Series: Night Prince #1
Published by Avon on 26 June 2012
Source: Kindle Purchase
Once Burned is a spin-off series from the Nighthuntress, Vlad is the main character in this tome, and the way he finds Leila is intriguing to say the least. As Leila learns more about what she can do and why, Vlad needs to protect her from vampires who would definitely use her for nefarious acts.
In Once Burned, Leila started out like just a weird young woman with a strange power, but she quickly grew to become a very strong opponent, even against powerful vampires!
The way she found out that she could link to vampires, and that those who could read minds could talk back at her was hilarious, and I loved how she never flinched in the face of danger. Jeanine Frost always manages to make her female protagonists strong, level-headed and real. I think one of the things I loved the most about Leila was that she used to be a gymnast, and that she turned her childhood bullies’ nick-name for her into a new identity she could use to strengthen herself.
There was a very short sighting of Cat and Bones, and Bones did not let the opportunity to piss Vlad off pass, by telling Leila about a good way to shield her thoughts.
Vlad was his usual, arrogant, sexy self, and I was laughing out loud at some of the though/speech dialogues between him and Leila. And apart from Cat, I’ve never seen anyone who dared stand up to Vlad like Leila did. She even got away with *gasp* slapping him in anger.
Leila proved herself to be just as loyal and faithful towards the people she called her own as Vlad has always been towards hers, and even while she thought Vlad was possessive, she grew to become possessive herself, and wanted nothing more the to see if they could have real feelings for each other.
A very enjoyable read, fast paced and action-filled. Leila managed to earn the respect of all the people (and vampires) in Vlad’s entourage, and she showed them respect back, going as far as to trying to save them at the perils of her own very human and fragile life. As I finished the book, the only thing I could think of was that I want more and I want it now!
Also as usual, there were several excellent quotes that I have to include for your enjoyment as well – it would feel like cheating if I didn’t.
This time, his smile widened into a full-fledged, wicked grin that made him almost devilishly handsome. I looked away, not wanting my thoughts to inflate his ego. To distract myself, I concentrated on the scarred hand holding mine. His grip was light, as if I could pull away at any moment, but we both knew better.
He laughed, the sound rolling over me more than once with the echoes in the enclosed hallway. his laughter was so unique – part amused grow, part purr, and all self-assured male. Its effect on me was tangible, turning up my own lips and making me step closer to him before I realized what I was doing.
Then his mouth lowered in a hard, claiming kiss. A groan parted my lips and his tongue snaked between them to stroke mine with sensual dominance. He tasted like sin made into wine: dark, heady, and impossible to resist.
“Sorry. You know I’m winging all of this, but even if I’d been through a dozen prior relationships… I don’t know if any of them would’ve prepared me for being with you.” “They wouldn’t,” he said with complete assuredness.
Hardly the words you’d find on a Hallmark card, but they caused a glow of happiness nonetheless. Okay, so this wasn’t love, but at least it was something real to him. That was enough for now. Before Vlad asked what I felt for him – a question I wasn’t ready to answer with my runaway emotions – I changed the subject.
I can’t wait to read the next book in this series! It’s right up there with my have series. Vlad is so deliciously sinful and funny and strong, but he’s still able to show tenderness, and Leila will probably continue to surprise me, with her spunk and her inability to leave anyone behind.