Sworn to Fly
by Maria Imbalzano
GENRE: Contemporary Romance
Risk-averse ER nurse, Alyssa Beckman, is about to lose her job because of yet another bad decision. In order to put her life back on track, she books a week at a rustic mountain resort to ponder her next steps and rejuvenate. But when she arrives, she learns she’s enrolled in boot camp, an adventure program far out of her comfort zone.
While there, she meets Gabriel Sutton, a world-traveling high fashion photographer who is in danger of losing his clients as well as his status if he doesn’t start following the rules. While hiking, kayak racing, and participating in team challenges, sparks fly between Alyssa and Gabe as they encourage each other to take different life paths. But will those paths lead them farther apart or bring them closer together?
“Why so quiet?” he asked after a while.
She laughed—a welcome sound. “No. I didn’t take the class yet. I thought I’d just let you do your thing.”
“I can do my thing while talking.” He pointed his camera in her direction and took a photo.
“Can you please give me some warning when you’re going to do that? I can see my request that you not take my picture has fallen on deaf ears, so you can at least give me a heads-up.” She pulled a stemmy reed from her hair.
“Sorry. Can’t do. That’s not the way I work. I like candid shots when the subject isn’t prepared. They’re the best.”
“So I’m a subject now?”
Gabe headed over and sat down beside her, his leg touching hers. A shock wave coursed through him. He inhaled slowly, trying to take back control. When her arm brushed against his, the wave vied with sparks and heat.
Russet eyes held his for only a moment before she disconnected.
He cleared his throat, hoping to clear his head. “You’re an amazing subject. The photos I took of you yesterday on our little walk were so natural. The intensity of your eyes when you were helping Missy, the sympathy on your face, even though you were the ultimate professional—portrayed a nurse in action, helping a patient. Beautiful.”
My, my. What a surprise this book was to me. It’s a mixture of contemporary romance and women’s lit. There is definitely a romance but I found myself thinking that it is more of a woman’s journey to figuring out what she truly wanted out of a relationship with a man and to finally come out of her shell and really live.
Alyssa is the middle sister of 5, so even though I can’t relate, I understood why she never ventured far from home. She was stuck in the middle and always played it safe. Well, not with her relationships with men. Goodness, Cole was a douche canoe. She let him have it in the end but talk about toxic? Personally, I would have slapped him but that’s just me. Sue me. While her relationship with Gabe was instant, it made sense. One week together and you can learn a lot about a person. I loved Gabe. At times he was very patient with Alyssa but other times, I felt like he was the one doing most of the compromising. Honestly, I felt like Alyssa didn’t compromise as much, but she had the most growth in the book so it is understandable.
The initial setting for the book is beautiful. I would love to visit a place like that. No phones, no television, just nature. Ms. Imbalzano paints a picture, much like Gabe in the book, and I’m still thinking about it. Another thing that she does with her settings, she makes the places come alive in her writing. The other characters in the book don’t take up too much of the book but they are essential with Alyssa’s growth and the handling of her emotions in regards to Gabe. From Missy, Conrad, and Edie at the retreat and the Sworn Sisters (Sam, Denise, and Nikki). Each one brings something to the table without being overpowering.
Overall, I just loved this book. It’s fast pacing, thought-provoking at times, and all-around just a great book to escape to. It makes you think in retrospect about your own life and how much you played it safe in your life and how much you are willing to compromise to go after what you really want. That’s the question that Ms. Imbalzano asks the reader. Getting there is half the battle and staying there is the other.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Maria Imbalzano is a retired matrimonial lawyer who now writes full-time. Instead of drafting motions, legal memoranda, and briefs, although fascinating, she now spends her days creating memorable characters and taking them on their emotional journeys through her contemporary romance novels.
Her novel, “Unchained Memories,” won the Wisconsin Romance Writers Write Touch Readers’ Award and the ACRA Readers’ Choice Heart of Excellence Award. “Sworn to Forget,” the first of the four-book Sworn Sisters Series was a finalist for the illustrious RONE award as well as the Book Buyers Best Award.
Visit Maria at http://mariaimbalzano.com
Goodreads Author Page
Book Bub Profile page
Mailing List Sign Up form
Amazon Author Page
GIVEAWAY INFORMATION and RAFFLECOPTER CODE
Maria Imbalzano will be awarding a $20 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.