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Making Waves

Making Waves

4.3 33
by Tawna Fenske

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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


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.

"Hilarious! A WILD, SEXY ROMP WITH A FRESH, FUN TAKE ON LOVE."-Lani Diane Rich, New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This delightfully witty debut will have readers laughing out loud... 4 1/2 Stars" - RT Book Reviews

"A zany caper... Fenske's off-the-wall plotting is reminiscent of a tame Carl Hiaasen on Cupid juice." - Booklist

"Quirky, sexy and funny..." - A Good Addiction

"This story hits the spot for laugh out loud, fun reading!" - Reviews by Martha's Bookshelf

"This book was the equivalent of eating whipped cream ... sure it was light and airy, but it is also surprisingly rich." - Smart Bitches Trashy Books

"A light, enjoyable read." - All About Romance

"A laugh a minute adventure that is perfect for a reading escape..." - SOS Aloha

"Pure wacky fun..." - Cheeky Reads

"Entertaining and hilarious with quirky and very likable characters. A solid debut." - Under the Boardwalk

"Utterly sensational and entirely unique." - Romance Fiction on Suite101.com

Product Details

Publication date:
Edition description:
Product dimensions:
4.20(w) x 6.80(h) x 1.00(d)

Read an Excerpt

"I'm sorry, he wants me to do what?"

Juli Flynn didn't think to hide the incredulity in her voice. She did, however, think of hiding beneath her mother's kitchen table. If it weren't for the memory of her brother wiping boogers there thirty years ago, she probably would have crawled right under.

Juli stared at her mother. Tina Flynn was chopping carrots for a Jell-O salad that would, in all likelihood, hold as much culinary appeal for the funeral guests as the actual corpse.

"You know you were always Uncle Frank's favorite," Tina said in the same voice she'd used to suggest her children not stick lima beans up their noses. "I think you should be flattered."

"Mom. I'd be flattered if he asked me to read a poem at the funeral or look after his cat or take his clothes to Goodwill. But this-this is just weird."

"Don't be so dramatic, Juli."

"Dramatic? Dramatic is making a deathbed request that your niece travel to the freakin' Virgin Islands to dump your ashes over the edge of a boat near St. John-that's dramatic. Why not spread them off the Oregon coast or on Mount Hood or something?"

Tina finished with the carrots and began chopping beets, her knife making neat little slivers of purple that scattered over the green countertop. Juli sighed and began hunting in the cupboard for sesame seeds to add to the Jell-O.

"Frank had fond memories of his years sailing over there," Juli's mother said.

"He had fond memories of the Polish hooker he traveled with while he was fleeing that federal indictment."

Tina smiled and set her knife down. "That's right-what was her name? Olga or Helga or something like that?"

"Oksana," said Juli, thinking this was so not the point.

Juli closed her eyes, hating the fact that at age thirty-seven, she felt like a petulant toddler. She had a sudden urge to stomp her feet and bang her fists on the counter in a full-blown tantrum.

It's not like she and Uncle Frank had been that close. She'd been living in Seattle for the past six years, coming home to Portland for the occasional holiday. Until last week, she hadn't even seen Uncle Frank since her birthday party a year ago when he'd gotten drunk on a quart of vanilla extract from Tina's baking cupboard and spent the evening pretending to be a stegosaurus. The rest of the family had been embarrassed. Juli had been delighted that, for once, she wasn't the oddest member of the family. That common bond was the reason she and Uncle Frank had always enjoyed a

special relationship.

Well, that, and the fact that advanced dementia had led him to believe his niece was Celine Dion.

"You didn't happen to tell Uncle Frank that I'm-"

"Terrified of the ocean? No, I didn't have the heart to mention that."

Juli nodded and watched her mother consult her handwritten recipe before reaching for the Worcestershire sauce.

"Did Uncle Frank say when I need to complete this mission?" Juli asked, grabbing three packets of orange Jell-O and her mother's fish-shaped Jell-O mold. "Do cremated remains have-um-a shelf life or anything?"

"He didn't really say. He was choking on his tongue a lot there at the end, so it was hard to understand him. Could you hand me that feta cheese?"

Juli gave her the container and scooted a knife out of the way, aware of her mother's tendency to drop sharp objects on her bare feet.

