Cover Image: The Bodyguard

The Bodyguard

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Member Reviews

A great summer read. The bodyguard has likeable characters, and a retired circus horse. The story has romance, humor, a few plot twists, and even same deeper insights. And, like all Katherine Center  novels, it is well written. The narrator of this audio book did a great job bringing the story to life.
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I loved this book! I didn't have high expectations for some reasons but I just thoroughly enjoyed the chemistry between Hannah and Jack (plus the so sweet relationship between Jack's parents). It was highly satisfying for Hannah to finally get her happy ending. I highly recommend!
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This. Book. Was. Amazing. I laughed so hard from the beginning. I was visibly shocked at times. This had everything I was looking for and NEEDED in a book right now—romance, action, and humor. This is a book I will be recommending to EVERYONE!
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i loved the first-person narration of this novel! from the very beginning, i could tell how down-to-earth hannah was going to be. she seems so easy to talk to and i imagine her being someone you could trust with your secrets and someone who’d listen to anything without judgement. all the other characters were well thought-out, too. i instantly fell for jack, being a tough guy on the outside but such a teddy bear on the inside. on the other hand, i couldn’t stand hannah’s ex… “doghouse” is one of the other agents on hannah’s team and although he only made a brief appearance, i’d love to see more of him in the future! 

hannah and jack took awhile to trust each other but they had undeniable chemistry. i couldn’t suppress a smile whenever the two of them were together and they sure had moment of hilarious banter! for the most part, i thought the pacing of the novel was great but i could’ve done without the last 25% of the plot. at that point, i felt that the end was wrapping up and all loose ends were tied but then everything is opened up one more time. despite that, i still felt that “the bodyguard” had an exciting ending. between the romance and action taking place in this novel, i wouldn’t be surprised if it were ever made into a movie!
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I had such a great time reading this book. I just loved the strong family element, the conversation about grief and how it affects us, the importance it placed on loving others as a way to show love to yourself. There were SO many positive messages in this delightful story. It's not quite a romcom, but I did have some laugh out loud moments. I also love when the love interest is just such a great guy. I appreciated that it was a closed door romance. Was it all totally believable? Maybe not, but I was along for the ride. A fun 5 star read for me.
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Pleasant but unremarkable romcom made into a decent audiobook.

Hannah Brooks is an Executive Protection Agent and her latest client is Jack Stapleton, swoony movie star. Honestly, you could write the rest yourself, but as the publisher and Netgalley were kind enough to give me an audiobook to review, I’m going to do it for you.

Jack is staying with his family, while his mom goes through cancer treatment, on the Stapleton family ranch in Texas. Unfortunately, as is the case with movie stars, Jack has a few nut job stalkers, including a crazy corgi loving knitter who happens to live in nearby Houston. Though Jack doesn’t feel the need for protection, his agent does, hence Hannah. But, in order to not worry his mom, Jack will accept the protection only if Hannah pretends to be his girlfriend.

Hannah’s not particularly loving mom has just died and Hannah’s doofus boyfriend broke up with her on the day of her funeral, so Hannah is looking for something a little more challenging and exotic than a pale yellow alert level in Texas with a reluctant client. And pretending to be a movie star’s girlfriend is just not her cup of tea! Until it is, of course.

Jack is a completely generic but charming romcom hero: dishy, kind, funny, able to see through superficial appearances, slightly troubled by Something in his past. Hannah is a little more interesting, if not much less generic. She is outwardly confident and competent, doesn’t pay much attention to her appearance (but, boy, when she does!), a hard shell with a vulnerable center, and also troubled by Something in her past. Irritatingly, she’s also girlishly scared of cows.

The plot rattles along, stopping at all the required stations on the Romantic Comedy line, and was an enjoyable listen while I was languishing in Covid isolation. The narrator was empathetic, believable, and sprightly, and kept me engaged.

Really, not much more to say. It’s not an outstanding example of its genre, but it is a decent example. Damning with faint praise? Maybe, but I’d read/listen to other novels by the same author if I was looking for some frothy fun.

