Once Burned: A Night Prince Novel
So…. I liked it, overall. *nods* Vlad was one I was anxiously looking forward to. His quick sarcastic wit, his biting comments (that still made me laugh), his issues with Bones, and especially his ability to connect deeply with those he cares about. Almost as if he was, in his own way, looking to be loved. The many moments he was there for Cat in the past… yep. Cinched it for me. Vlad was scary and dangerous, but there was something almost heartbreaking (or heartbroken) about him, and he was so real to me.
And while in this book, some of Vlad’s history came to light, their was something about this Vlad that was different. I didn’t recognize him as much. Mind you, he had all of those awesome vampire qualities that I love (seemingly indestructible, a leader, gorgeous, sexy and a of course, a domineering alpha male), but that’s just it. He was the perfect vampire, but it was as if he could have been any vampire.
It had everything a good book needed, a feisty heroine (oh btw – I loved her!! ‘cept for a few crazy decisions, but you know – she was fun!), a period of game-playing, steamy scenes, emotional insecurities, and danger always lurking in the background. Even a mystery to solve. It was all there… yet to me, it lacked a certain intensity. I was never fully engaged enough to plow through the book in one sitting.
So how does Vlad meet his match?
Leila was electrocuted as a child, and now has the ability to taser people (pretty badly – even to death). She has to keep her “zappy” hand covered, and can’t even really enjoy close contact with anyone because of her excessive “sparkly-ness” (hee hee! I know right!? What is it with me ‘n puns these days? *shakes head*). But she also has anther ability, and that is to see someone’s past, present and future when touching an object that they have touched.
You touched a downed power line when you were thirteen, nearly died, and then later, your body began giving off electric voltage and your right hand divined psychic impressions from whatever you touched?”
And because of this, she is a hot commodity in the vampire world. I think. Anyway, she is kidnapped by some bad vampires, because they want the details on Vlad’s whereabouts. Thing is, when she touches the objects that they have brought her (which have his essence), she actually connects directly to him telepathically. She’s never done that before! After telling him her predicament, he comes to the rescue!! (No worries, this all happens right in the beginning. It’s what kicks off the story).
“I have no intention of switching sides. You’re not the one who sent child murderers to snatch me up, and they were going to kill me once they were done with me; I saw it when I touched Jackal. I don’t see my death when I touch you, so I’m team Vlad all the way.”
Some of that coldness left his gaze. “Good because I wouldn’t enjoy killing you. Thus far, you’re not boring or irritating; a rarity. I also reward those loyal to me, so keep your fear of me, Leila, but know this – you need not fear anyone else as long as you’re under my protection.”
And that’s where there story begins. Because of course, he whisks her away to his lair (his gorgeous castle in Romania), and proceeds to give her the ins and outs of the real Dracula. So as they adjust to being “roomies”, he drives her crazy with his ostentatiousness and she resists even though… resistance is futile. Arrogant or not, he’s got a point. 😉
Two Leilas seemed to be battling it out inside of 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 b$tch was wondering hat Vlad looked like naked.
Come on. Of COURSE she can’t resist the 6′ something alpha vampire, with the long dark hair, gorgeous face, and glowing eyes that has all of the other vampires (hot or not) in his abode bowing at him. Who can resist that!?
But you see, Vlad has his own demons to contend with, and enemies abound! She realizes he can be a monster in his own right.
… he did not just pull the Big Bad Vampire card on me!
“Ooh, you told me,” I mocked, sketching a bow.
Tee hee!! He’s so bossy! But he’s an ancient VAMPIRE! *shakes head* Her life will never be the same.
So that’s all I’m telling you. The rest is up to you to discover.
But I do have one more thing to say (below) but this is slightly *spoiler-ish* so skip it unless you’ve read this book.
Some have been somewhat upset about the ending of this book, with that sort of “cliffhanger”, but to me, book #1 was pretty much complete. It did have the start (intro to main characters and their dilemma), middle (solving that mystery) and end (lots and lots of fire and blood).
It seems it was the epilogue that perturbed some, but I see it more as an intro into what we would be getting into for book #2, and I actually liked it. THAT is what made me want to continue the series. Considering the lack of intensity between the two main characters in this book, I was somewhat disappointed, but that epilogue absolutely intrigued me. To me it was one of the best parts! That whole “run roh”… after Leila’s realization of her current circumstances, yep! I will certainly continue reading these.
I realized, now, why it almost felt like we were missing that romantic/emotional intensity. I mean they were completely “into” each other but… not enough for my heart to race every time they got together. They are just getting started.
I think Jeaniene will be having them “feel each other out”, get to know each other, fall for reach other (or not) over the course of multiple books. That intensity will likely build into something we can’t get enough of (at least thats what I’m hoping for). Seeing the characters fall in love slowly, and experience heartbreak, misunderstandings, jealousy issues, make-ups and possibly break-ups (along with the regular vampire battles and power-drama) over the course of a few books might actually lead to some serious emotional overload, and THAT is what has addicted me with other series.
So I’m still in, even if this one was “good but not great” to me.