THE BODYGUARD piqued my interest ever since I found out that it was a gender-reversed bodyguard romance. I love books that play with and subvert gender norms, and I thought the idea of a romance novel where the woman is protecting the man was super neat. But I was also a little leery because sometimes these super cutesy illustrated cover romance novels have me banging my head against the wall because they lack substance.
But this book surprised me in the best way.
Hannah Brooks is shocked when she's tasked with protecting famous film actor Jack Stapleton. For one, they don't normally "do" celebrities in her protection agency. For another, he's famous. For yet another still, she's been having the worst month ever. Her boyfriend, who works with her, dumped her the day after her mother's funeral, and she's been sleeping on the floor of her closet. Work has been her coping mechanism and her slightly sadistic boss has had enough. So he's peeled her off her dream assignment and slapped her onto this.
I thought the romance itself was pretty decent. It's not quite enemies to lovers although it has some elements of that. Both the FMC and the MMC have believable traumas that they end up working through together. There's a bunch of tropes that I really like (there was only one bed, found family, reverse grumpy sunshine, fake dating). And the banter could be really good. But there were some things that kept me from rating it higher, too. The last act felt a little weird and rushed. Sometimes the "banter" got repetitive and a little annoying. You also really have to suspend your disbelief with this book. It kind of has aughts-era Meg Cabot vibes. It's cheesy but fun enough that you roll with it.
Ergo, I liked this book but didn't love it, and probably wouldn't reread it (although will I attempt to get my hands on other books by this author? Hard yes).
3 to 3.5 out of 5 stars