Book Review

The Bodyguard and The Dead Romantics {Combi Mini Book Review}

The Bodyguard and The Dead Romantics {Combi Mini Book Review}

Hi everyone! Today I’m combining two romance reviews as I read these two pretty much back-to-back over the course of 2-3 days and loved them both. So let’s get into them!

The Bodyguard by Katherine Center

Title: The Bodyguard
Author: Katherine Center
Publisher:
St. Martin’s Press
Release Date: July 19th, 2022
Standalone/Series: Standalone
Genre: Adult – Romance – Contemporary

My rating in stars: 

Rating: 4 out of 5.


My rating in words: 
I really liked it

Check it out on Goodreads

WHAT IT’S ABOUT:

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.

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MY THOUGHTS (spoiler-free):

“People who want to be famous think it’s the same thing as being loved, but it’s not. Strangers can only ever love a version of you. People loving you for your best qualities is not the same as people loving you despite your worst.”

The Bodyguard is a perfect feel-good summer read. It’s my first book by Katherine Center, and I heard it’s one of her lighter reads, which was no problem for me as it was exactly what I needed.

Though the story does start off at a pretty dark stage in main character Hannah’s life (her mother just passed away and on top of that her boyfriend/coworker just broke up with her), things quickly take a turn for the unexpected when she get her new work assignment: be the lead bodyguard for massive movie star Jack Stapleton, who is having a situation with a stalker. Oh yes, Hannah’s a bodyguard and her job is pretty amazing. Hannah is hesitant, especially when Jack asks her to pretend to be his girlfriend so his family (and especially his mother, who is sick and the reason he’s back in town) don’t worry too much about him. But she needs the job and the escape it offers, so she accepts. Of course, shenanigans ensue.

There’s a lot to love about The Bodyguard and it’s one of those books that has something to offer for everybody. Though I said it’s a lighter read, there is still a lot of character development and growth for both Hannah and Jack. Both have some issues to work through, but they help each other out with that. The romance between Hannah and Jack is also pretty swoon worthy and the banter between the two of them felt funny and natural. I loved their progression from strangers to working together to friends to something more. There are also a lot of fun secondary characters who bring both the humor (mostly Hannah’s colleagues) and the emotional found-family vibes (mostly Jack’s family).

The only downside to me was that the whole story felt a little rushed. I would have preferred the relationship development between Hannah and Jack to have a little more slow burn and development, and I felt like the secondary characters could have been developed a bit more, as they all stayed pretty one-dimensional throughout the story.

But overall, I highly enjoyed this story and recommend it to anyone looking for a nice, feel-good, summery read about a badass bodyguard and the wholesome and handsome movie star she’s protecting.

Four Stars
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The Dead Romantics by Ashley Poston

Title: The Dead Romantics
Author: Ashley Poston
Publisher:
Berkley
Release Date: June 28th, 2022
Standalone/Series: Standalone
Genre: Adult – Romance – Contemporary – Paranormal

My rating in stars: 

Rating: 4 out of 5.


My rating in words: 
I really liked it

Check it out on Goodreads

WHAT IT’S ABOUT:

Florence Day is the ghostwriter for one of the most prolific romance authors in the industry, and she has a problem—after a terrible breakup, she no longer believes in love. It’s as good as dead.

When her new editor, a too-handsome mountain of a man, won’t give her an extension on her book deadline, Florence prepares to kiss her career goodbye. But then she gets a phone call she never wanted to receive, and she must return home for the first time in a decade to help her family bury her beloved father.

For ten years, she’s run from the town that never understood her, and even though she misses the sound of a warm Southern night and her eccentric, loving family and their funeral parlor, she can’t bring herself to stay. Even with her father gone, it feels like nothing in this town has changed. And she hates it.

Until she finds a ghost standing at the funeral parlor’s front door, just as broad and infuriatingly handsome as ever, and he’s just as confused about why he’s there as she is.

