Book Review: The Ideal Girl by Jenny O’Brien

October 5, 2015 Book review 6 ★★★½

I had a lot of fun reading this rom-com book.  Think Bridget Jones meets Grey’s Anatomy meets Carry On Nurse!  Which makes for an entertaining mix up of image issues, innuendo and romantic tension all with a backdrop of a busy city centre hospital.

Book Review: The Ideal Girl by Jenny O’BrienIdeal Girl by Jenny O'Brien
Published by self published on August 31st 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Humorous, Love & Romance
Format: eBook
Source: Received from Author
Buy on Amazon

Ideal girl is the first in a series of romantic novels, which find old fashioned girls thrown into modern day settings.
All set in the fictitious Dublin hospital of St Justin's staff not only have to cope with their stressful jobs, they also have to cope with the mire that is 'pre- relationship hell!'

First Line of The Ideal Girl by Jenny O’Brien:

“How in the name of all that’s holy can a kiss be so squelchy?”

My Thoughts on The Ideal Girl by Jenny O’Brien:

I don’t know if I’ve ever read a hospital romance before but the setting worked so well as it was a hot bed of young, free and single characters who work hard and who have a lot of steam to let off in their down time.  It makes for a book with heart and humour and some very quirky one liners that made me smile knowingly!

The main character is Liddy who I immediately liked.  She is honest, she is genuine and I could see myself being friends with her.  I totally empathised with her lack of confidence and her critical thoughts on her curvy body.  Her family background is also developed enough so that we can see what drives her self-doubt and lack of assurance.  Her deficiency of dating experience makes her somewhat unusual but that added vulnerability just made her even more likeable.

There is a cute romance that felt realistic and I loved that we got to see both points of view.  Mitch is bowled over when he falls for Liddy as she is the exact opposite to the Ideal Girlfriend that he had pictured up to this point.  I enjoyed watching them get to know each other and slowly build up to something meaningful.  And it never got cheesy which I hate.

One thing irked me a lot as I read though and it was a character called Donal.  In the very first chapter, he groped Liddy at work.  And as he is senior to her in the hospital food chain, this really bugged me.  Liddy despite being quiet was well able to tell him to back off but it made me uneasy. However he still tried it on again another day.  So I was dumbfounded when she later referred to him as ‘a dear’.  Nope, he’s not.  He’s probably more clueless than anything but that kind of behaviour AT WORK or anywhere is just not on.

That aside I loved the humour in the book and the tangled journey through dating misadventures was poignant and entertaining.  There was enough conflict to make things interesting but it never felt ott or ridiculous.  And the characters pulled me right in and had me rooting for them.

“Relationships should be like flat pack; come with easy to follow instructions so that you knew which bits fitted where.”

Overall this is an entertaining read.  It’s a début novel and it does feel like that at times.  However the author has knack for humour, snappy dialogue and quirky characters so I know I’d like to read more by her in the future.


Rating Report
Did I feel it?
Overall: three-half-stars


Who should read Ideal Girl by Jenny O’Brien?


I’d recommend this to you if you like books which are romantic but still funny and that have characters that are still trying to figure themselves.

Thanks to the author for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.


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6 Responses to “Book Review: The Ideal Girl by Jenny O’Brien”

  1. Laurel-Rain Snow

    I do love romances in a hospital setting…they remind me of the soap General Hospital, back in the day before the mobsters took over the canvas.

    I had to laugh at the words “squelchy” kiss.

    Thanks for sharing….great review!
    Laurel-Rain Snow recently posted…AUTHOR’S HOME PAGE

  2. Bookworm Brandee

    I like your comparison between Bridget Jones and Grey’s Anatomy…don’t know Carry On Nurse. The hospital setting seems to work really well for this novel. I think Liddy is someone I’d identify with on many levels and I like that Mitch has an ‘ideal’ in his mind that doesn’t end up matching the girl he falls for. I also like that this seems to be a slow-build romance, where Liddy and Mitch get to know one another well as their romance blossoms. Oh, and I’m definitely with you on the groping guy at work. Yuck!
    Well, you’ve added another book to my tbr, Trish. 😀
    Bookworm Brandee recently posted…#OctobeRecFest Review #2 ~ Audio Review ~ Lick ~ Kylie Scott #ShelfLove #COYER

    • trish

      Carry On is a bit of cult tv series from the UK that is full of sexual innuendo, it’s very dated now but the double-entendre humour makes me laugh. The hospital setting did work well and I appreciated the development of the romance too.
      And yes, yuck! 😀

  3. Rita @ View From My Home

    I love hospital settings in books and TV– I watch Grey’s Anatomy, and as Laurel said, I used to watch General Hospital way back in the day when I was caring for my kids as little ones and into soaps during the day. I’m not happy with anyone at work groping anyone else, though. Not cool, not legal. I never read Bridget Jones, but have seen so many clips from the film I know some of the story.
    Good review, but not sure if it’s for me.
    Rita @ View From My Home recently posted…Weekly Wrap-Up 10/3/15

    • trish

      General Hospital never ran here (that I know of), I did love ER back in the day though and I was a big fan of the earlier series of Grey’s. I LOVE Bridget Jones, it’s one of fav books. I’m not sure that I’d recommend this one to you either as I know you’re not really a fan of this genre. But thanks for checking it out anyway! 🙂

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