Cover Image: The Bodyguard

The Bodyguard

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If you are looking for a fun summer read, this is it! This story felt very much like a classic movie rom com in book form. Some silly antics, a little family drama, and a bit of romance.

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Thank you Macmillan Audio and NetGalley for an ARC of this audiobook in exchange for an honest review.

Hannah Brooks is an Executive Protection Agent, otherwise known as a bodyguard, who has recently lost her mother, her boyfriend and her best friend and wants to bury herself in work…..preferably out of the country. Instead, she is assigned to protect movie star, Jack Stapleton, in town and under unorthodox circumstances.

Jack Stapleton is a famous movie star heading back home to his family's Texas ranch to spend time supporting his mom through an illness. It won't be easy because of a family tragedy that happened a few years ago putting distance between his family. His family doesn't know about his stalker, and he plans to keep it that way for the sake of his mom's recovery.

What's the best way to keep your bodyguard hidden? To pretend she's your girlfriend, easy right?

I absolutely love this story and the characters. Jack is full of fun and surprising layers and Hannah is practical and by the book. The journey they take through is fun, touching, and meaningful. The Stapleton family is a bunch of fantastic supporting characters and Hannah got a lot from being thrust into this job with this family.

One of my favorite books of the year!

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The Bodyguard is my favorite romance of the year thus far! Hannah's company is hired to protect movie star, Jack Stapleton, when he returns home to Texas to spend time with his ill mother. Hannah specifically is assigned to be his bodyguard, and it does not take long for her and Jack to form a connection. Filled with great and well-developed characters, the story was perfectly paced. There is a bit of a twist at the end that surprised me, and made the story all that more enjoyable. I would highly recommend this book.

Thank you to the author, Macmillan Audio, and NetGalley for a copy of this audiobook in exchange for an honest review. #TheBodyguard #NetGalley

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Audiobook received for free through NetGalley

It took a little bit to get into this book. Not sure if it’s was the way it was written or what. That said, once I did it was hard to put down. I loved the characters and feel all the self-help advice the main character (written in first person) gave herself. So glad I came across this.

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I adored this. It was funny, sexy, and sweet. I loved that Hannah was the bodyguard, to change the gender roles! Jack Stapleton was a lovable main character, and the interactions between Jack and Hannah were just so magical. It was a perfect vacation read!

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In true Katherine Center fashion, this book was absolutely adorable! It featured my favorite trope, fake dating, which had me hooked from the beginning! The characters were all so likeable and had me interested in their lives. Listening to the audio made this book even better as I could just lose myself in the story.

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# of Pages: 320
Genre: Romance, Contemporary
Star Rating: ⭑⭑⭑⭑⭑/5

When executive protection agent Hannah Brooks loses her mother and is dumped by her boyfriend all in the same week, her number one desire is to run away and start over - and the last thing she wants is to be assigned to international superstar Jack Stapleton at home in Texas.

With a big promotion on the line, Hannah begrudgingly takes on Jack’s case. She finds herself playing the role of Jack’s fake girlfriend to keep his family in the dark about Jack’s possibly-harmless-but-possibly-not corgi breeding stalker.

If you are looking for your perfect, feels-like-sunshine, fake-dating-to-real-dating, fluffy, romance, this is the one. The audiobook, narrated by Patti Murin, was amazing and I found myself spending more time than I planned to listen every time. This will be one that I head out in search of a physical copy of and may even become my new go-to comfort novel when I need something sweet.

This book could seamlessly be translated into a feel-good rom-com film adaptation, and yes, I would most definitely watch it. The characters, though a little too perfect, made me genuinely laugh and each had their own distinct personality, and while the plot was definitely cliche, the reversed gender roles make it more interesting. Plus, sometimes a cliche is exactly what you need.

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What a fun story about a tiny woman as a bodyguard for a 6’ dashing movie star!

I always enjoy Katherine Center’s books. Her protagonists are smart, strong females. The conquer the issues straight on with competence and creativity. This book in no different. It could even be argued that this is her best novel yet.

It is full of humor while still dealing with real world problems such as cancer, crazed fans, family misunderstandings and loyalty. The narrator was perfect and made a great story even better. Since I received both the eBook and audiobook, I switched back and forth between the two. The audiobook was my preferred reading method.

I received an ARC from St. Martin’s Press and an audiobook from MacMillan Audio. This in no way affects my opinion or rating of this book. I am voluntarily submitting this review and am under no obligation to do so.

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My problems with this are minor. And probably personal. I just feel like the little details in the synopsis and on the cover don't go with the book. Why do they choose the descriptors "Hannah looks more like a Kindergarten teacher..." and put her in cowboy(girl) boots? She never acts, dresses up, or mentions anything about a teacher in the book, nor does she wear boots in the story. She rides a horse and meets a cow, as well as some undesirable footwear (in her opinion) but I don't remember these two situations occurring in the book! And why does Jack look like Mr. Darcy? I really thought he was going to be a lot more A-list, movie star lifestyle-ish...I don't know. I just hate it when book descriptions paint a very different picture than the actual book. Maybe I just can't read and its just me.

