It took me a bit to warm up to Hannah, but once I did I found this just as relatable and engaging as Center's other books.
*Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for providing an e-galley in exchange for an honest review.
I’m a bit ambivalent about this latest novel by Katherine Center. She is one of my favorite authors based on two of her previous works – How to Walk Away and Things You Save in a Fire. The Bodyguard didn’t live up to my expectations in comparison. While it does address some serious issues about love, family, grief and loss, it reads more as a rom-com novel.
Hannah Brooks is a tough, competent Executive Protection Agent (bodyguard) whose world implodes when she loses her mother, her boyfriend and her best friend in a short span of time. All she wants to do is escape on an assignment out of Texas, but instead she is assigned as the primary guarding Jack Stapleton, a reclusive, wildly popular, handsome film star. To compound her dilemma, she has a mild crush on the actor based on his film roles that threatens to undermine her professional responsibilities.
Stapleton has returned home from a self-imposed exile to care for his mother who has been diagnosed with cancer. His need for protection is based on a low level threat – a middle-aged stalker who knits him personalized sweaters and wants to have his baby. Jack’s homecoming is complicated by his estranged relationship with his family related to the death of his younger brother in a car accident. Hannah and Jack pose as boyfriend and girlfriend at the Stapleton ranch and predictably, they begin to have genuine feelings for each other.
As I mentioned above, this storyline seems to be a departure from the author’s characteristic style. All the elements of her previous books are there (namely, easy, clever banter between the main characters, significant emotional issues and character development/growth), but the emphasis felt off. There is a superficiality that was unexpected. However, the last few chapters did offer some redeeming ideas about love and relationships.
While this book was not as enjoyable as previous titles, I still look forward to the next Katherine Center offering.
My thanks to the author, the publisher, and NetGalley for the privilege of reviewing this book. The opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
This review is being posted immediately to my GoodReads account and will be posted on Amazon upon publication.
Wow... what an addictive book!
I blame Katherine Center for my lack of sleep last night. I don't know how she does it, but she's made some very sad, serious issues, hopeful. That life will go on, if you can choose to be happy and make the most of what you have.
I really loved Jack, and his and Hannah's interactions. I enjoyed every minute of them getting to know each other.
It definitely felt different to other novels written by the author, but that just shows how talented she is.
Something about a Katherine Center’s book just draws me in. I’d had issues staying interested in books lately. The Bodyguard hooked me and never let go. The characters are well developed and so easy to root for. There is a chunk of romance and a dash of suspense. I’m glad I read it and I look forward to more.
I voluntarily read an early copy.
Katherine Center’s The Bodyguard is an hilarious work about a movie star, Jack Stapleton, and his bodyguard, Hannah Brooks. Jack is the “sexiest man alive” and his company hires a personal security team for him while he is visiting his parents on their ranch in Texas. What sort of danger might he be in? The main threat comes from a fifty-year-old stalker who is a corgi dog breeder.
Hannah Brooks is Jack’s Executive Protection Agent, i.e., Jack’s bodyguard. She isn’t a typical bodyguard: she’s short (5’6), most comfortable in pant suits, and her code word is “ladybug.” When they first meet, Jack mistakes her as a cleaning lady. She masquerades as Jack’s girlfriend for about four weeks. Is she just Jack’s fake girlfriend or is there something real about the relationship? How can she know when Jack is acting? Readers will love this laugh out loud , entertaining book.
I did not love this book. I feel like Katherine Centers books are really hit or miss for me. Either I love it and it hits me in the heart and gives me all the feels or just can't get into it and connect with the story. This book was the latter for me
Oh Katherine Center....what happened?
The premise of this book is so interesting but quickly delves into a rom/comedy that I was embarrassed for the main subject --"bad ass FBI trained, private security firm bodyguard Hannah Brooks. Hannah is a person who has major skills to take out an assassination/kidnapping/stalker scenario but becomes a bowl of jello around movie star Jack Stapleton--a Bradley Cooper/George Clooney type.
Didn't buy it, not as good as Katharine Centers other terrific books.
I truly laughed out loud throughout this gem! Center is such an amazing writer, I always look forward to her books! Not only were the two main characters perfect, but the supporting characters were as well. I always appreciate the growth her characters go through. She nails it every time! So grateful to be on her ARC list!
Well, wasn’t that a cute romcom— With a twist that hooked you in at the last minute! Nicely done by the always funny and fun to read Katherine Center. Want a funny, emotional, funny, serious and funny again book? This is it. I loved every second of it. This is a quick and fun read.— Did I say fun again? Yep!
My review for The Bodyguard is going to be a bit different—a love letter to this wonderful book and to its author, Katherine Center. So:
Dear The Bodyguard, I love every word, every emotion, every heartache and every healing, every act of love, every kindness. I love Hannah so very much—she is a badass, she is self-deprecating, she is a bit broken, she is looking for love and family. I love that the story is told from Hannah’s point of view, because her thoughts are so insightful, they are often funny, they are raw and honest. I love Jack, with his movie star good looks, his fame and fortune, his sloppiness, his thoughtfulness, and the fact that he’s a bit broken as well.
I love that this book is the embodiment of what I love about the novels Katherine Center writes, and the worlds that she creates. I love that there is sparkling, bantering dialogue; I love the humor mixed in with the heartache; I love that I laugh the most when I’m crying the hardest; I love that I read each and every page with my whole heart. Mostly, I love that The Bodyguard is hopeful and uplifting. I love that there is wisdom and poignancy. I love that we can believe, as Hannah and the others do, that even in the worst of times, the times when you feel your worst, the times that you believe that you will never recover from tragedy and heartache; that someway, somehow, with love and support, you will be okay. As Hannah says, “And I guess there really is something profoundly healing about letting somebody love you.” I love that my big takeaway from this book is the unshakable belief that loving others is a way, maybe the only way and the best way, of having it for yourself.
