** Originally posted @ ReadingDiva's Blog
** - Rating 4 of 5REVIEW:
It is not surprise to anyone that I am a big fan of Jeaniene Frost. What is a surprise is to be a bit disappointed at one of her books. Once Burned is the spin off story to the Night Huntress Series (Cat & Bones). When I purchased Once Burned I was eager to start reading, and though I didn’t do it right away it was in the back of my head always pushing it to the top of my reading pile. When I was finally able to read it I went head first into the story.
Needless to say, I was in for a big surprise. This is the story of Vlad Tepesh (Dracula), the egotistic, insufferable and extremely sexy vampire who has sneaked into our hearts little by little.
Let’s move along now, while I enjoy reading the story, I was a bit disappointed at how the story flowed. Leila is an electrifying (literary) young woman who possessed an amazing gift. When she was little she had a terrible accident that left her with an ability many would kill for. As the story flows we are presented with Leila and the reason she is important to the villain. She works in a circus where others “freaks” are shown and where she isn’t judged by her ability. While I think her character was nice, I didn’t get the “awesomeness” I have come to expect from other character created by Frost. Leila becomes the weapon needed to eliminate one of the most dangerous vampires of all times – Vlad.
Vlad as we know is an insufferable, egotistic vampire who believes he is the most extraordinaire vampire in existence and whose ego is bigger than his “personality”. Of course I liked him; I am usually biased when it comes to vampires. Though I have to give Frost credit, she always manages to bring us great characters with funny and strong personalities who can stand alone in their own right. I liked how well Frost developed these characters, and how normal and easy their dialoged felt.
Leila struggles didn’t feel “real” and her inability to accept her mistakes was frustrating at times. Though she had an amazing ability, sometimes it felt as if she would struggle forever and would never come to accept herself and her “gift”.
There is passion, and a lot of sexual tension, but there wasn’t love. These two characters had a connection, one that went beyond love. They learned to coexist and need each other in a carnal/passion level but were disconnected in matters of the heart.
I am not sure if my disappointment has to do with the no HEA or because I felt cheated by my high expectations. Overall, I enjoyed the book and I would totally go nuts again for any of Frost’s books. I am just hopeful that her next book brings the most needed satisfaction I crave for.