Delighted today to be joining the blog tour and sharing my review of Up Close and Personal by the wonderful Kathryn Freeman: published by One More Chapter on 12th June, it’s now available for kindle via Amazon in the UK and US, with the paperback available from 3rd September. My thanks to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for the invitation and support, and to the publishers for my advance reading e-copy (provided via netgalley).
I’m delivering on a promise with this one! When I couldn’t fit in a review of Kate’s first book for One More Chapter, The New Guy (sob!), and had to run a promotional post instead (you’ll find it here), I said I’d be reading her next one, come hell or high water… mission accomplished. I just love Kate’s books – I’ve featured her so many times that I won’t list all her books again, but if you pop her name into the search bar, you’ll find posts (reviews, cover reveals, spotlights and guest posts) for most of her excellent books.
Now, does that cover remind you of anything? Maybe Whitney related? Cleverly done… let’s take a closer look at the book…
British actor Zac Edwards is the latest heartthrob to hit the red carpets. Hot, talented and rich, he sends women wild…all except one.
Close protection officer Kat Parker hasn’t got time to play celebrity games. She has one job: to protect Zac from the stalker that seems to be dogging his every move.
Zac might get her hot under her very starched collar, but Kat’s a professional – and sleeping with Zac is no way part of her remit…
I loved everything about this book – The Bodyguard might just be one of my favourite films, but the author turns the whole concept on its head with a female bodyguard and a male star needing protection. Kat and Zac’s first encounter looks none too promising – she douses him in champagne at a party, tripping over her heels, and my first thought (sorry Kathryn!) was that the whole story might just be a bit of fluff, a light and quick read. But I was way off the mark, and should have known better – these were two characters I grew to really love, and the story, full of unexpected twists and turns, both gripped and enchanted me through to its lovely end.
As it always does in the author’s books, the dialogue fizzes and sparkles – she always has a particularly special touch with that. And there’s a sizzle of attraction between them both that’s quite wonderfully done – you can really feel it, as Kat fights to remain focused and professional despite the temptation. But these characters also have a depth I don’t think I’ve seen before in the author’s books – the threat to Zac is all tied up with his background and history, and the full story slowly emerges. I really liked Kat’s family story too – her troubled sister, her teenage niece really well drawn.
There are moments of heart-stopping drama – when Kate shows her full capabilities and the reasons why she’s so very well suited to her job, along with the pride she takes in doing it to the best of her abilities without any distraction. And the author makes both her main characters exceptionally likeable – the developing romance and that frisson between them is strong and believable throughout. The story’s surprisingly emotional at times – sometimes heating up a little, but touching and poignant at times too. The whole story’s really nicely textured – moments of lightness and laughter, then tension worthy of the best of thrillers, perfectly balanced.
I read this book on a sunny afternoon in the garden, and just couldn’t tear myself away, one glorious sitting and the perfect escape from everyday life – and when I reached the end, I really didn’t want to leave the characters behind. It was one of those reads that you put down thinking “I really enjoyed that”, and I don’t think the author’s writing has ever been better. Highly recommended by me.
About the author
A former pharmacist, I’m now a medical writer who also writes romance. Some days a racing heart is a medical condition, others it’s the reaction to a hunky hero.
I’ve two sons and a husband who asks every Valentine’s Day whether he has to buy a card (yes, he does), any romance is all in my head. Then again, his unstinting support of my career change proves love isn’t always about hearts and flowers – and heroes come in many disguises.