Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Blog TourL Rising by Jessica Ruben

We're celebrating the release of RISING by Jessica Ruben! One-click your copy today!

NA Contemporary Romance

Cover designer: Okay Creations

Release date: May 1, 2018


As the bus approaches my stop on the Lower East Side, I raise the hood of my black sweatshirt. Anonymity is key in my neighborhood—particularly as a lone female walking at night.

All I want is to leave my crime-ridden shadow of a home in New York City. I’ve done everything I can to keep my head down and focus on my studies. College is my only goal; love has never been on the map…

That is, until my sister brings me to an underground fight, where I meet a gorgeous and mysterious man: Vincent.

He is the ghost in my shadows, showing up to feed me pieces of his upper-crust life, then evaporating into darkness until his next visit. I’m falling hard and fast. How can I trust him amidst the depth of his secrets?

Vincent may be even more dangerous than the dark world I’m trying to escape.

5 Stars
Review by Jen Skewes

There was tons of buzz surrounding the release of this book.  Seeing the great reviews and reading the blurb I knew that I needed to get my hands on this book.  And am I glad that I did.  This is Jessica Ruben's debut novel but honestly you would never know it.  The writing is flawless, the storyline is brilliant and different.  I devoured this book in one day, never wanting to put it down.  If this is Ms. Ruben's debut book then I cannot wait to see what will come next.  I will be patiently waiting for book 2.

Eve is an 18 year old girl living in the worst of neighborhoods in New York.  A neighborhood surrounded by gangs and crime.  Eve is not like most people who grew up there.  She is smart, quiet, keeps to herself and her only concern is getting into college and escaping the hell that is her life.  Her mother is never home and only cares about herself.  Her sister Janelle is her best friend and the only person who truly cares about her.  When he sister takes her out one night to an underground fight she meets Vincent.  She first sees him from afar and all she can tell is that he is the hottest guy that she has ever seen.  But when they come face to face the attraction and chemistry between the two of them is clear.

Vincent is a complete mystery, both to Eve and the reader.  Everything about the way they met, to how little she knows about this man, is the reason why she should stay away.  But there is just something about him.  Maybe it's how caring and protective he is when it comes to Eve.  How gentle he can be.  For some reason you just cannot help but love and trust him.  He knows that he needs to stay away from Eve.  She deserves so much more than what he can give her, but at the same time he has a hard time staying away.  Their time together is sporadic, but every moment they spend together you can just feel what is between them.  The passion and chemistry completely undeniable.  He is the puzzle that she so desperately wants to solve, but knows that she doesn't need the distraction right now.  Her only concern should be her studies and getting into college.  Right?  Can she really stay away from Vincent?  And will he be able to walk away?

This book made me feel it all.  There is angst, drama, suspense and passion.  The mystery of Vincent was very much on my mind while reading this book.  Trying so hard to figure out who this man is.  What he really that trustworthy? Did he really care about Eve as much as he said he did?  So many questions that needed answers.  And honestly regardless of what those answers are I loved him.

Eve was this amazing heroine.  I loved everything about her,  from her vulnerability to her naivety to her strength.  My heart hurt for her at times for what she has experienced.   That's why when she was with Vincent I just loved what they had.  I loved what he felt for her.  I loved the moments that they spent together.  How she found someone who truly seemed to get her.  In my eyes I didn't care how little we knew, I just wanted them together.

Jessica Ruben is an extraordinary writer.  I felt like I was transformed into this book experiencing this story with these characters.    I felt every emotion with them.  While Rising deals with the mafia and fighter, Ms.Ruben wrote this in a way that is so unique to anything that I have read and that is what I loved about it.  From the moment I started reading I could not put this book down.  From beginning to end I was completely submerged in this story.  And in the end I was in a state of shock and wanting more.  I am hoping that Ms. Ruben does not make us wait too long.


“Carlos is out,” she says in a rush. I look at her face, feeling my stomach sink. She’s playing with the hem of her shirt and glances at me nervously. Finally, her gray-blue eyes bore into mine, and I know that she’s gearing up to tell me some serious shit.

