review :P

Brittany B. You made some really great points. I never thought about the Leila angle you presented. And your totally correct that Leila would be a shadow in Vlad's presence.
And the humor was something I also noticed. Or better yet, the complete lack of humor.
And Vlad is a stranger that I don't like in Once Burned. But I loved him before.
I want to give this book less stars, now. You are one hell of a persuasive writer!

Brittany B. Anzu wrote: "Hahahaha did you know that in 40yr old virgin they actually did it to the guy? It was all real! I respect him for this madness"

Yep!! That's why I mentioned it. I watched the outtakes from the scene. He actually bleeds through his shirt. It's all real. The other guys in the scene are all trying not to break. (laugh during the shot) they cover their mouths and turn their faces, it's hysterical. I love that movie...

message 50: by Bebe (new) - rated it 2 stars

Bebe I wish I had read your review before , I read the book, because I felt the same way. I would have read it anyway but I wouldn't have gone into it thinking Vlad's book would be all I hoped for.

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