Tuesday, February 11, 2014

TLC BOOK TOURS and REVIEW: Becalmed by Normandie Fischer


When a Southern woman with a broken heart falls for a widower with a broken boat, it's anything but smooth sailing.

Tadie Longworth doesn't mind acting the maiden aunt in Beaufort, North Carolina. She has a gift shop full of her own jewelry designs and a sweet little sailboat to take her mind off the guy who got away. But now he’s back . . . with the fashion-plate wife he picked instead of Tadie . . . and he’s hitting on her again.

When widower Will Merritt limps into town with a broken sailboat and a perky seven-year-old daughter, he offers the perfect distraction — until that distraction turns into fascination when Tadie offers shelter during a hurricane. Over candlelit games of Slap-Jack and Monopoly, Jilly becomes the daughter she could have had and Will the man she always wanted. Only, he’s sworn never to let another woman in his life. Any day now, he’s going to finish those repairs, and that ship's going to sail — straight out of Tadie’s life.

Paperback, 385 pages
Published July 1st 2013 by Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas (first published 2013)
ISBN  1938499611 (ISBN13: 9781938499616)

Connect with the Author

Check out the author's website
Check out the author's blog
Follow the author on Facebook
Follow the author on Twitter

My Thoughts
Out here on the water between Shackleford Banks and the islands fronting Taylor Creek, the wind can turn as skittish as those barrier-island ponies.

Growing up in a coastal town to a relatively privileged family, Tadie is a sailor who has a mostly full life. She has friends and and a business and a beautiful home inherited from her parents. But she is approaching middle-aged, and has never been married or known true love or the love of a child-- until Will and Jilly walk into her life. 

I don't usually read romance.I generally find myself a little frustrated with the simplicity of it, and feel it is sort of...fluff. But I've been reading some heavy stuff for awhile now, and I felt in the need for something "light". This one left me with mixed feelings.

Tadie was a likable enough character, and little Jilly was suitably adorable. But I kept feeling a sense of incongruity, and things with Jilly and Will and Tadie would feel unauthentic. Jilly's perspective as a child would feel off, minor things amid the characters would seem so blown out of proportion. Tadie's brother Bucky seemed pointless, other than to show that Tadie had suffered loss in her life. And likewise I felt no connection to Matt, Tadie's best friend's husband, and figured he was just another means to an end. And why was he being portrayed as an old man? He was in his 30s, but he sounded like an old man!

I enjoyed the first half of this story, but as time worn on, the story wore on me. But to be fair, that may be my fault for trying to read romance again. I get so frustrated with the characters over-reacting to minor things, and everyone being overly dramatic, and what often become rather ridiculous situations, but that's romance for you.

And a relationship in a romance novel goes from 0 to 60 in seconds. Both Tadie's relationship with Will and that with Jilly went from "Hi, nice to meet you!" to "I can't live without you" in what seemed to be days (or at least days of interaction together, even if those days were spaced out over a year).

My final word: I'm a realist. And as a realist, I often have trouble with romance novels. There are very few I've ever loved, and even those I haven't read in ten years. I'm thinking I need to try them again, to see whether I really do enjoy them, or whether I've changed and no longer enjoy romance novels at all. The characters are drama queens, relationships mushroom and combust at super-sonic speeds, and ridiculous storylines and events move things along. However, that being said, I did actually enjoy this book for what it was. It was a distraction, and didn't require me to think too hard, and restored my hope in love. The characters were likable. It even made me tear up quite a few times, so it affected me. I enjoyed the first 3/4. It was the final 50 pages that I really struggled with. If you like romance, I would definitely recommend it. If you are more into literary fiction and just dabble in romance on the rare occasion, then you may want to pass on by.

I would like to thank TLC Book Tours, and the very pleasant and kind-hearted author Normadie Fischer, for including me on this tour. Check out the website for the full tour schedule:

Wednesday, January 22nd: Spiced Latte ReadsSailing Out of Darkness
Thursday, January 23rd: The Most Happy ReaderSailing Out of Darkness
Friday, January 24th: The Book BarnSailing Out of Darkness
Monday, January 27th: Obsessed Italian BratSailing Out of Darkness
Wednesday, January 29th: Books and BindingsBecalmed
Monday, February 3rd: Time 2 ReadBecalmed
Tuesday, February 4th: Staircase WitSailing Out of Darkness
Wednesday, February 5th: Sammy the BookwormSailing Out of Darkness
Thursday, February 6th: Good Girl Gone Redneck - Sailing Out of Darkness
Monday, February 10th: Shelf Pleasure (guest post)
Tuesday, February 11th: Cerebral Girl in a Redneck WorldBecalmed
Wednesday, February 12th: The Most Happy ReaderBecalmed
Monday, February 17th: Patricia’s WisdomBecalmed
Wednesday, February 19th: Cruising Susan ReviewsSailing Out of Darkness
Thursday, February 20th: Obsessed Italian BratBecalmed
Monday, February 24th: Every Free Chance Book ReviewsSailing Out of Darkness
Date TBD: Mary’s Cup of TeaSailing Out of Darkness
Date TBD: Mary’s Cup of TeaBecalmed

My Rating:


I received a copy of this book to review through TLC Book Tours and the publisher, in exchange for my honest opinion. I was not financially compensated in any way, and the opinions expressed are my own and based on my observations while reading this novel.


Normandie Ward Fischer said...

Thanks so much for taking the time to read and review Becalmed.

Robin Patchen said...

Interesting take on this novel. I've read it, and I found it much deeper and more realistic than any romance I've ever read. I didn't think of it as romance, to be honest. The characters had real struggles, not the sort of contrived drivel you find in your typical romance novels. But to each his own, I suppose. I loved Becalmed.

nfmgirl said...

Normandie- Thank you for the opportunity. You are truly a delight!

Robin- Oh, I definitely think that there are a lot of people out there who would love this book! It had charm and a sweetness to it. I used to love reading a certain romance novelist, and I have tried various other romance novelists over the years, and they always fall flat for me. So now I'm wondering whether it is "romance" that is falling flat for me, or if that one novelist could just somehow reach something in me that others can't. So I need to go back and read a couple of those books that I loved so much, and see whether they still affect me in the same way. I just find that I usually wind up frustrated by the characters in romance novels blowing everything out of proportion, and relationships building unrealistically fast. But then again, I often get frustrated by real people in real life! For people who love romance, I think they would love this novel. For people like me who are more serious and just occasionally dabble in a little romance, they might be frustrated as I found myself.

Heather J @ TLC Book Tours said...

I'd say it was a worthwhile read if it restored your faith in love! That certainly can't be a bad thing. :)

Thanks for being on the tour!