Vegas is Burning by Trinity Blacio (Ring of Fire Series) Book Review
By Pleasure Panel reviewer K
First in the “Ring of Fire” series, Vegas Is Burning by Trinity Blacio is a fantasy-based adventure rife with interpersonal drama and lashings of erotica. Set in a world filled with were-creatures, gargoyles, vampires, witches and many other mythical beings, it feels like a novelised mashup of Vampire Diaries and Supernatural. Which would be totally fun! That is, if only the prose was a bit more engaging, but we’ll get to that in a bit.
The plot of Vegas Is Burning centres on Bella, a young woman who discovers that her adoptive family is plotting against her. After leaving her toxic home environment at sixteen and becoming more or less independent (with the help of her best friend Charley’s family), she returns to try get some closure on some suspicious activities her adoptive family had always excluded her from and discovers that they harbour some legitimately evil intent towards her. She walks in on them performing some malicious witchery, freaks out, and gets into an accident that comes close to ending her life. Basically, she loses almost everything and hits rock bottom.
In the meantime, we meet Raul – the hybrid offspring of werewolves and gargoyles and the alpha of his pack. He has a lot to live up to – there’s a pesky prophecy he needs to take care of, and a lot of people depend on him. Massive earthquakes are happening as a result of some unbalanced supernatural tension, his massive family pack is trying to deal with it all, and he can’t even get laid to feel better about it because he hasn’t found the mate that is his destiny yet. He knows she is out there and can feel her presence, but he just hasn’t met her yet. And when they finally have sex, their destinies will be forever united and they’ll be so much stronger together than they could ever be apart.
Okay, no surprise – his mate is Bella, who discovers that she has her own supernatural lineage and associated powers to grow into. When she finally meets Raul, she’s overwhelmed to learn what being with him will really entail. After all, the whole destiny thing is kiiind of a big deal, and the plot puts a lot of emphasis on the actual physical union that will set everything in motion. There are a lot of expectations that come with it. To tick all the metaphorical destiny boxes, she has to fulfil a bunch of weird pack obligations. Like allowing some trusted members of Raul’s family to bite her and turn her into a werewolf, and have a threesome with a vampire.
Also, it seems like the Master/slave dynamic is standard in this supernatural world, and Bella knows that Raul will be her owner as well as her partner, and she’s a bit too strong-willed to unquestioningly comply with everything he tells her to do. It’s a lot to take in especially after she’s lost so much, and a lot of of the time it feels a bit weird for the reader to go along with as well.
I spent much of the first half of the Vegas Is Burning novel wondering if Bella really wants to be with Raul, or if she just feels compelled. He barges in on her in the bathroom, places his hands on her body while she changes, and generally treats her as his own before officially ‘claiming’ her as per the whole destiny checklist thing even happens. It just seems a bit weird.
Occasionally, the text in Vegas Is Burning has Bella looking at Raul and thinking about how this near-stranger will be her partner for life, and it’s weird – as if she’s just going along with things because she feels like she should, rather than really wanting to.
Obviously, she does end up in love with Raul. They prove themselves to each other multiple times in the story, and everything works out in the end. As a bit of supernatural fun, this novel should be an entertaining ride. However, I didn’t find myself quite as much as I’d hoped.
Firstly, the prose in Vegas Is Burning feels a bit unpolished. There are a few minor grammatical and proofreading errors, random typos, and repetitive word choices that I personally found a bit disruptive to the flow of the story. Furthermore, the sex scenes are a little … uninspiring. One bit had me taking a photo of the text and sending it to my partner, who reacted with confused glee.
In one of her initial interactions with Raul, Bella compares his penis to a “large cucumber […] [moving] around in his pants.” Which makes for an amusing hypothetical discussion regarding whether the cucumber in question is of the English variety (meaning that a ‘large’ specimen would be about the length or my arm below the elbow, and how practical this might be for actual sexual encounters), but it didn’t serve to facilitate any amorous thoughts on my part. Also, the much-anticipated DESTINY SEX which finally occurs at the culmination of the book feels a bit … meh. The descriptions aren’t visceral enough to really feel sensual to me, and the whole plot really just whizzed by, to be honest.
Overall, I felt like the setting of Vegas Is Burning could have led to a much more engaging story for me. I initially compared it to a Vampire Diaries/Supernatural mix, and as a person who loves all elements of both of these things, I wish I had enjoyed this book more. However, this is just the first one of the series – things will probably pick up as they progress. If you like cryptozoological sex, BDSM marriages and emotions that melt metal, this might be your jam.
Where To Buy
Thanks to Pleasure Panel reviewer K for this review of the erotic book: Vegas is Burning by Trinity Blacio (Ring of Fire Series).
This erotic book was provided free of charge, in exchange for a fair and honest review by the Pleasure Panel, by the author. Thank you! 🙂
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