If you like reading Julie Garwood’s books then The Ideal Man will not disappoint you, you’ll love it. The story starts off simple enough, an off-duty trauma surgeon witnesses the shooting of an FBI agent during a sting operation gone awry. Although Dr. Ellie Sullivan can’t actually identify the couple (other than saying it was a man and a woman), she is still considered a potential witness and may be in danger. Enter FBI agent Max Daniels. Max and Ellie hit it off and begin this rather sweet, and weird (in a good way), romance. Max is concerned about the potential that the gun-running couple that got away, may have hired a hit man to kill Ellie before she can testify, as this has happened to previous witnesses. His fears are well-founded as there is a hit man after Ellie.
The fun really begins when Ellie returns to her hometown for her younger sister’s wedding. Her sister, Ava (a self-absorbed, egocentric bridezilla), is engaged to marry Ellie’s ex-fiance. Ava slept with the guy the day after Ellie had brought him home to announce their engagement. (I said she was self-absorbed.) Annie, Ava’s twin sister, is also in crisis mode because she’s pregnant and can’t locate the father-to-be. Oh, did I forget to mention that Ellie also has a demented stalker based in her hometown? So make that two potential hit men after Ellie.
There are a lot of twists to the story that keep it lively and intense. I found myself reading it in one-sitting simply because I couldn’t wait to see what was going to happen next. This is not your typical romantic suspense but it is definitely worth reading. The characters are all somewhat quirky but likeable, well except for the bad guys. Personally I can’t wait for this to be released later this year just so I can purchase a copy to re-read.
I’ve just finished reading The Orchid Affair by Lauren Willig. This was just as good as her previous titles in the “Pink Carnation” series. Reading these books is like revisiting dear friends after a long separation. It was quite nice to get back to the relationship trials and tribulations (ah new love) of Eloise and Colin. During this story they take their first major trip together and travel to Paris. Of course, Eloise finds time to do more research. I’m beginning to think she’ll never finish her doctoral dissertation. I won’t even get into the family drama that occurs, suffice it to say the Selwick family is just as dysfunctional as others.
The main characters in this story are Laura Grey (aka Laure Griscogne), governess and a newby to the spy game and Monsieur Andre Jaouen, widower and father of two. The verbal sparring between these two was delightful. Of course, Ms. Grey/Griscogne saves the day through her work as a member of the Pink Carnation network. She is quite amusing and doesn’t seem to be the governess type as she is not meek or humble enough for the life of servitude.
The romance is not as overplayed in this book and is more intellectual in its presentation. This does not detract from the story line of international espionage during war time (France and England in the early 1800s) and, of course, romance.
I thought the action and dialogue moved a bit slow at times but it was still a great book. I was just a little disappointed that there wasn’t as much Eloise and Colin in this story. It felt like long-lost friends leaving after only a brief visit. Of course, this means that I’ll look forward to visiting with them again in the next book of this series.
What’s next? This is a difficult decision to make because my TBR list seems to grow daily. However, I was recently given the opportunity to read and review an advanced copy of The Ideal Man by Julie Garwood (scheduled for release later this year) so this seems to be the front-runner for now. I’ll keep you posted…
I’ve often wondered what it is exactly that makes a book a great book and great read. Sometimes it is undefinable. I may read a book that I feel is great and others may not appreciate it at all or vice versa. I’m not talking about what makes for great literature, although that is definitely something to consider, but more about what attracts readers to any particular book or author compared to another. For example, I recently reread To Kill a Mockingbird as part of my local library’s summer reading program. I loved this book as a teenager and appreciated it even more as an adult. Yet I know that there are other readers that either didn’t get it or simply didn’t like it.
There are books that seem to pull the reader in and make for a great and fast read while other books may push the reader away for awhile or make him struggle through with the story or characters before finally dragging them into the story. Some readers simply won’t finish books that they find uninteresting or to be a slow read whereas others will slog through until the bitter end. This isn’t always the “fault” of the writer but may simply be due to differing tastes in reading choices.
Personally I feel that any book that gets a person to read is somewhat worthwhile. No one should be denigrated because of their reading choices. Some may choose to read books considered modern literary classics as well as classic literature and others may choose to read graphic novels, ChickLit, etc. We shouldn’t really care because these people are reading. I can recall my step-son’s third grade teacher stating that she didn’t care what her students read (with some caveats such as no porn, etc.) as long as they were reading. This was a great attitude to have. She didn’t make any of her students feel bad about their reading choices. Perhaps the reading and publishing world should be as considerate. Don’t tear down our reading choices, applaud us because we read!