That being said...I should never underestimate Katherine Center. She really is why I picked up this book. This is my second book by this author and it did not disappoint. It was a little slow in the beginning but the second half had me absolutely melting. I loved Jack's family, I loved the Agency crew (well, the ones I was supposed to, and hated the ones I was supposed to), and of course I was rooting for Hannah and Jack. Such a feel-good book. Loved it!

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This book was so good. It’s exactly what I needed after reading a bunch of twisty thrillers. Jack and Hannah’s relationship was the cutest and the issues they faced were actual issues instead of just bad communication which I see in so many romance books. The family ranch setting and the exploration of other relationship issues outside of the couple were so well done. I couldn’t out this one down and will probably read it again soon when I need a serotonin rush. ☺️

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I enjoyed this "bodyguard fake dates her actor client" romance! It was sweet and fun with some moments that definitely squeezed your heart in sympathy for the characters. It covered some emotional topics too but it was handled very well. There wasn't any spice but it was good enough that I didn't mind. Which says a lot for me. I can't wait for more from this author.

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Thank you Netgalley and the author for my ARC.💛💖

I really loved this book, guys. It's the first time I've read this author's work and I can say I will definitely be doing it again.
Hannah works as a Bodyguard and is tasked with protecting Jack, a well-known actor from a crazed stalker. We get fake dating, meddlesome family, the awful Ex, ass-kicking shenanigans, and laugh-out-loud scenes. Super mild angst with a happy ending that remained true to the character's nature.

A quick read romance with a memorable female character and just the right amount of love language. Very satisfying!! 👏👏👏.

Grab a copy, this book is avail to buy now.💛💖

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It’s not exactly a surprise that this a bodyguard romance. After all, the title does pretty much give it away. But before your head starts playing “I Will Always Love You” on endless repeats, this book’s version of that popular trope would have Whitney Houston guarding Kevin Costner. Which is more than a bit of a twist, at least if that’s the picture you have in your head.

In this version, it’s Executive Protection Agent Hannah Brooks guarding the uber-famous actor Jack Stapleton. (In my head, I was picturing Jack as an amalgam of the superhero movie Chris brigade, so combine the features – and the careers – of Chris Evans, Hemsworth, Pine and Pratt to get sorta/kinda the picture in my head. And now, quite possibly, yours.)

The explanation of exactly why Hannah Brooks does not look like the beefy, burly, able to bench press a Hummer, stereotype is pretty much on point. Having that kind of bodyguard advertises that something is up and someone or something needs protection. It’s not exactly discreet, The company that Hannah works for is all about protection and discretion – even if some of the agents, including Hannah, seem to have a problem with the latter in their personal lives. Hannah and her team plan and prepare for every detail and contingency so that threats are eliminated before they happen.

Even if the biggest threat that Jack Stapleton seems to face is a middle-aged stalker who keeps Corgis and knits sweaters with Jack’s face in the center. Or at least the Corgi stalker is the reason that Jack’s team at the movie studio hires the protection agency.

Once Hannah is embedded in Jack’s life and his world, it starts to seem like Jack’s older brother Hank is a much bigger threat – but not as big or as difficult to fight as his mother’s cancer.

And that’s where things go really, really pear-shaped – especially for Hannah. Jack doesn’t want to worry his mom while she’s undergoing treatment, so he wants to hide the fact that he needs protection at all. Which puts Hannah in a really tough spot, as Jack’s plan requires that Hannah pretend she’s his girlfriend and not his bodyguard.

The longer it goes on, the realer the ruse seems to be – and not just to Hannah. Unless Jack is a much, much better actor than even Hannah thinks he is.

Unless the stalker is even better than that.

Escape Rating B-: This is a story where I had both the audiobook and the ebook, which means I started by listening to the audiobook. I switched to the ebook at less than a third of the way through – not because I was impatient to see what happened next but because the audio was driving me utterly bonkers.

So many people have loved this book, and it sounded like it would be so much fun, but the audio just about had me screaming in the car. I switched to the ebook because I was determined to finish the damn thing.

The story is told in the first person singular, so we’re in Hannah’s head listening to her voice and all of her many, many, many anxious thoughts and feelings, nearly all of which are negative and are flying by at what seems like a million miles per hour. The narrator’s delivery of the rapid-fire cacophony inside Hannah’s head was spot-on, but the overwhelming mass of negativity the character was projecting – well, I just wasn’t there for it. At all.

Hannah is a person who is afraid to sit still or even to slow down. Even if she’s not moving in the physical sense, her brain is whirling at a million miles per minute. And it seems like most of those miles and minutes are negative. She’s not happy with herself, she’s not happy with her life – particularly when the story opens – and she’s doing her level best to keep in motion so she doesn’t have to deal with ANY of her issues.

That her mother just died and her boyfriend dumped her the morning after her mother’s funeral is just the tip of the rock-filled iceberg that is Hannah’s emotional state. (Her boyfriend is a douche and she’s WAY better off without him, but it takes her awhile to figure that out – as it does.)