Thanks to Macmillan Audio and Netgalley for the review audiobook.
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My favorite book by KC so far!! 

What a cute, light, and fun read! I love the fact that the bodyguard was the woman in this situation. I loved her development in the story, and even though I'm not a fan of slo-burn romances, it worked perfectly in this one.

Highly recommend it! :)
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THE BODYGUARD is probably Katherine Center's sweetest most light hearted romance yet, with a sweet and caring Hollywood actor, pretty down to earth if I’m honest, and a heroine who can kick his ass if she wanted. Not everything was believable, but it was certainly entertaining.

I enjoyed the heroine being a bodyguard. I don’t think I ever read about a female bodyguard before, although Linda Howard had a heroine who is a butler and hired to guard too. And I really appreciated it that the author kept it as authentic and believable as possible. The hero was down to earth for all his Hollywood success and genuinely nice. And together they made for an unlikely couple.

The narration was well done, and it was an easy and quick read. A definite must, if you love to listen to romance books.
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TALENTED! BRILLIANT! INCREDABLE! - that one lady gaga quote 

The story takes place in Texas (where I want to go so bad!!) where we meet the main character, Hannah - a bad ass bodyguard. She is described as small but mighty and you gotta be if you're a big time bodyguard. In comes super famous, Jack Stapleton (what a name lol), celebrity with a crazy stalker. Here he hires a company and Hannah becomes his bodyguard. One thing is, that he doesn't want his family to know about his stalker and having a bodyguard because that will only worry them - then comes the thought of Hannah and Jack pretending to date.

LOL, I looooved this book! the fake dating trope is one of my favourite tropes next to enemies to lovers. It was a super fast paced and fun summer read, I can def see this book being turned into a cute little romcom movie.  It is a bit predictable at times but Katherine Centre made it fun and exciting. It's def something I would reread again and will be picking up a physical copy ! 

5 starsssssss 

I received this ARC by NetGalley for an honest review.
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I do love a good romance.  I'm usually more of a historical romance kind of reader, but I also enjoy throwing some contemporary romances into the mix from time to time.  Somehow I hadn't read any Katherine Center books yet, but the premise of this one intrigued me and I'm really glad it did.  I so enjoyed this story about two people who seemed to be totally mismatched on paper, who were both far from perfect, yet turned out to be perfect for each other - and I liked that they not only appreciated each others strengths, while recognizing their imperfections.  I enjoyed the humor and appreciated the struggles that each had with the baggage from their pasts.  This one is a slow burn, and while sometimes I like the couple in a romance to get together a bit sooner, in this one the slower burn felt right.  I listened to the audiobook of this one, and the narration by Patti Murin is excellent.  Bottom line:  I really enjoyed listening to this book and look forward to enjoying more from Katherine Center.
Thanks to Netgalley and Macmillan Audio for providing a copy for an unbiased review.
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I always enjoy Katherine Center's book, and The Bodyguard is another to add to my favorite's list. The book gets off to a great start wtih the premise of the female Executive Protection Agent with all the crazy skills.

After a rough week, Hannah is ready to go anywhere as long as it is a far away from the co-worker who dumped her. What does she get? An assignment that takes her to a Texas ranch to pose as the love interest of a nOh So Hot celebrity who doesn't want her there and, more importantly, doesn't want his ailing mother to know his life may be in danger. Naturally, a struggle of wills ensues. As is so often the case, after spending so much time together, both lead characters realize their feelings may have changed.

This story is imbued with humor. The banter between Hannah and Jack is great. It moves at a good pace, and there is plenty of fun to keep a smile on the reader's face.

Fans of Abby Jimenez or Emily Henry will love The Bodyguard.

Thanks to Net Galley and MacMillan audio for the Advanced Listeners Copy of this audiobook.
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Ohhhhh my goodness!! What a delightful, pure happiness story!!! I loved it! 

