Cover Image: The Bodyguard

The Bodyguard

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Member Reviews

What I Loved: 
✨Faking Dating Trope - felt more realistic since “dating” was part of their working relationship.  The other romance tropes include forced proximity/one bed and grumpy/sunshine - all were well written. 
✨Cast of Dysfunctional Coworkers - I loved all the personalities!  You always need someone to hate, and Robby is perfectly written for that role. 
✨Strong MCs w/ emotional depth - Both Hannah and Jake are emotionally vulnerable and full of insecurities due to past trauma. But together, they help each other heal while discovering their own self-worth. 
✨Stalker Storyline - who doesn’t love a middle-aged, corgi breeding stalker who knits sweaters with Jake’s face on it, aka The Corgi Lady. 😂
✨Uplifting Message - always a hallmark of Katherine Center’s books. 
✨Patti Murin’s narration elevates the story! Murin’s comedic timing flawlessly adds just the right amount of humor to Hannah’s vulnerabilities, capturing Hannah’s soul perfectly. I highly recommend this format!  

The Bodyguard is my fourth Katherine Center book and might be my new favorite, leapfrogging ahead of How To Walk Away.   If you ever need a pick-me-up, do yourself a favor and read a Katherine Center book!  She deserves a crown for happy reads.
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I just can’t say enough good things about Katherine Center’s writing. I was introduced to her by an independent bookstore suggesting her title Things You Save in a Fire. It was such a great read as is The Bodyguard. I just loved it. The right amount of humor and romance intertwined into a wonderful book. Highly recommend!
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<b>Katherine Center's newest light fiction offers an irresistible premise--a female bodyguard poses as the girlfriend of a heartthrob actor--and delightful, if sometimes predictable, developments that lead to a satisfying ending.</b>

I listened to <i>The Bodyguard,</i> the newest book by Katherine Center.

Hannah Brooks looks like the young woman next door--but she's actually a highly skilled Executive Protection Agent--a bodyguard. And her newest client is the Jack Stapleton, action star, household name--and, in recent years, recluse.

Someone is stalking Jack, and Hannah is bound to protect him. But Jack's mother is sick, he wants to return home to Texas, and he doesn't want his family to know he's got a stalker and be worried while they're focused on his mother's health. So against her better judgment, Hannah agrees to pose as Jack's girlfriend. Only...the longer she pretends, the more their fake relationship  seems like it might have promise.

Some of the details here didn't add up for me--for example, Hannah poses as a photographer but is never asked about her career (or her long-term leave of absence from any clients or work) and she doesn't even have a camera with her, but this is not suspicious or of interest to people who are treating her like and caring for her like family. And the main "bad guys" here (Robbie, Kennedy) are so hopeless, so unkind, so clueless, and so insufferable, it's hard to imagine that either Hannah or Jack could have spent time with them in any context.

Much of Hannah's character growth in the story centers around her journey from low to medium self-esteem. This occurs while (and because?) she spends time with Jack, despite the fact that during this period she constantly questions her self-worth and attractiveness, and despite his teasing barbs that may be intended to be charmingly down-to-earth or candid but seemed jerky to me (calling Hannah "stumpy"--she is short--and "plain"--she is not a movie star). 

Moments of casual comfortableness bring the characters together and are at the root of their connection--but I wished Hannah's vulnerability didn't center around her bursting into tears so frequently (despite the fact that she says she really never cries). 

Yet <i>The Bodyguard</i> is fun, often charming--and the premise is absolutely irresistible. Jack's family is lovely, and there's a subplot in which Jack and his brother Hank are furious with each other after the loss of their brother, for which Jack has been blamed. This--along with a late-stage, dangerous, dramatic situation requiring Hannah's smarts and strength--adds tension and conflict to the story.

Even if some of the resolutions here are predictable, it's satisfying to know that in Center's hands, her characters are relatively safe, and that she'll deliver an ending that makes a reader happy. The journey to the conclusion is joy-filled and entertaining.

