The Ideal Man by Julie Garwood
Genre: Romantic Suspense
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Ellie Sullivan was a child prodigy whose life was almost cut short at a young age by a brutal stalker. Now a surgeon, Ellie does her best to keep her life normal. But a run in the park leads to Ellie witnessing a FBI agent being shot. She saves the man’s life, but now hers is under threat from the criminals still at large. Agent Max Daniels is determined to protect Ellie at all costs, so if he has to go to South Carolina to act as Ellie’s bodyguard during her sister’s wedding, that’s what he’ll do. But Ellie’s hometown isn’t as peaceful as it seems on the surface. Danger has Ellie in its crosshairs as old threats meet new.
The passion’s on high as Julie Garwood spins a tale of love, obsession, feuds, and crime. The Ideal Man is an engaging read and both Ellie and Max are sure to win readers’ hearts; they definitely won mine.
Ellie is a brilliant woman whose hard work, kindness, and general likeability make her an appealing heroine. She also hasn’t known what it’s like to be safe since she was eleven years old and a crazed teenager began to stalk – and later – beat her. The sense of never being truly secure made my heart break for Ellie and it also made me sympathetic toward her in that she wasn’t a cardboard model of a heroine with a picture perfect life. Max, in turn, is a deliciously sexy hero. He’s smart, protective, and understanding; he’s a strong man who isn’t the stereotypical “alpha male” and that almost made me swoon. I loved Max and Ellie together and I eagerly turned the pages of The Ideal Man to follow along on their journey.
The threats to Ellie’s safety add a splash of danger that adds further dimension to the story, making The Ideal Man feel like a “full” book. Even though The Ideal Man is missing Ms. Garwood’s signature humor, which first made me fall in love with her books, there were really only two things that kept me from one hundred percent loving The Ideal Man. The first is Ellie’s obnoxious sister Ava, whose antics were so over-the-top they detracted from the story. The second is a small subplot I won’t spoil. What bothered me was not the subplot itself, but rather the fact that it seemed to be a setup for a future book – one I was very excited to read. Unfortunately, the wonderful plot was abruptly wrapped up in just a few pages at the end of the book, disappointing me terribly. With that being said, I still really enjoyed The Ideal Man. Ms. Garwood has delivered a solidly entertaining book that made me smile, laugh, and read late into the night.