The Bodyguard – book review

The Bodyguard
by Katherine Center
Release Date: July 19, 2022
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Number of Pages: 320
Contemporary Romance
Ages 13 and up
CW: gun violence, grief, death of family,
drowning, domestic abuse, alcoholism
She’s got his back.
Hannah Brooks looks more like a kindergarten teacher than somebody who could kill you with a wine bottle opener. Or a ballpoint pen. Or a dinner napkin. But the truth is, she’s an Executive Protection Agent (aka “bodyguard”), and she just got hired to protect superstar actor Jack Stapleton from his middle-aged, corgi-breeding stalker.

He’s got her heart.
Jack Stapleton’s a household name—captured by paparazzi on beaches the world over, famous for, among other things, rising out of the waves in all manner of clingy board shorts and glistening like a Roman deity. But a few years back, in the wake of a family tragedy, he dropped from the public eye and went off the grid.

They’ve got a secret.
When Jack’s mom gets sick, he comes home to the family’s Texas ranch to help out. Only one catch: He doesn’t want his family to know about his stalker. Or the bodyguard thing. And so Hannah—against her will and her better judgment—finds herself pretending to be Jack’s girlfriend as a cover. Even though her ex, like a jerk, says no one will believe it.

What could possibly go wrong???
Hannah hardly believes it, herself. But the more time she spends with Jack, the more real it all starts to seem. And there lies the heartbreak. Because it’s easy for Hannah to protect Jack. But protecting her own, long-neglected heart? That’s the hardest thing she’s ever done.

This is one of those books I put off reading because of the buzz. I didn’t want to go in with my expectations too high so I waited for things to die down a bit. This is also a new-to-me author that I had no idea had multiple books adapted for Netflix until I read her Acknowledgements in this book. I’m glad I didn’t know that because I probably would have put off reading this for longer due to that whole expectations thing I started off talking about.

This story is more of a slow burn than I anticipated, but it worked well for the story. Hannah is not the most lovable character at first. Although she had some terrible things happen to her and I wished for her to have someone on her side, there was also something in her interactions with her partner and her best friend at the beginning that made me think of her as a bit oblivious to the feelings of those around her. I wouldn’t call her self-centered, but she was definitely self-involved. She may not have been overly lovable, but she was still likable. That all being said, the way she is treated by people who should be on her side, or at the very least people who have no reason to be cruel to her, is unfathomable. They’re a bunch of jerks!

It took me a minute to get used to how the first-person past perspective was written in this book. I’m not sure why, I read that POV a lot. Yet it was somewhat rough for me at first. I was glad it was only through Hannah’s eyes though. I had my thoughts about Jack and where he was at when it came to his relationship with Hannah, but it added more depth to the story that I was in the same boat as Hannah of not being quite sure. And as much as I was prepared to dislike Jack, as I’m sure Hannah was, he was too charismatic for me to have anything but love for the guy.

I love a fake relationship story and this one is no exception. Jack’s family, for all of the animosity between Jack and his older brother, is lovely. They set the scene for Hannah and Jack to relax and find their way to each other. They already had the chemistry from the very first time they meet, they just needed to learn to trust where that chemistry was taking them. Jack’s teasing side is irresistible and Hannah’s ability to let down her walls and show him her vulnerable side is beautiful. This story gave me so many feels.

I’ll be making it a point to seek out some of this author’s other work. I enjoyed this story a great deal.

4 stars

About Cheri

I'm the mom of two boys and wife to my high school sweetheart. Our oldest, Josh, is living at home while working and paying off student loans. Our youngest, Griffin recently left his active duty Army job and is now National Guard here at home. He moved back to Michigan with his wife Kirsten and our beautiful granddaughter Hazel. I work part time and try to fit as much reading into my life as possible.
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3 Responses to The Bodyguard – book review

  1. Yay! I’m glad you enjoyed this one. It’s one of my favorites of hers. Maybe the favorite. I don’t know. It has to compete with How to Walk Away and that one is so excellent! Great review.

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