Romance is most certainly dead… but so is her new editor, and his unfinished business will have her second-guessing everything she’s ever known about love stories.

A disillusioned millennial ghostwriter who, quite literally, has some ghosts of her own, has to find her way back home in this sparkling adult debut from national bestselling author Ashley Poston.

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MY THOUGHTS (spoiler-free):

“I began to realize that love wasn’t dead, but it wasn’t forever, either. It was something in between, a moment in time where two people existed at the exact same moment in the exact same place in the universe.”

While The Bodyguard had that summer vibe, I felt like The Dead Romantics perfectly embodied the fall vibe. It was a fun, atmospheric read with some quirk and just a tad of paranormal activity thrown in there.

I mean, just take a look at what this book is about: Florence is a ghostwriter for a major romance author. She’s writing the final book in her contract, but due to a bad breakup Florence can’t write the happy ending that’s needed. Every time she tries, the ending just becomes the exact opposite of a HEA. But she also has this hot new editor who doesn’t grant her the extension she needs. On top of that, she gets the call that her dad just passed away and she needs to return to her hometown to help arrange his funeral. Once there, her editor shows up at her doorstep. Except he’s dead. You see, Florence can see ghosts. And her hot editor (Benji) is most definitely a ghost now. Yep, you’re right – this is a romance between a ghostwriter and a ghost!

I absolutely adored that premise as I do love a good ghosty romance, but this story turned out to be so much more. I loved being immersed in the whole vibe of this story.

Florence’s family has an undertaking business. They have a big funeral home, where they all used to live together, and they’re known throughout the town as being super good at their job and also a little quirky. Unfortunately, we never really got to know the dad, since he passes early on in the book, but he feels very alive through everyone’s memories and fond recollections. We also meet Florence’s mother, brother and sister and they all feel so well-developed and are just such a lovely, if a little troubled, family. A lot of the story is about the family reconnecting after Florence has left for over 10 years and I really felt for this family so much. The whole town of Mairmont is also so loveable. It’s this little town filled with memorable characters and I could definitely see myself living there.

And of course, there is the romance. I felt like there was such a nice, slow buildup between Florence and Benji and was rooting for these two to make it work. There is just so much pining and also, death puns. The humor was definitely quirky and unexpected. And Benji is just such a nice, sweet guy. Also, he loves romance books. He’s a winner all the way, okay?

A last plus point is all the references to the publishing industry and romance books and authors. As a romance reader, it was very fun to see all those well-known names.

Overall, I highly recommend this story to anyone looking for a heart-warming, unexpectedly funny, swoony and quirky read about a ghostwriter and the ghost she falls for.

Four Stars
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Tell Me:
Have you read The Bodyguard or The Dead Romantics? What did you think about them?

Lindsey xoxo

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10 Comments

  1. I haven’t read either of these, but The Bodyguard is on my TBR. I’m glad to hear that you loved it so much. I’ll add The Dead Romantics to my list too.

    1. I hope you’ll enjoy both of these when you read them too!

  2. I’m so glad you enjoyed The Bodyguard! I did, too. I haven’t read The Dead Romantics yet, but I own it. I need to hurry up and get to it. I’m glad you enjoyed them both.

    1. The Bodyguard was so much fun! And so was The Dead Romantics, I hope you’ll enjoy that story as much as I did 🙂

  3. I really need to read The Dead Romantics! I haven’t seen a bad review yet!

    1. I hope you’ll love it as much as I did!

  4. After seeing Katherine Center books on so many Top Ten lists or just around, I did pick up a couple after reading up on her books, but I haven’t read them yet! This newest from her does sound fun though! 🙂 Thanks so much for sharing your review.

    1. Thanks! I haven’t read any other Katherine Center books yet, but I did highly enjoy this one. Hope you will too if you decide to try it!

  5. This quirky romance story is perfect for Halloween month. Glad you enjoyed it too!

    1. It really is!

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