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Making Waves    by Tawna Fenske order for
Making Waves
by Tawna Fenske
Order:  USA  Can
Sourcebooks Casablanca, 2011 (2011)
Paperback, e-Book

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* * *   Reviewed by Martina Bexte

Juli Flynn has an off the charts, Guinness Book of World Records level IQ and has always found it hard to fit in. She's coasted through no less than 42 different jobs and finds it helpful to pop into her increasingly frustrated therapist's office on a regular basis to discuss ways to 'ground herself and re-evaluate her career and life choices'. But this latest plan goes awry when her mother informs her that Juli's beloved Uncle Frank's dying request was that she personally spread his ashes at a specified location in the Caribbean.

Alex Bradshaw was a faithful employee of Kranston Shipping Enterprises for close to twenty years - until the day his boss tossed him out the door. Friends and colleagues (Jake Grinshaw, Phyllis Prescott, and the ever-earnest, 275 pound former NFL tight end, Cody Wilkins) have been equally shafted. No pensions, no stock options, not even a thank you - unless you count the twenty-five dollar gift certificates to Sir Loins Steak House.

When Jake (the company's accountant) reveals that their former boss uses his lofty position to carry out illegal side jobs, his colleagues are all ears, especially Alex, who soon comes up with an idea to get their substantial pensions back. His scheme may involve a bit of high seas piracy, but he's willing to take the risk. Really, what more could they lose? And it isn't as if Pirelli would go to the cops. Alex figures their meticulously charted plan is foolproof - until Juli Flynn accidentally stumbles onto their boat clutching her Uncle Frank's urn to her well-endowed chest.

In the few years that Sourcebooks has expanded into romantic fiction, the editors there have shown a real knack for discovering great debut authors. Tawna Fenske is one of them. Her writing is fresh and sassy and the characters and plot of Making Waves remind me of those screwball comedies Doris Day and Rock Hudson made famous back in the sixties.

Juli is a comedic jewel; her quirky nature, background and observations and knowledge about anything and everything are a hoot. And the exasperated male lead, former straight arrow company man Alex is determined to keep their mission a secret from their maddening, know-it-all (yet incredibly sexy) stowaway who, among her myriad other talents, takes a simple game of Battleship to a whole new level.

Alex's three partners in piracy are also a hoot, especially Cody, who may have lost a few brain cells after being repeatedly sacked in his former career, but is a gastronomical genius in the kitchen- errrr - galley. If there's one beach read that's a must read this summer, it's Making Waves.

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