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Katherine Center

Author of Things You Save in a Fire

16+ Works 5,601 Members 552 Reviews 6 Favorited

About the Author

Katherine Center is a New York Times bestselling author. She started wrting in elementary school with her focus being on poems, essays, and stories. She won a creative writing scholarship in high school, and then went on to major in creative writing at Vassar College, where she won the Vassar show more College Fiction Prize. At 22, she won a fellowship to the University of Houston¿s Creative Writing Program and moved home to Texas. She struggled for a decade with her writing before she wrote her first novel, The Bright Side of Disaster, which hit the bestseller lists. Katherine's writing reflects her belief that joy is as important as sorrow. Her stories are all about finding ways to savor life's moments of grace. Her other title's include: How to Walk Away, Husband, and Happiness for Beginners. Her work has appeared in People, USA Today, Vanity Fair and Redbook. (Bowker Author Biography) show less

Includes the name: katherine center

Image credit: Larry D. Moore

Works by Katherine Center

Things You Save in a Fire (2019) 1,092 copies
The Bodyguard (2022) 983 copies
How to Walk Away (2018) 979 copies
What You Wish For (2020) 523 copies
The Bright Side of Disaster (2007) 411 copies
Happiness for Beginners (2015) 379 copies
Everyone Is Beautiful (2009) 366 copies
Hello Stranger (2023) 335 copies
The Lost Husband (2013) 260 copies
Get Lucky (2010) 222 copies
The Rom-Commers: A Novel (2024) 13 copies
Milion nowych chwil (2019) 1 copy

Associated Works

Crush: 26 Real-lifeTales of First Love (2011) — Contributor — 22 copies
Because I Love Her (2009) — Contributor — 14 copies
Reader's Digest Select Editions 2019 v05 #367 (2019) — Author — 4 copies
Reader's Digest Select Editions 2020 v07 #375 (2020) — Author — 1 copy


2018 (14) 2019 (32) 2020 (32) 2021 (14) 2022 (35) 2023 (20) adult fiction (22) ARC (37) audiobook (35) BOTM (49) chick lit (124) contemporary (51) contemporary fiction (38) contemporary romance (25) Early Reviewers (25) ebook (43) family (51) favorites (15) fiction (307) firefighters (25) goodreads (15) grief (26) Kindle (16) library (27) love (16) Massachusetts (16) motherhood (35) netgalley (40) novel (14) own (23) owned (15) pregnancy (17) read (65) relationships (31) romance (257) sisters (15) Texas (67) to-read (571) women (15) women's fiction (54)

Common Knowledge

Legal name
Center, Katherine Pannill
Places of residence
Houston, Texas, USA
Vassar College
University of Houston



i'm not sure there aren't any plot holes here but this was sweet and fun and i especially loved the way (after the initial shock) hannah never looked at jack as the superstar he was. maybe a little too wholesome but overall a fun read.
overlycriticalelisa | 63 other reviews | Feb 21, 2024 |
This is an uplifting and heartwarming story of friendship, love, found family, taking risks, pursuit of happiness, healing from trauma, living with a chronic health condition, education, and PTSD.

While the romance is OTT, I loved the school setting and the eccentric and quirky characters!

This is the kind of book you read simply for the pure pleasure of reading. The narration by Thérèse Plummer made this audiobook such a pleasure to listen to!
nadia.masood | 62 other reviews | Feb 7, 2024 |
Executive Protection Agent (EPA) Hannah Brooks is having the worst week ever. On the day after her mother’s funeral, her boss grounds her from work and her boyfriend breaks up with her. Like a shark, she needs to keep moving and is desperate for a gig that will help earn her a promotion heading up the new London branch of the firm she works for, so she can’t say no when her next assignment is protecting a reclusive movie star who’s returned home to his parent’s ranch to help care for his mom. Hannah will be the primary agent for handsome Jack Stapleton, who decides that to avoid upsetting his world-class worrier mother, recovering from surgery for cancer, Hannah must pose as his girlfriend. And the next thing she knows, her cheap off-the-rack business suits have been traded in for embroidered sundresses, and his mother wants Jack and his cute new girlfriend to come stay at the ranch through Thanksgiving. For a month. And there’s #JustOne!Bed.

Jack, it turns out, has a local stalker and needs to avoid the paparazzi; he also has a brother who believes he’s the cause of their other brother’s death. Hannah’s issues to work through include her alcoholic mother who put up with abusive boyfriends (it’s no wonder Hannah learned to protect herself with a jujitsu class as a teenager). They are both trying to honor last requests of loved ones.

Hannah might look perfectly ordinary, but can kill a man with a corkscrew, pilot a helicopter, and blow away a line of bottles with a shotgun–shooting from her hip. Having never experienced a cozy family, the Stapletons are a breath of fresh air for her. Guarding a celebrity client on five hundred acres consists of gathering wildflower bouquets, making fish tacos for the family and looking for fossils on the banks of the Brazos River. It’s a paid vacation for someone who hasn’t taken one in eight years, except she’s also always on. The forced proximity breaks down Hannah’s usual client boundaries: she answers some of Jack’s questions, he answers some of hers, and as they begin to get to know one another, the lines between real and pretend begin to blur. And then pictures of them surface, and a stalker decides Hannah is a more of a threat to Jack’s well-being, and she gets pulled off the job.

The unexpectedness of Hannah’s career and the lengths the author clearly went through to research her topic make the EPA details authentic and honestly, fascinating. The characters are wonderful and leap off the page. Hannah’s ex Robby is an oblivious asshole (HE TOLD HER SHE WAS A BAD KISSER!) and nearly not to be believed; insult to injury, they work together, and he’s part of the surveillance team (it’s delicious that their boss Glenn, who exudes exasperation, tortures Robby by forcing him to watch Hannah falling for and being loved by someone else). Co-worker Taylor–that Hannah thought was a friend–isn’t, but tries to do the next right thing after sleeping with Robby.

The eventual kisses are more soulful than steamy, and the relationship is consummated behind closed doors.There is a lot of wit and laughter in the face of weighty themes of grief, forgiveness, accountability and abuse. And the writing. The WRITING. It slips into the profound amidst the drama and awkwardness with lines like “I think just because you can’t keep something, doesn’t mean it wasn’t worth it. Nothing lasts forever. What matters is what we take with us.” To everything we’ve lost. And to what we hold onto, indeed.

The cover art is gorgeous; the depiction of shaggy-haired jack look slike Ryder Lynn from Glee, and Hannah’s red cowboy boots are spot on. I’m generally not a fan of yellow, but the spill of wildflowers across the front to the back cover is lush and vivid.

With it’s chemistry, suspense, banter, ranch setting, kick-ass female lead, and all the feels, The Bodyguard is a great readalike for fans of Something Wilder by Christina Lauren (fun aside, Center references The Honeymooners as if Jack has starred in a movie version of the book, and quotes it–I love when things get meta).

I missed this in NetGalley and borrowed a copy from my local public library when I saw it on the new book shelf (I’m so happy we buy romance now!)

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informationgoddess29 | 63 other reviews | Feb 4, 2024 |
Oh man, facial blindness would be SO frustrating. I really liked how the author weaved it into the plot and character progression, though.
AngelClaw | 35 other reviews | Jan 29, 2024 |



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