Monday, June 13, 2016

Blog Tour: Without Benefits by Nicole Tone


Without Benefits RDL Ban

Without Benefits cover
  About Without Benefits: 

Emma will always be a New Yorker at heart, even though she has a perfect life in Seattle. She has a prestigious job fundraising for the Seattle Symphony, a handsome boyfriend who adores her, and a Belltown apartment with views of the Sound. It should be more than enough to keep her pain from not playing the piano, and her 9/11 nightmares, away. But when her old college crush, Owen, comes back into her life, it’s more than just spending time with him that’s causing cracks in her picture-perfect life. As she steps back on stage, and back into the spotlight, her connection with Owen and his world, dredges up old memories that Emma worked hard to forget. Emma’s past comes back to haunt her, forcing her to face the truth about more than just her fears of returning back to New York. As her once perfect life begins to burn down, Emma is forced to figure out what she really wants: her fundraiser and cocktail party-filled life with her boyfriend, or forging a new future with the one thing, and one person, she’s ever loved–even if it means returning to New York.  

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  Exclusive Excerpt:   

 The piece of sheet music had sat untouched for a decade, tucked away in other sheet music, left at the bottom of a box. It was poor timing, finding it now. Really poor. Emma’s friends would say it was fate. Her mom and sister would say that she should sort through her things more often. Emma had to agree with her family on this one. Her thirtieth birthday coming and going sparked a nesting spree of sorts. This had to be the only reason behind finding it. Starting in the front room of their apartment and working her way back, she went through everything: cleaned off bookshelves, cleaned out closets, dusted, touched up, changed out artwork. There were some things—like the pile of sheet music that now sat on her kitchen table, the piece of sheet music that she couldn’t stop staring at—she wasn’t sure she’d be able to part with. This binder of hand-written music, work, the e-mail, and the wedding coming up—she just couldn’t escape Owen any longer. The longer time went on, the harder it was getting. Wasn’t it supposed to be the other way around? It should’ve been easier by now. But it wasn’t, and that’s why she had an e-mail drafted. Well, sort of—it was blank still, but at least it was open. “I don’t even know what to say to you,” Emma said out loud, reading over Owen’s latest e-mail. It had landed in her mailbox a week ago with an invitation to dinner and she still hadn’t given him an answer. She closed doors on everything in her past, always. She’d left New York, and the empty spaces in the skyline, and didn’t look back. She couldn’t—it hurt too much. Emma never spoke to ex-boyfriends after the relationship expired. But Owen wasn’t an ex. Maybe it was best to rip the Band-Aid off now, privately, instead of in front of at the engagement party in front of all of their college friends. She typed up a quick, one line response: Dinner tonight? Hitting send, excitement and guilt crushed her. She hadn’t even considered her boyfriend and his feelings into the equation.    

  About the Author:

Nicole Tone

 Nicole Tone is a freelance editor, MFA student, traveller, pet collector, binge-watcher, and a self-proclaimed coffee snob. She lives in Buffalo, NY with her husband, three cats, and two very large dogs. She cheats on Buffalo with Seattle as often as she can.

Meagan's Review:

Okay so I really had mixed emotions about this book when I first started reading it. I HATED Conner the stupid boyfriend/fiancee/all around douche. Owen was an interesting character that I wanted to unveil and learn as much as I could about. And then we have our main character Emma. I really kinda hated her because the life she currently was living was her own fault and she questioned things and I wanted to just smack her and be like really? Wake up and make a change. I am not an outloud
"feminist" by any means but I am one of those women who doesn't believe in giving any of your dreams or aspirations up for any man. If he doesn't like what you do then he either needs to get over it or move on. This is probably the one of the many reasons I hated Conner. Emma is/was a pianist and an amazing one at that. I can't imagine the hours and sweat and tears and sacrifices that have to go into what she went through, but it was her passion. And along with that passion came Owen. Conner was super super super super super jealous of Owen and forced that onto Emma....even years later. Because of the drama and travel and long hours that came with being an amazing pianist she gave it up and settled for a job to be with Conner. 

So okay I can slowly let that one go...sorta...maybe...not really but let's just say I do. One of the first scenes we come into with Emma and Conner is that Conner is going out to dinner with Rachel.....his ex girlfriend who cheated on him. The ex girlfriend who he projects onto Emma and constantly accused her of cheating with Owen because Rachel cheated. Let me say....I've been cheated on by a boyfriend before....and I dumped him as soon as I found out and if he called me up today to go have "dinner" or whatever else do you know what I'd tell him.......well that is if I'd even answer the phone, but to lose my number and don't talk to me ever again. You don't constantly go out with her or help her or anything with her. His excuse....well she doesn't have any friends or needs help and she doesn't know anyone. Well who's fault is that? It's not Conner's responsibility to take care of Rachel....his EX!!! And she keeps showing up everywhere.....and where is Conner....not at Emma's side...nope he's hanging out with Rachel. Like OMG I kept getting so angry at the book and woman should puts up with that crap. Anyways......some drama happens with that little bubble....which come on who wasn't expecting that. But what killed me more than anything is Emma's decision. I think I threw my Kindle very forcefully on the couch because I wanted to punch her in the face. **Btw this book made me kind of angry** 

By the end of the book I felt better about it as a whole and the characters. I think my biggest surprise of characters was Owen. I really thought he'd be super stuck up and all about him and full of himself instead of seeing the bigger picture. But he really surprised me....especially at the end of the book...his gift...ahhh *heart melt* Overall, even though I was angry at Emma a lot, I liked the journey she took and the direction she takes with her life....because she makes it her life. Not Conner's life. Not Owen's life. Not anyone but her. Some of the transitions between present and past took me a moment to figure out what was happening, but it didn't take away from the book or the story line. I loved that we got a lot of backstory that was relevant to what was currently happening. Emma has another big demon in her past and a personal story to 9/11 and if she is going to finally deal with it or not. I really did enjoy this book because it brought so many emotions out in me and those are always great books because it engages the reader so much that they kind of live through the character and that's what this book did. I give it mad props!!!

Soul Fire

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