The Bodyguard, by Katherine Center

The Bodyguard by Katherine Center

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I was looking for a quick, easy, purely entertaining read and that’s what I got with “The Bodyguard” by Katherine Center – mostly.

Pretty much for the entire first quarter of the novel, Hannah is supposed to be a tough, no-nonsense, bristly and business-like woman who is used to being in control.
In fact, I read her more as a wooden, cliched character who seemed to have few redeeming qualities: She’s not tough but basically always on the run from herself and her emotions. She’s not bristly and business-like but acts rashly and impulsively…

»And that’s when, despite everything I had just decided about how getting myself to London would be the answer to all my problems, I said, “You know what? I quit.”«

… while at the same time allows her boss to just walk over her…

»I’m not sure anybody even heard me—except for Glenn, who brushed that declaration off with a glance, like I was an annoying insect. “You’re never quitting. Like I already said.”«

Even when meeting Jack, she’s behaving like a bodyguard from kindergarten:

»And that was before he shocked the hell out of me by opening the door.
Just opened up the front door. To a total stranger. Utterly naked from the waist up. What kind of a power move was that?
“Jesus Christ!” I said, spinning around and covering my eyes. “Put some clothes on!”

At this point, I pretty much expected to DNF this book and move on. I couldn’t help but like Jack, though, and the way he carefully and sensitively disarmed Hannah with kindness and charm – and the slow, hesitant way she started to respond to it.

Hannah starts off as a closed-off and guarded person, but she slowly starts to open up to Jack and his family. She becomes more vulnerable and more trusting, and she eventually learns to let herself love and be loved. To me, Hannah’s character development is one of the strengths of the book.

Hannah’s journey to self-discovery, the beginning of Jack’s healing process and the ways they helped each other basically is what made me finish this novel in one long evening.

Despite its decidedly mediocre beginning, “The Bodyguard” turned into a funny, emotional, heartwarming, and ultimately uplifting story about love, loss, and finding your way back to yourself.

Four out of five stars.

Ceterum censeo Putin esse delendam

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