Review – The Ideal Man by Julie Garwood

Publisher: Dutton
Publish Date: August 9th
How I got this book: NetGalley

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.
*Blurb from Goodreads*


I’ll admit that this was my first Garwood read, and I’m bummed with how much I’ve been missing out on! I’m definitely going to have to go back and re-read her backlist. She immediately pulled me into the story, kept me engaged and rocked my world while doing so.

Ellie is a surgeon who is at a crossroads in her life. She needs to decide where she wants to work, where she wants to live, and where to go in life. She has been living in limbo for so long, that she doesn’t really know any other way to function. One afternoon while running she witnesses a shooting and gets pulled into the investigation, and is put under the care of the FBI, since her life could be threatened.

Max has been working on this case for year, and will do everything in his power to keep Ellie safe. When she heads home for her sister’s wedding, he stays glued to her hip, needing to protect her not only from a potential hit man, but also from her terrifying past. But when the bullets start flying, will Max be able to keep Ellie safe from danger without falling in love?

This story really started off with a bang, and kept going at a fast pace and was filled with action. I felt like the characters really jumped out of the page at the very first moment and pulled me into their story quickly. From the first page I knew that I wouldn’t want to put this one down for anything, and was pretty upset when I had to stop reading to eat dinner. 🙂

I felt bad for Ellie, it was obvious that she was living in limbo, that she was scared of something from her past, and then to get thrown into the mix of the FBI investigation. Suffice to say she isn’t exactly having an easy life as of late. At times I thought that there was almost TOO many bad things happening to Ellie, but at the same time she seemed to be able to handle it all in stride. She didn’t freak out, she didn’t break down, she just accepted that sometimes life throws a curve and to just roll with it. I really liked that about her character. Despite all the bad and awful things that had happened to her, she still desperately wanted to live life to it fullest.

Max was something else. He bordered on being an alphahole, but I personally loved it. He was strong, set in his ways, demanding and absolutely in charge. He was a whirlwind of strength and stability and watching him struggle with having feelings for a woman that extended beyond the bedroom was great to watch. I always love when an unsuspecting woman can bring a total alpha to his knees. I thought he handled the relationship with Ellie great up until the end. His departure and then unexpected return and declaration were a little abrupt.

The suspense was great to read too. Although there wasn’t a lot of mystery in the story line, they suspense of knowing what was going to happen, just not WHEN it would happen is something I always love to read. It was well done and definitely kept me on the edge of my seat the whole time. I was happy with the way everything in the suspense plot wrapped up as well.

I both loved and hated the secondary characters. Ellie’s family were great and horrible all at the same time. I loved her sister Annie, and was glad to see a mini chapter devoted to her HEA. But Annie’s twin sister Ava was a consistent beotch throughout the book, and when Ellie accepted her at the end, it pissed me off. Ava did absolutely everything wrong: said the wrong thing, felt the wrong things, did the wrong things, and never once apologized. Blood or not, I would have smacked her down and kept her there. The fact that Ellie was so ready to forgive and forget drove me bonkers.

All in all I was very happy with my first Garwood read. I liked that the characters were so real, the plot was engaging and constantly filled with action. I wish that some of the secondary character plot lines would have gone a little differently, but was glad to see that everything from the book was wrapped up in a nice package.

I give The Ideal Man an A-

8 thoughts on “Review – The Ideal Man by Julie Garwood”

  1. Oh…sounds good! I haven’t read a lot of her contemporary work but I’ll pick this one up. I like a good alphahole! Hee.

  2. I love Julie Garwood! I have been reading her for years and every once in a while I just have to revisit some of my favorites. Her books usually have so much to offer, they make me laugh and cry and I wish I was in the story with the characters rather than just reading an account of whats going on. Thanks for sharing today 🙂 about what sounds like another winner.

  3. @Denise – I thought it was definitely a winner, and everyone keeps telling me how great her backlist books are. I’m going to have to get on that! 🙂

  4. 3 stars out of 5 is not a great book!!! Julie Garwood’s original 17 books were 4 1/2 and 5 stars, always. Great character development. The new books are all so mediocre….what a waste of our money. What happened Julie Garwood?

  5. Pingback: The Ideal Man | Librarian Extraordinaire

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