Book Review

ARC Book Review: The Bodyguard by Katherine Center

Rating: ★★★★☆ (4.5)
Audience: Contemporary Romance
Length: 320 pages
Author: Katherine Center
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Release Date: July 19th, 2022
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads


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.

Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for an eARC.


I love this author!! Another fantastic romance filled with heart, growth, and swoon heroes. I always look forward to Center’s books and this was no different. I adored the unique plot set-up and all that unfolded. A bodyguard and an actor?! Yes please.

I found myself laughing out loud so much. There’s something to the perfect dose of snark Hannah provides at key moments in her journey. She’s grappling with a lot and the touches of humor fit in well. I liked that alongside the laughter were deep conversations too. Handling the loss of a family member, substance abuse and more. This keeps the romance in the spotlight, but tackles other things life may hold too.

Hannah and Jack were SO SWEET. This was a slow burn romance with just a dash of forbidden. I loved the build and hope these two had. A beautiful friendship blossomed before deeper feelings were acknowledged and I loved all of the quiet moments between them!!!

A few of the small side plots seemed a bit random? Like the ex-boyfriend drama. It felt necessary for Hannah’s story originally, yet when it started popping up in other places I thought it was superfluous.

Besides that tiny tidbit, GREAT READ. Loved it. Can’t wait for more.

Overall audience notes:

  • Contemporary Romance
  • Language: a little
  • Romance: make-outs
  • Violence: mild
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: kidnapping, gun violence, mother with cancer, loss of a mom due to substance abuse, car wreck, substance abuse (specifically alcohol), suicide ideation (and near attempt), physical altercations

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