BLOG TOUR: Warrior Undone by Jessica Ruben

Overall: 4/5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Steam: 3/4 πŸ”₯πŸ”₯πŸ”₯
Feels: 😣πŸ₯ΊπŸ€¨πŸ˜πŸ˜‘πŸ’–

~QD Story Details~
Tear jerker: No
Paranormal/Fantasy: No
Location: Los Angeles, CA, mostly Las Vegas, NV
Character age range: early 30s
Lead: Slade
Love interest(s): Lauren
HEA: Yes

~QD Book Info~
Kindle Unlimited: Yes
Audible: No
Series: No – Stand Alone but spin off of the Vincent and Eve series

~QD πŸ”₯~
Sex/kink type: manual, penetrative, oral
Possible triggers: severe PTSD, choking, domestic violence, mass shooting, trauma, forgiveness after infliction of violence

~ReviewπŸ–‹~
The quick and dirty: Ex-Navy Seal, Slade, has severe PTSD but is in denial about how bad it is; thinks self medication is the cure. When he reconnects with the female lead, Lauren, he is in denial about his feelings for her as well. The combination of him attempting to hide his worsening condition while also falling for Lauren and not communicating any of this with her creates a situation ripe for drama. Shit hits the fan when he hurts Lauren in more ways than one and he has to choose between coming clean and doing the work to get better, or losing her forever.

Some pretty heavy themes in this book that I think Jessica Ruben did a valiant job addressing. It was an emotional roller coaster and I loved how it ended! A few small concerns that I had while reading (I address them below) but I see how Jessica is working toward including more twists with suspense and drama in her books so I’m intrigued and looking forward to seeing more of that.

Grab yourself a copy and let me know what you think!


I want to reiterate how much I truly enjoy Jessica’s books. I hemmed and hawed over whether to write any of this but ultimately, I think honesty is the best policy and I agreed to an ARC in return for an honest review so honest I shall be.

Here are my concerns:

The night club shooting. I question the ultimate purpose of this scene. It’s a personal preference but to me, a shooting is as big as having a murder or rape scene in a book. It’s a big traumatic scene and should only be included if it can’t be avoided and is quintessential to the story arc. When you break down this club shooting scene, it didn’t feel that way.

    Was it to show that Slade has blackouts? — No, because while Slade’s blackout moment in the club was triggered by the shooting, he’d had one before at the beginning of the book so the night club shooting is not necessary to show the reader that he has blackouts or that a traumatic event is necessary to trigger it.
    Was it to introduce Lauren to Slade’s blackouts? — Yes, but the scene itself was not necessary to do that. Lauren is a witness to Slade’s blackout but she also witnesses them several times post-shooting, so again, the shooting did not feel necessary to trigger that.
    Was it so that Lauren would suffer a trauma and connect the dots with Slade’s trauma? Commiserate so to speak? — I really thought this would be it, but Lauren suffers from survivor’s guilt and mild PTSD post-shooting. She has a panic attack at a cafΓ© (that ultimately leads her back to Vegas… where Slade is) and a moment of existential crisis which ends in her being determined to essentially live her own life and get through the rough patch. There is no connection made between what she suffers and what Slade suffers though. There isn’t that light bulb moment where she connects the dots.
    Was it to push Lauren to make a change? — It can’t be because even with all the positive self talk about setting her own expectations, while she’s in Vegas she still worries about the expectations set by her boss and her parents.
    Ultimately the shooting felt like a way to give Lauren a serious case of hero worship (perhaps necessary to drive home why she keeps overlooking his mistakes as the book progresses?) and to also be the catalyst to get Lauren back to Vegas. Both reasons make the shooting feel gratuitous rather than something that absolutely had to happen to make the story move forward. Just my two cents.
  • The abrupt resolution. There is a lot of build up with several scenes wherein Slade lashes out or has momentary lapses but when shit hits the fan, and he needs to get help he does, but a few emails professing his love and a surprise visit to her office seem to be all that is needed for Lauren to forget the pattern of abuse. It seemed to be going well there for a bit where she was making him work for it then all of a sudden he tells her to end the relationship she has with Alexander because he’s the only man for her and she agrees. It felt like a very easy and abrupt ending for all the crap he pulled and put her through. More groveling and some sort of grand gesture to prove himself should be necessary in my book, especially if we’re expected to forgive him for not only toying with her emotions but for pulling a gun on her and for physically harming her even if it wasn’t entirely intentional.
  • Lion and Alicia. We are kind of left hanging with their situation. Perhaps it might be another spin off but as of the end of this book it felt like it was put there just so Lauren could have a moment of clarity just to go and dismiss it again in a monumental show of denial.
  • It’s still an enjoyable read at the end of the day, I just felt like it had a few holes that could have been avoided. Give it a read and let me know what you think!

    ~BLURB~
    From Amazon Bestselling Author Jessica Ruben comes the latest Contemporary/New Adult Romance….

    I have no intention of finding happily-ever-after.
    At least, not anymore.

    Fighting for my country was an honor,
    returning home is a curse.

    My demons need to be fed.
    How else can a shattered man stay afloat?

    When a wild night in Las Vegas with the sexiest woman I’ve ever met turns into hell, she attaches to me as though I’m her savior.

    But what happens when a woman hangs her hands on broken glass?
    She bleeds.

    *Warrior Undone is a stand alone spin-off from the Vincent and Eve series. This is a full length novel.

    ~LINKS~

    AMAZON US | AMAZON AU | AMAZON UK |
    AMAZON CA | GOODREADS | PAPERBACK

     

    ~AUTHOR INFO~
    JESSICA RUBEN
    Jessica Ruben lives and works in New York City, where she spends her days dominating in the court room as an attorney. Come nightfall, she writes romances centering on gorgeous alpha males and the intelligent women who love them.

    Jessica is an insatiable reader, and will devour a few books a week without batting an eyelash. Books have always been her drug of choice, and she has no plans on detox anytime soon. She has three wildly delicious children and a husband who, for reasons unimaginable to her, loves her brand of crazy.

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