I admit I'm just now starting on this series, which began in 2012, for one very good reason: I hate first-person point of view. I'd heard several people raving about Jeaniene Frost -- totally deserved, by the way, and thank you, thank you, thank you, M. V. Freeman! BUT...I wouldn't pick up her books because it takes a very good writer, with just the right touch, to allow me to enjoy first person. Kristina Douglas (a paranormal pseudonym for Anne Stuart) is one. And now Jeaniene Frost. Her prose is compelling. To be honest, I can't put my finger on why -- it's clean, almost feeling too concise and uncluttered, abrupt, though it isn't. Not normally what I enjoy; I admit to preferring a more descriptive voice. But I couldn't put it down. I've really enjoyed finishing it, and I'm looking forward to reading more. (Hurry, hurry, hurry! :) )
The Night Prince series centers around the vampire Vlad, who is the original Dracula, and a psychic named Leila who -- get this -- is a carnival performer. Yes. I didn't think it would work either, but it did! The first book in the series is Once Burned; here's the blurb from Frost's website:
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.
The book drew me so much I immediately bought book two, Twice Tempted. This book begins with Leila leaving the emotionally closed-off Vlad -- which is a good point about this series: Frost does a lot of those "Do Not Do This!" things most of us have been told is the death of a story. Vlad is no clean-cut alpha hero. No meditation for him when he's stressed; no, he tortures people. He's so emotionally constipated that Leila leaves him. Why doesn't he go after her? He says later he thought she was bluffing. Yeah, constipated. Leila's not your typical heroine either -- the torture she suffers in book one is pretty unpalatable. But her knowledge of '80s pop rock is a thing of beauty. :)
I cannot wait for the third and final book in this series to come out. I highly recommend the first two books in the meantime, so go check them out. Now!
Don't make me take a page from Vlad's book and impale you.