Cover Image: The Bodyguard

The Bodyguard

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Member Reviews

This is my first book by this author, thanks bookstagram. Listened to this one on audio. Hannah is an executive protection agent (bodyguard) and her next job is to protect a famous movie star. This was a cute rom-com. There were some good lol moments and was also heartfelt. Looking forward to reading Things You Save In a Fire next by her🙌

Thanks to Netgalley for my free advance reader copy in exchange for my review.

Publication Date: July 19, 2022

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This book is sweet, laugh out loud funny, and a great lower stakes read! I loved that it featured a gender swapped version of the bodyguard trope. It had enough substance, humor, and character development to keep me from wanting to hit the pause button. Felt like, once again, this was written to be adapted into a screenplay and missed some opportunities to be the best book it could be. I’ve felt this way about several books I’ve read lately and I am starting to wondering if this is a “me problem”. That being said, it would make an A+ PG-13 Rom Com and I would definitely watch it.

Thank you to the publisher, author and NetGalley for this ALC!

Content Warnings: Cancer, Death of a family member, Domestic Violence

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If you’re looking for a summer beach read, this rom com is the book for you! I enjoyed this unique feel-good take on the bodyguard/celebrity fake relationship trope. Hannah and Jake had great chemistry so I was rooting for them all the way. The book was even better listening to Patti Murin’s sublime narration!
Thanks to the author, MacMillan audio & NetGalley for this advance listener copy.

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I'm a big fan of Katherine Center so I was excited to listen to The Bodyguard. She consistently writes strong yet relateable female lead roles.

While this is in the romance genre, it's also about personal growth, self-acceptance and self-care. The characters become better versions of themselves and discover their true potential along the way.

There's very little smut so it's good for teens. Easy listening and terrific narration. Enjoyed the witty banter and "frenemies" premise.

It's no mystery how the book ends, but I enjoyed the experience and recommend it as a great beach read this summer.

Special thanks to Macmillan Audio for an advanced listener copy via the NetGalley app.

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The Bodyguard
A Novel
by Katherine Center
Narrated by Patti Murin

I received a digital copy of this audiobook from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

This is the first book I have read by this author and if they are all like this I have been missing out. I laughed out loud, I smiled and I even gained some life philosophies that I’m sure I’ll be thinking about for a while.

This story is irreverently and pragmatically told to the reader by the heroine. Here we have a female bodyguard/fake girlfriend scenario semi-on par with Miss Congeniality which also takes place primarily in Texas. There’s the thread of what’s real and what’s not while we’re pretending, with the stakes raised by the fact that the hero is a top tier movie star heart throb. I appreciated that the author did not go overboard on this concept though by dwelling on it overmuch as can sometimes happen with this trope. Hannah was so “real” and admirably practical if awkward through everything in a way that I at least found endearing and relatable.

There is not a lot of steam. Closed door. Only some making out with no petting and one F word that I can recall and honestly I’m a non-curser but I felt the situation made it entirely reasonable. The relationship building and cast of characters were fascinating and there was just enough action. Great book. Excellent sound quality and narration. The narrator was absolutely perfect in the role of Hannah.

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I absolutely loved this! It’s funny and real without being whiny. This is a story written for anyone who has ever fantasized over a celebrity.

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The Bodyguard genuinely blew me away! Hannah Brooks is a bodyguard—she’s just lost her mom and her boyfriend just broke up with her and now she’s assigned to be a security detail for celebrity Jack Stapleton, only he doesn’t want his family to know she’s a bodyguard so instead she has to pretend to be his girlfriend. The writing is flawless. It’s fresh and engaging and funny while also taking on Hannah’s loss and self consciousness. There were moments that felt predictable and moments I really didn’t expect, and I loved every second. I loved the banter and dynamic between Jack and Hannah. I liked the depth of Jack’s relationship with his family and I love what Hannah and Jack brought out in each other. This book just felt refreshing. I usually take some time to get through an audiobook but I didn’t want to stop listening with this one! I needed to know where the story would go next. I loved Hannah is so resilient and strong and that she was in the bodyguard role, and I adored her moments of vulnerability. She’s stubborn and tough and I loved seeing her break through that shell. And Jack was genuine and witty. This story came together just in such a wonderful way and I loved every moment! I was laughing out loud with this one and just smiling so hard through it.

