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Almost Perfect (Perfect Trilogy, Book 1) Mass Market Paperback – September 6, 2005


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From Booklist

Three longtime friends are dismayed to discover that a fourth friend, author of a self-help book, has used them as examples of how women let fear prevent them from achieving happiness. They make a pact to face their biggest fears, and Maddy takes the plunge. Her husband's cancer forced her to put her dream of becoming an artist on hold, but now that she is widowed, she accepts an invitation to be the arts-and-crafts director of a summer camp in New Mexico. The director is her old flame from high school who she dumped when he proposed. Joe has never forgiven her, but one look at her wild red hair and funky clothes, and he is smitten all over again. Maddy and Joe have sexy fun, but trying to achieve emotional intimacy is as easy as walking across a field of land mines. How do they get over their past and create a future? Find out in comedic romance writer Ortolon's funny and compelling story of two unforgettable characters. Maria Hatton
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

About the Author

Reviewers from Publisher's Weekly to Romantic Times have praised Julie Ortolon's contemporary romance for being "sizzling," "fastpaced," and "filled with genuine heart." Numerous awards for her work include two Bookseller's Best Awards. Almost Perfect, book one of her Perfect trilogy was a Rita finalist and was named Best Single Title Contemporary by the readers of Affaire de Coeur magazine.

Julie's road to success as a romance novelist was a bit bumpier than most authors, however. Her struggle with dyslexia left her functionally illiterate until her mid-twenties when she discovered romance novels were worth the effort. To turn her favorite pastime, daydreaming emotionally rich stories, into a career, she taught herself to read, type, and use English as a written language, not just a spoken one. Her struggles made hitting the USA Today list with her first title even more rewarding.

When Julie isn't writing or reading, she enjoys gardening, cooking, and traveling the world. You can learn more about Julie at: JulieOrtolon.com --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Signet; First Edition edition (September 6, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0451216407
  • ISBN-13: 978-0451216403
  • Product Dimensions: 4.3 x 0.9 x 6.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (428 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,724,299 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

I'm a late bloomer when it comes to reading -- and writing. I didn't discover either joy until I discovered romance novels in my early twenties. Now, I'm totally addicted. My biggest joy is bringing all my interests together in my books, to have the chance to celebrate the things that excite me through my characters.

Since I love to travel, all my books are set in places I've actually been. Sometimes those real places morph into fictional places -- like Pearl Island -- but I try to capture the magic of the setting and people in all my books, to make writing them like a trip to a wonderful world where good always triumphs and love always ends in Happily Ever After -- against all odds. That's what makes life worth living, and books worth reading: when someone grabs the brass ring.

Subscribe to updates from me about new books and other news at http://julieortolon.com/

Follow me on Twitter @julieortolon

And on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/julieortolon

Contact me at http://julieortolon.com/connect/

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

88 of 92 people found the following review helpful By Lynn Berley on September 11, 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback
ALMOST PERFECT is a great example of storytelling at its best. Ortolon captures the true emotion of love lost and found. This is a heartwarming demonstration of true love; even if our characters do not want to admit it at first. Just because Maddy and Joe haven't seen each other for years, doesn't mean their attraction has died. If anything, they are hyperaware of how things used to be.

It takes courage to face our worst fears, admit them and then do something about them. Not only does Maddy have an obligation to her friends, in their challenge; Joe has his own fear to face. In fact, I know this is "Maddy's story" but it was Joe who captured my heart. He loved Maddy so much, years ago, and she turned him away. Of course he's afraid to trust her with his heart again and Ortolon does not make their struggle to trust each other easy. These characters have to earn their Happily Ever After. I'm certain that's what makes this book so meaningful and gives it such depth. There's no fluff here. Yes, there are funny scenes, but these are "real people" with real emotions and no easy fixes. There are very poignant scenes in this book, that challenge the reader and make them aware that love isn't always easy, it's often uncomfortable, but true love is always worth it!

Well done, Ms. Ortolon!
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203 of 223 people found the following review helpful By Robert A. Woodley on March 1, 2009
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I wish I had written this review a few months ago, when I read this book. I had never read a romance novel. I love adventure, battle, confrontation, and other guy stuff. I like to write fiction too, however, and happened to wonder what women as characters are actually like as depicted by women, for women. The novels I read are written by men, and depict women like other women have been depicted by other male writers these writers have read, to a great extent. Men are guessing when it comes to women, so I decided to read a romance novel, and since it was a trilogy, to buy all three.

This writer is a very good writer. She kept me turning the pages, and her prose is very moving. I like romance, but as a sub-plot to adventure. This was the first and only novel I've ever read which was focused almost totally on romance.

I'm not going to discuss the plot much. Presumably other reviewers have done that. What was interesting to me was what the women felt like, and how they talked to each other, or e-mailed with each other. I'm 61, so have a generation gap as well as a gender gap, but love is timeless, and adventure novels I read also deal with young, handsome men and young beautiful women.

Maddy is very appealing as a character, and very different from any depiction of a female I've ever encountered in a novel written by a male. These women are so different that I decided that it's probably better for male writers to keep creating females like they always have, since their readers might be kind of shocked if they portrayed women the way they actually are.

The male character is somewhat feminine, in my view.
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77 of 84 people found the following review helpful By Loretta Kidd on September 8, 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Three best friends,former college roommates are thrilled for their author-friend/roommate on her best selling book, until they realize that she used them as examples of ... what NOT to do. They reluctantly decided she may be correct, so they set out to conquer their fears and hopefully reach their ultimate goal.

Joe and Maddy made me laugh, cry and want to shake some sense into them. In my opinion, that is a mark of an excellent book, where the writer engrosses the reader to the point where the reader is feeling what the characters are feeling. This book, I was unable to put down. A definite keeper!

I am eagerly waiting to read what happens to Maddy's other two friends, Christine and Amy as they struggle to overcome their fears as Julie Ortolon never disappoints. She is a must-read in my book.
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82 of 90 people found the following review helpful By Voracious Reader on February 10, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
If there was not so much profanity (Amazon would not let me give examples, because they were too awful) and the explicit, tell-it-all sex had been removed, this would have been a much better story. Had Joe and Maddy still been so attracted to one another but had refrained from actually having sex this time, the tension would have been higher, and the reader would have been held captive. I can't believe it was listed under Christian fiction. It is not!

The ending was also rather weak. Joe and Maddy still seemed to have a lot of unresolved problems and baggage. Yet, despite these overwhelming weaknesses, the story was otherwise well-crafted and the characters likable and interesting. If it was cleaned-up, I would give it a five.
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50 of 55 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on April 14, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition
An easy read but too predictable. Yes, this is a romance novel, but there was just constant sex here and there. No substance, no struggle, no depth to the story. Man gets mad, woman gets mad, fight turns to passionate sex. Didn't see THAT coming. Oh wait, he's mad again. Well, you know how the story ends. I'm not saying this was a horrible read, but it's just not a great read. I'm glad it was free otherwise I would have been seriously annoyed I paid for this instead of something I may have really enjoyed reading.
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