Sometimes all I want in this world is strong arms around me, someone who has my back, and a soft place to fall. That's when I pull out a good bodyguard romance. Nothing in the world makes me feel safer than these stories. They've got me dreaming of an avenger, a 24/7 personal protection officer of my very own.
The Bodyguard (1992) is one of the first things that comes to mind when you think "bodyguard romance." It looks a bit clunky to my eyes now, but the chemistry between Kevin Costner and Whitney Houston is an eternal flame.
Goodreads has a great round-up of bodyguard romances to get you started. If you're like me and don't enjoy suspense and violence with your romance, definitely read the reviews of these books first before you go in.
Girl Gone Viral, part of the short Modern Love series, is about two vulnerable people finding love and security in each other. Family and mental health issues are woven so skillfully throughout--the focus is always firmly on this gorgeous couple.
Dangerous Beauty is a slow-burn bodyguard romance, full of hot sexual tension and bunker love, but the full-on sexytimes come right at the end–-AND it ends on a cliffhanger. Book 1 of 3. Arrrrghhh.
Pawn is Book 1 in the Ironclad Bodyguards series. If the other bodyguards in this series are like Sam, I'll be reading every book.
Rock Chick is completely bonkers and the hero is definitely an over-protective alpha right to the end, but the heroine is a firecracker and it's a sexy, fun ride with mild/brief suspense & danger.
Vulnerable is Book 1 in the 14-book McIntyre Security bodyguard series, and it brings all the juicy tropes: wounded heroine, secret protector, age-difference, virgin, millionaire, and band of brothers romance. Imperfect, Book 5, is about a combat-blinded former Navy SEAL, a McIntyre brother, who falls in love with his scarred artist neighbor. Fantastic disability rep in this book. CW for brief descriptions of physical assaults in both books.
I finally made my bed alcove dreams come true. Some pictures to inspire you to create a sleep bunker of your very own.
This is Confessions of a Closet Romantic, a podcast where I celebrate my favorite romantic TV shows, movies, books and talk in detail about why I love them so much -- without embarrassment or shame. Mostly! In this episode it's all about bodyguard romances.
Ever feel a bit tender, vulnerable, beat up and spit out by life? Like maybe you could use someone to throw punch for you, catch you if you fall, pick you up and carry you off when danger swirls around you, think of your comfort always and have your back without question?
Enter the bodyguard romance a.k.a. The fantasy of your very own personal protection officer looking out for you 24/7. Ohhhh yeahhhh
If you grew up in a healthy family of course your first bodyguards would have been your parent (s) or guardians. I've mention the dysfunctional family I grow up in, so it's no mystery why this trope speaks to me on such a deep level.
Here's how I see it: a capable, emotionally disciplined and physically strong person with a huge protective streak and unshakable integrity and confidence takes a job protecting someone who’s physically or emotionally vulnerable. Oh, come to me sweet trope.
And all that forced proximity leads to affection, friendship then lurrrve.
The bodyguards are usuallly ex-military, Secret Service or police, because that training stands in for Extreme discipline and capability under fire. Not only do they have your back, they will take a bullet for you. A fit, focused man — or woman —in selfless, self-sacrifice mode. Mmmm Helllllo Superman.
Being trained to keep cool under pressure usually means their emotions are under wraps as well —so enter the sub-tropes: shutdown hero meets the person who can finally crack the hard shell that protects a soft generous heart, or emotionally scarred hero or heroine healed through the power of love.
The granddaddy of this trope in modified form is The Bodyguard with Kevin Costner and Whitney Houston from 1992. In case you don't remember this movie, it's definitely not a happy ever after story. Just want to head off any tears.
Of course the part of the trope I love the most is the tension as the bodyguard gets to know the client intimately, but they’re forced to keep themselves—and their personal desires— buttoned down and separate.
Oh but when they finally crack and cave…
The male and female heroes in these romances are often alpha types but not always, like in Girl Gone Viral by Alisha Rai.
The bodyguard in this story is delicious! It's all about the intersecting character arcs of two kind, thoughtful people thrown together as they struggle with family and mental health issues. The caring that develops and how they open up to each other is the best part of the story.