With trembling hands, I put down my coffee mug. “Tell me.”

“Yeah. Well, I heard he made bail—” She stops, clearing her throat. “I also heard that he’s, um, angrier than usual.” She stands, bringing the rest of the carafe of coffee to the table and pouring more into my cup.

I lick my dry lips. “What do you mean?”

She moves to the edge of her seat, pushing sugar my way. “Well, I was on the stoop yesterday. It was my day off. I was hanging out with everyone and listening to Mr. Samson talk about a new jazz club that recently opened up in Harlem. We were all getting high with someone’s hash, shooting the shit—”

“And?” I raise my eyebrows, waiting for her to get to the point.

“Juan came over, and sat with me.” She slightly shifts her head to the side and presses her lips together. “Well, he told me that Carlos is out now. And, he’s been talking shit all over town that he and you have some unfinished business. Juan wanted to tell me because he’s scared for you. I know he’s an annoying little shit, but after he heard...” her voice trails off.

I blink once, twice, three times.

“There’s more,” she says on an exhale. “Apparently, he hooked up with some girl last night. Beat the shit out of her. Ms. Santini from Three-A was on her way to work and stopped to drop off her trash by the dumpsters. Apparently, she heard a moaning sound. When she saw the girl, her clothes were torn. She was beaten up and started bawling about Carlos…”

My head gets dizzy, but I force myself to hear every detail. “An ambulance took her away, but she was in pretty bad shape.”

I want to ask more questions, but the terror has a clamp on my throat.

“I think you need to stay close to me for a while, okay? The Snakes are getting more aggressive. They want the Blue Houses as their own territory, and it looks like they’re trying to instill some bigger fear on the streets.” She drops her gaze. I know she’s afraid. Every girl in the Blue Houses probably heard the story by now.

“Yeah. Okay. I’ll make sure Angelo knows I need to leave before it gets dark out.”

“Good idea. We need to sync our schedules so you aren’t walking alone at night. I’m gonna talk to some other people and try to get their schedules down so that everyone has a buddy or something at night. I’m sure when everyone hears about this, we won’t be the only ones who are scared.” I nod my head and stand up mechanically, rinsing my mug and walking to my room to digest the new information. After grabbing my stuff, I check my purse to make sure that my gun is still inside. I lock myself in the bathroom and load and unload the gun a few times, reacquainting myself with the weapon. If Carlos comes, I’ll be ready for him.

Getting to work, I let Angelo know the details of what’s new with Carlos. He’s angry and continues to tell me that I shouldn’t be so stubborn and I need to let the Borignones get involved. But I refuse. I still don’t want any debts to my name. I’ve made it this far, and I believe I can wait it out a little longer.

Work passes in a blur. I’m convincing a girl to sell her diamond ring while Angelo sells the two violins and a Cartier watch to an elderly couple who want to buy something for their grandchildren.

When the day is done, Angelo insists on calling a car to take me home. I sigh deeply, knowing that the driver will be one of Angelo’s associates. But considering the fact that Carlos is out of jail, I’m not going to complain. I nod my head and take his ride in the name of safety.

I get in the huge black Escalade and see a massive man sitting in the driver’s seat. Swallowing hard, I remind myself that he’s not an enemy, but on my side. He drives me right up to my building and I gingerly walk out, my shaking hand inside my purse, gripping my gun. I’m scared as hell, but it makes me feel a modicum of control. The driver enters the building with me and steps into the elevator as well.

We reach the fourth floor when I tell him he can go. “I can get into my apartment fine now.” He nods his head wordlessly and re-calls the elevator to bring him back downstairs.

I get up to my door without incident and let out the breath I was holding while I pry my fingers off my gun. “I’m okay,” I say out loud, turning my head and letting my gaze run up and down my hallway. It’s empty. I pull out my key and step forward onto my threadbare Welcome mat when I feel like I’ve kicked something. I look down, confused at what’s on the floor. It must be Janelle’s sweater that she dropped on her way out. I bend down to pick it up and freeze.

About the Author:
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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