Cover Image: The Bodyguard

The Bodyguard

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Member Reviews

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 -
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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.

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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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Thanks to Netgalley I was able to listen to the audiobook. I don't normally go for romance or romcom novels, but the way the relationship tied into the story was captivating and fun to listen to. The story line is a bit far fetched, but that's what makes it interesting. An all around easy to listen to and follow book.
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I enjoyed this book so much. It gave me Emily Henry vibes while still being unique. I'll immediately be going out and purchasing myself a copy for my bookshelf.
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Hannah Brooks may look like a plain, ordinary, kindergarten teacher however; she’s anything but that. Hannah can actually kill with a corkscrew or even a ballpoint pen, Hanna is actually an Executive Protection Agent (aka, a bodyguard), her small size and unassuming looks make it easy for her to blend in and protect her clients. Right now, she’s going through the roughest time in her life since she was little. Her mother just passed away and the day after her mother’s funeral her boyfriend Robby dumped her, even worse, he called her a bad kisser. Now Hannah is on assignment being the EPA for hot and hunky Jack Stapleton, a famous movie star. 

Sparks ignite between the pair in the cutest ways in this wonderfully amazing story of love and protection. I thoroughly enjoyed this book, I smiled, I laughed, my heart pounded at the end when all the drama happens. I was drinking this book in and loving every last refreshing drop of it. 

Audio was great, easy to follow and understand. I liked the voice reading the story, she sounded great and read the other voices well. Perfect inflections and pronunciations and very clear sounding, almost melodic voice.
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Patti Murin narrates Katherine Center’s The Bodyguard, in which devastating loss and personal betrayal leave executive protection agent Hannah Brooks desperate for an out-of-country assignment to anywhere else but Houston to escape the pain. But instead, she’s assigned to protect superstar actor Jack Stapleton from a middle-aged stalker. While Hannah looks more like a kindergarten teacher, she could kill you with a ballpoint pen, dinner napkin, or a wine bottle opener because of her EPA training. After a family tragedyJack dropped from the public eye and went off-grid. But after his mom gets sick, he goes home to his family’s Texas ranch to be with her and his family. 

Hannah must go undercover as Jack’s girlfriend to keep his family from finding out about the stalker and his need for a bodyguard. In-person, Jack is nothing like the superstar celebrity she’s expecting. Hannah’s used to protecting/guarding people while keeping her distance but spending time with Jack and his family pretending to be his girlfriend is way outside her comfort zone. The more time she spends with Jack, the more danger to her heart because there’s nowhere for her to run. Hannah’s got Jack’s back, but somehow, he’s taken possession of her heart. How can she keep him safe without losing her heart to him completely? And can they keep the secret they’re hiding without it blowing up in their faces? 

Murin’s narration wonderfully brings Center’s heartfelt and captivating novel and characters to life, complementing The Bodyguard’s text and characters and Center’s storytelling. Narrating from the first-person POV of Hannah, she sets the novel’s overall lighthearted tone, seamlessly shifting narrative styles to match tonal changes for suspenseful, emotional, dramatic, and intimate moments. Murin gives the characters distinct voices, matching their personalities and moods, using cadence, dialect, affectations, and emotional expressiveness. 

Hannah’s voice is perfect, sounding logical, controlled, earnest, “just the facts,” without much expressiveness or emotional highs or lows, even when distressed, angry, or grieving. While Hannah’s voice doesn’t change, Murin nicely shifts the emotional layers of her voice as Hannah evolves. I love Jack’s voice, which is husky, soft, and masculine. You can hear the smile/laughter in his voice and his affection for Hannah/his family. Murin does a great job of shifting his voice to reflect his pain, sadness, weariness, and feelings of being lost.