First off, I’m thankful for the opportunity to read an amazing love story, with humor and strong characters but without smut! Don’t get me wrong, I love smut. But I also love that I can buy this when it get released and give it to my mom and aunt as gifts. 

I love the emotional baggage that Jack and Hannah both carry - it just always makes it so relatable because we all have emotional baggage and it feels amazing when you can share that with someone else. Despite the job side of things was a bit unrealistic, it was still so stinkin cute. 

This is a book I’d want to read with a more tame book club and sit around and watch on the TV screen if it ever become a movie or tv show!!
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Funny, flirty, and completely heartfelt.  There’s a reason I’m a diehard Katherine Center fan.  Her books always combine the perfect mixture of escape and impact.  

Hannah might be able to drop a man to his knees and have a tough as steel exterior while doing it.  But on the inside, she’s tender, a bit messy, and plagued with self-doubt.  

Jack. (Yep. That IS a complete thought!) Those crooked glasses.  That laugh that reaches all the way to his toes.  And those Levi’s that I can’t get out of my head.  I can’t deny that I fell hard for him.  

The premise could be such a syrupy sweet cliché… Hollywood hunk.  Disinterested regular girl.  Both carrying around some major familial baggage from the past.  

But when Center works her magic, and I believe she has magic in spades, that premise turns into absolute swoon-worthy perfection with a heaping dose of laughter.  

Don’t let me mislead you though.  There’s more to this story than a great romance.  The message of this book nourished my soul and made me feel seen.  It gave a voice to my own situation with my parent with such tenderness and honesty, while never being heavy handed.  

The Bodyguard gave me everything I wanted and fully charmed me, leaving me with the biggest, happiest, most satisfied smile as I closed the last page.  

As I often do, I went back and forth between the print and audio versions of this book, and I would strongly recommend either version.  The audio is narrated by Patti Murin, and I just adored the voice she gave to Hannah.  

“You can be the love you wish you had.  That’s the way to be okay.  Because giving love to other people is a way of having it for yourself.”  

Many thanks to my partners @smp and @macmillanaudio for the #gifted copies.
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In this enjoyable, perfect summer read, Katherine Center pairs bodyguard Hannah Brooks with movie star Jack Stapleton. Barely having a chance to recover from a broken heart, and not going on an assignment that she had really hoped for, Hannah fights tooth and nail not to take this job, just hoping that she can get a job in Korea or London…anywhere but where she is where her ex-boyfriend works for the same security agent that she as. 

Her boss does not listen to her protests and, before long. not only is Hannah guarding Jack, as the principal agent, she agrees to spend time with him at his family’s Texas ranch while his mother is in the process of recovering from serious illness. Hannah does know the importance of this job, as Jack has a stalker, albeit a middle-aged corgi breeder, but a stalker nonetheless.

There is one catch, beyond spending possibly weeks with Jack in close quarters. Jack does not want to worry his family, so he asked Hannah to pose as his girlfriend, and the plan seems like it will work since they are about to spend time together at the ranch. She reluctantly agrees, but does indeed follow through. 

Fake or real? Considering that Hannah still has baggage from her broken heart, the last thing that she could imagine is being attached to a Hollywood star, but faking it becomes more and more difficult every passing day.

Not only was this a delightful read, I was able to enjoy the excellent narration by Patti Murin. Considering how humorous this book was, this narrator did a fine job as she read the story with ease and excellent inflection. It was impossible not to laugh out loud more than once in this wonderful book. 

Many thanks to St. Martin's Press, McMillan Audio and to NetGalley for this ARC for review. This is my honest opinion.

