Stacia (out of inspiration)'s Reviews > Once Burned

Once Burned by Jeaniene Frost
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Jul 06, 12

bookshelves: adult, urban-fantasy, vampires
Recommended to Stacia (out of inspiration) by: Buddy read with my eff girls
Read in July, 2012


At least that's what Jeaniene Frost wants us to believe.

"If I felt nothing more for you than lust, Maximus would be on that pole for a week, and you, my lovely interloper, would not be here with me now."

Hardly the words you'd find on a Hallmark card, but they caused a glow of happiness nonetheless.


3.5 stars. Okay, so I might be exaggerating just a little. Vlad Tepesh (a.k.a. the Dracula) was still up to his pole-impaling ways, although he didn't come off nearly as menacing as the legend portrays. Sure, he gets pissy and makes an example of people, but he also has a protective side when it comes to what he deems "his" people. Strange? Yeah...kinda.

It's Vlad though. We already know him from Night Huntress. He's temperamental; he's arrogant; he's the only vampire you even want to read about anymore. So what if he's not quite as threatening as how we (or maybe just I) envisioned THE Vlad...I'd still be afraid of him though. Authentic or not, he's still a scary badass.

Even though this book didn't give me the same feel-good reaction that I had the first time I ever picked up a NH book, I still found Once Burned to meet and exceed my expectations. After finding myself starting to lose steam with the NH series (I still haven't read book 6 after being extremely disappointed with book 5), at least this book felt like we were heading into some new territory.

The first half of the book was a lot of fun. Talk about starting off with a bang. The carnie vibe and new "cool" powers introduced in this book made me glad that I wasn't reading a rehash of Cat and Bones (who went from exciting to snoozeville). One of my favorite things about UF/PNR is getting to suspend belief. So what if an electric shock isn't going to turn someone superhuman? In paranormal books anything is possible. Woo hoo!

The second half of the book made me nervous. Frost has a way of creating great characters and drawing you into a world extremely fast. Then the story starts to flounder somewhere. It wasn't that the second half of the book was boring (okay, maybe a couple of chapters were...eh, that's minor though) but I was already starting to feel like I was ready to be done with the story once Vlad and Leila hooked up. I'm not sure how I'm going to handle an entire series. The first time I read a Frost book, I appreciated this author's mashup of UF and PNR....until after 3 books of NH, I realized that the format doesn't work for sustaining interest. I prefer either a single book/single couple PNR or a slow build UF romance with ongoing story. There is something about putting a couple together and having them continue their story over several books that smacks of domesticity, even if conflicts pull them apart and they have to find their way back together. You never get that initial spark back. The fantasy dies.

Maybe I'll get lucky and this won't happen. But I'm seriously doubting it.

Extra random thoughts...
~ Leila's sister reminded me of a rehash of Cat's mom. I was ready to kick her out the second she showed up.
~ Loins was used 10 times in this book. Who uses that term outside of historicals? Why don't I remember seeing this in NH? Was it there too?
~ Don't misunderstand this review. I'm definitely looking forward to book 2.
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Comments (showing 1-23 of 23) (23 new)

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Isamlq lol! i've been trying my darndest not to read to fast. but it's addicting. :)


Stacia (out of inspiration) I knew you would be zipping ahead! I know I won't finish for at least 24 hours. Tomorrow is the 4th of July here (big holiday) and my brother flew in from out of state (Garrett's coming home from your part of the world too). So I'll probably try to get through 25 to 50% before I head to bed in a little while, then read the rest tomorrow around this time.


Stacia (out of inspiration) LMAO Jenni! You are around with your drive by like! Read the book girl!


message 4: by Brittany (new) - added it

Brittany You guys are most likely going to finish way before me I haven't even started yet D: and I'll be out for at least half the day tomorrow


Stacia (out of inspiration) You started before I finished, so at least that's something!


✽ Sharon is an emotional book junkie ✽ great review....is it bad that i dont even recall her using "loins"?? LOL!


