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Night Prince #1

Once Burned

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Goodreads Choice Award
Nominee for Best Romance (2012)
She's a mortal with dark powers...

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.

373 pages, Mass Market Paperback

First published June 26, 2012

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About the author

Jeaniene Frost

56 books26.4k followers
Jeaniene Frost is the New York Times, USA Today, and international bestselling author of the Night Huntress series, the Night Prince series, the Broken Destiny series, and the Night Rebel series. To date, foreign rights for her novels have sold to twenty different countries. Jeaniene lives in Maryland with her husband Matthew, who long ago accepted that she rarely cooks and always sleeps in on the weekends. Aside from writing, Jeaniene enjoys reading, poetry, watching movies with her husband, exploring old cemeteries, spelunking and traveling – by car. Airplanes, children, and cook books frighten her.

For information on Jeaniene's books, book trailers, free reading, contests, creature mythology, and more, please visit: www.jeanienefrost.com

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 4,439 reviews
May 2, 2022
5 Electrifying Stars


First read 3/2/2014
Reread 12/2/2015
Re reread 11/28/2019
Reread 4/27/21
Reread 8/15/2021 to refresh because I'm making custom Leila and Vlad funko pops!
Reread 5/2/22

"I'll ask a second time," his deep, slightly accented voice said. "Who are you, and how the hell are you inside my head?"-Vlad

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"What made you choose the name Vlad?" I asked, unable to resist adding, "It's not the most original vampire name you could have picked, after all." Instead of being offended, that little smirk was back. "I'm the only authentic Vlad. Everyone else is merely an envious imitation."-Leila and Vlad

Once Burned, the first book in the Night Prince series, was WOW....... Dayum Vlad is so yummy! I have loved Vlad since the first time I read about him in the night huntress series. I can't tell you how happy I was when I found out that my favorite fire starter was getting his own series. I will say there was a ton of embarrassing dancing.

I might be scarred, but I'm still tasty-looking, aren't I? Too bad you're not getting any of this no matter what that vision showed. His lips twitched, but he held out my chair without comment. It wasn't until after I sat down that he responded to my mental gauntlet. "If your goal is to dissuade me from seducing you, taunting me with promises of failure won't work." He settled himself into his chair with an easy, arrogant elegance. "I enjoy challenges, but I don't think it will be long until you're in my bed."-Leila and Vlad

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"No, I do my torturing in the dungeon like any other respectable castle owner," he said, amusement clear in his voice. "And the fourth floor isn't merely mine. My most trusted staff members have their rooms there, too."-Vlad

What this book is about

When Leila was young she touched a downed power line, it didn't kill her but it left her with some life changing side effects. She electrocutes anyone she touches and if she touches anyone or thing with her right hand she can see their past sins and sometimes the future. She is kidnapped by four crazy vampires that plan to use her powers to find another vampire(Vlad) that they want dead and then they plan on killing her. Not wanting to die and having no one to turn to she contacts through a mental link, the vampire they want her to find. But she tells him that some vampires are looking to kill him and have kidnapped her, and she ask for his help. But will this vampire really help her or is she trading one prison for another?

"This is our true tie," he whispered, his breath falling hotly onto my lips. "You're meant for me, and I will have you."-Vlad

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"I never set a standard that I won't keep myself, and if you ever want out, you need only say the word. But mean it, Leila, because once I leave, I'm gone forever." Vlad's eyes bled back to deep copper as he spoke, and though they were no longer glowing in that inhuman way, somehow, they were more compelling. "Right back at you," I said, matching his unyielding stare. "Is that all?" His lips twisted. "No. I can give you honesty, monogamy, and more passion than you can stand, but not love. That emotion died in me long ago, as I suspect you already know." "Good," I replied in a steady voice. "I was worried that you'd turn into one of those obsessed, emo movie vampires, and that would be embarrassing for both of us."-Vlad and Leila

Vlad was a damaged,dangerous, complex, and sexy character. There are so many sides to Vlad one book would never be able to do him justice. Vlad is dark, has lived through things that would have broke most people, but he is a fighter. He is loyal to his people and protects whats his with the utmost ruthlessness. This book only made me fall more in love with Vlad. Leila is perfect for Vlad. She is brave, strong, but after living everyone elses worse sins and pain she has a darkness in her too. She stands up to Vlad, which no one else would dare, and she doesn't play games she just tells it like it is. I loved Leila almost as much as I did Vlad.

"What, after you finish shish-kebobbing Maximus for no good reason?" I snapped. He actually had the nerve to look at me as if I were the one overreacting. "No good reason? I ordered him to protect you. Instead, his actions resulted in you nearly burning to death. Did you think I'd let him off with a tongue-lashing?" "I didn't think you'd go pole-happy on him," -Leila and Vlad

Vlad and Leila are smokin' hot together. OMG I loved that Vlad was Leila's first and that he treated her like it was a gift and not a burden. I hate when H act like a virgin H is a burden. Not Vlad he told her how special it was. Then the shower sex *fans self* yummy. Jeaniene Frost is a talented writer who has made me fall madly in love with so many of her characters. This book was an amazing read, the plot, the MC, everything. I loved it and can't wait to read the next one.

"Such a reckless, foolish risk," he muttered, but when he brushed my hair, his touch was gentle despite his hardened tone. I smiled, holding up my hand. "Reckless, maybe. Foolish, no. You were right. This is a formidable weapon." He clasped it, absorbing the current it contained without a flicker in his expression. "Yes, but you are still only human." I laughed, the sound of it drowned out by the crunch of rocks as the mountain continued to shudder as though in the throes of birth pangs. "So was Van Helsing, yet in every movie, he beat the vampire in the end. Never underestimate the power of humanity."-Vlad and Leila
Profile Image for Gena Showalter.
Author 259 books27k followers
January 27, 2016
I love Jeaniene Frost. I've read every book she's published, and they are all on my keeper shelf. From the beginning her version of Vlad has captivated me. I'm so glad he got his own series. He is one of my favorite heroes. Bad to the bone, delicious, sarcastic, keeps himself set apart (for good reason!) but wow, when he falls for a girl, he FALLs for a girl. It's magic to read.
Profile Image for Amy Jacobs.
838 reviews285 followers
April 26, 2012
OH. MY. GOD!!!! It is finally here! The book we have all been waiting for in the great world that author Jeaniene Frost has created. We finally get Vlad in all of his sexy glory. I admit that when this book arrived for me to review, I almost fell over from excitement. I screamed in joy, overheated at the sexy cover, and even told my family to get the heck out of the way while I ran for my favorite reading chair. The family went without dinner. They were not allowed to bother me. All regular chores ceased as Vlad arrived in my mailbox.

