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Review: The Ideal Man, Julie Garwood

The Ideal Man

Dr. Ellie Sullivan has just completed her residency at a large urban hospital. While jogging in a park nearby, she witnesses the shooting of an FBI agent in pursuit of wanted criminals, a couple identified as the Landrys. The only person to see the shooter’s face, Ellie is suddenly at the center of a criminal investigation. 

Agent Max Daniels takes over the Landry case. A no-nonsense lawman, he’s definitely not the ideal man that Ellie has always imagined, yet she’s attracted to him in a way she can’t explain. 

Ellie heads home to Winston Falls, South Carolina, to attend her sister’s wedding. Shortly after she arrives, though, she receives a surprise visitor: Max Daniels. The Landrys have been captured, and she’ll be called to testify. But they’ve been captured before, and each time the witnesses are scared into silence-or disappear before they can take the stand. Max vows to be Ellie’s shadow until the trial, and it isn’t long before sparks fly.

The Review

The Ideal Man is an explosive book filled with lots of action surrounding two well written characters.

That being said, I feel that this is one of those books that just had too much going on. Some of the smaller story lines, while they were good, seemed like spot fillers and in the end disappointed me. One of which I felt was building very nicely for a second book, but to my shock was quickly and neatly tied up at the end. As a reader I don’t do quick and I don’t do neat (That’s what she said! That’s what she said!). Once I like a character I want to spend time learning and enjoying them, and very much do like to see them suffer. We are mean readers, I know. However, let it be known that Garwood knows how to build a character. The fact that I was so disappointed is proof of that.

As far as Ellie and Max, they were a well suited couple. I was charmed by their relationship and had them on my mind long after I finished the book. Though I do wish there had been more dialogue. I, for one, would love to do a little word sparring with Max, and wish that I’d gotten to see him to do more of the with Ellie.

Over all, as a first time reader of Julie Garwood, I find her to be unique, fun, and highly creative. I can’t tell you just how creative I found her writing to be, not without giving stuff away, but the opening scene of this book is a clear example of it. I definitely wouldn’t mind reading more of her romantic suspense books.

What’s your favorite Garwood book or do you have a favorite suspense you’d like to share?


You can learn more about Julie Garwood at her website, here, and pick up The Ideal Man at one of the following:

B&N | Borders | Books-A-Million | Amazon

Nook | Kobo | Sony | Kindle

*I received this book via netgalley in exchange for a fair review.


16 Responses

  1. Thanks for giving me another RS author to try. I’m always looking for new ones. My favorite RS authors are Suzanne Brockmann and Cindy Gerard, but my list could go on and on… Not sure I could pick a favorite book!

  2. Hey, I meant to ask what the heat level of the book is. I prefer steamy to sweet, but not erotica. Give me the open door. Yeah, I’m shameless. 😉

    • If you’ve ever read Iris Johansen, the sex scenes in this book are a lot like her’s. Short, sweet, but good. There’s not a lot of detail, just the basics.

      Yes, I will have to get better at this. 😛

  3. I don’t read a lot of romantic suspense but I do enjoy the Harlequin Intrigue’s. My favorite’s would be Rebecca York’s 43 Lightstreet and anything Elle James writes (she also writes as Myla Jackson and is Delilah Devlin’s sister)

  4. I’m reading a Carla Neggars mystery/suspense right now. It’s an ARC for a book that comes out later this month. I’ve never read her but I’m enjoying the book quite a bit.

    I’ve read Julie Garwood in the past…her historicals (wonderful) and her contemporary mystery/suspense and overall, I have to say I’ve enjoyed everything she’s written.

    Great review, Crystal.

    And Anonymous…Elle James and Myla Jackson are the same person but totally different writing styles. Myla Jackson is erotic and H-O-T!! She is also writing some Nocturnes as Elle James. I think you’d like those too.

  5. I do enjoy Julie’s romantic supsenses, but I love all her historical romances. If you like your romantic suspenses to be a little spicier, you can try Pamela Clare and Dee Davis.

    • I LOVE Pamela Clare! I’m about to start her third book in the I-Team series. I adore them. Since you hit that dead on I will certainly have check out Dee Davis. I am also going to read some of Julie’s historicals. I’ve heard from multiple people about how good they are.

  6. Try Saving Grace, The Secret, and Ransom. Saving Grace was my first Garwood book and what drew me back into romances after 2 decades of ignoring the genre.

  7. Chiming in late, but Crystal, if you want to read more Garwood I strongly recommend Mercy, it’s my favorite of the half dozen of hers I’ve read.

    Gwen, have you read Marilyn Pappano? If you can get your hands on any version of her Southern Knights series, grab them up. They’re old, but amazing. Three of the four live on my nightstand. I just downloaded Forbidden Stranger and it was awesome, too.

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