The Ideal Man

Author: Julie Garwoodideal
Publisher: Dutton
Date: 2011
Genre: Romantic Suspense
ISBN: 9781410438683
Price: $35.99
Number of Pages: 352
Available Formats: Hardcover, paperback, E-Book, Audio

Rating Scale: 2Q, 4P

Links to Author’s Website and Interviews

Links to Reviews

Reader’s Annotation

Ellie, a brilliant surgeon with a tragic past, has just witnessed an attempted murder. Luckily, she has FBI agent Max Daniels to protect her as her past and present collide.


Dr. Ellie Sullivan

FBI Agent Max Daniels



This is a steamy tale of romance with some suspense thrown in. The story revolves around a brilliant surgeon named Ellie Sullivan. After her shift, she goes to jog and witnesses a shooting of an FBI agent. She manages to save the agent’s life and meets a fellow agent named Max Daniels, who begins questioning her about what she witnessed. The problem is that the two shooters are a couple named the Landrys, who are on the FBI’s Most Wanted list and are extremely dangerous. Max fears that Ellie could be in danger if the Landrys’ believe she saw something that could incriminate them. The two have an instant attraction and Max immediately becomes protective of her. Max is insistent on staying with her even when she has to fly back to her home state for her sister’s wedding. This presents a whole new set of dangers, as Ellie was brutally attacked by a stalker when she was a young teen and has been has been living in fear of him ever since he got out of a mental hospital. Max must protect her from both the Landry’s hitman and her past stalker which she deals with her family drama. As the two spend more time together, they begin to fall deeply in love.

Critical Evaluation

I must confess that I’m a little disappointed with this book. I think it had a lot of promise, mainly because the two main characters had a great deal of chemistry. However, the story was all over the place. Garwood just packed too many storylines into one book and none of them were fully fleshed out. All of these storylines culminated into making Ellie a pushover. She lets her parents and her sister treat her horribly and she never really speaks her mind about it. Another problem with her character is that Garwood made Ellie too perfect. Not only is she gorgeous, she’s also a childhood prodigy turned brilliant surgeon with a heart of gold who just happens to love football. This seemed too unrealistic to me, especially the football part of it. That seemed like overkill to me. The climax of the book was a little lackluster and left a lot to be desired.

Significance of Book

Julie Garwood is a big name in the romance genre. She is especially well-loved because of her historical, but recently she has put most of her focus on contemporaries. She has mane devoted fans that will read anything that she publishes. It is also the ninth book in the Buchanan series.


Bait by Karen Robards

Full Scoop by Janet Evanovitch

The Cove by Catherine Coulter

Awards and Lists


Discussion Ideas

  • Discuss Ellie’s relationship with her sisters
  • Discuss Ellie’s unusual upbringing without her parents.

Justification of Selection

I used to read Garwood’s books years ago, but I have largely fallen away from them in favor of YA. I thought this might be a good excuse to get reacquainted with her books. I have read her Buchanan series and wanted to see how it was progressing. I picked this one because I was interested in the heroine’s profession as a doctor and the fact that she witnessed a crime.


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