We start off in the story reading about Leila and her life. She is disfigured due to a freak accident long ago by touching a downed power line and has joined the carnival as an entertainer. She is aware of vampires in the world because her partner for her act is a midget vamp. Don't let Marty's small stature make you think he is a puny vamp though. He is like a Father figure to Leila and he has a heart bigger than most regular sized people.

When Leila is kidnapped by other vampires, she is forced to use some of her other 'gifts' that came about after the energy absorbed from the power line. She can touch things with her right hand and send out electrical shocks. She can also see glimpse's of the past, present and future with a small touch. She pulls these glimpse's from leftover essence that a person leaves behind on things. The vampires that have kidnapped her are working for a stronger vamp who is searching for Vlad. He wants revenge on Vlad and will use any means necessary to get him. When Leila is forced to use her gifts, she is surprised to learn that Vlad can hear her spying on his present. She figures he is the less of the two evils and asks for his help. Vlad comes to the rescue and sweeps Leila away to his castle in Romania so they can work together in finding the bad guy.

As they try to work together, Leila finds herself attracted to the mysterious and ruthless Vlad. He has the sex appeal and strength she craves. Leila has never been in a relationship before due to her 'shocking gifts' and is venturing down a new path with Vlad. Her gifts have no real effect on Vlad and she can't believe how wonderful it feels to touch someone without hurting him. Vlad is his typical confident and arrogant self knowing how he is having an effect on her since he can read her mind. What ensue's is heated glances, confident flirting and a bunch of sexy time!

Oh yes, by this time in the book you are wondering the same thing. Trust me in saying that the author does not disappoint in describing in glorious detail the image of Vlad's body. Before you even ask, yes there is even another hot and steamy shower scene that involves a very excited Vlad. *swoon*

As things get even more dangerous for Vlad and Leila, Vlad brings her family to his castle as well for protection. We get to meet her father and Leila's sister, Gretchen. To see Leila so close to a man is shocking to say the least for them. Especially when they notice Vlad is able to hold her hand with no show of pain.

The author does not disappoint with her flair of hilarity whenever Vlad is around. He is even hilarious when Bones and Cat decide to make a brief appearance in the book. Again, Bones loves to tease Vlad and he grabs the chance to tease at him when he teaches Leila how to block Vlad from reading her mind.

If I had one complaint about this book, it would only be the ending. I can't even really call it a complaint though. The way it ends, you are left hanging with the knowledge that their story is far from over. Since this is going to be at least a two book series, we have to wait until the next book to have some things resolved. This was very frustrating only because we have waited so long as it is for Vlad to have his own book. Now the reader has to wait again!

Overall the story sucked me in, chewed me up then spit me out. It left me wanting to read the story all over again. I wanted Vlad before, but now I need more Vlad. To say it is going to be a long and torturing wait is an understatement. If you haven't read about Vlad before, you are missing out on one of the sexiest alpha vamp's in the paranormal genre!
Profile Image for Shawna.
3,550 reviews4,578 followers
January 4, 2015
5 stars – Vampire/Paranormal/Urban Fantasy Romance

Thoughts Before Reading:

I am practically panting and salivating for Vlad’s book!

Thoughts After Reading:

I am practically panting and salivating for Vlad’s next book!

Like I said in my status update...Bones might be the reigning king of chapter 32, but Vlad is the Night Prince of chapter 23! Yowza! Inferno hotness!

But in all seriousness...Bones is one of my all-time favorite Romancelandia husbands, and even though Vlad made a powerful showing, Bones still rules my loins supreme.

Although I wouldn’t be opposed to a Bones/Shawna/Vlad ménage...just sayin’ I’m totally game for that, Ms. Frost, should you ever need a new character to shake and kink things up a bit in the Night Huntress World!

Vlad is enigmatic, blazing hot, darkly possessive, and compellingly cruel, and I enjoyed his relationship with spunky Leila. Other than my disappointment with the ending, I loved being Once Burned and can’t wait to be Twice Tempted.

My favorite quotes:

“Two Leilas seemed to be battling it out inside me. The first was outraged that he still considered it a fait accompli that I’d give in to him, and the second...that slutty bitch was wondering what Vlad looked like naked.”

“If I didn’t want you so much,” he said in a deadly purr, “I’d let you keep fucking me with your gaze, but you make me impatient.”

Profile Image for Kat Kennedy.
475 reviews16.3k followers
June 28, 2012
I gave this four stars.

*Rocks backwards and forwards*

What is happening to me?! What am I turning into?

I just really liked how plot-heavy is was. And it's not Cat or Bones whose relationship I'm happy to put away for now. I liked Vlad as a character but I thought it was Leila who really made this novel.

It's not the usual backwards and forwards.

Her: "I really like him but I don't know if he likes me."

Him: "Wow. I really like you."

Her: "He's just saying that because he wants someone. I wish it were true."

*Sexual tension*


*Lots of sex*

*Plot resolution*

*Happily ever after*

It can get a bit tiring, but this wasn't and I really want to see where Frost takes it from here.

But...but... I have to wait SO LONG!!!
Profile Image for MischaS_.
785 reviews1,374 followers
September 15, 2018
I had it on my bookshelf for ages, so I decided that I should finally read it. I loved Vlad in Cat&Bones books. I love him in this book too. And Leila seemed a bit less annoying than Cat. So this was a pretty nice surprise.
I just hope that Vlad will keep his bloodthirsty and cruel personality. That's why I like him so much. Thought, he is starting listening to Leila way too much. Come on she is a human; he lived for centuries. Who is going to be right and have a better plan?
Profile Image for Stacia (the 2010 club).
1,045 reviews3,982 followers
July 6, 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.
Profile Image for Alex is The Romance Fox.
1,461 reviews1,121 followers
March 13, 2017
Having met Vlad before in the Night Huntress Series, I was really excited that he would be getting his very own book.

Once Burned the 1st book in the Night Prince Series begins when Vlad rescues Leila, whose gifts may be a way that vampires could take him down.

