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Book Review: "Once Burned" by Jeaniene Frost

Once Burned (Night Prince, #1)Once Burned by Jeaniene Frost
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I am a Dracula fan. I read the book and shivered at the potent darkness; I watched "Bram Stoker's Dracula" with Gary Oldman and wept at the depth of his emotion; I read "Ano Dracula" and wondered how London would be if Dracula won (instead of Van Helsing).

But I have found my favorite Dracula here, in "Once Burned". Vlad Basarab Tepesh (or "Master" for his servants and human fold) calculates every move with ruthless care, keeping to his strange moral path to ensure safety for himself and his people. But a sense of loss and longing haunt the man, obvious in how he keeps everyone at arm's length, even those closest to him.

Especially Leila, the heroine and protagonist of the novel. Leila faces Vlad with an open mind and heart, separated from the rest of humanity because of her unwanted abilities. Yet she can touch Vlad, and that touch sparks more emotions and reactions in her that she knows how to handle.

I love that "Once Burned" is a story about love, revenge, vengeance, discovery, and healing. I love how Vlad and Leila learn about each other, drawing closer than either one wants to admit. And I love how Ms. Frost balances the characters, so that both help each other out.

Now, I wait with bated breath, wishing I had a Tardis to jump ahead in time to read the next book in the series.

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