I received a prepublication audiobook version of this book courtesy of MacMillan Audio and NetGalley.

Check out the blog for my reviews of Katherine Center’s <i>What You Wish For</i> and <i>Things You Save in a Fire.</i>
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This one is a whole lot of no for me I just really didn’t like it which is abnormal because I normally love this kind of thing
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This book was cute. It was laugh out loud funny at points and kept a permanent smile on my face as I read it. It’s a closed door romance so if you are looking for spice, this isn’t the book for you.
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I just loved Katherine Center’s book The Bodyguard! I received the audiobook from NetGalley and I must say, it was one of the best audiobooks I’ve ever listened to, thanks to the awesome narrator and the wonderful story by this author. I usually prefer to read the book myself, but this time I thought the audiobook might even be better than doing that. When I first read the premise of the book, I wasn’t sure I would like it - but I thoroughly enjoyed this warm, funny story about a female bodyguard and the good-looking client she has to protect. The characters drew me and made me laugh and cry, but in a good, escapist way. I highly recommend this book and especially the audiobook version!
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Katherine Center is just the absolute cutest! Despite her books following somewhat of a predictable romance storyline, she always manages to add some pizazz to keep the reader guessing. I also particularly enjoyed sharing a name with this vivacious and independent main character. 

I will confess, this is not my favorite of Center’s books, but that won’t stop me from quickly recommending any and all Center magic to break a reading slump and bring joy. I felt similarly to How to Walk Away in how I hold client relationships sacred and could not, would not ever cross that line. It reads deeply unprofessional and makes me like the employed person less. Sorry Hannah! 

That said - I know it’s a trope and not a deal breaker for a lot of readers so ultimately this is a case of preference. I still loved the banter and sweet characters and how Hannah bounced back from some pretty terrible experiences with gusto. The family relationship was especially heartwarming and read real to me. 

Thanks so much #netgalley for the #ALC to match this adorable cover. The narration was excellent and kept me engaged. 

#katherinecenter #thebodyguard
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This is my fourth Katherine Center book and I've loved them all for the same reasons: heart, humor, and hope. Yes, The Bodyguard is a romance of sorts, and yes, we have a good idea of where Hannah's love life is heading, but it's like anticipating a hot fudge sundae, you know it will taste, but you look forward to it, anyway.
And this story (as with her others) is more than witty writing, it is laced with wisdom, slowly revealing the "why" to the characters' actions and decisions, bringing it home for the reader with relatable emotions and a connection that we all want... to love and be loved.
I listened to the audiobook and really enjoyed the narrator! Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me a copy of this fun, heartfelt story!
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I inhaled The Bodyguard by Katherine Center. It’s the perfect milkshake read — goes down super easy, and is sweet and enjoyable the whole time. 

The bodyguard in this book is Hannah, a professional personal protection agent assigned to guard movie star Jack Stapleton. Jack doesn’t want his family to know that he has a stalker and needs a bodyguard, so what else could they do? They had to pretend to date. 

This was a very sweet story, and I honestly didn’t mind the common romance tropes that appeared. I liked the characters, and I was rooting for Hannah and Jack. There isn’t anything groundbreaking in this book, but it’s a perfect light, fun summer read. I really enjoyed it on audio.
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I LOVED THIS BOOK!!!! 10 stars!!!! 

This book was so much fun. I loved every minute of it! 

Hannah Brooks is our main character and she's a Executive Protection Agent. She didn't have the best childhood and had to lean on herself a lot. Her mother passes away and her boyfriend (and fellow colleague) breaks up with her the day after her mother's funeral. 

