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54 of 57 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not Mr. Right, But Certainly Mr. Right Now
Sometimes a favorite author writes a few books so not to my taste that I open them with a little sigh of resignation. It's like a friendship you can't quite end. Garwood and I were on that track until The Ideal Man.

Possibly coincidence, possibly because the heroine of Sizzle: A Novel was an absolute idiot, The Ideal Man features trauma surgeon Elle Sullivan as...
Published on August 9, 2011 by E. A. Montgomery

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150 of 156 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not worth the price
I am a huge Julie Garwood fan and have read every one of her novels. Saving Grace is my absolute favorite and I have read it multiple times. I was really disappointed in this book. It took me a long time to get into it and put it down several times. Normally I can't put down a Garwood novel and read it cover to cover forgoing sleep when necessary. The conversations...
Published on August 12, 2011 by greenmom


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150 of 156 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not worth the price, August 12, 2011
By 
greenmom (Annandale, VA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Ideal Man (Buchanan / Renard / MacKenna Book 9) (Kindle Edition)
I am a huge Julie Garwood fan and have read every one of her novels. Saving Grace is my absolute favorite and I have read it multiple times. I was really disappointed in this book. It took me a long time to get into it and put it down several times. Normally I can't put down a Garwood novel and read it cover to cover forgoing sleep when necessary. The conversations were choppy and the amount of detail detracted from the story because it just didn't flow. It read like an amateur novelist during the conversations. I did like the characters a lot and wish that I could have enjoyed their dialogue more because they had merit. It was also such a contrived and convoluted plot that had elements that were not essential to the story and should have been left out. Some of the relationships were poorly developed and not resolved, especially the relationship between Ellie and her evil sister, Ava. I kept waiting for Ava to "get it" or at least get what she deserved but then it just kind of fizzled out. I wasn't able to really lose myself in the book and then it wrapped up with a few quick lines. All of this being said, I would still rather read a bad Julie Garwood book than a good book by many other authors. This is definitely not worth the $12.99 kindle price and I would wait until it drops below $9 to purchase.
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97 of 101 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Committee to Bring Back the Real Julie Garwood!!!, August 27, 2011
By 
This review is from: The Ideal Man (Hardcover)
What happened to the Julie Garwood who wrote sparkling dialogue in The Bride? The one who wrote a good strong mystery with interesting characters in Heartbreaker? The author who already wrote a book about a surgeon with a much better plot in Killjoy?

Give her back. And please take back this fake Julie Garwood clone who's been putting out mediocre minus books under her name the past few years.

For an author who used to be an auto-buy, even in hardcover, she's now become an author I don't even bother buying in paperback. Borrowing from the library is just fine for a quick, unmemorable read, and that's all The Ideal Man is. Flat characters, tired plot, weak dialogue, and at times just plain boring. I get the sense she's writing to fulfill a contractual obligation rather than out of any driving need to tell a story, and it shows.

So it is time to mount the campaign. We want the real Julie Garwood back. The one who toiled over books until the dialogue sparkled, the one who plotted carefully, and above all, the one who wrote characters you cared about and remembered.
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54 of 57 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not Mr. Right, But Certainly Mr. Right Now, August 9, 2011
This review is from: The Ideal Man (Buchanan / Renard / MacKenna Book 9) (Kindle Edition)
Sometimes a favorite author writes a few books so not to my taste that I open them with a little sigh of resignation. It's like a friendship you can't quite end. Garwood and I were on that track until The Ideal Man.

Possibly coincidence, possibly because the heroine of Sizzle: A Novel was an absolute idiot, The Ideal Man features trauma surgeon Elle Sullivan as a child prodigy once driven from her home by an obsessed classmate. Awesomely, that obsessed classmate has almost nothing at all to do with why Elle ends up needing protection (provided by FBI Agent Max Daniels, previously seen in Sizzle). Elle rings true both as an exhausted trauma surgeon and a distanced family member. Her parents are frustrated working folks thrust outside their comfort zone by life's events. The family relationships are really the star of The Ideal Man. Max is great as an agent slightly outside his comfort zone and a man for whom family is foremost. Together they tell a smoothly entertaining tale for a late night read or a sunny snooze.
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32 of 35 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars I waited for THIS???, August 24, 2011
This review is from: The Ideal Man (Hardcover)
Wow. This book was a MAJOR disappointment. I normally love Julie's books, having read every book of hers, historical and contemporaries alike. Her historical romances are FAR better than her modern FBI books,so I already wasn't expecting a 5 star book, but Holy cow, this book bored me to tears! I found the heroine irritating with no backbone, and I HATED how she reacted to her family. Her mother was a sniveling idiot and her sister Ava needed to die trapped inside of a fiery car that falls down a ravine. The details were excessive and didn't add much to the lame storyline. With all of the details, you'd think that you'd like or at least understand the characters, but I found myself rolling my eyes while reading. Max Daniels, the hero, was... boring. There was just nothing I liked about this book. The whole story irritated me. The big, strong FBI man needs to keep his eye on the little woman, the job's over, he leaves, they miss each other, then decide to get married... Sorry, that's the whole story. Hasn't this been done before?? This is like the basis of all of Julie's books lately, it's tired and old, and I'm so glad I borrowed this book from the library instead of buying it like I normally do. I won't buy another Julie Garwood book without reading it from the library first. Her stories can no longer be trusted to be the witty, wonderful, ROMANTIC stories I know she can write.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars I have nothing good to say about this book, October 15, 2011
By 
P. Parks (Michigan USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Ideal Man (Hardcover)
I became an avid Julie Garwood fan after reading "Mercy," which I loved. It was chock-full of all the right stuff, from excellent character development to romance to action, and of course, humor. That book made me laugh out loud more than once. I thought, "Okay, I found a new favorite author to add to my list."

