Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The Ideal Man by Julie Garwood

Title:   The Ideal Man
Author: Julie Garwood
My Rating: A-

Genre: Contemporary Suspense
Series: -
Main Characters: Ellie Sullivan & Max Daniels
Release Date: August 2011

Publisher: Penguin Group
Links to Purchase:
Sexual Intensity: spicy

I received my copy from netGalley for the purpose of a honest review.

Story Overview:

Julie Garwood is among the most critically acclaimed—and popular—romance authors around, with thirty-six million copies of her books in print. And now, with The Ideal Man, Garwood is poised to expand that already huge audience.

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.

My Review:
Trauma surgeon, Ellie, has spent her life personally traumatized. At the age of 11, she had her own personal stalker out to kill her. After proving his family's ability to bail him out of anything including almost killing Ellie, her family sent her away at the age of 12 for her own safety. Now, in a strange coincidence, Ellie has witnessed 2 of the FBI's most-wanted shoot an FBI agent, so she is being hunted again. Oh, and yeah, that stalker from age 12, he's been freed again so Ellie has 2 different killers after her.

Enter Max- sexy FBI agent, who sets Ellie's electrical synapsis on fire every time he's in the room. He has had his own personal traumas- orphaned at the age of 7. He was in and out of foster homes (many abusive) until he ran away and was befriended by Simon Daniels (now NFL star) who snuck him into his room and hid him there for over a week before his parents found out and ultimately adopted Max.

Can you tell that there is a lot going on here? OMG, Julie Garwood threw every story line and plot twist at this book. I haven't even touched on the crazy bridezilla sister that stole Ellie's fiance, unexpected pregnancies, mysteriously ailing parents, random strangers that both Max & Ellie are taking care of along the way, and, oh yeah, a wounded SEAL shows up out of the blue at the end.

It's craziness how many story-lines and plot twists show up in this story...seriously everything but the kitchen sink (and the faulty air conditioning units would probably fall into that category.) But you know, with everything going on, the book still works. It's a great read. I loved Ellie & Max. Apart, they are both amazing people. Together they are phenomenal!

They both have had a lot of really crappy things happen to them, but they have become these truly amazing people. You see instances throughout the book of how each of them have become more empathetic and caring because of where they have come from rather than the emotionally stunted people that they could have become. 

You would think that with all the danger lurking in every corner that the suspense plot line of the story is fairly obvious, but really it's more subtle than that. The true suspense comes from how Max & Ellie are going to resolve their differences and the fact that they live 4000 miles apart...and that is a great suspenseful part of the story. I couldn't see how J. Garwood was going to resolve it until it happened.

Overall, there were a few story lines in the book that I questioned for their validity, but in the end, this is a very strong book about love, romance, and the ability to overcome. Max & Ellie are both strong enough and likable enough to carry the book and the readers' interest in it. It is definitely worth the read!


The Book Diva said...

Thanks for the review! I'm looking forward to reading this book!

Tyraa said...

Ohh I love Julie Garwood's historical work, and I'm excited to read this - the hunk isn't bad either. Definitely looks like me IDEAL MAN. LOL

Great review!

Paperback Daydreamer (Deanna) said...

Wow this sounds like a crazy read and you still loved it. Who doesn't love a man with a badge and a gun?!?!?!?! I know I do. This sounds great and I'll be checking it out for sure! :-D

Julie said...

You're right. Even with everything, the book still works. But sometimes I wished for a little less. Just give them a little break. lol Great review!

Brasil said...

HIS book will be a great read like some of her older works, but recent works have fallen short of my expectations. This changed with Garwood's most recent book. I read it cover to cover in a day. I loved how she wrote about the typical family problems of jealousy/financial issues, but she managed to do so with humor. The only reason why I'm not giving it five stars is because the characters could have been developed a bit more. Towards the end of the story, I was hoping that Annie's story would lead to another book, but was disappointed in how quickly that story line ended.