He takes her to his castle in Romania, where he promises to protect her and also to give her the real story of Vlad aka Dracula……
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The story is told by Leila’s POV – transformed instead of being killed when she touched a power line, she’s left with a gift of her right hand sending bolts of electricity to anyone she touches.

And guess what???
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Not only does she meet someone who is not “zapped” by her lighting right hand…but he’s damn gorgeous and hot…..
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Sparks fly when they are near each other – Leila is totally besotted….
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…..she’s so totally into Vlad….

Vlad is totally obsessed with Leila….for the first time in thousands of years, he has found someone that touched something in him that he thought he had lost….but still, he holds back……
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He’s faced with so many demons from his past and enemies who want nothing else but to destroy him. He can’t let himself be distracted by someone like Leila.

I really liked this story and finding out Vlad’s history and learning more about the person he is.

Leila was an interesting character. A lot of issues in her life and liked seeing her facing them and coming through a stronger person. I actually liked her a lot!!!

Loved the interaction between Vlad & Leila and the secondary characters…most of all…Cat & Bones…swoonnnnnnnnnnn!!!

The story ended pretty suddenly and I suppose one could say that the epilogue leaves us with a somewhat cliffhanger…but knowing that we are going to get more of Vlad and Leila….that was enough for me.

Can’t wait for book #2.

My favourite quote:
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Profile Image for chan ☆.
1,072 reviews51.4k followers
February 16, 2020
didn't realize this was a circus sideshow romance but uh... realizing i'm not into carny/circus shit. so this wasn't a fave.

review to probably not come
Profile Image for Sophia Triad.
2,239 reviews3,520 followers
December 30, 2018
"People frequently bore me, sometimes amuse me, most often irritate me, but rarely intrigue me."

The sexiest version of Dracula that I have ever read...

...And I am so happy that he has been paired with a equally badass heroine.

Leila is a strange girl who works in carnivals . She knows about monsters. She lives with “freaks”. The people of Gibsonton are a bearded lady, the lizard scale tattoo guy, the eight foot guy, the fourteen-inch waist lady etc. But maybe the scariest monster that she knows is Marty, the four foot and one inch co-worker who has been protected her for years like a daughter and who is also a VAMPIRE.

Yes, Leila knows about vampires and she knows that she needs to avoid them. So when she is kidnapped by a vampire gang, she is not surprise but she is definitely scared. Unfortunately Leila is uniquely gifted and theses vampires know that. After a tragic accident when she was a kid with a downed power line, Leila can electrocute whoever she touches. And moreover, she can see their most vivid memories of their past and sometimes she can even predict their future.

Thus, this vampire gang wants to use her in order to find another vampire by touching one of his items and trap him. This vampire is Vlad. And he senses Leila straight away. He does not really care about these four idiotic vampires, but he senses that Leila is unique and he wants her. The scene when they meet for first time, I think is one of the most intense scenes of the book and undoubtedly my favourite.

"I've met monsters. You're not one of them."

And then, Leila and Vlad are in Romania and Leila tries to understand whether she is just a prisoner because Vlad does not seem to want to let her go. There will be sexual tension building. Leila resists without even knowing why. Maybe because she is a virgin?!? Thankfully there is not any kind of virginal sacrifice attitude by her. She even flirts with another vampire to prove her point. When the erotic scene happens, it is mind-blowing.

If you loved Vlad in Night Huntress, you will fall in love with him all over again. He is the perfect antihero. Sarcastic, largest than life, ruthless, attractive and well... he is bad.
Leila definitely can give him some esoteric balance, if he lets her.

"I do my torturing in the dungeon like any other respectable castle owner."
Profile Image for Lora.
186 reviews1,002 followers
Want to read
December 8, 2010
My mouth is literally watering whilst thinking about Vlad - he is one sexy a$$ed mofo. Can't wait for this^^
Profile Image for Maja (The Nocturnal Library).
1,013 reviews1,921 followers
June 28, 2012
Once Burned is a radical improvement over the last few Night Huntress books, but unfortunately, that isn’t saying much. Cat and Bones have been losing steam, but their world still has so much to give, which in some ways makes this a very smart move. I was a bit skeptical at first (aren’t I always?) about Frost using such a huge historical figure as a protagonist, but she handled that part well: she stayed very close to what the world knows about the real Vlad III Tepes.

However, she didn’t stay true to herself. When I tried to combine what we found out about him in the original series (he appeared in at least two Night Huntress books) with what I know of the real Vlad, this wasn’t what I came up with at all. Obviously she had to offer more than she did when he was just a secondary character, but she still needed to stay close to her previous portrayal of him. A lot of things were missing, most of all the sardonic sense of humor I’ve learned to expect. Frost chose to put emphasis on his other traits like arrogance and ruthlessness – all understandable, of course, he is Vlad the Impaler after all – but he seemed too cold somehow, and I didn’t get the attraction between him and Leila at all.

It didn’t help that Leila seemed seriously underdeveloped. Too much of her character was left unexplored. She carried guilt over causing her mother’s death, and yet the whole thing was barely mentioned. Years of animosity between her and her sister were resolved in one very short conversation. Everything was too abrupt. When I fist found out that she was a circus performer, I was excited and I wanted to learn more, but that too was barely mentioned. I see no point in giving your protagonist such an interesting occupation if you don’t intend to make the most of it.

Most of this book takes place in different parts of Romania. Being who I am (linguist, grammar nerd and lover of all things old and European), I was disappointed by the amount of research Jeaniene Frost invested in this book. Sure, she did her homework on Vlad Tepes himself, but Romanian language, culture and customs were all painfully neglected. Even Vlad’s humans, some of whom didn’t even speak English, all had English names.

Like my friend Missie (you can read her review here), I think it best not to overthink this book. Thinking about it too much only makes you see the barely hidden flaws. But Jeaniene Frost’s books are never boring, and they’re always hot. Sometimes – especially in the middle of the summer – that’s all you can ask.

Even after reading Vlad and Leila's adventure, Mircea II Basarab remains my favorite Wallachian prince and my favorite fictional crush. You can meet him in all his glory in Touch the Dark by Karen Chance.

Also posted at The Nocturnal Library
Profile Image for UniquelyMoi ~ BlithelyBookish.
1,166 reviews1,636 followers
August 11, 2017
I think I'm probably the only person on the planet who hasn't read Jeaniene Frost's Night Huntress series, even though Cat and Bones get rave reviews. But I found Once Burned, the first book in her Night Prince series available via audio from my library, so I decided to give it a shot.

