Title: The Bodyguard
Author: Katherine Center
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Release Date: July 19, 2022
She’s got his back. Hannah Brooks looks more like a kindgerten 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.
The Bodyguard by Katherine Center confirms that romance novels still do it for me.
Hannah Brooks is not having a good week. The next day of her mother's funeral, her boyfriend dumps her and he cites 3 reasons. The last one is like a knife to the chest.
"You’re a bad kisser".
For Hannah, the only way to deal with all of it is to immerse herself in her work. She is an Executive Protection Agent, a bodyguard. She begs her boss for a new assignment but the boss tells her she has to grieve and grounds her.
After a month, she is finally about to go back to work. She’s excited to leave Texas behind and go anywhere else. The joke is on her when her boss Glenn tells her, she is staying and she is going to be the lead bodyguard for Jack Stapleton, a famous actor.
Jack and Hannah's first encounter is not a perfect one. He confused her with the cleaning lady and by the end of the interview, she has left him on the floor after he told her to prove to him she could take him. Things get more complicated when Jake doesn't want his mother, who has been diagnosed with cancer, to know his life might be in danger and he wants Hannah to fake being his girlfriend. Hannah doesn't want to do it but she is competing for a new position and she will do it to keep her job and win the post.
After days of spending time together, Hannah realizes she has developed feelings for Jack and Jack seem to be reciprocating them. But is it for real or is Jake acting instead?
I loved both characters. They were both dealing with things from their past and carrying the guilt with them. It was nice to see how they complemented each other and helped the other one heal. Their banter was outstanding and the way their relationship develops felt real and believable. Best was the amazing epilogue which answers everything I wanted to know.
The Bodyguard proves once again why I love Katherine Center's writing so much.
A complimentary copy was provided by St. Martin's Press via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.