"So maybe you didn't understand him right?" Juli asked hopefully. "Maybe instead of 'throw my ashes off a fishing boat,' he said, 'roll my ass over, you stupid whore'?"

"Those bedsores were sure something! Hand me those Junior Mints?"

Juli sighed, sensing the conversation was going nowhere. Maybe she was arguing the wrong point.

"I can't just pack up and go to St. John. I have a life."

Tina beamed at her daughter. "Are you dating someone new, sweetie?"

Juli scowled. "That's not what I meant. I haven't dated anyone since-well, for a long time."

"Oh. Well, you know it can be a little bit intimidating for some men to date a woman with your particular-"

"Mom, can we not talk about this now?"

"Sweetie, I don't know why you're always so embarrassed about your special-"

"Please, Mom," Juli said weakly, feeling her ears flame the way they always did when someone drew attention to the fact that she was-well, different. She touched her fingers to her lobes, trying to cool them.

"Could we just stick with the subject of Uncle Frank?" she pleaded.

"Of course, dear. Can you hand me the dill?"

Juli spun the spice rack and located the appropriate jar. "I have a job, Mom. I have a bank account that can't exactly handle the strain of a Caribbean vacation."

"Well, Uncle Frank left a little bit of money in his will to cover some of the cost of your travels."

"Okay. That's half the equation. What about my job?"

"Didn't you say they asked for people in your department to volunteer to take a little time off? That sounds so nice."

That sounds like a layoff, Juli thought, biting into a carrot as she watched her mother mix the Jell-O.

Not that the idea didn't hold some appeal. She'd worked in the marketing department of a software company for less than a year and already she was so bored her skin itched. She'd hardly bothered to hide her delight the week before when the vice president had stood at the center of their cube-farm, running his fingers through his comb-over, asking if anyone was interested in a severance package of three weeks' salary and a scone-of-the-month club membership in exchange for "taking a little time off. Indefinitely."

Later that day, Juli had flung herself onto the sofa in her therapist's office and sighed. "I feel like my career is going nowhere," she told Dr. Gordon.

"What makes you say that?" he'd asked, looking wise and vaguely constipated on the edge of his orange armchair.

"The fact that my boss told me yesterday, 'Juli, your career is going nowhere.'"

"Right," Dr. Gordon said, nodding. "And how does that make you feel?"

Juli shot him a look. "Terrific."

Dr. Gordon was not amused. Dr. Gordon was seldom amused. Juli had fantasies about pinning him down on the carpet and tickling him until he peed.

"Juli, we've spoken before about the social oddities you've developed as a coping mechanism to deal with your self-consciousness and your lack of a sense of belonging, which is the direct result of the attention you've generated in the scientific community and the media for your-" He stopped and stared at her, then shook his head. "Are you covering your ears so you don't have to listen, or are you cooling them like you always do when you're embarrassed?"

"A little of both," she admitted, lowering her hands.

"I see," Dr. Gordon said, looking morose. "You're uncomfortable with this subject. Let's talk about your career. What did you want to be when you were a child?"

"The Bionic Woman."

Dr. Gordon didn't smile. "What was your first job after college?"

"I was a newspaper reporter for three months before an on-the-job injury forced me to change careers."


"I fell asleep in a City Council meeting and stabbed myself between the ribs with a pencil." She lifted the hem of her shirt. "Check it out, five stitches right here-"

Dr. Gordon sighed and began to flip through his notes. "Let's go back over some of the other jobs you've held. After you were a reporter, you spent some time as a data analyst?"

Juli lowered her shirttail and sat up straighter. "Oh. Sure, there was that. And marketing, of course. And I got my helicopter pilot license about seven years ago, and there was that stint as a pet store manager, and four months as a scout for forest fires, six months working in that hat shop, and-"

"Juli, your employment history leaves something to be desired."

She nodded, pleased to be understood. "You're right. I've never been a brain surgeon."

Meet the Author

Tawna Fenske traveled a career path that took her from newspaper reporter to English teacher in Venezuela to marketing geek. An avid globetrotter with a fondness for the sea, Tawna is the author of the popular daily blog Don't Pet Me, I'm Writing and lives in Bend, Oregon.

