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New Release | Island Detour by Maria Imbalzano #romance #floridakeys #newrelease #wrpbks #bookboost

Title Island Detour

Author Maria Imbalzano

Genre   Contemporary Romance

Publisher The Wild Rose Press


Book Blurb 


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.




“Aaahhh. The Sophie Kearns Scholarship Fund.”


Her face flamed at his suggestion. “No. I would never put my name on it.”


He placed his hand over hers, and the heat from her face traveled to her limbs.


“I didn’t mean to insinuate that. I just meant that it would help students like you. It sounds like you would make an excellent headmaster.”


His words showered her with validation, something that had not been forthcoming from him since the day they met.


He continued. “That’s a great reason to choose a career path. I can’t say I had any similar experience in high school, especially when it came to English class.” He grimaced.


“Don’t you like literature?” Disapproving judgment peppered her voice.


“I’m not much of a word guy. I like science. Experiments. I want to see things, smell things, touch things. It’s so much better than reading impossible-to-understand prose.” He glanced at her, his grin still in place.


She swayed at the thought of him touching her—his fingers caressing her cheek, his arm sliding around her waist and pulling her close. She had to refocus.


“If that’s what you think about literature, then you should take one of my classes. I’ll show you how much better it is.”


He raised his hands in surrender. “No, that’s okay. I believe you.”


Their difficult conversation had given way to easy banter, which spun warm fuzzies within. She couldn’t remove the smile from her face. She and Max were finally having a nice talk—not sniping at each other. The enchanting feeling settled around her as they sat in the dark.


After a few minutes, he pushed himself up, unfolding his legs and brushing the sand from the back of his shorts. He held out his hand, and she took it, rising with his force. His heat radiated through her blood, and when she stood, she came up against his hard, broad chest. His pine soap and beachy scent enveloped her senses, and she raised her eyes to meet his. Desire flamed through them—the same desire that flowed through her core.


Then reality struck. What are you doing? She was the current director of the school. The person in authority. She had an image to uphold. She couldn’t act like a lovesick schoolgirl. Especially with Max. He was trouble—had been since day one.


She pulled away and lowered her eyes, refusing to let him see the passion he had ignited. “I better get back to my cabin. I have to prepare for tomorrow’s class.” Her voice rasped, the result of electrified blood.


“I’ll walk you back.” His tone was nonchalant, as if nothing had just happened between them.


She had ruined it.


He had ruined it.


They walked side by side, but she kept her distance, not daring to touch, not daring to acknowledge their near lapse. Her steps synced with his, but her walls crept back up between them.


And now she had nothing more to say.


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Author Biography


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. For more information about her books, please visit her website at where you can also sign up for her newsletter.


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1 Comment

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N. N. Light
Feb 20

Thank you, Maria, for sharing your book with us!

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