Monday, March 11, 2024

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

Island Detour
Maria Imbalzano

Contemporary Romance
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press, Inc.
Publication Date: February 19, 2024
Page count: 283 pages



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.



How’d Sophie end up working with women who could have been in the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue? 

She glanced down at her own one-piece halter and smoothed out an imaginary wrinkle. Not ready to venture back to the bikinis of her college days, she’d chosen a lime-green hue that looked great against her tan. And even though her midriff wasn’t bare, the high-cut detail on her legs showed plenty of skin. At least she wasn’t embarrassed standing next to Maddie. Or the other two.

She’d come a long way from the buttoned-up professor at Valen, thanks to her new friends here. After their shopping spree in Key West, they’d made sure to compliment Sophie on her new look—obviously afraid that if they didn’t, she’d go back to her old ways. And it had worked. Along with the exercise she was getting from boating and swimming, she looked and felt like a new woman.

Stealing a glance at Max, she assumed he’d be staring at Maddie. A slow burn crept across her face when his gaze fell on her.

 His mocha eyes blazed a scorching trail as they traveled up her legs, her torso, then stopped at her face. She turned and looked out over the ocean, swallowing hard, to banish this erotic discomfort. But try as she might to ignore his scrutiny, she felt it deep down in the pit of her stomach as fingers of heat spread over her skin, doing much more damage than the sun.


4 stars!

I was drawn in by the premise and really enjoyed the ensuing romance! 

Island Detour is the first book in author Maria Imbalzano’s new Sunrise Island series and promises to be a fun and sexy contemporary look at romance. I was immediately drawn to this story by the premise of the fake video recording like a cat to catnip; I had to find out what was going on! But I was completely delighted by the ensuing romance. The grumpy, obstinate, and suspicious leading man with trust issues versus the sweet prep school English teacher/fish out of water hooked me from the start and reeled me in! 

While both were in the business of relaying knowledge and information, these two constantly struggled to tell each other what they really needed to share. They are attracted to each other from the start, but because of their communication and other issues, the relationship has a series of ups and downs. But, in the end, Sophie and Max undergo significant growth over the course of the story, and yes, there is the anticipated ending. 

I recommend ISLAND DETOUR to readers of contemporary romances.


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.


Maria Imbalzano will be awarding a $15 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.


Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thank you for hosting!

Maria Imbalzano said...

Thanks for having me on your blog, Paula. I'm in Key West right now hoping to run into Sophie and Max.

Karen said...

Perfect! We went to Key West on our honeymoon!

Maria Imbalzano said...

It was a perfect day. "Island Detour" was at the local bookstore, Books and Books owned by Judy Blume. I was thrilled.


Karen said...

Oh my gosh! That is so cool!
And I'm looking forward to the next book.

Sherry said...

I really enjoyed the excerpt and I like the cover.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Karen. It will be Maddie’s story.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Paula.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Sherry. 😊

Michael Law said...

This looks very good. Thanks for hosting this tour.

traciem said...

Happy Happy St. Patricks Day!