Hannah is a work-a-holic and rarely takes anytime off. She's looking for a change and her company is opening a new office in London and it's between her and her ex boyfriend on who gets the job. One catch- she has to take a new job protecting a celebrity. Not just any celebrity but famous movie star Jack Stapleton. And she's not only protecting him, but she's pretending to be his girlfriend! Jack's family is going through a health crisis with his mother and the last thing he wants is for them to worry about his stalker. Jack asks Hannah to pretend to be his girlfriend so his family doesn't worry more. The journey of watching (or listening) these two characters develop was amazing. His mother requested that they stay at his families ranch until Thanksgiving. Hannah is very much a city girl so a lot of the experiences there were new to her and quite comical. 

The banter between the two had me laughing out loud and smiling at the sweet moments between them. 

This book was such a breath of fresh air. I didn't want it to end. 

I'm now on a mission to read all of Katherine Center's books! 

Thank you NetGalley and MacMillan audio for the advanced audiobook for my honest review.
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4.5 stars!

I’m torn between 4-5 stars here, but after some of my other recent reads, I’m realizing that I actually want to bump this one up even more.

Katherine Center has become one of my favorite authors, and I love that her books provide that heartwarming story when I just need something to escape with. 

I loved that THE BODYGUARD featured a woman in a male dominated field, as an Executive Protection Agent, and that while you do have to suspend reality a bit here (Hannah comes off as kind of immature, and although she’s small and mighty, could she realistically defend a high profile celebrity like Jack Stapleton?)

Either way, I devoured the story and ended up alternating between the physical book and the audiobook, which was narrated by Patti Murin. The fake dating storyline and the funny banter between Hannah and Jack was the best, and I thought the narrator was a great choice!

*many thanks to St Martin’s Press/Macmillan Audio and Netgalley for the gifted copy and ALC for review
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I have read several books by Katherine Center and have loved each one. The Bodyguard was no exception! It was just the type of book I longed for without realizing it. The Bodyguard was a heartwarming romance that was uplifting and put a big smile on my face. I loved the characters and the back and forth banter between them. 

Hannah Brooks was an Executive Protection Agent or bodyguard and she was one of the best her company had. Her mother had just died and Hannah was about to have one of the worst days of her life. Even though her mother’s funeral was just the previous day, Hannah found it hard to stay home and grieve. She was determined to go back to work and stay busy the only way she knew how to. Little did Hannah know that she was about to suffer one of the worst days of her life. Hannah’s long time boyfriend decided to break up with her. How could he have been so insensitive to break up with her the day after her mother’s funeral? He had even attended the funeral. When Hannah asked why, he told her she was a bad kisser. The nerve of him! Was it true? Those words would stick with Hannah. Then her boss told Hannah that she was being replaced by her best friend for an upcoming assignment Hannah had been looking forward to. She had been assigned to travel to Madrid, Spain. Her best friend and her ex-boyfriend were going to be sent to Madrid together instead. What else could go wrong? Her boss demanded that Hannah take a month off. 

When Hannah returned to work after her month off, she was assigned to a case she never would have expected to be assigned to. It was right in her backyard of Houston, Texas. No need to travel very far. Hannah was to be the bodyguard for actor, Jack Stapleton. The assignment required Hannah to live on her client’s family’s farm with him so she could protect him from a stalker threat. Jack Stapleton had recently returned to Houston to be with his mother who had been recently diagnosed with cancer. Jack and Hannah’s first encounter started off a bit shaky to say the least. Jack mistook Hannah for a maid. He had not been informed by his agent that a bodyguard was showing up at his home to protect him. Jack finally agreed to the arrangement but informed Hannah that he did not want to upset his parents or worry them. They agreed to pretend to be boyfriend and girlfriend. Jack and Hannah agreed that they would take part in “fake dating”. What transpired between Jack and Hannah will make you smile, laugh out loud at times and just feel good.

I really enjoyed The Bodyguard by Katherine Center. I have come to expect upbeat books by this author and The Bodyguard definitely fit that description in my opinion. Romantic Rom-Com books are not my usual genre but sometimes they work for me and this one surely did. I highly recommend this book.

Thank you to Macmillan Audio for allowing me to listen to this audiobook through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
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Thank you Macmillan Audio for the gifted listening copy! 

