Katherine Center's The Bodyguard is “My perfect 10 of a book. As funny and sweet as all the very best nineties rom-coms, but with Center’s signature heart-tugging depth. I wish I could erase it from my mind just to read it again for the first time. A shot of pure joy.”—Emily Henry, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Book Lovers
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 goes 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, 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.
“Great rollicking fun! Prepare to laugh and swoon and grin your pants off.”—Helen Hoang, New York Times bestselling author of The Heart Principle
"Absolutely, unequivocally delightful!"—Jodi Picoult, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Wish You Were Here
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Falling in love on the job becomes an absolute minefield in this swoony romantic comedy. Hannah earns her living as a bodyguard for the wealthy and elite, but her latest assignment is a little unusual: protecting a seriously hot movie star while also pretending to be his girlfriend. Author Katherine Center weaves a riotous plot full of sticky situations and even a few real scares, artfully mixing serious themes like heartbreak and loss with the irresistible quirkiness of a classic rom-com. Center’s characters, including the vain but secretly sweet actor Jack, are vividly drawn and often very funny. The Bodyguard is full of heart and laughs.
Center's fluffy latest (after What You Wish For) follows a workaholic bodyguard as she protects and slowly falls for her client, handsome movie star Jack Stapleton, who's visiting his sick mom in Texas. Hannah Brooks is at the top of her field, having been snatched from FBI recruitment by her boss, Glenn Schultz, for his security agency. After she's dumped by a smarmy coworker, Glenn assigns Hannah to protect the charming Jack (who's dealing with a stalker) as he drops in on his estranged brother and their mom, who's been diagnosed with breast cancer. Not wanting to alarm them, Hannah pretends to be Jack's girlfriend. When Hannah begins to suspect that Jack might be attracted to her (which, if so, would make the feeling mutual), she considers confessing to Glenn that she might not be up to the task. Hannah's dilemma feels much more like a rom-com trope than a real-world situation, but it works amid the lighthearted atmosphere. The story perks up whenever Hannah shows off her bodyguard prowess, but these scenes are few and far between. Though other books deal more creatively with the well-worn tropes at play, Center's confection satisfies on its own terms.
I could identify with so much in this book—emotions and self doubt. But it was so much more as relationships changed and experiences molded new insights and confidences. It was a joy to read and I giggled and laughed out loud. I loved the author’s style and sense of humor.
I was grateful to be alone reading The Bodyguard when I literally started laughing out loud… not a snicker, not a chuckle, but laughing so loud I thought the next door neighbor would hear me… There were other times, quiet times, contemplative times to ponder, but as for me, I’ll remember that I needed this laughter more than I knew. As with her other books, I’ll read it again.