Book Review: Without Pretense by T.J. Thomas

I really don’t like giving negative reviews, but it was honestly difficult for me to get through this book. 

Ava, a famous violinist, meets Bianca on a bench. After a time gap they reunite and find they will be spending a lot of time together traveling. Conflicts and misunderstandings ensue.

Things happened at such a breakneck speed that it felt unbelievable and inauthentic. It was very predictable. References to Etheridge and the Indigo Girls was a bit polarazing as I am over 40 and they are even before my time. There was a crude bit about rubbing one’s lady parts into a bench during what should have been a sweet moment. Things like that throughout the book continued to cheapen what had the potential to establish a deeper connection.

At one point a character says “Yes, I only packed for four weeks. If I end up staying beyond that, I’ll need to find a laundry.” First of all, that must be one large suitcase. But who needs 30 days of clothes when traveling? I’ve never waited 30 days in my own house to do laundry.

The dialogue was not natural. There were large blocks of text during conversation. And often times it read back and forth without saying who was speaking or including any movement/action. And Ava’s unspoken monologues were long and repetitive.

The main conflict in this story felt overly dramatic. I could not believe that it would drive such an insane amount of topic avoidance to the point of ruining a relationship. And since it did, I questioned if the feelings were as sincere as we were told they were (because we didn’t actually see any relationship development. Just sexual development more on the scale of erotica during the middle of the book.)

I did like the bit of angst when the two mains had a confrontation about things. Have to admit there was a little flutter in my chest. So I must have connected on some level. 

Read this if you like fated encounters, travel, frustrating miscommunication, family conflict, and plenty of explicit sex.

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