"She's got his back. He's got her heart." When movie star Jack Stapleton returns to Houston to be at his ailing mother's bedside, executive protection agent (aka bodyguard) Hannah Brooks and her team are hired to protect him from all threats, including his long time stalker. Jack has been off the grid for a while, and they are determined to keep his return a secret. In order to not add stress to Mrs. Stapleton's life, Jack refuses to let his family know about his EPA, causing recently-dumped Hannah to spend weeks pretending to be Jack's girlfriend. Soon enough, things start to feel real and Hannah finds herself struggling to differentiate between reality and Jack's exceptional acting. 


First of all, I tend to lean towards thrillers for audiobooks (they keep me enticed while I'm listening and doing other tasks) so this was a step outside of my comfort zone, and it paid off! Patti Murin did a phenomenal job telling Jack and Hannah's story. I really felt like she WAS Hannah, recounting this adorable tale right to me! Katherine Center's fabulous writing worked in her favor, too. I truly laughed out lout a few times listening to this alone in the car, and, once I stated, I couldn't put this down! 

THE BODYGUARD is a sweet, fake-dating trope rom com, but it's so much more than that! It's about vulnerability, human connection, strength, resilience, and learning to love yourself! Throw in a totally loveable main character, a hot and emotionally available leading man, and a little bit of mystery and you've got yourself a book to treasure for a long time to come. I can't recommend this one enough!
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The Bodyguard by Katherine Center

The Bodyguard tells the story of an atypical “executive protection agent” - bodyguard. At 5’ 6”, Hannah is not who you expect to be guarding celebrities and high dollar clients. When she is placed on the job for Hollywood star, Jack Stapleton, she loudly refuses. But her boss does not intend to let her off of this one. Jack and Hannah are thrown into more than they ever expected.

This book had aspects that made me laugh out loud, that squeezed my heart, and that had me sitting on the edge of my seat. I loved the atypical plot line of a female bodyguard and all of the shenanigans that came along with it. There were multiple very serious themes introduced and discussed, but also some hilarious comedy and romance.

The ‘falls for the man AND falls for his family’ trope melts me every single time. I love the picture painted of this family. Both of the MCs have been through some intense trauma, and the author did an excellent job of walking us through their journey.

There were so many beautiful takeaways written throughout this story. Multiple characters had lessons to learn that will impact the reader along the way.

My only complaint was that some of the pacing was a little off for me at times - some conversations went on too long, or some aspects felt random - but overall, nothing that kept me from enjoying this book! 

I appreciated the clean/closed door romance that had an excellent plot that didn’t require smut to interest the reader. 👏🏻

The narrator of this audiobook did an excellent job. I was very happy with the performance and I had no complaints. I enjoyed the voices for each character and the presentation was well done. 

Thank you to Macmillan audio, Netgalley, and the publisher for a review copy of this book.

Review published at on 7/25/22.
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I could not stop listening to <i>The Bodyguard</i> by Catherine Center. Seriously, I just sat, worked on a puzzle, and listened to the whole thing.
<i>The Bodyguard</i> is a fun, cute read that keeps the reader engaged throughout.
I’m a sucker for a fake relationship, and the execution in <i>The Bodyguard</i> is wonderful! It lasts for a good portion of the book with the requisite awkward situations and “oh no, I’m catching feelings!” moments from both sides.
I loved the chemistry between Hannah and Jack, but I think I loved Jack’s family even more. I instantly loved his mom; every scene with her was my favorite.
Throughout the novel, there are hints of dark secrets (aka trauma) in Jack’s past. I didn’t love this plot line, but it was necessary for the overall plot and character motivations.
I liked the twist to the bodyguard roles, but I could have used more bodyguard shenanigans. There are hints about Hannah’s skills, but we don’t see them in action too much.
<i>The Bodyguard</i> will be a great addition to our library collection!
<b>Audiobook Review:</b> I greatly enjoyed the audiobook! I think I would have equally enjoyed the story if I had read it, but it was a fun listen!
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One of my favorite romance books of the year – a heart-warming, page-turning, feel-good story that is a bit different from Katherine Center’s earlier offerings. What sets THE BODYGUARD apart is the banter and good humor between Hannah (a bodyguard to the elites) and Jack (a film star). There’s so much that could go wrong with this plot – but Center keeps the story on the rails as it zips from zinger to zinger, with undercurrents of deeper issues that are deftly handled. 