First, the story - I really enjoyed it! Fun, sexy, intriguing, the world, the people, the plot....everything combined made this a very entertaining read. Vlad is one crazy alpha vampire and in my opinion, he stole the show.

The audio was terrific. Tavia Gilbert WOW'd me with her ability to switch between male and female characters as well as a variety of accents. A pretty impressive narration.

I'm looking forward to reading and listening to more by this team.

Profile Image for Schay.
452 reviews
December 25, 2012
I don't like beards.
But I like Vlad.
So I just imagine Vlad without a beard, until Frost mentions his stupid beard, and then I get annoyed all over again.
I <3 Jeaniene Frost.

IT'S NOT A BEARD! (Yes, I know I'm super late lol)

I love him. That is all.

P.S. Leila's slap was definitely one of the highlights of the book. You go, gurl!
Profile Image for Anzû.
238 reviews1,106 followers
June 11, 2023
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. I expected some good stuff to come outta this book.

Before you go and blame it on my “tremendous expectations”, I just want to point of that 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
It feel silly that I even have to mention this, like getting a decent story is something extraordinary. something entertaining, fun, something that awakens positive feelings inside. Hell, I could go with negative feelings as well, I do love a "so bad it's good" book. Once Burned was sprinkled with cheese from top to bottom. Everything was dull. If Jeaniene's name wasn’t written on the cover I wouldn’t say this is one of her books.

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

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 always love when this happens because you get to explore that character a good bunch before they get their own book, it makes it all the more exciting.

His presence in this book was weak. I expected him to be stronger, to be more active, more present in the story. I wanted him to play hard to get. But he was TOO eager to get in the love interest's pants. I would have liked him to act the arrogant asshole that he initially was, look down on the love interest, fight a bit, get that enemy to lovers spark. And then discover how awesome she is and fall in love with her. Grovel at her feet. That good stuff.

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 "original" Vlad 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. You shit got real when he drops the all caps.

So purely physical attraction, not much spark. Nothing great going on here.

4. A terrifying villain.

Who was the villain again?

I also felt like the book read more like a paranormal romance than an urban fantasy, as you'd expect considering the previous installments from Night Huntress. But yet it's continuing as if it is Urban Fantasy. Do we have a hybrid on our hands?
Profile Image for Rachel  L.
1,868 reviews2,244 followers
September 4, 2020
Reread 9/2020

Upgraded to 5 stars upon a reread. I can't believe that the majority of my friends haven't read this series, it's so amazing. Humor, adventure, and hot at the same time. I'd write a real review but I'm too lazy.


4.5 stars

Vlad was cool, Leila was awesome.

That is all.

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Profile Image for Jilly.
1,838 reviews6,245 followers
June 30, 2015
"Look, I don't blame you for disliking Vlad. He impaled you...Still, there's another side to him."

Ha ha ha!! Really? A romance-novel about Vlad the f*ing Impaler? He's a nice guy! Sure, he has poles in his yard and in his dungeon, and continues to impale people on a regular basis, but still - he's hot. Being hot makes up for his murderous, torturing ways! Oh, baby, I love the sexy way you pound those poles through people's body's... pound it, baby, pound it! And, the background noise of your enemies screams? Like music to my ears!
That's right, this sexy guy is supposed to be the real Dracula.
count chocula photo: I am......Count Dracula bela-lugosi-dracula-subtitles-text-vampire-Favimcom-231645.gif
what modern girl wouldn't fall for this cutie?

Could there be a more lame premise? Is anyone really going to be able to read this with a straight face?

So, here's the story - I kid you not... We have Leila, a circus performer. She harnesses electricity in her body and will electrocute anyone who touches her right hand. Then, she gets a vision of their darkest sin. Her best friend, and performance partner, is a dwarf vampire. <--that's not a typo. Dwarf. Vampire. Anyway, so some vampires kidnap her and try to get her to help them find Vlad the Impaler in order to kill him. Vlad flies over to rescue her. Yes, he flies. (Is anyone else giggling at this point, because I am.) He flies, not as a bat, just like Superman, I guess. She's in Florida, and he flies in from Romania to get her. (and boy were his arms tired). Leila has a vision that she will be his lover. Okaaay. She refuses to be his lover... for about 12 hours. Way to play hard-to-get, girl!! And, now, she is under his protection and helping him find the vampire who wants to kill him. Oh, did I mention that Vlad has the ability to catch people on fire? Yeah, there's that too. This explains his ability to touch Leila, because he is fire-proof. Handy.

There is extreme stupidity in this book! I don't even have to prove it because the storyline I just gave you is definitive proof. Why did I keep reading it? Because it was so stupid that it was funny. That's how bad this book was! And, even better? It didn't even have an ending. It left you hanging for the next book! There's another f*ing book! The adventures of Leila, Vlad, and the dwarf is a series! I am seriously doubting the future of our civilization when the decision to publish a second, third, and fourth book has been made. There is an author out there laughing her ass off at us, as she counts her money.

sesame street count photo: sesame - count baab9a3a.gif
Profile Image for Mandi.
2,306 reviews725 followers
June 22, 2012
I’m a big fan of Jeaniene Frost’s books. Her Night Huntress series rocks my world – hello – it’s Bones, and he is just one of the best alpha heroes out there. But I will say, the past few Bones and Cat books haven’t been my favorites in the series. So when I sat down with Once Burned, the first in her new Night Prince spin-off series featuring Vlad (currently two books are planned) I was very excited for this one. I adore Vlad, who makes many appearances in her world. And I really enjoyed this book.

Before we get to Vlad, let’s talk about the heroine, Leila. As a teenager, she touched a downed power line, electrocuting herself. When she woke up, she had a scar that ran from her temple down to her right hand. But that was just the beginning. Now, If she touches someone with her right hand, she sends many volts of electricity through them. She also can see someone’s worst sin through a single touch and if she touches an object that someone else has touched, she can get a psychic impression of that person, sometimes in the past, and sometimes visions of the future. These odd abilities prevents Leila from living a normal life (in which she use to excel as a gymnast), which is how she finds herself traveling with a circus, performing in a sideshow using her acrobat abilities. Her good friend, and vampire Marty (who is all of four feet tall) can handle her electricity to an extent, allowing her to perform and touch him without fear.