Please enjoy my YouTube video review - https://youtu.be/QLvJi7h33Qw
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The Bodyguard by Katherine Center is a fast-paced, fun book. I listened to it and kept looking for moments I could sneak my AirPods in to hear a bit more! The story centers around Hannah, the most unassuming bodyguard you would ever see, and her most recent job of protecting a mega movie star. She has just been dumped by her boyfriend, who happens to also be her coworker, just days after her mother passes. She hopes for an assignment abroad to get as far away from the ex as possible but instead gets to stay right in Texas looking after Jack. He doesn't want his family to know he has a stalker so Hannah poses as his girlfriend while protecting him, what could possibly go wrong? The story is funny, sweet, tense at moments, and overall a great read.
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The Bodyguard is SUCH a fun book! Seriously, just a joy. I listened to it straight through in less than a day and I’m pretty sure I had a smile on my face the entire time. Hannah is a great protagonist - tough but vulnerable - and the other characters are wonderful as well. I was also happy the book didn’t take the typical “enemies to lovers” route. 

Lastly, if this is ever adapted into a movie and the Stapleton brothers are played by anyone other than the Hemsworths, I will be devastated. Devastated! Because they are all I pictured from the start. 

Thank you NetGalley and Macmillan for the advanced copy!
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Rating: 3.5

The Bodyguard was a decent read. While I really wanted to love this one something about the romance and characters just didn’t fully connect with me.

I listened to the audio version and I definitely feel like I enjoyed the story a little more as the narrator was fantastic.

It is in the heroine’s POV only and has some great tropes, like fake dating and a bodyguard romance. I do wish we had gotten the hero’s POV though.

The overall storyline was pretty decent, this was my first book from this author and I did like the writing. The humor and banter were also amazing. I also liked that the gender roles were reversed in this book, with the heroine being the bodyguard and tough as hell.

The romance on the other hand wasn’t really my favorite. I honestly just didn’t feel their connection or how they got to the “I love you stage.” The build up to their relationship just felt underdeveloped.

The plot twist did surprise me though and the conclusion was quite nice as well. Overall, just an okay read with a great narrator.

Thank you to NetGalley and Macmillan Audio for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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Katherine Center never disappoints!  The Bodyguard is a perfect summer escape read. I thought the story line was interesting and unique in that she was the bodyguard. The narrator was pleasant to listen to. I was hooked from the beginning and it was a very enjoyable read/listen.  I always am confident to recommend any of her books. They just feel good!!
Thanks for the advanced copy!
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I suppose The Bodyguard would be categorised by many as a “romcom” but, funny as it is (and it really is) I shy away from the term. For starters, it suggests light and fluffy and the very first thing that happens in this book is the female lead’s mother’s death. While that part isn’t on page; the story begins the evening of the funeral.

The male lead character’s own mother is dealing with breast cancer (although she has an excellent result). There’s also reference, in the past, to domestic abuse (the heroine’s mother), alcoholism and death of a sibling (the hero’s brother).  Those are all heavy things. While I wouldn’t describe this book as depressing, the topics covered are far too serious for the term “romcom” to sit well with me.

Instead, it’s a very funny contemporary romance, with low heat (that’s fine – it really didn’t need it) with the main characters facing some big issues over the course of the book.

Hannah Brooks is an Executive Protection Agent (aka bodyguard). She travels the world from her Houston base, providing protection services to the wealthy and sometimes famous.  Up until the day after her mother’s funeral, she was dating a co-worker, Robbie.  But he dumps her (he’s a real piece of work) and within the space of a month, Hannah has lost her mother, her boyfriend and her best friend (Robbie dates her next).

Hannah is not generally a warm and fuzzy type. She’s focused, mainly on work. She describes herself as a “shark” who needs to keep moving. When she’s still there are too many hard things to think about and she’d really rather not.

The agency Hannah works for has picked up a new celebrity client; Jack Stapleton. Jack is a famous Hollywood actor who has been reclusive for the past few years since the death of his younger brother, Drew, in a car accident. There are rumours, unsubstantiated and well quashed by Jack’s publicist, that he was driving drunk and that is what caused the accident. He’s been living quietly in North Dakota but comes home to be with his mother after she gets a breast cancer diagnosis. His mother wanted Jack to be with her as she faces surgery and whatever treatment is needed afterwards.

Jack is estranged from his older brother, Hank, and this causes extra problems because Hank is the ranch manager at the family farm.