Stacia (out of inspiration) Thanks!

If it had been a historical romance, I would have not even noticed because it's so commonplace. I think having it in a PNR/UF type of book made me think...huh...well hello there, out of place terminology! There was even a mention of being "sheathed to the hilt" iirc...maybe? At least I think there was.


Zemira Warner Stacia,thanks for having my back. :)

I'll be reading the second book even thought I wasn't truly satisfied with the way this book was going. I wish they didn't get together that fast.

Leila's sister is annoying but I laughed at loud when she passed out after finding out what Vlad is. That scene was hilarious. :D


Stacia (out of inspiration) Anytime. You were completely in the right!

I completely agree that the romance probably should have taken more time to develop. I wanted more chemistry or something. Even though both Vlad and Leila were interesting individually, they weren't as interesting together as they could have been. Hopefully book 2 expands on this or something...

The fainting scene was funny.


Zemira Warner Maybe they didn't made a bigger impression on us since Cat and Bones had more dynamical relationship,even in marriage.


Stacia (out of inspiration) I think I was waiting for a chapter 32 or something, haha!

Cat and Bones definitely came on STRONG. Even though Vlad was protective of Leila, (view spoiler)

But then again, maybe he hasn't realized it yet. Book 2 might have a situation/crisis that drives it home for him.


Zemira Warner I had higher expectations since Jeaniene has wrote,what,like 10 books already and she should be able to write that kind of relationship much better.

I have a feeling this is series is more about making more money. Such a shame.


message 13: by Stacia (out of inspiration) (last edited Jul 06, 2012 02:34AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Stacia (out of inspiration) Could be. I know the fans had wanted to know more about Vlad though.


message 14: by Dija (new) - rated it 4 stars

Dija Great review, Stacia! I knew Leila's sister reminded me of someone. Thanks for pointing it out.


Laila (AKA LunaBelle) I would deff want to know more about Vlad lol. I'm not really a vampire fan but some are just awesome


Anna (Bobs Her Hair) Great review, Stacia! It is hard to sustain a couple through a long series. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that Leila and Vlad will offer something different in the NH world.


message 17: by Stacia (out of inspiration) (last edited Jul 06, 2012 12:24PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Stacia (out of inspiration) Thanks everyone. :) I found it funny that no one pointed out how I wrote maximum instead of Maximus. Spellcheck didn't catch it since maximum is an actual word.

The sister must be the pain in the butt character for the series.

I also hope that V and L will offer up something unique.

The only vampires I will never get tired of are the ones written brilliantly by Richelle Mead, although I can also admit to BDB as being a guilty pleasure of mine.


Lisa - (Aussie Girl) Yep, I liked it too BUT totally agree it didn't give me the rush of the first couple of Night Huntress books. The wit, the snark, the sexual chemistry... Chapter 32... say no more!


Stacia (out of inspiration) Chapter 32 was epic. :)


Kara-karina Loved your review! i think I won't be reading more as I totally agree with you on PNR - 1 book for a couple, UF - slow burn for the whole series. This is just way too tame for me.


Stacia (out of inspiration) Thanks :) The formula for the way the author works as a starter book but seems to stall out after a while. I'll probably read on but am definitely wary about what's to come.


message 22: by Sandra (new)

Sandra Sometimes I wish GR let me highlight phrases in reviews. It happens a lot with yours. After NH2 I quitted because though I found all the action and pace I got in NH1, I thought the series had lost what made it special. I've never tried to follow series with different couples, though. I know there's no reason why that formula shouldn't work, but I got so upset when I miss MCs like Cat and Bones that I refuse to give the chance to secondaries. I never read spin off either.


Stacia (out of inspiration) You never read spin offs ever? Wow. I don't always do it, but there are a few series where I'd feel like I couldn't go without reading the spin-off (Fever comes to mind).

NH really did fall off. I got through book 4 or 5 and stopped and never read the Night Huntress world books, although I might go back and pick them up again at some point way down the road.


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