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3.5 stars

This is my first Katherine Center book, and I will be back for more, especially in the audio format, which is how I experienced this one.

Hannah, the m.c., is a bodyguard who swears up and down that she is excellent at her job, but this seems impossible because she misses some EXTREMELY IMPORTANT hints about some of the folks who are in her life. Of course, the benefit of this situation is that readers get to watch Hannah grow, but I could never shake the somewhat frightening misses she displays at the start of the novel and, well, later, too.

This frustration aside, I found myself rooting for this character all along. I love the swapping of traditional roles here with Hannah as the bodyguard who does the protecting. Also, while she should have caught some major clues at multiple points, she has some tough breaks. Readers are likely to feel invested in her wins.

For me, Hannah's growth is much more gripping than the romance component. There aren't many surprises here, but folks who are interested in the synopsis will find a nicely articulated version of what they were looking for overall.

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A cute and funny rom com that was great to listen too as the narrators really brought the characters to life. Well-developed characters that you got to see grow and evolve throughout the story into even better people. Lots of wit and real-life issues set in an imaginary world to entertain for hours. This was a fun listen that kept my attention so much so that I ended up listening well after arriving home to finish the story rather than turning on the tv. I look forward to reading or rather listening to more stories from this author!

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4.5 stars. Another strong one from Katherine Center. Her book are romance with substance in the most wonderful way. Hannah Brooks is a relatable and likeable lead who is an Executive Protection Agent (a bodyguard). Her assignment, actor Jack Stapleton, has an interesting storyline, and I enjoyed reading about his journey toward acceptance and forgiveness. Finally, I especially loved Center's last few paragraphs before the epilogue on the importance of self-love.

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I didn't expect to love this book as much as I did, and considering I already thought The Bodyguard sounded pretty good that says a lot. At one point I was listening to it while trying to fall asleep (bad idea, I was too interested to fall asleep) and I accidentally woke up my husband because the book made me snort unexpectedly. It swear I was smiling half the time I was listening to it.
Center managed to touch on a few difficult subjects (which I'll put below because maybe spoiler?) while still keeping the overall feel of the book very light. It kind of reminded me of Abby Jimenez's writing style.

Grief, guilt caused from grief, gaslighting, mentions domestic violence

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Thanks to NetGalley and Katherine Center for an audiobook advanced copy.

I absolutely love Katherine Center’s writing. Her characters are relatable. Her stories are entertaining and fun. This book falls into that category. I always look forward to her next book and this one didn’t disappoint.

As for the narrator, Patti Murin, she is one of my favorites. Her voice is easy to listen to and easy to understand.

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Katherine's writing is like a warm hug. The smell of fresh bread. It's cozy, comforting and welcoming. Her humor comes through the pages. The characters literally jump off the page and into your heart.

I absolutely ADORED this book!

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My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

My thoughts: I LOVE KATHERINE CENTER! I listened to this audiobook in like 1.5 days, pretty much just ignored my family to listen any chance I got. Am I surprised? No. I will read (and/or listen to) anything this woman writes!

The story follows bodyguard (ahem, Executive Protection Agent) Hannah Brooks who, following her mother's death and a bad breakup, is anxious to be assigned somewhere far away. Instead, she's assigned to protect heartthrob actor Jack Stapleton right at home in Texas. To make matters worse, she has to pose as Jack's girlfriend when they travel to be with his sick mother. Hannah's a bit of a workaholic and keeps herself pretty closed off from others, but quickly finds that Jack has a way of breaking down her walls...

So good! At first I was a little worried Hannah wouldn't be a very likeable character, but the more we got inside her head and saw some of her vulnerabilities, the more I liked and related to her. And Jack...swoon. So charming and sexy, and the way he wanted to protect Hannah, even though that was HER job. I loved their banter and chemistry, and

The audio narration was on point, Katherine Center's writing never, ever fails and I just loved everything about this story. Highly recommend The Bodyguard. Thank you to Macmillan Audio, NetGalley and the author for an advanced copy! Time well spent!

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Just so silly. katherine center's book are too.. YA but write them with full blown adults. A Corgi breeder stalker. "Unlovable" trope. The drama was so silly. It's just too.. cutesy. And no chemistry. No steam.

The audio sounded like it was recorded in a tin can. I'm sure they'll work those kinks out. The narrator was fine!

