Overall: 4/5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Steam: 3/4 🔥🔥🔥
~QD Story Details~
Tear jerker: No
Location: Los Angeles, CA, mostly Las Vegas, NV
Character age range: early 30s
Love interest(s): Lauren
~QD Book Info~
Kindle Unlimited: Yes
Series: No – Stand Alone but spin off of the Vincent and Eve series
Sex/kink type: manual, penetrative, oral
Possible triggers: severe PTSD, choking, domestic violence, mass shooting, trauma, forgiveness after infliction of violence
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 café (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.
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!
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?
*Warrior Undone is a stand alone spin-off from the Vincent and Eve series. This is a full length novel.
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.