by Julie Garwood (website, twitter)
Released : August 9th, 2011
copy of ebook received from NetGalley for a fair review
synopsis from goodreads
New York Times bestselling author Julie Garwood delivers a contemporary romance that’s pulse-pounding in every sense of the word.
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. a bad thing).
disclaimer: In the name of truthfulness and transparency, I, cutie, must confess that I am a die-hard Julie Garwood fan. Have been for two decades and will continue to be come hell or high-water. Through the good times (The Secret), the in-between times (Sizzle), and the not so great (Shadow Dance), I have remained a loyal fan, buying and devouring every.single.novel. that she’s written over and over again. Having said that, I will keep this review truthful and force my inner fan girl down, but know that reviewing an arc copy of a Julie Garwood book might be the mostest wonderful thing ever to happen in my life. The end.
a description: Ellie’s been hiding her whole life. Forced to live with strangers due to a mad man’s deadly obsession, she feels trapped and unable to go anywhere or do anything without fearing for her life and the lives of her loved one. A chanced run in with a opinionated yet sinfully sexy man is about to turn her world upside-down. And she finds herself running once more from those who would try to hurt her, only this time she’s not alone, and everything just might be all good.
pros: When I pick up a Julie Garwood novel (hell, any romance novel, truth be told) I’m looking for a few things: a. a lovable, quirky protagonist that I can not only connect with, but adore and cheer for. b. a handsome piece of as… errr… gentleman who is sensitive, kind, completely in charge, the best at what he does, and growls when he kisses. c. that tingly feeling when a and b are combined. d. an interesting plot which twists and turns in a satisfying way that makes it nearly impossible for me to look away. And last, but definitely not least e. a happily ever after.
Ideal Man does deliver all these things. Ellie is not only corky, but lovable and thoughtful. Max is not only a manly man, but hot, sweet, understanding, and able to save the day with one fell swoop. When the two of them are together my little heart pounded and swa-ooned. Annnnnd the plot was interesting enough to keep me from putting down the book. Ms. Garwood’s writing is, as per usual, not only engrossing, but chock-full of great secondary characters, a wonderful setting, and fantastically zingy dialogue. Not to mention her extensive and sometimes overwhelming knowledge of the background of her characters. One thing you can always count on whilst reading a Garwood novel is deep family roots, something I always enjoy.
cons: Having gushed all over the place, I do have a few cons to report. The first being that most of this story was told through dialogue, a departure from her novels in the past. We do not experience first hand the trials Ellie went through as a child being stalked by a madman (i.e. Killjoy), but are told about them after the fact with the use of extensive dialogue threads that make the story less interesting and suspenseful, in my humble opinion. At times, these stories were even unnecessarily repeated. Furthermore, secondary stories (like that of Ellie’s sister, Annie) felt as if they were an afterthought, definitely a departure for Garwood’s previous novels (i.e. Prince Charming). While I found the love story believable, I just didn’t feel the usual angst and suspense Garwood normally creates in her stories (i.e. The Bride). And finally, this is a love story, pure and simple. If one is looking for a mystery or suspense novel, this is not for you. The bad guys are not only named early on in the story but pretty much remain the same without them posing too much of a threat. To me this was not a huge con, but could be for others.
In summation: Overall, I loved meeting Ellie and Max. I’m hopeful that we will find out more about Max’s family. I liked that unlike recent book by Ms. Garwood this story focused more on the love story verses the mystery, but felt it was definitely unbalanced. And I would not classify this as a romance mystery more of a romantic suspense novel heavy on the romance side (which come on now, like that’s a bad thing).
*falls out of chair*