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NBTM & #Giveaway: Island Detour (Sunrise Island #1) by Maria Imbalzano

@mariaimbalzanoauthor @GoddessFishPromotions @debbiereadsbooks

@Mariaimbalzano_author @goddessfishpromotions @debbiereadsbook

@mariaimbalzano @GoddessFish @debbiereadsbook

Falsely accused of wrongdoing at a Princeton Prep school, Sophie Kearns accepts a temporary teaching position at an environmental school in the Florida Keys to wait out her suspension. The time away is meant to be an anxiety-free escape, but her clashes with the hot but arrogant marine biology teacher, Max Heaton, are anything but tranquil.


Max is determined to start an environmental research institute at the school, but he suspects the gorgeous new Lit teacher, who lacks even the most basic outdoor skills, is there to hinder that dream. Yet, something about her tames the demons from his past, and he can no longer ignore the fire she’s lit inside him.

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It wasn’t long enough before Max and Ben ushered Sophie to the fishing boat. She inhaled huge breaths of salt air, hoping the oxygen would perform some magic on the dull throb in her head.


“I know you’re going to find this hard to believe,” she started hesitantly, “but I don’t know how to fish.”


“What a surprise.” Max didn’t even bother to moderate his sarcasm.


Sophie’s scowl fell on his back as he and Ben gathered up rods and reels, a tackle box, and cartons of what she could only assume contained live bait. He had been sniping at her for days. Ever since Andy had asked her to cover for him as director. It was as if she had caused Andy’s accident intentionally, just to take over his job and keep it from Max.


She followed them onto the dock and into the boat, wishing she had brought her bottle of aspirin to dull the pain of this ill-conceived trip.


She sat on the bench, quiet as a church mouse, as Max steered the boat out toward the ocean. Her eyes betrayed her as they were drawn to the muscles in his back and shoulders, stretching and straining with each movement. His tawny, bronze skin glistened with a layer of sunscreen and ocean mist. A work of art. His jaw was square and tight, his cheekbones chiseled. Soft, wavy brown hair blew straight back from his forehead, giving her a bird’s-eye view of one very gorgeous man. Oh, so easy on the eyes. Too bad he wasn’t as easy on the nerves.

4 out of 5 (very good)

Independent Reviewer for Archaeolibrarian - I Dig Good Books!

Sophie is accused of doing something she knew she did not do, and is suspended from her teaching post. Taking a job in Florida, helping out a friend, seemed the best thing to do during that time. But she was unprepared for taking a lead role in the school and she was totally unprepared for Max, another teacher at the school, trying to get his environmental institute off the ground. They both have demons to fight, but will they be stronger together?

What I especially liked about this book was the slow burn between Sophie and Max. There was immediate attraction, sure, but Max thinks Sophie has ulterior motives for being at the school and he trusts so rarely. It takes him time to see that Sophie can calm his demons, and he, hers. They both just need to admit, trust and give in to each other.

Both Max and Sophie get a say, and I'm glad they did.

There is passion, heat and love here, but I found the smexy times were very much faded to black and I liked that. I do like the smexy books, sure, but I can also appreciate a fade to black book, if the story is a good one.

And this is a good book! It's a great book, and I thoroughly enjoyed reading this, my first by this author. I'd like to read something else, something with a bit more bite.

A thoroughly enjoyable 4 star read.

** same worded review will appear elsewhere **

* A copy of this book was provided to me with no requirements for a review. I voluntarily read this book; the comments here are my honest opinion. *

Follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found HERE

Maria Imbalzano is an award-winning contemporary author who writes about strong, independent women and the men who fall in love with them. She recently retired from the practice of law, but legal issues have a way of showing up in many of her novels. When not writing, she loves to travel both abroad and in the states.  Maria lives in central New Jersey with her husband--not far from her two daughters and granddaughters. For more information about her books, please visit her website at where you can also sign up for her newsletter.



Maria is a member of New Jersey Romance Writers and has received many honors and awards for her work including the ACRA Readers’ Choice Heart of Excellence Award, the Wisconsin Romance Writers Write Touch Readers Award, The NEST (National Excellence In Story Telling) Award, the Carolyn Award, Book Buyers Best Award, The Stiletto Reader’s Choice Award, Long & Short Reviews Book of the Month Award (3rd Place for Book of the Year), and Still Moments Magazine Reader’s Choice Award.



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Tour hosted by: Goddess Fish Promotions



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Mar 07

Thank you for sharing your review thoughts.


If you could have lunch one person from history, who would it be?

Mar 04
Replying to

I would love to have lunch with Michelle Obama. I think she would be engaging and easy to talk to. I had a dream one night that she asked me to help her with a speech. I told my husband the next morning and he said "you're awfully sure of yourself, aren't you?"



Mar 04

Thanks, Debbie, for having me on your site and for reviewing Island Detour.


Thank you for sharing your review of Island Detour, this sounds like a story that I will enjoy reading myself

Mar 04
Replying to

Hi Bea: I hope you get a chance to read it. Good luck with the raffle.



Thank you so much for reviewing today.

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