Center brilliantly merges three of my favorite tropes—bodyguards, fake dating, and friends-to-lovers. In my head, Jack is Chris Evans. I love Jack so much! But not just because he makes me think of Chris. I love him because Center’s descriptive writing, excellent storytelling, and character development made me fall in love with him. Center’s vibrant report is rich with details, emotion, animated and snarky dialogue and character interactions, and deft use of the senses in her storytelling and narrative. Her descriptive use of the senses reveals how Hannah instinctively connects with the world through her sensory perception rather than her emotions. The narrator Murin nicely captures this aspect of Hannah’s character. For example, Jack’s scent immediately captures Hannah’s notice/imagination. Also, Hannah “sees” more than most, priding herself on her observational skills. Unfortunately, her “vision” fails her when most needed. Center sprinkles similar descriptions throughout her narrative at pivotal moments.

Center develops complex, imperfect, relatable characters. Hyper-observant, focused, intelligent, logical, sharp, sarcastic, and always ready to move on to the next assignment, Hannah excels as an EPA/bodyguard. But she keeps parts of herself tightly locked down because of childhood/parental baggage—her anxiety, emotions, her secret romantic nature, and love for Jack Stapleton’s acting and movies. To Hannah’s surprise, Jack’s different than expected. He’s a down-to-earth, introspective, authentic sweetheart who’s funny, gentle, and sarcastic. But, like Hannah, Jack presents a façade to the world. Jack’s haunted by trauma—a tragic accident and loss weighing on him that he doesn’t share. 

I love Jack and Hannah’s relationship and humorous, snarky, sweet, sexy banter and intimacy. But most of all, I love how seriously into Hannah Jack is, despite her inability to see/believe it. Hannah’s determined to keep her distance from Jack, but he breaks through her barriers. Their lives are so different. But, as unlikely as it seems, he and Hannah perfectly match, balancing each other, helping each other heal. 
The scenes with Hannah’s co-workers are hilarious. A fascinating group, their interactions are entertaining, offering insight into Hannah and contributing to her development/evolution. 

Center explores family, self-esteem, hope, grief, loss, and trauma themes in a refreshingly honest and heartfelt narrative. Suspenseful, sweet, charming, and funny with surprising twists and beautiful moments of hope, healing, self-discovery, and the experience of falling in love, The Bodyguard is surprisingly romantic, sneaking up on your heart. I promise it’s well worth the read despite fade-to-black/closed-door love scenes after a terrific build-up of sexual tension—even if you prefer steamy romances.

CW: Parent death, alcoholism, domestic abuse, stalker, cancer, PTSD, trauma, death of a sibling 

Advanced review copy provided by St. Martin’s Press via Netgalley for review.
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I really enjoyed this book. The plotline was great and though I could predict some of the main things that happened, I still loved listening to Hanna and Jack’s story. 
The main thing that I didn’t enjoy was Hanna’s lengthy diatribe and her wordy dramatic reactions to some things. I felt it took away from what was happening and I wanted to skip the scene. I understand comparing what was happening to something but not multiple somethings. It seemed to happen every time a big thing happened to her. For a bodyguard with her background it didn’t seem fitting. 
I did love Jack though. He seemed to fit right into what Hanna needed, whether she liked it or not. I watched them fall in love without them knowing they were doing it, even if there weren’t a ton of details of their time together. 
The narrator for this book was good, but there were a few times I wasn’t sure who was talking if anyone at all. She had a lot of voices but changed her tone at times I didn’t even know someone was in the scene, so it became a little confusing. 

Overall I really did enjoy this book and I would love to know more about some of the side characters! 

Netgalley, Movie star, bodyguard, unexpected couple, audiobook, ARC for honest review, Texas, stalker, fake relationship
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Thank you, NetGalley for the advanced copy of The Bodyguard. 

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It vaguely reminded the Bodyguard movie with Whitney Houston and Kevin Costner, but better. 

Hannah Brooks has a kick-ass job as a bodyguard to high-profile clients. She is extremely smart and can kick ass when she needs to. She recently split with her boyfriend, who always works for the same firm, when they snag a job for Jack Stapleton. Jack is the biggest movie star around and he has a crazed stalker and Hannah is sent to protect him.

I laughed and I cried in this book. The narrator was awesome and I will definitely want to read more by Katherine Center.
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