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Without Benefits

3.66  ·  Rating details ·  35 Ratings  ·  15 Reviews
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 crus
Paperback, 294 pages
Published June 7th 2016 by Magnolia Press
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Kimberley Hatch
Jun 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I thought this was going to be an easy read. For most it probably is, but for me... Not so much. You see, I am Emma and that book spoke to me with every word. This book has quickly become an instant favorite. I'm so glad I got the paperback because it's stunning. I know I'll pull it off the shelf every so often just to reread it. Just so I can feel the disappointment at Emma settling for a life drastically different from what she envisioned. I'll reread it so I can feel the pride at her strength ...more
Jul 11, 2016 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2016, chick-lit, star-1
Boring book. Prim and proper to the max. It didn't do anything for m and had a real monotone voice. I felt like I was following the characters through their mundane days of dinners, rehearsals, shopping, clothes changes and back/forward conversations. The lead was particularly dull.. It was zero fun reading about miss preppy's everyday life.
Paula  Phillips
Jun 19, 2016 rated it liked it

I've been reading a few novels like this lately and it does get you thinking that no matter how far you try and distance yourself from your past and the way you were, you can never completely wipe and get a clean slate as even the littlest bits and pieces will worm their way into your new created life. Emma was originally from New York and studied Music - she was an amazing pianist and worked wonders with her mentor and best friend Owen. During her time at University, she loved the music and liv
Amanda Hanson
Oct 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2016
I was a beta reader for this book and also preordered a beautiful paperback copy. I loved this book. I could relate to the ending of a relationship that just wasn't right, even though it happened to me way back in college. I loved the characters - I felt Emma's confusion and pain on a deep level, and Owen was swoony in a very particular way. I could think back on past crushes, and if I saw them again now, I think I'd have a very similar reaction that Emma did. I liked living through Emma's growt ...more
Feb 01, 2016 rated it liked it
Without Benefits by Nicole Tone - Beach Read With Soul

Nicole is someone I got to know on Twitter when looking for critique partners. As we swapped first chapters, I soon realized her writing was exemplary and she had much to offer in terms of feedback and the craft of writing, something I could only aspire too. So, when I knew her first book was coming out this year, I signed up for an ARC.

I received my copy over the long weekend and I settled in after an exhausting couple of days with my Kindl
Kelly Sedinger
Nov 28, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: romance
I don't read a lot of romance (I hope it's right to call this book 'romance'), not because I dislike or disrespect romance, but because I'm not a terribly fast reader and I have a LOT of books in my favorite genres to get to! I do think I should read more romance, though.

WITHOUT BENEFITS really appealed to me. Its main character is a musician who has wound up not pursuing music as a career (not directly, anyway), who is living with one boyfriend but who comes into contact with a former boyfriend
I have never played a musical instrument, I have never been a relationship for a decade, and I have never lived in the Pacific-Northwest but Emma's story still felt like my own. She was incredibly easy to empathize with and relate to. Her oscillating feelings of happiness, discontent,, confidence, uncertainty, self-reliance, and dependency felt like the defining characteristics of my own mid-twenties existence. Her journey to rediscover her art, find closure with a college crush and contentment ...more
Sandi van
Mar 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Love is complicated. So is trying to figure out your path in life. Nicole Tone explores both in her debut novel, Without Benefits. Emma is caught in a love triangle with two men and two cities, but she wants more than anything to express the song of her soul. My favorite aspect of the novel was the undercurrents of sound and space. Music is a huge part of Emma‘s life, and her struggle plays out like a melody as she navigates through love, friendships, and letting go. The sense of place is also v ...more
Kristen Angierski
Mar 01, 2016 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sydney Scrogham
Jul 08, 2016 rated it liked it
I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. The beginning of the story started off very strong, and then halfway through I thought things got really slow and full of unnecessary details. I liked how Emma tried to be strong and strike out away from men. I wish she would've explored that more. When it ended up being a happily ever after ending, I was a little disappointed. The story I was reading felt like it was set up to have Emma out on her own. That would've definitely bee ...more
Carrie DiRisio
Jun 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Nicole Tone is a master of modern women's fiction, capable of blending moments of chick lit lightness with literary prose and a dash of Austen-esque plots. If you're a millennial looking for something to read that will capture your life, I recommend WITHOUT BENEFITS.
The story is one of self-discovery and reinvention, as well as how the choices we make in college (and before) impact our adult life. All of the characters are portrayed so carefully, with such vivid prose, you'll swear you went to s
Tharreshnee Govender
Jul 24, 2016 rated it really liked it
I must admit that this book was different to what I expected. It wasn't a typical love story but had more substance and soul. I personally would have preferred for Emma to find herself instead of it ending with her going to Owen, but besides that, it was a still a good read. Nicole has a beautiful way of writing and I wouldn't mind reading more from this author.
Sep 29, 2016 rated it really liked it
Enjoyed this was a good read once i got into it would read more of her books
rated it liked it
Jul 13, 2016
Sydney Richardson
rated it it was amazing
Jan 16, 2018
rated it it was amazing
Mar 02, 2016
Kimberly Crow
rated it did not like it
Jul 26, 2016
Jane Swartwood
Mar 31, 2017 rated it did not like it
Received this book after a friend was done with it. I was initially excited about this book as it has a good amount of positive reviews but I'm pretty sure the users commenting are her friends, I mean for God's sake the author herself rated the book 5 stars. As for the book, it's hard to live vicariously through a character with such a mundane life. This book seemed more like a diary's account of a day than an adventure. I was not captivated or intrigued by this read at all. In addition I was su ...more
Marilyn Bush
rated it did not like it
Jul 04, 2017
Elle Marr
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Oct 21, 2018
Kathy Smith
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Feb 21, 2018
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Jun 22, 2016
Lynn O'Connacht
rated it it was ok
Nov 08, 2017
rated it it was amazing
Aug 24, 2016
Emily Smith
rated it did not like it
Feb 23, 2017
Jackie Vernon
rated it liked it
Feb 17, 2018
Nicole Tone
Jan 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
Marissa Fuller
rated it it was amazing
Jan 15, 2016
Ashley Granillo
rated it liked it
Oct 16, 2016
rated it really liked it
Dec 06, 2017
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Nicole Tone has always had a passion for writing. She has a BA in Creative Writing and Literature, and an MFA in Writing.

When she isn't writing, she likes to dabble in photography, sketching, dressage, and traveling. She has a deep love for herbal tea, craft beer, and good coffee.

Nicole lives in Buffalo, NY, with her husband, two cats, and two very large dogs.