Hannah, is an executive protection agent- aka bodyguard. Her current assignment: to help protect Jack Stapleton. a famous and in-demand actor. They both have their fair share of personal drama going on behind the scenes. Hannah’s boyfriend dumped her on the day of her mother’s funeral. Jack is in town to support his mother during cancer treatments but doesn't want a ton of attention. Given their proximity to one another, their cover story is that Hannah will pose as Jack's girlfriend so as not to worry his family.
I love that this was set in Texas as it's where I was born and raised. Hannah is a bada$$ and I could feel the chemistry between her and Jack......speaking of Jack, swoon!
This is my favorite Katherine Center book so far, it's one I could see myself re-reading. I look forward to reading her backlist and upcoming novels as well.
Hannah has experienced loss to a degree that she feels completely alone. Her mother died. Then betrayal came next. This eliminated her boyfriend and best friend. Hannah’s profession as executive security takes her all over the world. Her next assignment is for the very handsome actor Jack Stapleton. Hannah doubts her ability to be loved and intentions of those around her. I adored this novel. The Bodyguard was a breath of fresh air. The narrators were perfect selection.
Thank you to Macmillan Audio, St. Martins Press, NetGalley and Katherine Center for this ARC.
Katherine Center really threw me off with this one! At first glance, I thought this would be your classic, girl falls for the bodyguard she doesn’t think she needs, but I was pleasantly surprised when I found out I was dead wrong! In this story, Jack Stapleton just wants to spend time with his sick mother and doesn’t see the need for the Hannah to be his personal protection. Especially when she’s… well… so small. Hannah isn’t too thrilled about this assignment either, but they both slowly start to change their minds.
My first impression with The Bodyguard was immediate interest. I thought making the girl the bodyguard was awesome! I also did google who Jack Stapleton was, though I was 95% sure he wasn’t a real celebrity. Of course, now all I want to know is who he was modeled after. Anyway, I generally find several things to be true with stories like this. 1 – They are always a little cheesy. 2 – They either are surprisingly deep, or just try really hard to be. And 3 – There is normally some fantastic spice. I was pretty surprised to find out which of these assumptions were correct this time around.
1 – Cheese Factor
I have no issue with a little cheese with my RomComs. In fact, I expect it. We all know what we are getting ourselves into with these kinds of books, so I welcome it. This book wasn’t nearly as cheesy as it could have been though. I did think that Hannah talking directly to the reader was a bit much, but it worked for the story. It added a level of fun that I think went really well with the general storyline, I am just personally not a huge fan of that. I also thought that the characters lacked depth. I know that it was supposed to be a lighthearted story, but the characters felt a little too one dimensional for me.
2 – Deep end or Kiddie Pool
Which brings me to my next point. Was The Bodyguard “deep end” deep or “kiddie pool” shallow? (And yes, that is a TVD reference). I think this story tried really hard to be “deep end” deep. We open with the death of Hannah’s mother, which I thought was setting the tone. There were some serious moments throughout the story- Jack talking about his brother, some moments with his mom, but overall, I feel like it missed the mark slightly. I felt like Hannah’s character was trying to deal with the loss of her mother, and suddenly forgot about it halfway through the story. And when you spell out the deeper meaning to a book in the epilogue, it kind of kills it.
3 – Spice Scale, and Does it Matter
Now, not every book needs spice. I know that. You know that. BUT, when most popular books that have cartoon covers are just full of smut right now, it is VERY bold to completely leave it out. I mean, we had some sexual tension, (I personally could have done with even more) but that tension led nowhere. Like not even a fade to black scene. Nothing. To say I was disappointed is an understatement. Is that my own personal issue? Totally. Am I going to get over it? Probably not. But, again, personal issue.
At the end of the day…
I thought The Bodyguard was a funny, sweet, and really unique story. I know I may have just spent this whole review talking about the things that I thought the story lacked, but that is just my takeaway. It wasn’t a rave, but I don’t think it was bad by any means. It is a great book for anyone who just wants something sweet and different! I just felt like it could be a little more real. It definitely felt like a sitcom, but there’s nothing wrong with that.
