Also by this author: Things You Save in a Fire, What You Wish For
Published by St. Martin's Press on July 19, 2022
Genres: Contemporary Fiction, Fiction, Women's Fiction, Romance
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository
FTC Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley. All opinions are my own.
I’m a huge fan of Katherine Center’s books and will read absolutely everything she writes. I love the emotional journeys she takes her characters on and even though she sometimes puts my emotions through the wringer, I’m always left with a smile on my face by the end of the book. The Bodyguard was a bit lighter of a read than I’ve come to expect from Center, with more of a romcom vibe at times, but let me tell you, I was here for it every step of the way and it’s my new favorite Katherine Center novel.
Hannah Brooks is a professional bodyguard and she’s at the top of her field. Lately though, she has been having a rough time. Her mother has recently passed away, and her boyfriend (who also happens to be her coworker) abruptly dumps her the day of her mom’s funeral. Hannah is dying for a change of scenery to get away from all the awkwardness and so her boss assigns her as the lead bodyguard for a huge new client who is coming to town, Hollywood mega star Jack Stapleton. Hannah is torn. She kind of wants to quit because she really wanted an assignment out of town, the farther away the better, but at the same time, she has had a crush on Jack Stapleton for ages so the opportunity to protect his rather stellar body definitely has its appeal.
Jack is back in Texas because his mother is sick. Coming home is painful for Jack because he is still reeling from a tragic accident that killed his younger brother. Because of this, he has been out of the spotlight for a while now and therefore doesn’t think he really needs a bodyguard. His agent feels otherwise though because he does have some stalkerish fans, and so Hannah shows up on his doorstep ready to protect him.
Once Jack and Hannah meet, I flew through the rest of this book. I loved that they were both such messy and complicated characters, each dealing with their own issues, but who also just really pushed each other’s buttons when they are first forced to start spending time together. Their banter is downright hilarious and had me laughing out loud more than once as I read. It was easy to see how good they could be together if they would both let their guard down a bit and let the other in and I was rooting for this to happen all the way.
As much as I adored the forced proximity trope in this story, I actually loved the use of the fake dating trope even more. Jack doesn’t want to worry his mom about stalkers and why he has a bodyguard following him everywhere, so he lies and tells his family that Hannah is his girlfriend. Jack’s parents are so adorable and I loved watching them bond with Hannah. They were so good to her that it had me all the more invested in Jack and Hannah hopefully becoming a real couple.
I don’t think what I’ve written has done justice to how wonderful The Bodyguard really is. It has a little something for everyone – romance, an emotional journey of personal growth for both Hannah and Jack, a found family, humor, and even a bit of action and suspense. The Bodyguard was everything I’ve come to expect from a Katherine Center novel and more.