Hannah uses work to escape from life, but after her mother's funeral when nearly everything in her life is upended, she's forced to step back and slow down -- or take The Assignment from Hell: stay in Houston and protect actor Jack Stapleton, winner of two back-to-back Sexiest Man alive titles.

The characters are quirky, yet real. Hannah is tough as nails; as she says, “I could kill you with a wine bottle opener, by the way. Or a ballpoint pen. Or a dinner napkin. But I’m not going to.” One memorably comic scenes is when Jack doesn’t believe she’s capable of physically guarding him, and so he charges her at a full run, daring Hannah to take him down. She does.

Center pulls off the normal-person/super-star love story in a way that’s both believable and charming, along with some stalker tension and lots of laughs along the way. A book to re-read – it’s that good. 

The audio book is also superb: spot-on delivery from narrator Patti Murin makes this the perfect beach read/listen. The "It Book" of the summer, there's lots to love and laugh at while gazing out over crowds and crashing waves.  This book will have you striking up conversations with strangers, saying -- you just HAVE to read THE BODYGUARD.
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There is something so nice about listening to a romance audiobook. This story follows Hannah Brooks who is essentially a bodyguard. She has been tasked as the main bodyguard for celebrity Jack Stapleton, who is back in Texas because his mother is sick. Jack, however, doesn't want his family to know that he has a bodyguard, so Hannah and Jack pretend to be dating. I really liked that Hannah was the bodyguard in this situation. I think so many times the male is the bodyguard, and it was nice to see Hannah show off her strength and quick thinking to unsuspecting men in the story. I also really liked Jack. He wasn't a stuck-up, narcissistic celebrity. He had a vulnerability to him that Hannah was able to discover. I also liked how both of them were able to help each other learn things. I think each of the characters grew as people as the story continued and by the end I was genuinely rooting for them and believing in their relationship. I also really liked the side characters, especially Jack's parents. Overall, I recommend this book, and especially the audiobook. I think Patti Murin does a great job narrating this story.
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This was a super cute rom com novel. I haven’t consumed a romance in awhile but I needed and light read and this hit the mark!
I have nerve read this author before but she impressed me. I was completely thrown at one point in the book and thought the love story was going to go in a totally different directly. 
The plot was of course the fantasy/fairytale typical of every romance. 
Do note, there were no hot and heavy sex scenes (depending on what you want out of your romances) but the story was fun, light and enjoyable. 
Pick this up for a quick and easy waterside read!
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Katherine Center is officially a go-to author. This newest romance/rom-com follows Hannah Brooks, executive protective agent, who looks nothing like a body guard. Despite first appearances, Hannah is skilled and trained to protect. And when her agency is hired to protect Jack Stapleton, despite all of his handsomeness, Hannah is determined to do her job well. That is until she has to pretend to be his girlfriend and remaining professional becomes a little more complicated. For fans of Emily Henry and Abby Jimenez.
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Katherine Center 
Romantic Comedy

When bodyguard Hannah Brookes is tasked with protecting the famous movie star Jack Stapleton she has her reservations. Especially when she finds out that she has to pose as his girlfriend while living on the ranch his family owns.

I had started to get a bit burned out on romantic comedies. Well this book brought me straight out of that funk. I loved it and I could not put it down. This books is hilarious from beginning to end. I definitely give this book a five star rating. I would recommend it to anyone, romance lover or not.
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