Review - Once Burned (Night Prince #1) by Jeaniene Frost

Once Burned (Night Prince #1)
by Jeaniene Frost

Summary: 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.

Source: I purchased a Kindle copy.

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The Night Prince series has some pretty good reviews, which is what prompted me to check it out once the paranormal romance mood struck me. It seemed to be a shorter series and it was also only $4 for kindle, which is why I bought it.

I really enjoyed Once Burned. It was a vampire paranormal romance, but before anyone starts rolling their eyes, it was pretty well done. For starters, Leila/Frankie, the heroine, is kind of awesome. She was snarky, independent, and everything I expect from an urban fantasy girl and it was out of place to see a character so strong and witty in a paranormal romance. It offset the very alpha and controlling love interest in a really good way.

Leila was not an unsuspecting human. She worked for a vampire in a circus. She had powers of her own. She couldn't touch very many people without frying them because of the electrical currents in her arm. She also glimpsed pasts and futures when touching a person or an object. I liked that she had her own talents and was using them in a circus act and fending for herself. She ended up being kidnapped and accidentally linked to one of the most powerful vampires on the planet. Vlad. That Vlad. The Impaler. Aka Dracula. It turned out that he was actually pretty decent, though violent. Leila and Vlad immediately had a connection, despite Leila's stubborn resolve to ignore it completely and date someone else.

I liked the paranormal plot and the way everything was high stakes, violent, and dangerous. I didn't think it was too over the top or that the vampire lore was overdone. I liked that Vlad was what you kind of expected, but he wasn't too caveman alpha male or too sleek and elegant like so many vampire guys.  The romance was great because I really liked both of the characters and their back stories. While I love paranormal romance, it can be a little redundant when you get alpha male characters and then weak and gasping heroines that melt into puddles whenever they are in the same room alone together, so I found Once Burned to be incredibly refreshing. Leila might have been melting a little, but she used snark to try and counteract her feelings. I loved it!

I definitely recommend Once Burned if you enjoy paranormal romance and want something that has the fun of an urban fantasy with likeable characters and a compelling plot. It's definitely worth the $4. I think that's a steal. I would have totally paid a full $10 for it. I'm not surprised at all that the author also has an urban fantasy series because I totally got that vibe from the Night Prince series and it made me want to pick up the Night Huntress series, too.

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