What a DELIGHT!!! Katherine Center is one of my absolute favorite authors and I was beyond ecstatic to receive an early copy of The Bodyguard!!
I wish I could end every day with a Katherine Center book! This was an adorable, light, fun read that I could not put down.
The premise is really fun and a little different too. I like that Hannah is the "bodyguard" - she is tough and no nonsense but it was lovely to see her open herself up and embrace her vulnerabilities. Jack was a gem - kind, funny, and wonderful to Hannah. The two of them together were magic and I just didn't want it to end. They brought out the best in each other and I loved how they always had each other's backs. Their dialogue was perfect and so entertaining. I also loved the side characters from Hannah's office - Glenn was great!
I love how Katherine Center brings lightness and fun to all of her stories while still weaving in heart-wrenching (and ultimately heartwarming) themes. The Bodyguard was a true pleasure to read and I absolutely loved it!
Thank you to Netgalley and St. Martin's Press for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
I enjoyed The Bodyguard, but it was not as good as Katherine Center's previous novels. While she made the movie star hero down to earth, I didn't enjoy that complication.
Solid 4 Stars from Katherine Center!
I've long been a fan of Katherine Center, since her book How to Walk Away brought me to tears.
All her books - while different - have moments of raw emotion that bring me to tears, and give me all the feels. This one is no different. I enjoyed the characters and their development throughout the story, and I loved the subtle shoutout to Christine Lauren (fans will understand). This may be a light book, but there are deeper emotions at play, and definitely a must-read.
This novel was quite delightful. The main character, Hannah, was witty and capable. The dialogue was entertaining. It was unlike a standard romance, as there was a stalker involved. I liked that there wasn’t anything too spicy, just a relatively sweet romance. I would say 3.5 stars rounded up. Thanks Netgalley for the ARC!
Katherine Center is a must-read author for me, and The Bodyguard did not disappoint! Everyone always wants to see what actors are truly like, and this book gave us a little way to see that. I liked seeing Hannah grow in her confidence throughout the book.
I absolutely adored Katherine Center’s previous novels and was beyond thrilled to get the chance to read this one! The story of a lovely female bodyguard and the superstar she is hired to protect melted my heart. They were truly a ying to each other’s yang. The banter and the storyline sizzle!
Katherine Center's new novel "The Bodyguard" is being billed by its publisher as "the perfect summer read," but I was lucky enough to receive an advance copy in November, and dare I say that it's the perfect WINTER read as well? Center's books are as cozy as a cashmere sweater, as warming as a cup of tea. Any time of year is a fine time to pick up one of her novels!
Hannah Brooks is an "executive protection agent," which means that she works as a bodyguard, chiefly protecting rich businessmen in her hometown of Houston. After her boyfriend dumps her -- he's a fellow agent, which makes things messy -- she is dying to score a coveted overseas assignment, but then movie star Jack Stapleton comes to Texas to spend time with his sick mom. Jack has a stalker, and Hannah is assigned to keep him safe. But Jack doesn't want his mom to know that he could be in danger. When she begs her son to move to the family's ranch for the Thanksgiving holidays, Jack decides that Hannah will need to masquerade as his girlfriend.
Since this is a Katherine Center book, both Hannah and Jack have deep and somewhat tragic backstories. Jack has been laying low since his brother died; Hannah is a workaholic whose alcoholic mother recently passed away. (We are informed that Jack has been off the grid for a while, but also that he just appeared on the cover of People with his girlfriend; since People usually only gives stars the cover when they have a project to plug or are in the midst of a big scandal, this doesn't quite add up.) Of course, Jack's girlfriend turns out to be a vapid actress and he winds up falling for the down-to-earth Hannah, but even though their HEA seemed fated from the get-go, somehow Center has managed once again to create characters capable of melting my cynical heart. Bonus: there are a lot of interesting facts about the executive protection industry, similar to the way "Things We Save in a Fire" gave readers an inside look at firefighting.
Thank you to St. Martin's Press (via NetGalley) for the ARC!
What a great book. Hannah, short and curvy, is a bodyguard, which is a change from most of the romances I've read. Katherine Center did some research to credibly portray the character. With her awful childhood, it's believable that Hannah ended up in this kind of work. Now, she travels the globe protecting clients whom she knows intimately, never gets close to, and often dislikes. It's a cold, arms-length way of life. So when she is assigned to guard the hottest movie star on the planet (I kept seeing Chris Hemsworth as Thor), and their chemistry is instantaneous, it throws her completely. But wait, it gets better. She has to spend a month pretending to be his girlfriend on his parents' Texas ranch! Oh, yeah.
But the thing is, the two characters are truly messed up, and Center does a fine job of making them need each other. Hannah's arc is to learn to let down her guard and allow herself to believe she is lovable. Jack's is to forgive himself for his brother's death. This is a sweet, funny, heartwarming story. Thanks to St. Martin's Press for letting me read the ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Another great book by Katherine Center- Thank you NetGalley for my ARC copy! A little predictable, but a very enjoyable, feel good story. I always like Center’s witty writing style & I look forward to her next book! 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟
I've read a couple of this author's books before and have never been disappointed. This book was no exception. I loved the characters and the storyline. I would highly recommend this and am going to have to look up the ones I haven't read yet.