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Making Waves 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 31 reviews.
Katee_Robert More than 1 year ago
I can count on one hand how many books have made me laugh until I cry/snort/make seriously embarrassing noises. This book tops them all. Hilarious doesn't begin to cover it. I'm still giggling over the whole thing. So much LOVE!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Bought this book on a recommendation and I'm so glad did! The story was a little out there, but the characters are so likable and funny it doesn't matter. There were lots of laugh out loud moments and, of course, plenty of steamy moments, too. This is slightly screwball, but mostly just plain old fun. If you're looking for a fast and fun read, this is it.
Kristen_Lamb More than 1 year ago
Fenske is such a great humor author and she blends her insanely funny wit with great storytelling and rich characters. Tawna has a voice that will hook you five lines in and not let you go. I cannot praise her book enough.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Had me laughing out loud & tearing up....this is absolutely a new favorite.
booklover1335 More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Fun read
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book loved it
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I don't usually write reviews but this book surprised me, it was really good! In a sea of romance books that are all the same and mediocore at best, I found this book to be a stand out. The only thing that I would change is the pirate who was into poetry and books. I'll admit to skimming over those parts. I recommend this book and look forward to more from this author.
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bookowl828 More than 1 year ago
This debut book by Fenske was amazing! The characters are larger than life and the book was laugh out loud funny. A heartwarming all round feel good type of romance!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved juli and the "pirate" friends... best book ive read in a while. Funny lol
AdrianneWood More than 1 year ago
I read MAKING WAVES while flying cross-country and irritated the people around me with constant bursts of laughter. And the tension between the two characters is hot. Fenske isn't afraid to insert humor into even the most high-octane love scenes. A marvelously fun read.
BooksnKisses More than 1 year ago
In Making Waves we meet Juli Flynn. She has been asked by her late uncle to spread his ashes out at sea. Only problem is that Juli¿s hates the ocean. But being the ever good niece, Juli¿s sets out on the adventure to fulfill her uncle¿s wishes. Alex finds himself staring at his pink slip not knowing what just happened. While drinking and brain storming with his fellow fired co-workers they devise a plan to get back at their former employer. One thing Alex never planned on was the beautiful stow away sleeping in his bed. Juli¿s & Alex find them self on the adventure of a lifetime in Making Waves. But will these two survive the adventure or will one of them have to walk the plank? OMG!!! Let me tell you first I had the great pleasure of meeting Tawna over this past summer. She is so much fun and her book Making Waves was just as much fun. I am so glad that I meet her and pick up this book. I could not put this book down and was laughing the whole time. Let me also tell you that Jell-O salad and cheese doodles will NEVER be the same after you read this book!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Funny and enjoyable
PhoenixSummer More than 1 year ago
This debut novel is a hoot! Funny. Smart. Wonderful characters you can fall in love with. High seas hijinks, with some diamonds thrown in for good measure. I'm a fan for life.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
surroundedbybooks More than 1 year ago
Tawna Fenske's Making Waves is a hilarious wild ride with dashes of sweet romance. Juli travels to St. John to honor her Uncle Frank's wishes for his cremated ashes to be tossed into the sea. Alex and his band of unlikely pirates arrive in St. John and plan to seize illegal diamonds from their former boss. When Juli accidentally stows away on Alex's ship, she has twenty-four hours to prove she belongs with Alex's ragtag crew and can help with the heist, if she can overcome her seasickness and use her attraction to Alex to further her cause. Making Waves excels in adventure, humor, and sexy romance. Fenske's characters are quirky and unique; each one is unforgettable. They are probably the worst band of pirates, but hilarity ensues, creating unexpected plot twists that keep a reader guessing. Alex and Juli's chemistry deserves an A plus. The sweet secondary romance between Jake and Phyllis is perfectly awkward and a wonderful addition to the book. Fenske has brilliant wit with dialogue, filled with fun innuendo. This novel is definitely a must-read romantic comedy. Dysfunctional pirates, humor, and romance abound in Making Waves by Tawna Fenske. I can't want to read more from this comedic debut author!
streetmouse More than 1 year ago
This book made me giggle, a lot, and I enjoyed it immensely. Cute, hilarious, silly, and wild.