Publication Date: August 2011
Publisher: Penguin Group USA
Genre: Thriller/ Romantic Suspense
(Received for an honest review from Dutton)
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...
Highly acclaimed author Julie Garwood once again thrills her huge fan-base with another gripping, emotional novel. The Ideal Man is jam packed with action, suspense, and some steamy romance. Garwood's characters are spunky, a little quirky and full of passion. Readers will find themselves up all night, biting their nails and turning those pages furiously. This one really heats up the summer!
Dr. Ellie Sullivan hasn't always had an easy life. When she was child she was stalked by a psychotic older boy who was intent on doing her harm. Now many years later he is being released and she can't hide any longer. As she takes all this in life gets even more complicated when she witnesses a gun bust gone wrong, where one FBI agent is nearly killed and two hardened weapons dealers get away. Agent Max Daniels isn't prepared to let his case against the Landry's, a would-be Bonnie & Clyde duo, slip away again. It seems the witnesses to their crimes continue to be silenced or they just disappear. Max decides to protect Ellie at any cost and knowing that she has more than one killer on her tail ramps up the energy and the passion between them.
Once again Julie Garwood thrills fans and new readers a like with a very suspenseful, romantic tale that will get the blood pumping in more ways than one. Her ability to write about intense situations and yet instill tender and romantic moments is flawless. If you haven't read a Julie Garwood novel you don't know what you're missing! Her writing is action packed but it also carries a more subtle and intriguing aspect that is missing from a lot of romantic thrillers. She allows her character to come on strong but doesn't make them overpowering.
Heroine Ellie Sullivan is one of my favorite Garwood characters to date.
She is spunky and assertive. She's extremely intelligent, but doesn't come across as stuffy or uptight. She isn't afraid to speak her mind but she does have some insecurities. So she isn't a completely flawless character. I like the fact that Garwood allows her character to breathe. She doesn't stifle her or try to hold her back and it's very apparent in the writing.
Hero Max Daniels has a lot going for him too. Handsome, loyal and full of masculine swagger, Max is the perfect compliment to Ellie. But he isn't all rainbows and butterflies either. He has a controlling streak, a slight sense of male chauvinism in the fact that he doesn't think Ellie can protect herself and he's a little full of himself... LOL! Makes for a really good combination of traits that I think readers will love.
One of the things I most enjoyed about this book, was the suspense aspect. Garwood may be really good at writing heroes and heroines but she doesn't do too badly in the villain category either. Eric Patterson, Ellie's childhood stalker exudes evil. I liked the way Garwood wrote him and instilled into her audience the danger that surrounds him. He comes across as cunning and completely off his rocker at points. The Landry's are also well written as a Bonnie & Clyde type criminal duo that will have readers wondering what they are capable of. Garwood shows the reader their ruthlessness and their devil-may-care attitude toward law enforcement.
All of these wonderful characters make for a really intense book. Garwood shows her writing prowess with ease. It isn't hard to see why she is considered one of the best in romantic suspense writing. The book is tight, it's well paced, it's full of action, the romance is steamy and the reader will have a hard time predicting what will happen next. What more can you ask for from a great thriller?
I recommend this one to all of my readers. If you haven't picked up a Julie Garwood book before, what have you been waiting for? The Ideal man is the perfect choice for thriller fans and those who like their romance intense and brought on by one action packed event after another. I don't think it followed a cut and dried formula, it's all about the journey!
You may notice a few technical difficulties with font size and colors with my blog in the next few days, please be advised they will be resolved as quickly as possible!
The Ideal Man is available NOW from your favorite bookseller!
I'm giving this one 4 out of 5 apples from my book bag!
Julie Garwood is the author of numerous New York Times bestsellers, including Sizzle, Fire and Ice, Shadow Music, Shadow Dance, and Slow Burn. She lives near Kansas City.