by Katherine Center
Narrated by: Patti Murin
Publication: July 19, 2022
**I received a copy of the audiobook through NetGalley. I voluntarily read and reviewed it. All opinions are my own.**
After her mom’s death and a breakup the day after her mom’s funeral, Hannah just wants a work assignment that will take her far away from home, preferably somewhere international. Unfortunately, her assignment is the complete opposite. She’ll have to stay in Texas as actor Jack Stapleton’s bodyguard and pretend to be his girlfriend. The line between real and fake begins to blur when Hannah realizes she may be falling for Jack.
While I enjoyed The Bodyguard, it started slow. The beginning is drawn out as Hannah deals with her mom’s death and then finally reveals she is an executive protection agent, or a bodyguard. If I had the written book in front of me, I would have been able to read it a lot quicker. Because I was listening to it, it was a bit painful. Thankfully, this isn’t a pattern throughout the book. It only happens at the very beginning and again closer to the end.
The book is generally light fare, but also explores grief on a surface level. There is some emotional depth and introspection as Hannah begins to reveal pieces of herself and learn things about herself she was previously unaware of. It’s integrated well with the general lightheartedness of the book, especially because her interactions with Jack prompt many of these revelations. Their banter and intimate conversations were some of my favorite moments in the book.
The story is told solely from Hannah’s point of view. I connected easily with her, identifying with her workaholic behavior and her need to keep her emotions bottled up. It was fun listening in on her thoughts. She’s funny and witty. Jack is a little bit harder to read because he’s an actor. Did he feel the same, or was it just great acting? I would have loved to hear what he was thinking. Jack was likeable, and his reactions often surprised me. He is a keeper.
Hannah as a bodyguard is one of my favorite aspects of the book. This is an unconventional occupation for female leads in many of the romcoms I’ve read, and it was awesome–she kicks ass. She makes for a believable bodyguard with Center’s attention to detail from assessing the vulnerabilities of Jack’s home to the reasons that prompted Hannah to become a bodyguard.
While it is a romcom, there are aspects of it that lean toward the unbelievable. For instance, the handling of the stalker was one of these moments. Maybe it was meant to be funny, and others may have found it so, but I didn’t find it very amusing.
I enjoyed the audiobook narration and would listen to Patti Murin again. I was bothered by the number of “said’s” in the book. I probably wouldn’t have noticed it had I been reading, but it was more pronounced due to the narration. With a pause after each “said,” it became apparent how excessively the word was used when there was dialogue.
Despite a few agonizing moments, this was a fun read. I listened to it while doing things around the house, and it kept my attention nearly the entire time. I recommend this to individuals looking for a lighthearted bodyguard romance with a quirky cast of side characters. This may be a good fit for individuals who enjoy celebrity romances as well, but the celebrity aspect of it is more secondary.