Review: The Ideal Man by Julie Garwood
August 9 2011
Received from NetGalley
Yummy Man – Max Daniels
Kick Ass Chick – Ellie Sullivan
“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 Ideal Man is the first book by Julie Garwood that I’ve read. From what I gather, she is quite a popular voice in the romance world and I can see why. Her style is charming and I also really enjoyed the pacing in this book. It’s action and suspense, without giving me the shakes – I like that in a romantic suspense book.
This book focuses on Ellie, a young and super smart doctor who is on the verge of finishing her fellowship as a trauma surgeon. She witnesses a shooting during a busted FBI sting operation and that is how she meets Max Daniels. I did like Ellie as a character. Oh to be that smart! She is a strong woman who has one amazing life. And I don’t mean good amazing. She was stalked and attacked by a deranged man when she was only 11 years old and has been looking over her shoulder ever since. She still managed to make quite the life for herself, she’s a brilliant doctor and she knows it, yet she hasn’t been able to truly live. She wasn’t trying to be stronger than she was. She still let some vulnerabilities show, but not in her professional or her public life. I liked how Julie wrote her struggle to find a balance…and pretty much failing. It was realistically written.
And Max! Oh Max! What is it about an FBI agent who goes all Neanderthal in protecting ‘his’ woman that makes us all swoon?! Max was fun. He’s a tough and gruff cop, but not too much so. You know when authors try to make tough guys hard and it just makes them obnoxious? That didn’t happen in this book. Max has a great heart and you really feel that he just wants what’s best for Ellie. I love how he interacted with her family and I really loved how he was with her. They really do make a good match.
I enjoyed most of the secondary characters but I have to admit that I really disliked Ellie’s sister Ava. She’s getting married to Ellie’s ex-fiancé (you can see where there would already be issues there) and she is essentially a bridezilla. She was so selfish and heartless! I know she was supposed to be like that and she was written as the character everyone is meant to hate, but I wanted to smack her into next week then throw mud at her. A lot. Maybe Julie did too good of a job at writing an annoying and spiteful character…
The other little thing that I found to be a bit much were all the people chasing Ellie. Yes, this is a suspense story, and where is the suspense if no one is tracking our hero or heroine down, but there were so many! This didn’t dampen the story by much for me, but once in a while I found myself thinking that maybe that last one was one too many.
The declaration of love took me by surprise. Okay, not the declaration itself, this is a romance novel after all. But when it occurred and the words used surprised me. In a good way. I actually laughed. They were not the most eloquent words ever spoken, but they were true to the character and therefore I loved it.
The premise for this story was not original, but I enjoyed how it was told. (I seem to be saying that a lot lately about my contemporary romance reads. *g*) I can see why Julie Garwood fans love her. I believe fans of romantic contemporary suspense novels will quite enjoy this book.
Giggle worthy quotes
“Ellie’s heart skipped a beat. The man could scare the quills off a porcupine. But, oh God, was he sexy! Ellie gave herself a mental slap. An intimidating man who was build like a monument and could melt iron with his menacing glare – this was what she was attracted to?”
‘’I hate ties,’ he said instead.
‘I’d think you’d be used to them, ‘she replied. ‘Don’t you wear a suit and tie every day in Honolulu?’
‘No, we wear khaki shorts, no shirt.’
She laughed. ‘Where do you put your badge and gun?’
‘Waistband of our shorts…or swim trunks. We have to be prepared for anything.’
‘What do the female agents wear in Honolulu?’
‘Bikinis,’ he answered with a straight face. ‘We don’t get a whole lot of work done.’”