I’ve only read two Katerine Center novels, and I loved both of them, so when I got the opportunity to get an advanced copy of The Bodyguard (in stores July 19!), I knew I was probably in for a treat. Center always had strong female characters in her books that are complex, deep and believable, and I was excited to see what she had in store for Hannah Brooks. Who doesn’t love a good role-reversal story? This time the woman’s in charge—as she should be.
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.
You gotta love Katherine Center. She knows how to write emotions better than most, and I was actually surprised that at no point during this book did I cry even a little bit—but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. You get to know the characters so well and you really feel what they’re feeling. At one point, there was a twist that literally had me gasp out loud and quickly wonder where the story was going, which make it all the more enjoyable. I really don’t want to spoil anything by writing too much, so I’m just going to say that fans of Center won’t be disappointed, and anyone looking for a love story with great characters and a full range of emotions should pick it up when it hits shelves on July 19—which is so far from now, but worth the wait.
“Once you learn to look at the world from a perspective of personal security, you can’t look at it any other way.” —Katharine Center, The Bodyguard
Thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for the advanced copy, and to Deanna Lewis on Unsplash for the featured photo.