Hannah is assigned as the primary agent for Jack’s protection while he is in Houston. It’s her opportunity to land the plum assignment of opening the London branch. She’s competing with Robbie and only one of them can succeed. She’s determined it will be her.

There are some suspenseful moments in the book but this is not a romantic suspense. In fact, my main criticism of the story is that Hannah doesn’t get enough opportunity to show her professional competence and skill. Instead, Hannah ends up pretending to be Jack’s girlfriend in order not to alarm Jack’s family and in particular his mother, who does not need any extra stress.  Because reasons, Jack and Hannah end up staying at the family farm for a few weeks so the pretence becomes 24/7 and ongoing rather than only for occasional visits.

Hannah, who has been so alone (she and her alcoholic mother were not close) falls for Jack’s parents who have the kind of marriage she thought only appeared on TV. They are loving and lovely and she is made welcome.

But it is the relationship between Hannah and Jack that is the big draw for this book. Given the nature of Hannah’s role, they are forced to spend lots of time together and their connection is delightful.

There were many times I laughed out loud while listening; especially the “mad cat face” scene.

Jack, who has not laughed very much in the past few years, finds himself laughing at least once every day because Hannah delights him. Hannah is not a Hollywood starlet. She’s “ordinary looking”, some might even say “plain”.  To Jack, Hannah is “real”.

Their banter sizzles but they do more than trade bon mots. They help each other deal with their respective griefs. They take care of one another in various ways. They become close and, inevitably, Hannah falls for him. Apart from being gorgeous, Jack is, it turns out, a really nice guy.

The story is told from Hannah’s first person (past tense) point of view and her obvious concern is that Jack is an actor and it can be difficult to know what’s real and what’s pretend. Hannah finds it hard to imagine Jack would want to date her in reality. So do many others in Hannah’s sphere.

We listeners know better of course.

The narration is superb. It’s my first experience with Patty Murin but it won’t be my last. She has fantastic comedic timing, great pacing and tone and also delivers the pathos of the story with skill.

At one stage I thought that Ms. Murin might be a pseudonym for Cristina Panfilio (another favourite of mine) because they sound so similar. (They’re not the same person; a simple Google search shows me that – which is the only reason it gets mentioned at all here. It’s not cool to out people – don’t do it.) So, they’re not the same person but they could be narration twins. There is a very similar style of delivery and the same things I love about Ms. Panfilio’s narration are what shone out to me in Ms. Murin’s performance. In other words, they’re both excellent voice actors.

I’m convinced Ms. Murin’s narration was at least 50% of the reason I laughed as much as I did and she was also probably responsible for at least half of the other emotions I felt throughout the novel. Hannah is a great character, vulnerable, fierce, competent in some things (her job – though this was more told than shown unfortunately) and woefully unskilled in others – navigating personal relationships for example. And Jack is wonderful too. He’s far more than just a pretty face but of course he is completely gorgeous. He sees through Hannah’s guard to the woman beneath and recognises her for the gem she is.

The narration is just excellent and the story is a lot of fun – just watch out for the potential landmines of those heavier topics – but otherwise this book is a big recommend from me.

Kaetrin
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I can always count on Katherine Center to bring all the emotions with some amazingly complex characters all rolled up into the best little rom coms ever. She definitely delivered on The Bodyguard.

The Bodyguard is a fake dating trope where Hannah Brooks is quickly working her way up the ladder and clearly her job is her focus, that is until she’s tasked with guarding celebrity, Jack Stapleton. Throw in that he’s mega famous, from a little town in Texas, has his own army of stalkers and she looks like a Kindergarten teacher and you know you’re going to have a great storyline.

What I loved even more than the laugh-out-loud moments was the serious, deeply challenging moments Jack and Hannah had. And of course I just adored Jack’s parents!

I listened to this audio while we were driving to the Outer Banks and it made the time fly by! I highly recommend it on audio and/or print- such a great narrator and storyline!
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