Katrina is a sweet, kind Thai-American widow who uses the millions her late husband left her to support charities and run a successful investment fund that supports start ups.
She made her own money early on as model but developed a panic disorder after being managed by her abusive, controlling father.
She gets up caught up in a random viral tweet with picture during a coffee shop visit she uses as desensitization therapy, so the private, safe life that helps her cope is violated, and she hires family bodyguard Jas to be her personal protection officer.
Kat has always admired him and counted on his steady presence, but knows little about him,
Jas is a Punjabi-American combat veteran who struggles with PTSD. After he left the military, He took a job as bodyguard for Kat and her late husband.
So Jas cares for Kat when she has panic attacks, tries to figure out what to do about the viral tweet, people trying to uncover Kat’s identity, and makes sure she’s safe and her struggles are eased on a daily basis. Hello Prince Charming.
As the plot thickens their undeclared love deepens, like, as one character describes it, “a death match of kindness.”
The stakes in this plot are realistic but dramatic and seeing them try to out-care for each other and make each other's lives better and more comfortable Is beautiful to see.
The family and mental health issues are compelling and realistic but the story never stays there long—this lovely couple is the focus the entire time. We're in a sort of in a bunker with them, and how they navigate emotional and physical danger together as two vulnerable people who heal each other is the heart of the story.
Forced proximity makes dramatic love stories!
I mentioned JT Geissinger's Bad Habit rockstar series in my Romance of Rock episode. The band's bodyguard Barney/Nasir was such a cool character, I was thrilled that he got his own bodyguard book called Dangerous Beauty.
As I mentioned in my Romantic Capers episode, I’m not crazy about romance stories with guns and violence and crime.
But. This story about how Nasir quits security for the band in LA, joins a high tech security service in New York and falls in love with his very first surveillance target, Eva, the gorgeous wife of a cruel mafia boss who’s gone into hiding-- ooohhh baby!
Of course it's unprofessional to fall in love with your client, of course he's tortured by the this unexpected love but he can't help himself. Of course he gets to know her and realizes what a beautiful person she is and how he can never let her go back to that abusive relationship.
Omg the pacing and plot and passion in this story!!! Get your asbestos undergarments ready.
Nasir’s devotion in protecting and caring for Eva and how she blossoms with him as she finally feels safe is delicious. Don't want to be in that meeting with HR, though.
This scene comes towards the end of the story when Nas is seriously injured protecting Eva. (they call each other these funny nicknames and he teases her for being fat because she's the opposite)
Oh and there’s bunker love in this plot which seems to be a staple feature of bodyguard romances, and I can't get enough of it.
A hideaway deep in a high security building with everything you need to survive for weeks including champagne on ice, a fully stocked fridge, big comfy beds, waterfall showers and fluffy towels....You are utterly safe from the outside world and can scream in the throes of passion and no one will hear you . Let's all sign-up!
The book Pawn, part of the Ironclad Bodyguards romance series, has one of those scenes. It's about Grace, the first female world chess challenger.
She’s young, pretty chess genius and beats most of her male opponents, which shouldn't be a problem in this gentleman's game except that she's attacked by a gang of sexist thugs after winning a match in Russia.
So she hires Sam, a personal protection officer with Ironclad Bodyguards, to accompany her to Helsinki as she prepares for her next tournament.
She refuses to stop playing but her PTSD has become an issue, and she wakes up in terror in the middle of the night believing someone is in the house where they're staying.
These stories are that metaphorical weighted blanket for my psyche. Ahhhhh, Excuse me while I snuggle away from the world in my new bed alcove aka MY bunker. If you want to feel secure, build yourself a bed alcove . Bet my Scandinavian listeners know exactly what I mean. i'll put pictures in the show notes…
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Special shout out to my listeners in Canada…and hi to Nathalia of the Heaving Bosoms podcast Facebook page— thanks for lisetening!
it’s so nice to have everyone's company…until next time, wishing you 24/7, safe, passionate got-your-back romance…!