ARC AudioBook Review: The Bodyguard by Katherine Center
Author: Katherine Center
Narrator: Patti Murin
To Be Published: July 19, 2022
Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: June 9-14, 2022
Jessica’s Rating: 4 stars
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.
I have loved most of Katherine Center’s novels that I have read, and I really enjoyed The Bodyguard! Center does romance right for me. It’s fun, sweet, clean and more! In The Bodyguard, we have Jack, the hot and famous actor who has dropped off the radar. And he also has a stalker. And we have Hannah, who is a Executive Protective Agent (AKA Bodyguard) but she does not even look like someone who could kill you with just a pen, but she can, and will if she has to. And she is really good at her job. Then she finds herself having to protect Jack and going to see his family because his mother is sick. But Jack doesn’t want his family knowing about his stalker, so Hannah has to pretend to be his girlfriend.
As with Center’s other novels, you know how the ending should be, but going on this adventure with Jack and Hannah was a lot of fun! It is a fun, quick read with some hilarious moments that ensue (there is one with a cow….) And let alone the information that comes out and about with this stalker. The banter between Jack and Hannah is fun and the story could 1000% not happen in reality, but it’s such a fun and feel good read! Center has been called ‘the reigning queen of comfort reads’ and she really is! It’s a perfect summer read to get away from the mundanity of real life. I must read more of her novels!
The narrator is Patti Murin, who is one I have enjoyed in the past and she did a great job with this novel!
Many thanks to the publisher Macmillian Audio for granting me an early audio copy via NetGalley to listen to and review!
Book Review: What You Wish For
What You Wish For
Author: Katherine Center
Published: July 14, 2020
Reviewed By: Jessica
Jessica’s Rating: 3 stars
Dates Read: September 11-17, 2020
Samantha Casey is a school librarian who loves her job, the kids, and her school family with passion and joy for living. But she wasn’t always that way.
Duncan Carpenter is the new school principal who lives by rules and regulations, guided by the knowledge that bad things can happen. But he wasn’t always that way.
And Sam knows it. Because she knew him before—at another school, in a different life. Back then, she loved him—but she was invisible. To him. To everyone. Even to herself. She escaped to a new school, a new job, a new chance at living. But when Duncan, of all people, gets hired as the new principal there, it feels like the best thing that could possibly happen to the school—and the worst thing that could possibly happen to Sam. Until the opposite turns out to be true. The lovable Duncan she’d known is now a suit-and-tie wearing, rule-enforcing tough guy so hell-bent on protecting the school that he’s willing to destroy it.
As the school community spirals into chaos, and danger from all corners looms large, Sam and Duncan must find their way to who they really are, what it means to be brave, and how to take a chance on love—which is the riskiest move of all.
The past two years I have discovered Katherine Center and adored her, in fact she made my top 10 list for 2019 and 2020. Needless to say I was looking forward to her newest one What You Wish For but this one just didn’t quite work for me.
What I did love is that the protagonist, Sam (Samantha) has a non-visual disability. We don’t have many novels with our main character that has a disability, and I wish we did. And this disability is very much a part of the storyline. I have a sister who suffers from a visual disability, so this is something that tugs my heart. Thank you Katherine Center for creating a character like this!
Now, for what I did not like: Sam’s personality. She is 28 years old, but comes off much more immature than her age. I enjoy strong, female characters and Sam is the opposite of that. Yes, she had an unrequited crush on Duncan Carpenter years ago (who hasn’t had one at some point in their life?) and they worked at the same school. Eventually she left the school she worked at and is happy being the librarian at her new school she is working at. A few years later, the beloved principal of the school passes away to the heartbreak of the students and staff. Then his replacement is announced and the new principal will be Duncan Carpenter…
What I did not like about Sam is that she debates on quitting her job again because of Duncan being hired. Come on, you are quitting your job…Because a man who you had an unrequited crush on is hired!?!?!? He did not even know who you are! OMG, I had so much frustration with Sam! How immature is this??? How old are we??? Oh yes… 28 years old. A very immature 28 years old. I could possibly see leaving the school if you had been in a serious relationship and it ended poorly, but this is just an unrequited CRUSH!
And then when Duncan arrives, he is a complete 180 from when Sam knew him at their old school. And this 180 turn is completely serious, by the books, rule making principal. There is no fun with this ‘new Duncan’. Sam is determined to find out why Duncan has changed so much.
Both Sam and Duncan have secrets they are keeping, and when we find out Duncan’s everything comes to make sense. It is actually because of this secret that I gave an extra .5 stars to my rating.
Towards the end we have a little side story that comes into play that also just did not work for me. It just came out of left field for me. I did not see the point to it.
I listened to the audiobook version of What You Wish For which is narrated by Therese Plummer, another narrator I adore! Bonus points for her narration!
This could be a cute little summer beach read (or just a getaway from the way that 2020 has become) that may work for you. I do enjoy chick-lit novels, but this one was just not for me. I will continue to read Center and maybe get to some of her older novels. If you like the strong female characters then stay away from this one. I really wish I could have enjoyed this one more and would have loved to have seen Center make my top 10 for 2020, but she won’t with this novel. But there is always next year!
Short Story Sunday: The Girl in the Plane by Katherine Center
The Girl in the Plane: A Short Story
Author: Katherine Center
Published: July 23, 2019
Reviewed By: Jessica
Date Read: August 21, 2019
Jessica’s Rating: 5 stars
From Katherine Center, New York Times bestselling author of How to Walk Away, comes a short story The Girl in the Plane, featuring Cassie Hanwell, the courageous female firefighter at the heart of Things You Save in a Fire.
This audio edition is read by the author.
This short story is the bridge between two of Katherine Center’s novels: How to Walk Away and Things You Save in a Fire. If you have read and enjoyed those two novels then you ABSOLUTELY MUST listen to this audio short story, as it enhances both, but more so How to Walk Away for me.
I really enjoyed having both Margaret and Cassie together and a certain other character I won’t name: You’ll just have to read it to find out who it is. Listening to this short story makes me want to read both of these novels again. I really loved both of them. I will definitely be reading more of Center’s books!
I also loved that Center read the audiobook. She did very well reading it and it makes the chapter more personal hearing her actual voice reading her words. It was read in just over 30 minutes.
My review for How to Walk Away is here.
My review for Things You Save in a Fire is here.
You can listen to the audio version of The Girl in the Plane for FREE via Google Play or Apple Books.[Top]