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I really loved this one!

A huge Thank You to NetGalley and Macmillan Audio for my advanced audio copy of The Bodyguard!

Y'all I know I just said thank you but I was not expecting to get approved for this audiobook! Just Wow. I feel so darn lucky.

I've read a handful of Katherine Center books now so here is a ranking that nobody has asked for.

1. Things We Save in a Fire.
2.How to Walk Away.
3.The Bodyguard.
4.What You Wish For.

What I Loved-

✨The Audio- This was an audiobook arc so lets start there. The Bodyguard was narrated by Patti Murin. She did an amazing job. I've listened to her in a couple previous reads that include The Honey-Don't List by Christina Lauren and Very Sincerely Yours by Kerry Winfrey. Love her. I look forward to enjoying more audiobooks featuring her voice.

✨The Characters- I was so invested in these characters! I loved Hannah. If this book were ever to be adapted I could totally see Sandra Bullock playing the part. I don't know why but Hannah's character was giving me Miss Congeniality vibes.

✨ The Plot- This was just overall a fun read. The story was very engaging and I was never bored.

✨ The Depth- This book deals with loss of a loved one. Whether we were close to them or not: loss effects everyone in different ways. I thought Jack's backstory / family trauma was very well written and my heart broke for him and his family.

Why This Wasn't a Five Star-

I can't give a straightforward answer. It just didn't feel that way.

Overall- Highly Recommend.

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I read (and enjoyed!) not one, but TWO romance books this week. Who am I? Maybe it’s the pregnancy hormones, perhaps it's the warmer weather, or maybe my cold heart is finally softening.

THE BODYGUARD is a charming romance that was the perfect little palate cleanser between heavier reads.

Hannah Brooks is assigned as the Personal Protection Agent for international heartthrob actor Jack Stapleton. Despite her 5’6” frame, Hannah is determined to keep Jack safe from a middle-aged corgi-breeding stalker. Here’s the catch: Jack and Hannah must pretend to be dating to ensure his family isn’t concerned for their safety by having a bodyguard in their midst.

This is the point where I would have previously rolled my eyes so far back into their sockets, but I adored this big-hearted story. I appreciated the tasteful closed-door romance and that the story wasn’t bogged down by excessive banter.

I must say, the audiobook narration by Patti Murin was fantastic. This is my first novel by Katherine Center and I will absolutely dig into her backlist. Pick up THE BODYGUARD for a sweet summer read!

PUB DATE: July 19, 2022

Many thanks to St. Martin’s Press, NetGalley and Macmillan Audio for the electronic and audiobook ARCs. Review will be posted to in advance of publication date.

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this book was so fun to listen to. Iove the characters and their relationships. The narrator was fantastic and really nailed both characters' voices. Highly recommend the audiobook and the book itself! Thank you NetGalley for this ARC

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Hannah is a female Executive Protection Agent (yes you heard that right!) or in lesser terms a bodyguard, who ends up being forced to watch over movie star Jack Stapleton who has come out of hiding from the public eye. The only catch is, Hannah has to pretend to be Jack’s girlfriend to make the undercover surveillance job work. Thus, hilarity and drama ensues. Will Hannah and Jake’s feelings turn from fabricated to genuine? Is Jake’s life truly in danger? Patti Murin does a perfect narration for the audiobook version and this will be a comfort listen for me from now on!

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I voluntarily listened and reviewed an advanced copy of The Bodyguard by Katherine Center. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you to Netgalley and Macmillan Audio for providing an ARC to review.

Hannah Brooks, bodyguard extraordinaire, finds herself guarding the body of megastar Jack Stapleton. Jack came back to Texas to take care of his sick mother but has the slight problem of a stalker fan, hence the need for a bodyguard. They are forced to pretend to be dating and quickly fall for each other but can pretend become a reality?

First, I want to share how much I really loved the narrator. She did an amazing job of bringing Hannah and Jack's story to life. Her voice was so soothing and a joy to listen to on my commute.

I give The Bodyguard a 4.5/5. I have been burned lately with women's fiction that stated there would be romance, and then there was little to no romance. This was NOT the case in The Bodyguard. The story was full of quirky romantic hijinks, and I couldn't help but laugh out loud as Hannah and Jack fell in love. If you are looking for a fun and fluffy romcom, then The Bodyguard is a must-read.

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