Friday, November 11, 2022

Book Review: The Bodyguard by Katherine Center

Pages: 309
Genre: Adult Fiction/Romance
Pub. Date: July 19, 2022
Publisher: St. Martin's
Source: Publisher for review
My Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Goodreads says, "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."


Hannah Brooks is a bodyguard, although at only five foot five inches, she looks anything but. She finds herself at a crossroads. Her mother has died, her boyfriend has dumped her, and just when she needs an overseas assignment to escape it all, her boss tells her to take time off at home. That is until she gets offered a local case. Jack Stapleton, a famous actor, is home in Texas taking care of his ailing mother. While at home, he needs a bodyguard and that's where Hannah comes in. Except Hannah doesn't really want this job, but her boss tells her Jack has a stalker, so there's a definite need. Hannah moves into Jack Stapleton's family ranch to protect him and in turn learns more about Jack, who has been hiding from the spotlight since his brother's tragic death. He doesn't tell his mother about his bodyguard, Hannah, because he doesn't want her to worry, so instead he presents Hannah as his girlfriend. Cue the drama! Katherine Center's The Bodyguard is a delightful romance for fans of the fake dating trope.

I really enjoyed Hannah from the start of The Bodyguard. Who doesn't love a tough woman? I like how Center turned the tables and made Hannah the bodyguard despite her outward appearance. I didn't quite understand her complex relationship with her mother - that was sort of glossed over - but she doesn't really mourn the loss of her mother. Instead, she wants to jump into work and her boss knows that isn't the best idea. Instead of giving her an overseas case, she will work close to home covering extremely famous (and extremely good looking) Jack Stapleton. Hannah, although she is one tough woman, lacks confidence regarding dating, has low self-esteem, and accepts behavior (at least form her ex) that she shouldn't.  Her ex-boyfriend, another bodyguard, dumps her for her friend, so Hannah isn't in a great place when she sets out to protect Jack. But once she is at Jack's family's ranch, she starts to heal in ways she didn't know possible. She gets to know Jack and realizes he is much more than what she thought. She also enjoys his family and even though they have their own problems, she likes getting to know his parents and experience a relationship she never had.

Center's main story is focusing around a fake dating trope in The Bodyguard. I enjoy a good fake dating trope, but I didn't entirely believe the premise surrounding this one. I understand his mother doesn't want to be stressed as she is undergoing cancer treatment, but a famous actor having a bodyguard wouldn't be out of the norm. So, presenting Hannah as a girlfriend I feel like would do more damage to the mother when she finds out the truth, because how long can you fake date your bodyguard? Well, in this case, their fake dating turns into something more.

The Bodyguard has some suspenseful moments that I was able to predict, but Center did a good job keeping me glued to the pages. Trigger warning: there is a cancer subplot that was portrayed with some toxic positivity, which I didn't really appreciate, but other than that, I thought it was a cute romance. I will definitely check out Center's work in the future. So, are you a fan of Katherine Center? Have you read The Bodyguard? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.



  1. I've enjoyed some of her other books more than this one, but it was still solid! I always look forward to her new releases.

    1. I heard her other books are really good. This is my first novel by her, so I will have to check out the others, too. Thanks for visiting, Michele!

  2. I have a hit-or-miss (mostly miss) relationship with Center's books, but Hannah does sound like a great character!

  3. I heard that about her books--I will definitely give them a try in the future! I believe she has a new one coming out this spring! Thanks for visiting, Angela.


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