THE IDEAL MAN by Julie Garwood


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A paint-by-numbers thriller by bestselling romance writer Garwood.

Dr. Ellie Sullivan has had her fair share of trouble: At 11, an older boy stalked and nearly killed her, sending her into hiding. Now that she’s finished her medical residency at a St. Louis hospital (she’s a brilliant surgeon) and her stalker Evan Patterson has been released from an institution, she’s not sure where to turn. To make matters worse, while jogging she is witness to the attempted murder of an FBI agent and is soon involved in the case. The Landrys are husband-and-wife weapons dealers (as well as murderers and kidnappers) that the FBI has been trying to nail for years. Unfortunately, their witnesses keep disappearing. Ellie witnesses the failed sting and is soon being guarded by Agent Max Daniels. Happily, both feel an immediate, uncontrollable passion. Max is ruggedly handsome, forthright and a little bit controlling. Ellie is any man’s dream come true: gorgeous but laid back, brilliant, but a little insecure, and the kind of girl who wants to end the evening watching SportsCenter with a cold beer. And absolutely no post-coital snuggling. Amid the danger, they begin to fall in love, even though neither is up for a commitment. When Ellie needs to go home to South Carolina for her sister’s wedding, Max soon follows; it seems one of the witnesses to the shooting has disappeared. And it is just as well—psychotic stalker Evan Patterson has been sighted in town at the local gun shop. With the Landry’s hit man driving to South Carolina and Evan Patterson on the loose, the question is who will to try to kill Ellie first.

Undoubtedly Garwood is a pro—the pacing is taut, the characters are swiftly drawn and she even throws in a few surprises before the obligatory happy ending. But everything is too formulaic to be truly suspenseful, too clichéd to be truly romantic.


Pub Date: Aug. 9th, 2011
ISBN: 978-0-525-95225-1
Page count: 352pp
Publisher: Dutton
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1st, 2011


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