Her odd abilities get noticed by the wrong type of person, and she ends up being kidnapped by not so nice vampires. They give her items to touch, demanding to know when in the future the owner of these items will leave his closely guarded fortress. When she touches them, and sees the owner, she doesn’t realize the powerful being she is connecting with. Vlad is a very old vampire, who has the ability to control fire, which makes him very feared. When Leila “looks in on him” he is able to communicate telepathically with her. Once she convinces him through speaking with him through her mind, that she is kidnapped and the baddie vamps are after him, Vlad soon comes crashing through the hotel room, causing much fire and taking Leila back with him to Romania. He knows the baddie vamps were just puppets for someone much more evil who will eventually try to nab Leila again. He keeps her with him to keep her safe, and uses her abilities to try to figure out who his enemy is.

Vlad, also once known as Tepesh the Impaler comes from a long line of Princes who have been slaughtered. He has kept his people safe for 500 years and for that, he has kind of earned his arrogant side, and yet is comes off as very sexy in this book. He is able to read Leila’s mind, so he constantly knows what she is thinking which is frustrating for Leila, but amusing for the readers. Vlad is a very cool dude. He has a temper and once someone starts to annoy him, everyone around him can usually smell smoke if he hasn’t already lit someone on fire. But around Leila, he plays it cool. He is enamored with her, and with all of his arrogance he knows she will eventually be in his bed.

Since Leila electrocutes everyone she touches, she has lived a lonely life. While she can touch a vampire, and he or she won’t immediately keel over, she can’t touch a regular vampire for too long, eventually harming that person. But Vlad is different. Since he can control fire, she can pump as many electrical volts as she wants into him, barely causing him to shudder. This opens a door for Leila, knowing that this sexy, yet dangerous man could be her lover. Vlad is so sexy in this book and I really enjoyed how their relationship unfolds.

I led my armies from the front, Vlad had said. The proof was all over his body, from the scars that adorned his skin in random white patterns to the muscles that flexed and bunched with his slightest movement. If he’d looked like one of those effeminate magazine models, I wouldn’t have felt such a powerful swell of lust, but there was nothing boyish or plastic about Vlad. He was devastatingly masculine, and all of that untamed sensuality was now mine to savor. The knowledge caused another rush of heat between my legs.
“If I didn’t want you so much,” he said in a deadly purr, “I’d let you keep fucking me with your gaze, but you make me impatient.”
My one disappointment is that we don’t get Vlad’s point of view, this book is only told in Leila’s POV. I don’t mind that with her Night Huntress series but I really wanted to hear Vlad’s voice and thoughts.

While Bones and Cat make a very brief appearance, we meet some new people in this book. Maximus is Vlad’s second in command and I really like him. He hasB&N a small attraction to Leila at the beginning of the book which plays out nicely. Vlad also has a group of humans living at his castle that have a small part. Marty, who is a father figure to Leila also has a role in this book.

As two books are planned (maybe more) for this series, this one doesn’t end with a completely settled HEA, which I’m glad for. These two, while they definitely have an attraction for each other, need to get to know one another a little better before love comes into play.

The villain is pretty evil and I also like that people die in this book. It is a dangerous world, and Jeaniene Frost allows that violence to come through. It is paired well with the sexy romance and humorous lines.

Very much looking forward to the next book.

Rating: B
Profile Image for Bex (Beckie Bookworm).
2,017 reviews1,316 followers
March 18, 2023

So this was a re-read and I enjoyed it just as much the second time over. This book holds a place in my heart as one of my all-time fave vampire reads.

I adored that we are dealing with the Vlad of legend, the most famous vampire Bram Stoke's inspiration for Dracula himself. His Pyrokinesis abilities, the old-style way he spoke and the at times arrogant way he conducted himself around others. I just found him so endearing and irresistible, the ultimate bad-boy and for me, he was just the whole package.

I also adored Leila her feisty take no prisoners attitude combined with her extraordinary abilities and personal self-reliance she was more than a match for Vlad in that regard. This had it all suspense, intrigue and romance aplenty. It also had great secondary characters.

This was all wrapped up in an HFN and we will get to catch back up with Vlad and Leila again in the next instalment where their story continues. This was such a fabulous page-turner and I am off now to re-read the second book in this series.

Edit 10/03/23
So I’m rereading this now after starting the main series with Cat and Bones this was an offshoot from, deciding to read it all in chronological order and got to say this gives me such a new appreciation for Vlad and Leila. Especially Vlad as I had so much more backstory and a greater understanding of who he fundamentally is which in turn definitely enriched this whole experience massively. Vlad still is one of my favourite ever Vampire romance heroes ever only surpassed by my number one crush Bones.

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Reviewed By Beckie Bookworm
Profile Image for Mikky.
785 reviews192 followers
December 31, 2021
December 2021: It's so weird to think back on how much I disliked this series the first time I read it. It's even weirder that it has become a favorite (apparently?) because I'm pretty sure this is the only book that I've read 4 times start to finish. There's something about this series and these characters that's comforting? I don't understand why my brain decided that either. *shrugs* It was still as good as I was expecting and no I'm not tired of these characters yet even though I've read this particular book twice this year oops.
August 2021: My third reread is in the books! 😂 I had NOTHING to read (looks away from my TBR pile of 190+ books) so I decided to reread. I'm totally not feeling guilty or overwhelmed by the amount of I books I want to read but have no motivation to thanks to the mood I'm in. Being a Mood Reader™ has proved to be very counterproductive to reading new books lately 😅
Originally posted at:

This is a reread and boy does this book bring back memories! I used to love Vlad in the Night Huntress series. His series started off with a bang but he got progressively worse as the books went on. Eventually, I ended up disliking this series as a whole. I have an inkling as to why though I only have my very old review of the fourth book to go on.

Layla is a sassy and spunky character with a backbone of steel. I really like how she stands up to Vlad and how she gets herself in and out of very drastic situations. I also like that she keeps Vlad on his metaphorical toes because he never knows what she's going to do next.

Vlad as a secondary character was better than as a main character. This novel showcases how controlling, domineering, and bloodthirsty (haha) he is. He came off as sarcastic and aloof in the Night Huntress series and I can't say I prefer him in his own books. I believe my problem with this series is with how his controlling and domineering nature get progressively worse as the novels go on.

