Thursday, August 21, 2014

Once Burned (Night Prince, #1) by Jeaniene Frost

Vlad ~sigh~ 
This whole review can be summed up by this sigh.. This is my favorite PNR / UF character and also series. Well, it's not over YET, there are two books out of three (third and last will be published in January 2015) and I really hope it won't disappoint! Though what could happen? Vlad is in there, right? ;)

This is just a FUN book to read. If you've read Night Huntress ("Cat and Bones") you already met Vlad Tepesh and you already fell deeply in love with him. His arrogance and self assurance, his pyrokinesis, his diabolical sense of humor, his brutal looks - not a "Ken" Barbie Doll like Bones is described, but a masculine scared dark prince - YUM! 

I find most of what he says Laugh Out Loud funny. 
First appearance in this book:
Soon-To-Be-Dead-Vampire: "Please"
Vlad-Fucking-Tepesh: "Please? How unoriginal"
KABOOM of fire.
[I swear I burst out laughing every time I read this one while editing my review]

So meet Leila, Vlad soon to be love interest - though he already vowed he would never love anyone else after his wife threw herself from their castle back when he was a young vampire (yeah, that was a LONG time ago). He's only saying that because he hasn't met Leila, or he met her and hasn't succumbed to her attraction YET. I'm not talking about looks here, I'm talking about character. She might start off as someone a little bit damsel in distressy, but soon she becomes fierce, exactly his match and as the book continues, even without hearing his POV it's obvious he is infatuated by her. 

Leila is human, well, mostly. She was struck by lightning when she was 13 years old and since then she developed amazing powers - first, she electrifies through touch, and second when she touches someone or something she can see into the past as well as the future of whomever she is linked to, enabling her also to find that person. 

Leila is dragged into trying to find Vlad by a bunch of vampires who kidnapped her from the circus she preforms on (what can a freak like her do? that's the best place to work and move on so people won't get too close to her). When she finds Vlad she is surprised of his reaction and decides to try and get his help against her abductors. Falling into his arms is the last thing she wants (after all, a delusional vampire who thinks he's Dracula?!) but since he promises not to harm her and since it turns out he is a man of his (exact) word she complies and he swoops her into his castle to help him catch the vampires who are after him.

It's obvious I enjoyed reading of Vlad in a series all about him, but I also really enjoyed reading Leila as the sole POV. I should say, I like her A LOT better than Cat who I find to be quite annoying. She isn't as arrogant as Cat but she CAN handle herself pretty well (I think she saved more vampires than vampires saved her..). She has a sweet, caring and naive side to her since she was sort of sheltered all her life because of her condition but she is a very strong independent woman who handles herself AND Vlad as it turns out. 

This was a great beginning for the story of Vlad and Leila. Though it's quite obvious what's going with both Leila and Vlad, there's no definite HEA for them or a finish to the story line since the plot, as well as their romance, stretch over the whole trilogy. 

FUN FUN FUN Read. Back when I first read it and I didn't have an endless list of books to read I kept randomly reading chapters, just reminding myself of how much I LOVE Vlad, how funny he is and how much I enjoyed reading of him and Leila. Yes, he is a brute sometimes, and he is diabolical, mmm, well, always :) but he is Vlad Tepesh hear ME roar ;)

RECOMMENDED even if you haven't read Cat and Bones / Night Huntress since both Cat and Bones have a really small part in this one. There's just one scene in which they come with Mencheres and Kira to speak with Vlad. Even if you haven't a clue who they are it doesn't really matter. 

Additional Details: Audiobook, 8:25 Hours, 19-20 August 2014 / On GoodReads
The Night Prince is the much anticipated and ADORED spin off to the Night Huntress by Jeaniene Frost.It's the love story of Vlad the Impaler. 
Vlad came into my live and I never want him to leave... Right now, these books, telling us his and Leila's story are my absolute favorite PNR / UF books. Vlad, for sure, is my absolute favorite male character in a PNR series. In one word YUM! 
Vlad and Leila's story takes place close to the ending of the Night Huntress series. To be exact the first 2 novels take place after the 6th installment ("One Grave at a Time") and the last two after the 7th and final novel in the Night Huntress series ("Up from the Grave"). There are double appearance of Vlad & Leila in the Night Huntress and Cat & Bones in the Night Prince so if you wanna do it "right" stick to the reading order listed bellow. You COULD read the Night Prince before the Night Huntress series, you'll just be introduced to Cat & Bones there.. 

There are four books in this series. The first book starts before Leila and Vlad actually meet and follow the build up of their relationship. Leila is a lot more than a "common average human" and they truly find in each other their match. 
Throughout the books they try together to best Vlad's long lost nemesis - Szilagyi Mihaly - who have been plotting against Vlad for YEARS, gathering strength, power and allies to be able to FINALLY get rid of him. Yet we are talking about Vlad freaking Tepesh, it's obvious how it's going to end - death and destruction, and a lot of it by fire! :) OH JOY! 
1. Once Burned (published 26 June 2012) ★★★★★
Twice Tempted (published 26 March 2013) ★★★★★
3.  Bound by Flames (published 27 January 2015) ★★★★★
4.  Into the Fire (published 28 February 2017) ★★★★★

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