Wednesday, January 25, 2023

Book Review: The Ideal Man

By Sara Steven

Three women’s lives are about to change forever.

The Daughter.

My father is innocent. He’s spent almost four years behind bars, but now he’s getting out. I gave up everything to be there for him, just like he was always there for me. It’s all going to be worth it now.

The Girlfriend.

As soon as I opened the paper that day and saw that picture of Sandy, I didn’t care about the story surrounding it. There’s no way he hurt that girl. Now he’s out, we’ll get married and I’ll finally get to meet his daughter. There’ll be no more hiding our love.

The Other Woman.

No one knows what happened all those years ago, and the life I built depends on no one finding out. Now he’s getting out, my secrets may soon see the light. I can’t let that happen.

One Loves Him.

One Needs Him.

One Wants Him DEAD.
(Synopsis courtesy of Goodreads.)

Despite having a pretty good idea of knowing how this story would end, The Ideal Man offered up plenty of thriller moments–the kind of moments that are more discreet and unassuming. A slow burn and build up of plotline tension. 

Daughter Colette is certain her father, Sandy, is an innocent man. Other family members and friends had all walked away from Sandy, certain of his guilt, but Colette never wavered, even after he’d gone to jail for his potential crimes. After he’s released early for good behavior, she does all she can to make his transition back into life outside of bars as easy as possible, but there are plenty of red flags that present themselves, ones that are difficult to excuse away. Out of all of the relationships within this book, the one between Colette and Sandy offered up the most change, and it was really interesting to witness.

Lynne offered up a different perspective where Sandy is concerned. So many people are focused on the past and what Sandy had been accused of, but Lynne is looking towards the future and what might be. When the reader discovers the relationship arc between the two characters, I wasn’t surprised by the outcome because it was most fitting. It was almost as if Lynne had become a character witness for Sandy.

Jane’s point of view provided the most suspense and intrigue. At first, I wasn’t sure who Jane represented; the person Sandy is accused of hurting, or the person who has remained in the shadows with secrets. Once it’s figured out, I was eager to discover what Jane would do, and how she would handle the situation she’s in. When characters who have never collided begin to collide, it was even better! 

The ending felt right, for everyone involved. And even though I knew how the story would end, the characters who are part of it was a big surprise. It’s always the person you least expect. I really enjoyed The Ideal Man, a worthy, suspenseful five-star experience. 

Thanks to Rachel's Random Resources for the book in exchange for an honest review.

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T.J. Emerson’s
debut psychological thriller was published by Legend Press and received brilliant reviews. Her short stories and features have been widely published in anthologies and magazines, and she works as a literary consultant and writing tutor. She lives in Scotland.

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