Patti Murin did the narration for this book. I thought she did a great job sticking to the vibe of the book through her narration style, but it still wasn’t one of my favorites. Her voice was overly chipper at times, and I wasn’t sure if that was exactly how I thought Hannah would talk. This book was funny and a bit cheesy, but I still felt like Hannah would not have been so sitcomy the whole time. It felt a little forced with how upbeat everything was. Maybe part of that was the fact that at times Hannah spoke right to the reader, and I always feel like that immediately adds a layer of gimmicky to the story.
Thank you Netgalley and publisher for opportunity to read and review this arc honestly.
I absolutely loved this story. I was drawn in from the start and couldn't put it down and finished it in one sitting. The characters were well developed, the setting, the storyline and plot. Definitely want to read more by Katherine Center.
“You can't make people love you. But you can give the love you long for out to the world. 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 giving it to yourself.”
So this was my first Katherine Center book, and I am so obsessed that I am meeting her next week in Houston. This book just had everything that I could've wanted from a romance. I loved the fact that this was not your typical bodyguard romance and that it was instead a gender swap sort of non typical adventure. I also am a sucker for the fake dating trope so this was just such a fun read. I also loved how dramatic this was, I think considering Jack was an actor. I really enjoyed looking into his family dynamic and just from start to finish this had me giggling, blushing and kicking my feet. I will happing read anything Katherine writes.
She’s HIS bodyguard! I love a “fake dating” romance, and this one nailed it!
I also like that the presumed gender roles were switched. She’s his bodyguard but she’s very unassuming. He has stalkers and needs her protection.
Great story! This book has made me a fan of Katherine Center! Now off to read everything else she’s written!
This is the first book I have read by Katherine Center, and it definitely won’t be the last. I am quite picky about chick-lit, rom-com novels. Many tend to be too sappy or silly for my taste. But I had heard good things about Katherine Center’s Things You Save In a Fire, so when the opportunity arose to read an ARC of The Bodyguard, I thought I’d give it a go. And I’m glad I did.
Hannah Brooks is dealing with a lot of disappointment in both her personal and professional life. Her mother has died. And after she is dumped by her boyfriend, she discovers that he has taken up with her best friend. On the work front as an Executive Protection Agent (basically an elite bodyguard), Hannah is pulled from an expected assignment in Madrid and is told there are no open foreign assignments. To make matters worse, she discovers that she now has direct competition for a coveted two-year stint in London. Could things get any worse? When she finally does get an assignment, it is not at any of the glamorous locales, but in her own backyard of Houston, Texas, where she will be guarding actor Jack Stapleton from a corgi-loving stalker. Hiding his bodyguard from his family is a problem for Jack, who proposes Hannah act as his girlfriend. They play their roles to perfection, and Hannah falls for him despite her knowledge of the pretense. But when the stalker plotline comes to the forefront, Hannah must put it all on the line to protect Jack.
Katherine Center’s approach to the story is fresh and light. The fake-boyfriend plot is done a lot in romances, but this time it has a genuine ring to it. I immediately felt sorry for Hannah. Everything seemed to go wrong at once, falling down around her like an ill-constructed house of cards. But through it all, her spunk and spirit shown, and I was happy to see a successful woman taking on a generally male profession and handling it competently. While the emphasis was definitely on the romance, it could be classified as “clean.” This to me is a selling point – no need to bog down the plot with ridiculous sex scenes or steamy displays meant solely to convince the reader that two people are in love (or lust). Much better to let the relationship speak for itself. There are several familiar tropes – especially concerning the way Jack’s mother welcomes Hannah into her home – but they work well together here. The reader really becomes invested in Jack and Hannah’s love story.
The Bodyguard is a sweet, humorous, feel-good rom-com that will keep you entertained for hours. I think Katherine Center has found a new fan.
Note: I received an ARC of The Bodyguard from NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press. The above is my honest review.
🌿The Bodygaurd ~ Katherine Center 🌿
This book has to be my favorite one of Katherine Center.
Making the female MC a bodyguard had my attention right away. When she is hired to protect a rockstar from a stalker. He goes home to his family’s ranch to help out with his ailing mother. Jack doesn’t want his family worried that he has a stalker so he hires a Hannah to be his bodyguard, but also asks her to be undercover and pretend she’s his girlfriend.
Thank you for the opportunity to listen to this ALC. I found the narration engaging and excellent. This book was a delight!
