Books are cheaper than heroin, but they DO add up....

Amy, Carrie, Chanin and Sarah buy (and read and review) their own stuff. They've been known to shop around from dealer to dealer looking for the best price. If you're interested in slipping them something to try out, just contact us.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

The Ideal Man by Julie Garwood

(This should have gone up last night.  We'll just pretend that bloggers get Labor Day off.  'Kay?  Okay.)

Once upon a time, Julie Garwood wrote historical romances--really funny, really sexy historical romances.  Once upon a time, Julie Garwood was probably my favorite romance author. Once upon a time, I fell in love with an entire list of romance novel heroes from Julie Garwood books like The Bride, The Lion's Lady, and Guardian Angel.

I miss the good ol' days.

In days of yore, Ms. Garwood didn't write contemporary novels.  In days of yore, the sheltered, wide-eyed outlook on life of Garwood heroines didn't seem out of place and out of context. In days of yore, I didn't read a Garwood and wish for more.

I really miss the good ol' days.

The Ideal Man didn't stop me from reminiscing about how good Julie Garwood books once were.  It's not a bad book, per se. reviewers gave it three stars out of five.  That's fair.  It's just that I would have rated most of her historical romances as 4.5 or 5 stars out of 5.

But I'll pull my head out of 1991 and get back to the book at hand.

Dr. Ellie witnesses the shooting of an FBI agent and meets Special Agent Max as she gives her statement.  Her accidental viewing of this crime makes her the shooter's next target, so Special Agent Max travels to the Carolinas to provide protection for her when she goes home to attend her sister's wedding.  The instant attraction they both noticed intensifies as they're forced to spend time together dealing with Dr. Ellie's crazy family and multiple threats to Dr. Ellie's life.  (She has a long-time stalker to worry about as well as the new threat from the shooter.)

Dr. Ellie and Special Agent Max are both interesting people with a believable mutual attraction.  Unfortunately, the quick development of deeper feelings is a little harder to believe, the ending is a little abrupt and pat, and Dr. Ellie's family members are more annoying than quirky.  That said, it's a completely innocuous book that provides the Happily Ever After that most of us look for in romance novels.

It's just not like it was in the good ol' days.

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  1. Whoa. Why did she feel the need to branch out? I too enjoyed a good Julie Garwood back in the 90's. Maybe my GPA would have been better if I had enjoyed less of Ms. Garwood and more of Mr. Boring Econ Textbook.

  2. I don't know. Maybe Chanin can chime in, because I don't remember when she started the contemporaries and I can't remember if the first one or two were better than the most recent ones. Sigh.

  3. I finished this book, but put it down quite a few times. It seemed to take so long to get started. I really loved all the characters (except Ava), but no one really " fleshed out".
    I really wanted more wedding action...that was hysterical. The spark between Ellie and Max was great, but it was an awfully quick proposal!!! I'm glad they lived "happily ever after", but it was a little trite.
    The big let down was Annie and her mystery man! There was so much story never touched!
    I will definitely pick up another novel of Ms. Garwood, but read the summary much closer.