But this book? "The Ideal Man"? There's no other way to say this than to come right out and say it: It is nothing short of pitiful. If I hadn't seen Julie Garwood's name on the cover for myself, I would never have believed she wrote it.

It's trite, ungodly predictable, and completely lacking in depth.

You tell me, Ms. Garwood, would those scenes REALLY take place between Ellie and Ava? Would people REALLY stand around and let Ava get away with all the crap she pulls?

Of course not, and that's but one example of how shallow and silly this book is. I cannot imagine reading any future novels written by Julie Garwood if this sort of simplistic tripe is indicative of what we can expect from her.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Julie Garwood's worst writing ever!, August 31, 2011
By 
This review is from: The Ideal Man (Hardcover)
I have been a Garwood fan forever, and I really can't believe she wrote this book! It was truly horribly written- from the character developement, to stilted conversations, to repetitive questions in place of writing, and to top it off -a badly pieced together plot. I honestly would never have read another one of her books if this had been my first Garwood. I am hoping she fesses up someone else wrote it and put her name on it. You can skip this book altogether- and only then remain a Garwood fan!
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Makes a Good Doorstop or Sedative, February 24, 2012
By 
This review is from: The Ideal Man (Hardcover)
I have an affliction. It's been plaguing me since I was fourteen and unearthed my first Julie Garwood. In it's pages, I uncovered a new, romping world of humor, suspense, laughter, and true love. I loved every second of it. When I was done, I needed more and more. Once I'd read every Garwood out at the time, I moved onto other authors, always seeking to have my desire for a great read satiated---if only for a day or so. Usually, I would be disappointed, but, every now and again, I would find a book that would set me adrift in my own type of paradise. Being a booklover is the kind of disease that takes over every good part of you and transforms you into a different person. As I grew older, it took me less time to finish a book, which meant I had to spend more time seeking a great read rather than actually reading one. But it didn't matter. I'd continue my frantic search for another and another, like a Angry Birds addict in need of a iPhone. When I would hear that Julie Garwood was about the release another book, I would actually give a heavy sigh. After all, Julie's books were always an exact prescription to cure what ailed me.

Unfortunately, the only thing Garwood's latest opus, "The Ideal Man," is going to cure anyone of is insomnia.

I would explain to you all the reasons why this book didn't work, all the mistakes made, the lack of character development, believable situations, and redundant and recycled plots, but I have no desire to have you fall asleep during this review. Just understand that this book is less than "ideal" by any stretch of the imagination. Thus, instead of boring you with a tedius discussion of what is wrong with this book, I have decided to provide a service and list the books you should read instead. (At least my frantic searches over the years can be of use to someone.) Therefore, here is a smattering of books about trying to achieve romance with the "ideal" man that are better than this dud by Garwood:

1. "Pride & Prejudice" by Jane Austen
2. "Bet Me" by Jennifer Crusie
3. "The Prize" by Julie Garwood (I told you I was a fan of her earlier work.)
4. "Heaven, Texas" by Susan Elizabeth Phillips
5. "Confessions of a Shopaholic" by Sophie Kinsella
6. "Slightly Dangerous" by Mary Balogh
7. "Twilight" by Stephanie Meyer
8. "Dead to the World" by Charlaine Harris
9. "Anyone But You" by Jennifer Crusie
10. "Natural Born Charmer" by Susan Elizabeth Phillips

My point: Buying any of these books is a better use of your time and money than purchasing "The Ideal Man." That is, unless you find yourself in need of a nice, long nap.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed !, September 6, 2011
By 
lippy "lippy" (California, USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Ideal Man (Buchanan / Renard / MacKenna Book 9) (Kindle Edition)
The right thing to do... that is the reoccurring statement in this book! Really?? Well, the right thing to do is to give this book one star for being blah. It gets really tiring that Ellie puts up with alot of crap from people around her especially from her nasty sister because its the right thing to do. OMG, the book would have been soo good if Ellie beotch slapped Ava and walk off in the middle of wedding. Where was the wedding? There was so much leading up to the wedding and then I blinked and the wedding was over. I guess I was hoping to read a twist somewhere along the way. However, the plot was a mix of this & that which didnt add to anything. The best part might have been when the A/C unit broke down. I really really hope the next novel is better than this.
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28 of 35 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A solidly entertaining romantic suspense novel, August 9, 2011
This review is from: The Ideal Man (Hardcover)
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.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another great Garwood novel!, August 9, 2011
This review is from: The Ideal Man (Hardcover)
The ONLY negative thing I can say about a Garwood novel is that I have to wait a year to get to read one. Julie hasn't let me down with THE IDEAL MAN. Ellie's young but strong personality makes you fall in love with her. Her chemistry with Max is amazing. And then there's the humor...Julie leads the pack with the ability to add humor to a romantic suspense. Unlike any other...I HIGHLY recommend.

Bridget Cowan
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