July 19, 2022
St. Martin’s Press
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.
I never review a book more than five months before its publication time because it just seems like anyone who reads my review might forget about the book by the time it makes its appearance. But, if you hand me a Katherine Center book, well, all bets are off. And, they indeed were with The Bodyguard her new novel that will be birthed to the world on July 19, 2022 (and who knows how many times I will read it before then!).
Like all of the Katherine Center novels I’ve read, The Bodyguard ably runs the gamut of emotions from making me laugh hysterically (mostly at Hannah’s snarky comments) to swoon (oh, Jack is so much more than a Hollywood movie star) to cry (Hannah’s backstory/Jack’s backstory) to just feel good about the world and (most of) the people in it (the epilogue that is as touching as an epilogue can be).
It doesn’t hurt to spend your life with people who see what’s great about you–in a way that you maybe never would have on your own.
The people we love help teach us who we are.
The best versions of who we are, if we’re lucky.
The Bodyguard throws stereotypes on their ears. First we have 5’4″ Hannah who looks like your typical girl-next-door but can undo a man a foot taller with one swift move. She’s a bodyguard. Who’dathunkit? She’s snarky, funny, and underneath all of that snark and attitude so, so vulnerable that you know you will find her to be an engaging heroine.
And, there’s a hysterical scene in which Hannah comes face-to-face with a (wo)man-eating cow. 😉
Jack is not a typical Hollywood movie star. In fact, it mostly seems like he’d like to be someone else especially when he’s stalked by one of his fans and events turn dangerous.
And, let’s not forget about Jack’s family who are fantastic. His parents are the embodiment of what everyone would like their parents to be. Jack has an older brother who, if he’d been about 30 years younger would probably have been played by Sam Elliott. I could almost hear Sam Elliott speaking the lines.
Like all of the Katherine Center novels I have read, The Bodyguard is filled with heart and love and optimism. It’s the kind of book that feels like a warm hug while also giving you laughs and tears. Yes, we need more hugging books. I just wish Katherine wrote faster, but who would want to mess up her writing by pressuring her? Not me.
A definite must read and enjoy.
I received an ARC (many, many thanks you wonderful people at St. Martin’s press) in exchange for an honest review.
5 out of 5 butterflies