And her boss is a complete asshole. Even when he’s right, he goes about it the worst way possible – because he admits he enjoys torturing his employees. He’d call it “tough love” if he was willing to use the word “love” at all. But it comes off as just being an abusive asshole who enjoys his assholishness.

In short, Hannah has a metric buttload of issues that she is burying under her workaholism. All of her issues feel justified, but she’s not dealing with pretty much ANYTHING that needs to be dealt with. And her mother’s death provides the straw that is breaking the camel’s back of Hannah’s coping mechanisms.

Not that Jack Stapleton is in much better shape emotionally – he just hides it better. After all, he is an actor. The irony of their situation is that as fake as their relationship is supposed to be, Hannah is a much more real person than anyone Jack has ever associated with in Hollywood – including his supposed “real” girlfriend.

The relationship that develops between Hannah and Jack, as bizarre as its starting point, is the most real thing in his life – except for his older brother’s animosity and his mother’s cancer. He’s not coping well either – and he has just as much to cope with as Hannah does.

And that’s one of the places where the story is shortchanged by its cute sweetness. Because it certainly is both of those things. The issue that I had with the story in the end is that there is too much going on with both of these people for a romance that ends up being this light and fluffy.

Not that both Hannah and Jack don’t deserve a happy ending – because they both certainly do. But the way they achieve it, and the way that their happy ever after is presented, completely glosses over everything that is really, truly not cute or sweet at all. In the end, the story shores up the fallacy that love conquers all, including learning disabilities, impostor syndrome, feelings of total inadequacy, childhood trauma, and unprocessed grief.

It ends on the note that love doesn’t just conquer all, but that it cures everything that ails a person. Which just isn’t true. And this would have been a much better story, if not nearly as fluffy, if their very important issues had been dealt – or at least showed that they would BE dealt with – instead of swept under the carpet.

In the end, this wasn’t bad – and it’s a surprisingly clean romance if you’re looking for one. But it wasn’t nearly as good as it could have been.

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I have enjoyed all of Katherine Center’s novels and this one is no different. Was it easy to see where this book was headed, sure, but there was enough drama that it wasn’t a straight line. I also don’t mind knowing it’s going to be a happy ending with the main characters coming together. It was an intriguing plot like and the characters were well developed.

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Charming romance - chick lit the way it should be done. I listened and the reader is excellent! This is just the read for when you need to laugh (and go to a big Texas ranch!) The characters are all entertaining and the plot has a few twists. Just right light!!

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The Bodyguard by Katherine Center was a cute story about finding love when you least expect it. I rather enjoyed it and it was fun to listen to. It is about Hannah, who is a petite little bodyguard who can kill you with a fork. She is assigned to guard famous movie star Jack Stapleton, which seems a bit odd. Even odder, she has to pose as his girlfriend. Her whole world seems off kilter and she isn't sure how to balance it. Add in a corgi breeding stalker, a fanatical husband, and a sick mom, and things get even crazier. All in all, a fun read.
Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher. The narrator did a good job too!

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This new book by #KatherineCenter, I genuinely loved and think it’s my favorite by her!
The very likable main character, Hannah, I rooted for the entire time in finding love with Jack! Just the sweetest and perfect summer read!

The phenomenal Patti Murin gives the best narration!

Thank you so much, Katherine Center, MacmillanAudio & NetGalley, for this #audiobook to “read” & give my honest review! Five stars, HONESTLY! I finished it on one sitting!!

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Katherine Center knows exactly how to hook me in and fall in love with her books and characters. The Bodyguard is her newest book and I loved the fake dating with a side of suspense.

Hannah Brooks is an Executive Protection Agent that buries her estranged mother and gets dumped by her co-worker boyfriend with in days of each other. She becomes a tad erratic in the office causing her boss to reassign her. Instead of going to Madrid to protect a fancy dignitary, she’s grounded to Texas…and “forced” to protect a Hollywood Playboy when he returns home. Hannah is adamantly against the fake dating arrangement, but her boss refuses to let her quit…and that is where the lines start to blur.

I love the emotional discovery that Hannah works through as she learns to love herself and open herself up to the possibility of being loved in return. This book made me laugh and love. It is about forgiveness and a twist at the end I was not expecting.

I also had the luxury of listening along with reading the egalley. Thanks to @macmillionaudio for granting me the audiobook.

4.5 stars – Rounding to 5 for Goodreads.

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An easy summer read made even easier due to the audible format. It was cute to hear the other side of a fictitious world famous actor, in this game named Jack Stapleton, and the misconceptions formed by the public. It was only natural that the protagonist fall in love with him, but it was sweet to read of her internal conflict and constant doubts that plague so many of us. Of course it was wrapped up with a tidy bow at the end, but to do any differently would have been a disservice to the storyline.

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What an absolute charmer of a book! Are you looking for a great fake dating only-one-bed trope that will make you swoon, make you giggle, and actually has a few surprises along the way, look no further than this one.

I loved the characters, I loved their dynamic, and pretty much everything this one had to offer. I will say that it is *squeaky clean* though, so if that’s not what you’re looking for, this one may frustrate you.

But I also picture Henry Cavill in my mind while reading. . . .so perhaps that’s why I enjoyed it so much. *wink*wink*

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