Thank you to Rachel’s Random Resources and Kathryn Freeman for letting me be a part of my first ever blog tour for Kathryn’s latest romance, Up Close and Personal! I knew from the description that this book was right up my alley:
“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…”
This book had me furiously swiping my Kindle pages, and not just because they’re shorter than real book pages!
What I loved most about this book was the classic role reversal from the typical female star, male bodyguard.
Kat is a war veteran and a badass bodyguard, and she knows how to assert herself in a male dominated industry. Zac might not seem thrilled about her ability to protect him, but she proves any of his doubts wrong with her watchful eye and quick skills.
The book never shied away from that confusing line between a “gentleman” wanting to protect the woman he cares for, and also acknowledging he needs protecting, too. He feels it is his duty to protect her, but it’s literally her duty to protect him. That’s in constant conflict in this book and helped spark electricity between the pair.
The most infuriating part of this love story is how long it took them to admit their feelings! There was so much misunderstanding on both parts during their frequent dialogue, and all the internal assumptions they were making rather than being honest and open in their communication kept pushing them apart. I wanted to scream at both of them to just admit they were in love already!
Maybe that’s why I “flipped” the Kindle pages so quickly, but the wait was worth it at the end.
I also liked the depth that each character held. It’s easy for characters like this to be surface level, but Kathryn Freeman made sure both Kat and Zac had meaningful backgrounds that added layers onto their love story. The reader gets glimpses of these backstories as the book progresses, like that Zac calls his parents by their first names, but we’re in the dark until each character finally opens up and is vulnerable to the other. Kat’s traumatic experiences in war and her sister’s addiction, inherited from their father, also add to her hard shell. And the reason Zac is such a neat freak and a proper man broke my heart a little bit.
My biggest wish is that a little bit more backstory had been given before the love interests had met the first time, which happened on page 2. Without the reader being clued in to why these characters were the way they were, it was frustrating to feel like the only obstacle holding themselves back was their own miscommunications.
My favorite character might have been Debs, Kat’s 14 year old niece that lived with her as her mom, Kat’s sister, was in rehab for most of the book. Despite being such a young teenager and making plenty of mistakes herself, Debs was probably the voice of reason throughout this love story. She might say “Gucci” and “salty” more than the adults, but she’s very grown up for her age. Debs always stated exactly what was going on, when Zac and Kat were too afraid to do it themselves.
If you love quick read romances, will they won’t theys, and a dash of mystery mixed in, you’re going to love Up Close and Personal!
3.5 out of 5 stars.
Stay tuned to the rest of the Up Close and Personal blog tour by checking out the upcoming reviews from other book bloggers:
About the Author, Kathryn Freeman:
"I was born in Wallingford, England and have spent most of my life living in a village outside Windsor. A former pharmacist, former pharmaceutical industry employee I’m now a self-employed medical writer who also loves to write romance. Some days a racing heart is a medical condition, others it’s the reaction to a hunky hero…
I’ve two teenage boys and a husband who asks every Valentine’s Day whether he has to bother buying a card again this year (yes, he does) so the romance in my life is all in my head. Then again, my husband’s unstinting support of my career change goes to prove that love isn't always about hearts and flowers - and heroes can come in many disguises."