Overall, this novel was very entertaining and a great start to what I once hoped would be a great series. I'm hoping I can rationalize his traits enough to enjoy this series again because it is a good vampire series.

The Audio Book:

The narration was great! All the characters were distinguishable and there were no weird noises in the background of the recording.
51 reviews
July 8, 2012
I'm impressed. I never thought one person could stuff THIS much cliches in one book. This book just reassures me of the idea that female authors have this inherent disrespect for their readers; they just think "hey, throw in two fuck bunnies with no plot whatsoever and those idiots will LOVE it."

Alas, we don't.

So okay, I shall now make a short list of the most prominent cliches:



-He is the actual count Dracula. (if the first two weren't clear enough).

-Of all the women in the world and all the centuries he's lived through, this creature is THE ONE he falls for.

-He is so rich (of course we have no idea how or why).

-He owns Romania and the people know he is the "Prince of Darkness" but they don't tell because it's cool and they like him; he's chill.

-He is a sex god. A PHENOMENON in bed with dark long hair and an athletic (if mildly scarred) build and a nice ass. aka, the description of EVERY MALE HERO IN EVERY ROMANCE NOVEL. (How about we put all those heroes in ONE big hunger game and the last one living still gets killed anyway BECAUSE HE'S A FUCKING TURD. But I digress..)

-He says arrogant shit and she likes it. "I will make you scream" "I will make you mine" "I will give you passion" "In time..all in good time." *purr* *purr* *purr* *growl* *snarl*

-Says he can never love again because he is damaged beyond repair. BUT *gasp* LOVES AGAIN ANYWAY!

-Screws her like 40% into the book.

-How the book goes: Physical scenes, minimal traces of cheap plot, screw, screw ,screw, flirt, screw, cheap plot, cheap climax, end? not sure, couldn't get myself to finish reading but I can imagine the oh-so-original pattern.

-HER MAGIC FISH HAND. She electrocutes people with said hand BUT SURELY THAT DOESN'T AFFECT HIM.

-She is a shy virgin. (not really) (then again, this begs the question, HOW THE FUCK WOULD SHE KNOW IF HE'S ANY GOOD IN BED?..I have sunk to the author's level.)

-Her scar. She wears it PROUDLY! to remind her of what exactly? how she stood in the rain as a child and got barbecued by lightning?

-The plot. She's gifted, she's a weapon, everyone either wants to kill her or bang her yada yada yada..goosebumps of originality.

Bottom line, What is romance? What is paranormal romance? Who's your daddy?
And good night.
Profile Image for Julie.
535 reviews139 followers
June 22, 2012
Posted at Yummy Men & Kick Ass Chicks

It was in 2011, what seems like forever ago, that Jeaniene Frost wrote some of the most *squee* educing words on her blog ever.

“I am also contracted to write the first two books in a new series featuring – you guessed it – Vlad as the hero.”


I swear, there was a small worldwide earthquake the day Jeaniene announced that caused by all the women who *squeed* upon hearing that news.

For any of you read the Night Huntress series, you are well aware of whom Vlad is. Hard to miss him really. Jeaniene writes him as being the ‘real’ Vlad who inspired Dracula, but don’t remind him of this because he hates that. He’s nothing like the book’s version of ‘himself’ and he’s not impressed by it all either. Kind of funny actually. But what you have to know most of all about Vlad is that he is made of awesome…and he knows it.

I LOVE his character. From the very first time I read him in the Night Huntress book, I fell. He’s this tough no-nonsense man who pretty much gets off on intimidating people, yet there is such compassion to him. He doesn’t let you see it often, but it’s there. You see it well in the Night Huntress books when he reaches out to Cat and you see it in Once Burned when he reaches out to Leila.

I have to admit that I really wanted to dislike Leila. After all, she is going after Vlad and he’s mine. MINE! Er…I mean…yeah. Leila is not what I expected her to be. For some reason I assumed that Vlad’s ‘woman’ would be a no-nonsense chick who could smack him around a bit, but Leila is not like that. Leila is smart mouthed and very strong, but she’s not quite the warrior I pictured. And you know what? Screw the idea I had, Leila works better. She doesn’t take Vlad too seriously and she doesn’t take his ‘holier-than-thou’ attitude. Nor does she try to change him in any way. He tells her up front what to expect from him and she’s not delusional in expecting anything otherwise. And even though the end of the book didn’t end with a clean HEA, I think Leila is a great match and I am anxious to see how she breaks down his walls completely.

Vlad has power over fire but he’s not the only one with fun abilities. Leila’s abilities are really neat. She can channel electricity and she can see an object’s owner’s past, present and future just by touching it. Because of her abilities, she hasn’t been able to touch anyone without shocking them – literally. This has left her very alone. You feel sad for her but I never felt pity for her because of how she handles it. It’s how her life has to be led so why dwell on it. Her attitude is awesome and I feel it makes you like her even more.

The story in Once Burned is very interesting. Someone is trying to get to Vlad – what a surprise there, that he would have the ability to p*ss someone off to that extent *note sarcasm* – and Leila is taken by the bad guys to try and track him. Instead, she calls him for help and that’s what starts it all. There is some closure at the end of this book but there is still a lot to be answered and discovered. I would not call this a cliffhanger but you definitely want the next book to come out like…now, so you can get to all the juicy bits that you know are waiting for you.

There is only one little part of this book that had me scratch my head and that was how Vlad encouraged Leila to ‘date’ Maximus, one of his men only to ‘take it back’ soon after. I felt bad for Maximus since he was pretty much set up to fail. He’s a nice guy, I really liked him. I found him sweet and sexy. I don’t quite get why that was done. But other than that little point that didn’t click with me, I loved loved loved this book.

You do not have to read the Night Huntress books to enjoy Once Burned. You will, of course, know a little bit about Vlad if you do but he is very well explained in his book that you don’t miss much if you just jump straight to this one. And Leila isn’t introduced in the Night Huntress books at all so there no feeling lost when it comes to her either. That means even those who are not caught up with Cat & Bones’ books can enjoy Once Burned. And I really think you will.

Jeaniene did not disappoint with this book. People, like me, who are crazy about Vlad and who had probably too high expectations for this book won’t be disappointed. He is still the arrogant jerk we love to lick and Leila really is a good match for him (damn it). A wonderful pairing in a captivating book set in an imaginative world. Once Burned is a wonderful paranormal romance read and a terrific beginning to a fun new series. I can’t wait for the next book.

