Nothing defines summer more than the ideal bikini, the ideal tan, the ideal cocktail --- and the ideal man. New York Times bestselling author Julie Garwood can be counted on for a captivating combination of fantasy and reality, and the promise of the ideal man. Her new book tops off the list of summer blockbusters with a steamy romance that promises sultry, irresistible passion.
"Garwood’s signature theme of the 'ideal man' is the recurring silver thread in her highly anticipated romance novels."
Whether a sexy, blue-eyed, bronzed body already sits next to you soaking up the sun’s rays, or he exists only on the pages of Julie Garwood’s latest novel, looking for the ideal man is one of life’s greatest pleasures. When Dr. Ellie Sullivan’s jog in the park across from the hospital where she works is interrupted by a police shootout, leaving a gunshot victim, she unexpectedly meets the ideal man --- FBI Agent Max Daniels. An ordinary day suddenly turns extraordinary, and Ellie is looking at an “imposing figure” with a “scruffy beard” and a smile that could “stop traffic.” Max is sending Ellie’s heart and pulse into overdrive.
It isn’t long before Max is distracted by his thoughts (“The woman was breathtaking.”) Business comes first, though, and the notorious Landrys escaped again, leaving Ellie as a witness who just might need his protection. He and his partner, Ben, have been working on this case from their home in Hawaii through the Midwest and are determined to capture these dangerous gunrunners.
The thought of being protected by an agent with a killer smile, exuding sex appeal, is tempting, to say the least, especially in light of the fact that Ellie doesn’t know where her recently-released-from-jail stalker is. Her life has been a nightmare, as she’s been plagued by life-threatening incidents at the hands of former classmate Evan Patterson. His obsession with the young prodigy resulted in jail and sanitarium time, and Ellie was sent into hiding in another city to escape his brutality. She becomes an award-winning trauma surgeon, but keeps looking over her shoulder for Evan to reappear.
Ellie is one of three sisters who all have their own “ideal man” drama going on. Ellie is a romantic at heart, and, after her former fiancé dumps her for her eldest sister, Ava, she is wary of all men. But when Max kisses her “senseless,” Ellie finds herself wondering what the harm would be if she succumbed to passion for just one night with the "ideal man.” “Ava’s eyes flow red in the dark,” and her only thought is to be the center of attention. Her twin Annie is docile and pregnant, but her “ideal man” has vanished.
Things get wild and crazy when Ellie returns to her hometown of Winston Falls, South Carolina, for Ava’s wedding to her former fiancé. Max rushes to protect Ellie because she now has two deranged men after her --- a hit man hired by the Landrys and the violently obsessive Evan. Tired of feeling helpless and craving security, Ellie leans on Max’s strength and the power behind his gun and FBI badge. Evan shows up the day of the pre-wedding garden party, and the hit man appears not long after. The ideal man may be short on words of endearment, but he makes up for it with his sexy smile, hard body and male prowess.
Garwood’s signature theme of the “ideal man” is the recurring silver thread in her highly anticipated romance novels. When the “ideal man” finds the woman he cannot forget, he doesn’t venture far; if he does, he always circles back to claim the love of his life. According to Garwood, “Every woman’s idea of the ideal man is different and he really does exist.” When a man is blindsided by love, he will move heaven and earth to be your “ideal man.”
Reviewed by Hillary Wagy on August 18, 2011