This entry takes a decidedly darker tone from the previous novel. You really start the actually admire Eugenie now. In the first book I was interested enough in the story to see it through to the end, but Eugenie's reluctance to accept her heritage was tiring. In this book you finally see her come into her own as the queen of her people.
I have to hand it to Richelle Mead, this is one of the few fantasy romance series in which the sex is just an added bonus to the plot and not the other way around. I really felt for the characters and the book's climax took my breath away. I had the next installment purchased before I was even finished with the last chapter.
Too much modern slang for my tastes, and the leading lady was annoying at times. I truly will never understand why all of these beautiful single women abducted by stunningly gorgeous supernatural males are so determined to go back to their mundane lives. I'm happily married and I'd be hard pressed to deny Bastian, even with the whole I-need-to-impregnate-you-with-my-killer-dragon thing he has going on.
But I digress. If you're bored and or not yet jaded, it's ten bucks. Get it, keep your expectations low, and it's actually not too bad. I'll probably even read the second one.
Jacob was actually the very first paranormal/erotic romance book I ever bought. I remember reading it and thinking 'Oh my god, how does this book even exist?' My eighteen-year-old mind was blown.
Many years and guilty pleasures later, I decided to revisit to my old friend and buy the audiobook. While it's safe to say that my initial impression of this book being the best thing 'evar' was mostly due to inexperience, I can tell you that if you're into heavily erotic romance with more than a touch of fantasy, you should get this book.
While the plot exists mainly to set the stage for the subsequent books and to bring the protagonists together (in more ways than one) it's the narration that will leave you breathless. I wish I could hire Xe Sands to narrate all of my audiobooks. Not only do her male voices sound achingly -male-, her delivery of their eastern European accents made my heart melt.
Most people prefer the subsequent books in the series to this one, and I agree, it gets a lot better. Just look at this book as a very steamy romance and be prepared for a more defined plot later as more of the Nightwalker races come into play.
I've read a LOT of vampire/lycanthrope/fey/demon romance and your mileage may vary, but I think Vlad is, by far, the hottest male lead I've ever had the pleasure of listening to. I'm vaguely aware that there was a plot to Once Burned, but I mainly just kept rewinding the audiobook over and over to relisten to Vlad's interactions with Leila. Any bellyaching I may have had over Gilbert's delivery of Bones' grating cockney accent was instantly soothed the first time I heard Vlad's husky, patronizing Romanian "Lei-la".
Get this book at your own risk, because you're going to be quite depressed when you realize the next one doesn't come out until next year.
I liked the main characters a lot. Lucan was sexy and his reluctance to take Gabrielle as his mate was understandable if not frustrating. Gabrielle was a tough protagonist who offered just enough confidence and dominance to compliment her warrior mate.
The vampires were a bit modern for my more classical tastes (think LOTU and BDB without being too overblown) but it didn't stop me from enjoying the story. The plot pretty much existed to progress the relationship of the two main characters, but that's okay because it was a fun ride. The only thing I really didn't care for was the narration. Hillary Huber just seems to keep popping up in a bunch of fantasy romance novels and I always realize it too late. She sounds as if she's on a few too many painkillers and I feel like it detracts from the overall immersion into the story at times.
I toyed with the idea of getting this book for a while. According to the reviews it is in the same vein as JR Ward, whose books I just can't seem to get into.
I don't regret getting The Darkest Night. I read it from start to finish and enjoyed it for the most part, but it really didn't suck me in like so many other fantasy romance novels. The story was cringe-worthy at times, the chemistry between the two main characters just seemed forced and unnatural.
Still, the book is worth a read if only for Max Bellmore's sexy narration. Once you get past your cringing you can accept the book for what it is, a guilty pleasure.
I loved this series. The first book was the hardest to get through. I'm the same age as Eugenie and it was hard to wrap my head around Jennifer Van Dyck's much older voice. Still, I'm glad I stuck with it because the book was a lot of fun.
Right off the bat Eugenie meets Kiyo, a rather unique magical being. Their instant attraction is hot and realistic. Still, I've always been more partial to Dorian, the sexy fey king, who pushes Eugenie to embrace her destiny. And frequently ties her up.
Usually love triangles make me want to claw my eyes out, but this book does it right. I think it's a combination of Kiyo's lack of total commitment and Dorian's lack of possessiveness that make it so that Eugenia can kinda test the waters with both instead of spending the book locked in turmoil over who to be with.
There's a pretty good plot, too. If you read the entire book and it appeals to you then you may as well save your credits because each book will make you compelled to buy the next.
This book had everything I could ask for in fantasy romance. The main characters were fantastic. Pia was strong with enough vulnerability to make her endearing and Dragos was the epitome of sexy. The only reason I would not buy this book is to avoid the emptiness in my heart when it was over.
A bad narrator can make it really hard to get into a book, especially one with graphic sex. Sophie did all of the voices exceedingly well, switching effortlessly between Drago's husky male voice to Pia's lighter, feminine one.
I could not put my iPod down!
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