5 stars

Giggle worthy quotes

“If he wasn’t a dangerous vampire whose intentions toward me were still suspect, I’d have reveled in a smolderingly attractive man holding my hand. For the past decade, that had only happened in my dreams.

With a flash of discomfiture, I remembered Vlad could hear my musings. A current slid into him, powered by my embarrassment. Instead of pretending that he hadn’t caught my thoughts, his mouth curled into a sly smile.

‘That one tickled. If electrocution is your way of flirting, I commend you on your originality.’”


“’Leila, this is my friend and honorary sire, Mencheres, a his wife, Kira,’ he said, indicating the long-haired Middle Eastern man and the blonde. ‘Also let me introduce my friend, Cat.’ The redhead, and for some reason, she looked familiar. ‘Her husband Bones’ – here Vlad smiled coolly at the short-haired brunet – ‘is not my friend.’”


“His lips twisted. ‘No. I can give you honesty, monogamy, and more passion that you can stand, but not love. That emotion died in me long ago, as I suspect you already know.’

I took a deep breath, fighting a twinge that made no sense because he was right. I had guessed that about him.

‘Good’, I replied in a steady voice. ‘I was worried that you’d turn into one of those obsessed, emo movie vampires, and that would be embarrassing for both of us.’”
Profile Image for Tynga.
389 reviews117 followers
April 23, 2012
Once Burned is the first book in the Night Prince series, a spin-off of the Night Huntress series, and is featuring my favorite character: Vlad! Vlad has been my favorite since he made his first appearance in the original series and when I learnt he’d have a series of his own, I was beyond ecstatic and Once Burned didn’t disappoint!

Once Burned is narrated by Leila, a human girl with rather unusual abilities. After she touched a downed power line in her early teenage years, and miraculously surviving, she came out of the encounter changed. Electricity courses through her body, electrocuting anyone she touches. Like it wasn’t enough, by touching someone with her right hand, she sees their biggest sin. She can also access memories of the past, present and even glimpse of the future when touching objects. That’s how she ended up in a carnival troop, never staying long at one place and yet it wasn’t enough to keep her off the radar. A group of vampires will kidnap and threaten her, she has to locate a vampire for them, a ruthless vampire who can manifest fire and isn’t bothered by murder. He might be her only chance at survival though, is it better to deal with the evil you know, or the evil you don’t?

Frost latest book was highly exciting, as per usual. We already had glimpses of Vlad’s past from his time with Cat (main character of the Night Huntress series) but we got a more throughout display of his history in this novel. He was the inspiration behind the famous Dracula stories and we discover the truth behind the legends. We are also blessed with a glimpse behind the hard shell Vlad always keeps up because even though he won’t admit it, he falls for Leila. I truly enjoyed learning more about my favorite vampire, and I know there is still a lot more to discover in the following novel. Leila also was a delightful character. Because of her unique abilities, she always kept herself on the sideline, never allowing anybody close, her only friend being a dwarf vampire from her carnival crew, because he can sustain the electric shocks she gives off. She is fierce, but also starts off as very insecure. Meeting with Vlad will be a life changing experience for her and in more than one way. Her loyalty, determination and courage really shone as she faced some seriously powerful vampires without blinking.

I LOVED the romance in this novel. Vlad and Leila’s relationship is very unusual, to say the least, and seeing them faceoff was highly entertaining! He is used to people cowering in fear, doing his every command but Leila will have none of it. She commands attention and won’t bow to his temper. He is over confident, she’s in denial of her attraction to him and the whole courting (if you can even call it that) was a real game of hide-and-seek. Once they came together is was steaming and electric (quite literally!) and I loved it. There are two particularly searing hot intimate scenes in this novel, and true to herself, Jeaniene Frost delivered epic-scale sex scenes.

The main story line revolve around finding the vampire who ordered Leila’s kidnapping with the ultimate goal of killing Vlad. Frost did an amazing job of keeping us in the dark for a long time, building the suspense and mystery. Via the many actions scenes, Leila developed her abilities with a new found confidence and her progress will be the key to victory. The whole plot was really flowing and kept a realistic and enjoyable pace. Between the action and the romance, there’s no time to be bored at all!

The final battle was grand and I liked that even though it brings some closure, some very important issues remain unsettled, promising even more action for the still untitled second book in the series, scheduled for 2013.

Once Burned is a scorching hot and electrifying read. Its characters and action will sweep you off your feet and leaving you begging for more. Fans of the Night Huntress series do not want to miss it, but more importantly, even though I strongly suggest you read the original series because it’s awesome, you don’t need to read it before you pick up Once Burned. It’s written in a way that let’s you step right into this amazing world Jeaniene Frost created.
Profile Image for Robin (Bridge Four).
1,644 reviews1,511 followers
February 22, 2019
Re-read with the UF crew at BB&B

3.75 Stars

Vlad fans this one is for you.

“I’m the only authentic Vlad. Everyone else is merely an envious imitation.”

Vlad was one of my favorite characters from the Night Huntress series and in this book I don’t think he disappoints. JF did a great job of making Vlad completely likable while still impaling people who fail him on stakes. You could read this book without reading the Night Huntress Series but I think that it wouldn’t have been nearly as enjoyable.

Leila has the unusual talent of generating and conducting electricity. This makes dating impossible when a mere touch can electrocute your date, even if ‘sparks flying’ is supposed to be a good thing. She can also see the past and the future when she touches objects and/or people. This has been the burden she has carried over the last ten years it also makes her a hot commodity once it is discovered.

Someone is trying to ambush and kill Vlad and Leila has agreed to help him figure out who his enemy is. But sparks really do fly when they start spending time together. He is the first man able to touch her without dire consequences. Add to that he is deadly sexy and just admit it resistance is futile.

“Vlad Tepesh, former voivode of Wallachia and the most arrogant, deadly, frightening man I’ve ever met.”
His lips curled with disdainful amusement. “Compliments won’t sway me any more than the word please, Leila.”