I received a free ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
I enjoyed this book. It was light and fun but with some serious moments as well. I liked the storyline, it was predictable in a few places but it didn’t make it less interesting. The characters were great and easy to like (or dislike in certain cases). This book gave me a lot of the feels.
I liked the narrator. She was pretty good at giving different voices to the characters and emoted really well.
The Bodyguard by Katherine Center was a great read! Center is the master of writing complex relationships and emotionally charged events with care. I can always count on her ability to write stories with well-developed characters who I cheer on; characters that are flawed (like all of us) with interesting backstories that tug at your heart. This book did not disappoint because it was all of these things and more. But it was also hopeful and had a light-hearted, feel-good quality to it.
I received a review copy of this book from the author/publisher through NetGalley for my honest review. The opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.
Thank you to Macmillan Audio and to NetGalley for an ARC of this audiobook.
I have read all of Katherine Centers previous book and love them all. This book was not a disappointment!
Her writing style is so fun, and her characters are great. The narrator was excellent as well. I love her voice.
This book is definitely another of her books that I will recommend for readers advisory. I can't wait to read what she has next!
Thank you Macmillian audio for the advanced copy of The Bodyguard!
Katherine Center's books are always tread a line between heavier topics and sweet and funny and The Bodyguard was no exception! I really appreciated the unique setup and watching Hannah and Jack interact. The narration was also excellent!
When reclusive movie star Jack's mom gets sick, he hires bodyguard Hannah to protect him from his stalker when he goes back home. In order to keep his stalker a secret from his family, Hannah must pretend to be his girlfriend. The more time they spend pretending to be in a relationship, the harder it gets for Hannah to protect her heart...
I love Katherine Center's books, and this was no exception. I love the slow burn romance between Jack and Hannah! I listened to the audiobook, and I highly recommend it.
This was my first Katherine Center book, and I understand all of the love for her! Was this romcom a bit predictable in paces? Yes, but in the most comforting way. I found Hannah and Jack to be extremely likeable lead characters, and I loved the twist on the traditional "bodyguard" -Hannah is charged with protecting Jack. Overall, this was a fun, enjoyable read for me to escape for a little while.
What happens when a female bodyguard is assigned to a movie star, but can't let everyone else know she's a bodyguard? Absolute chaos.
Hannah never stays in one place for long. As an Executive Protection agent, she travels the world to serve her clients. But when her mother dies, Hannah is forced to stick close to home in Houston, Texas.
Her next assignment, Jake Stapleton, the elusive A-list movie star who hasn't been seen in 2 years.
Jake does not want his family to know that he needs a bodyguard, so Hannah must pretend to be his girlfriend, while also doing her job to protect her client.
The story is so engaging and entertaining. Hannah seems a little aloof to be a bodygurad, but she grows on you. I actually found myself laughing out loud in my car way too often.
Definitely a fun rom-com that I would recommend.
I enjoyed this romance, and love the flip on traditional bodyguard gender roles. Loved the family as well for the hero
"The Bodyguard" by Katherine Center is a perfectly fine romantic comedy. Hannah and Jack are perfectly likeable characters, but I didn't feel any real spark between the two of them. But I can see why the book is appealing to other readers. I would definitely add this to my list of recommendable romantic comedies. I also didn't love the narrator. The narrator does distinguish between male and female characters, but there's a bit of confusion distinguishing between the male characters.
Thank you to Katherine Center, Macmillan Audio, and NetGalley for sending me the ALC in exchange for an honest review.
What a fun book! I loved the narrations and and the unique-ish storyline. Books that feature famous or rich love interests are always extra enjoyable, even if you do have to suspend reality a little bit while listening!
I did find some parts to be a little cheesy and the last suspenseful scene was way over the top, but a very easy book to listen to and overall very enjoyable!
A compelling and sweet story. This story was raw at times, but overall a sweet story. I enjoyed the dynamic between the two main characters, especially the part where the bodyguard, Hannah, uses some of her moves on Jack. The ending was a twist that I did not see coming!
The audiobook was very well done!
This was my first Katherine Center book and I really enjoyed it. I love a celebrity/bodyguard and grumpy/sunshine romances and the author delivered on those tropes with a fresh twist. I definitely recommend this book!