Review: Making Waves by Tawna Fenske

Wednesday, August 31

Title:  Making Waves*
Author: Tawna Fenske
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Format: Paperback & e-book
Date/Year:  August 2011
Reviewed by: Booklover1335

*This book was provided to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review

Summary from the publisher:

She always wanted to belong…just not to a dysfunctional pirate crew

Juli has trouble fitting in, though she’d prefer to keep the reasons to herself. But when she mistakenly stows away on a ship of misfit corporate castoffs, her own secrets become the least of her concerns.

He knows plotting a diamond heist may be considered unusual behavior…

But Alex isn’t feeling very normal when his unscrupulous boss kicks him to the curb. Meeting Juli doesn’t do much to restore normalcy to Alex’s life either, but it sure is exhilarating!

As Alex and Juli bare their secrets—and a whole lot more—they find that while normal is nice, weird can be wonderful.

My Musings:

When I first learned about Making Waves, the debut novel by author Tawna Fenske, I had high hopes that she might be a new contemporary author that I would love.  The cover quote on the front of Making Waves describes it as “Hilarious!  A wild, sexy romp with a fresh, fun take on love.”  Hence my problem with cover quotes.  I know that they are promotional, and therefore exaggerations and sometimes not exactly revealing or truthful and the story contained within the pages.  And to be honest, the cover quote on the cover of Making Waves isn’t misleading in any way, because the book is fun and at times laugh out loud funny....but because of the quote I think I had unrealistically high, misplaced and unfair expectations of this new to me author being like a beloved author, Jill Shalvis, who writes some of my absolute favorite contemporary romances...and it wasn’t, much to my disappointment.

Juli Flynn is a genius, literally.  And like most geniuses, she has a problem connecting with people and fitting in and settling into a life with purpose.  She’s as infamous for her IQ, as for her failures in both life and in love.  She’s quirky, smart and fun and supposedly absolutely gorgeous.

Alex Bradshaw is a forty something executive who has devoted his life to the pursuit of professional success to prove that he is worthy.  After being dumped by his fiancée years ago for a Dentist who could offer her the kind of life, and the money that she wanted, he defines his self worth by his title and his bank account.  So when he’s given his pink slip with a drained bank account he is left with those old feelings of insecurity and the only way he knows to get back at his unscrupulous boss and fill his empty coffers is to become a pirate.

Making Waves is a fun romance, which is light on the romance and heavy on the cliché’s. There were moments in this book that were laugh out loud funny, but also moments that were completely ridiculous.  This author loves dichotomies.  For example,  a quirky nerd who is bombshell beautiful, an Ex Pro Football player who likes to be called “Cookie”, embroider his own aprons, grate his own nutmeg and wears women’s clothing.  Then there are also high seas pirates who are massive brooding muscle bound men who act like children yet are literary theologians.  Go figure.
At times it felt like the author was throwing polar opposite characteristics together to make the characters be more comical and funny, but instead seemed came off as contrived and absurd.  For me funny is finding the humor in everyday life, not forcing situations in order to add substance to otherwise weak character development.
I have mixed feelings about Making Waves.  There were moments that I really enjoyed…like when Alex and Juli first meet and pretend to be recently married in order to qualify to play a Newlywed type game to win some quick cash.  That was pretty darn hilarious!  Unfortunately those moments were few and far between for me.  For me the story was much more focused on the “funny” characteristics of the characters, than the characters themselves which resulted in what I felt to be a very superficial love story.  It was fluff, sometimes fun, but overall...forgettable.

Have you read it?  If so, I would love to know your thoughts on this book.


Overall:  3.00 stars  (the author's style of writing was fun, but the characters and plot leave a lot to be desired)

Sensuality level:  3.00 ( I kind of wavered on whether to say it was more 2.75 or a 3.00.  There are a few kissing and heavy petting scenes, and from what I can remember only one scene where they actually sleep together.  Very straight forward sex that is only mildly descriptive in it's explicitness)

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Estella August 31, 2011 at 3:50 PM  

I just finished this book and thought it was a light, fun read.
I live in Oregon and found some of the quips very funny.

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