Once Burned (Night Prince #1)

   
Once Burned (Night Prince, #1)

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...

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.

 

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.



No.

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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