I enjoyed the pacing and getting to know Vlad a little better although I would have loved to see a few chapters from his POV. The sexy deadly vampire who lost his ability to love long ago, or did he? Still the story was engaging and there are a few pretty hot scenes thrown in for good measure. Definitely entertaining, even though Vlad and Leila are no Cat and Bones the dynamic is still strong. Here is hoping the next book in this series is just as fun.
Profile Image for When Funmi Met Romance.
128 reviews277 followers
June 30, 2012
Warning:Its bitchy and not comprehensive as a review at all so please, no whining
2.5 stars

Well. I'm Disappointed. Is that it?

I get it, Its a series we've got to leave some stuff for the next books, but that doesn't excuse ...ummm this lack luster start to a series.

Frost has great characters to build off of but doesn't deliver Its really quite annoying. The book was boring and the characters weren't even that likable. I expect way more of a paranormal vet who has a much anticipated novel. I mean , the novel is half ass

And don't get me started on the end.

I think i will wait for Kresley Cole to put out her two awaited novels, Those NEVER disappoint.
Profile Image for Brittany B..
299 reviews4 followers
July 3, 2012
If Vlad is the Night Prince, Bones is still the undisputed King!

I'm not writing a big review. (because I'm scared to lose my favorite friends over this book...)

I think it's a fun read, and I love the actual Vlad history and locations throughout Romania that Frost writes about.
But I didn't feel a lot of heart in this book. It was steamy, to be sure, but I think Vlad has shown himself to be a better guy than he is in this book. He is harder and scarier in Once Burned than he ever is in Night Huntress.

Leila is sweet and adorable. She is a fantastic character with very interesting abilities. I wasn't crazy about the side characters: like Marty and Maximus. I didn't dislike them, but they didn't catch my attention.

I was disappointed with the abrupt ending. There's a great deal of action at the end of the book. It's not a cliffhanger but kind of a lackluster ending.

All in all it's a fun read, but I don't think it does Vlad justice. My favorite scene with Vlad is when he talks Cat down from killing herself in At Grave's End, night huntress 3. He has much more depth and heart than the Vamp in this book.
Profile Image for Karla.
986 reviews1,095 followers
January 28, 2013

3 1/2 Tepid Stars for Vlad Tepesh!!

Don't expect to get that same feeling when you first read about Cat and Bones, this book can't hold a candle to Halfway to the Grave, but in it's own right it was pretty good! I was actually kind of glad that JF gave Vlad and Leila a story that didn't mirror our beloved couple. I did feel though, the Vlad in Once Burned was a different Vlad who we met in the Night Huntress series. I'm not sure what it was, but something was missing. Had I read this series, never having read the other, I might have enjoyed it more. Still in all, it was amusing, fun, witty, and I think given time, Vlad and Leila will grow on me. Their relationship didn't have the chemistry that I hoped it would, but there were some nice steamy scenes with the two of them. Dracula knew how to lay some lovin' on his lady Leila, he's not the fire-master for nothing, he can heat up anything!! The end fell a little flat, but it is a continuing series, so hopefully it will come around in the second book as Vlad and Leila continue to explore their relationship! I'm looking forward to Twice Tempted!!

A shout-out to the narrator of the audiobook! Very well done!
Profile Image for CC.
1,761 reviews213 followers
March 15, 2017
3.5 stars

This was a strong start to the series, but what it lacked was the Hero POV. Because that was lacking, he felt cold and distant. I had a really hard time connecting. He is not known for being warm and fuzzy and is pretty silent so it is understandable the heroine and I both had issues figuring him out. I mean he is a Vlad the Implaler.

The dead ex does not play a huge part so not really an issue for me like it normally would be.

There was a lot of action, the heroine was pretty brave and I liked her special abilities. I loved that she stood up for herself too!

I am looking forward to the next book.
Profile Image for ~ Becs ~.
709 reviews2,138 followers
June 28, 2012
It’s so good to be back in Jeaniene Frost’s Night Huntress World and it’s been a while – probably almost a year since the last Cat and Bones story and that was just a novella. I had to spend a few moments reacquainting myself with the rules. Can the vamps go out in the sun – yes unless they’re newbies. Does a wooden stake kill them – no. Do they sparkle in the sunshine – nope!

It only took a few minutes with Vlad for it all to coming back but we’ll start with Leila.

After touching a live power cable, Leila has been left scarred and with unusual abilities – she can channel electricity and, with a single touch, she can telepathically read people – things that were, things, that are and some things that have not yet come to pass. (Just had to get in a LOTR quote there!). She works as a carnie with her partner Marty, a dwarf vampire. After an accidental encounter in the street, Leila garners some unwanted publicity by saving a passer-by’s life after seeing a vision of her murder.

Before she can say "Listen to them - the children of the night.” she is abducted by a gang of vamps hired by Vlad’s enemy in an attempt to coerce her into using her telepathic skills to locate him. She does and he can sense her instantly and they talk and he comes to her and what an entrance he makes - he explodes onto the scene like a Rock Star in a stadium. Be still my beating heart!

Vlad takes her under his protection and takes her to his castle and their relationship begins. Vlad has centuries of hurt buried beneath that sardonic exterior and, even though he cares for Leila, he says he can never love her but Leila is falling in love with him.

Vlad is very much the Vlad that we’ve known for several books – grimly mocking, stern, brusque, deadly and still in the impaling business if anyone crosses him. He rules his people with an iron fist but they respect him as well as fear him. Leila is a good partner for him – she’s fiercely loyal (something Vlad values above all else), brave and a little vulnerable. With her electric personality and Vlad’s fire-starting capabilities you’d expect their sex to be hot and they don’t disappoint, positively setting fire to the pages. Not quite the vaunted heights of Chapter 32 but almost!

There’s a great host of secondary vamps and I developed a great fondness for Maximus and I do hope he finds love soon – as Vlad points out, he’s muscular, virile and single. With Shrapnel and Marty, there’s plenty to flesh out a whole series.

Vlad’s enemies are closing in and there’s a very thrilling climax to the story when we get to see Vlad at his very most deadly – angered by the threat to Leila. After the big showdown, things are left very unresolved between Vlad and Leila and I think it pays to remember how we left Cat and Bones at the end of Halfway to the Grave and remember this is just the first of a series and that there is a long way to go yet – got to keep that sexual chemistry fizzing for the next one.

Nice but short cameo from Cat & Bones and Mencheres & Kira with Bones antagonising Vlad, as ever.

Vlad is described as resembling Aragorn in the novel but I think I found a vamp that better depicts him.


So, a great beginning to the series – 4 star paranormal romance
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