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Bodyguard: Recruit (Book 1) by [Chris Bradford]

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Bodyguard: Recruit (Book 1) Kindle Edition

4.4 out of 5 stars 95 ratings

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Editorial Reviews


“Breathtaking action . . . as real as it gets.”—Eoin Colfer, author of the bestselling Artemis Fowl series

"The training sequences are detailed and realistic, and Connor is relatable and likable. Featuring intense action sequences and strong friendships, this series starter will appeal to reluctant readers and fans of the 'Alex Rider' books."—School Library Journal on Recruit

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.


The fist caught Connor by surprise. A rocketing right hook that jarred his jaw. Stars burst before his eyes, and he stum­bled backward. Only instinct saved him from getting floored by the left cross that followed. Blocking the punch with his forearm, Connor countered with a kick to the ribs. But he was too dazed to deliver any real power.
His attacker, a boy with knotted black hair and a body that seemed to have been chiseled from stone, deflected the strike and charged at him in a thunderous rage. Connor shielded his head as a barrage of blows rained down on him.
The shouts of the crowd were a monstrous roar in Con­nor’s ears as Jet pummeled him. Connor ducked and weaved to escape the brutal onslaught. But he was boxed in.
Then the ding of the bell cut through the clamor and the referee stepped between them. Jet glared at Connor, his ad­vantage lost.
Connor returned to his corner. He sported spiky brown hair, green-blue eyes and an athletic physique—the ben­efit of several years of martial arts training. Spitting out his mouth guard, he gratefully accepted the water bottle Dan held out for him. His kickboxing instructor, bald-headed with narrow eyes and a flattened nose that had been broken one too many times, didn’t look happy.
“You have to keep your guard up,” Dan warned.
“Jet’s so quick with his hands,” gasped Connor between gulps of water.
“But you’re quicker,” Dan replied, his tone firm and un­questionable. “The championship title is yours for the tak­ing. Unless you persist in exposing your chin like that.”
Connor nodded. Summoning up his last reserves of en­ergy, he shook his arms and breathed deeply, trying to shift the stiffness from his burning muscles. After competing in six qualifying bouts, he was tired. But he’d trained hard for the Battle of Britain tournament and wasn’t going to fall at the last hurdle.
Dan wiped the sweat off Connor’s face with a towel. “See the guy in the second row?”
Connor glanced toward a man in his late forties with silver-gray hair trimmed into a severe crew cut. He sat among the cheering spectators, a tournament program in one hand, his eyes discreetly studying Connor.
“He’s a manager scouting for talent.”
All of a sudden Connor felt an additional pressure to suc­ceed. This could be his chance at the international circuit, to compete for world titles and even earn sponsorship deals. Besides his own ambition, he knew his family could really use the money.
The bell rang for the third and final round.
“Now go win this fight!” Dan urged, giving Connor an en­couraging slap on the back.
Popping the mouth guard into his mouth, Connor stood to face Jet—determined to win more than ever.
His opponent bobbed lightly on his toes, seemingly as fresh as in the first round. The crowd whooped and hollered as the two fighters squared up beneath the white-hot glare of the ring’s spotlights. They stared at each other, neither willing to show the slightest sign of weakness. As soon as their gloves touched, Jet launched straight into his attack—a blistering combination of jab, cross, jab, hook.
Connor evaded the punches and countered with a front kick. The ball of his foot collided with Jet’s stomach, and his opponent doubled over. Keeping up the pressure, Connor trapped Jet against the ropes with a torrent of punches. But Jet refused to back down. With the ferocity of a cornered tiger, he blasted Connor with multiple body blows. Each strike weakened Connor a little more, and he was forced to retreat. As he stepped away, Jet caught him with a crippling shin kick to the thigh. Connor buckled, opening himself up to another hook punch. Jet threw all his weight behind the attack. At the last second, Connor ducked, and the fist glanced off the top of his head.
Realizing he’d been lucky to escape the hook this time, Connor now knew Jet was gunning to knock him down with that punch.
Like two gladiators, they battled back and forth across the ring. Sweat poured from Connor’s brow, his breathing hard, his blood pumping as the punches and kicks came thick and fast. Connor felt his energy ebbing. But he couldn’t give up now. There was too much at stake.
“Stay light on your feet!” bawled Dan from his ringside corner.
Jet launched a roundhouse to the head. Connor double-blocked it with his arms and countered with a side kick. Jet leaped away, then immediately drove back in, fists flying. The crowd now going wild at the epic to-and-fro of combat. Connor’s name was chanted to the rafters by his friends from the Tiger Martial Arts Dojo: “CON-NOR! CON-NOR!”
Jet’s supporters screamed back with equal ferocity. The shouts reached fever pitch as they entered the closing sec­onds of the bout. Connor realized that if he didn’t knock Jet down, his opponent would likely win on points. But exhaus­tion was getting the better of him.
Don’t drop your guard!” Dan screamed at him in frustra­tion from his corner.
Jet spotted the gap in Connor’s defense and went for it. Jab, cross . . . hook!
But Connor had been feigning the weakness to draw his opponent in . . . and Jet had taken the bait. With lightning speed, he sidestepped the attack and thrust in a jab, stun­ning his opponent. Then, whipping his rear leg around, he executed a spinning hook kick. Jet never saw what hit him as Connor’s heel connected with the side of his head. Jet’s black mouth guard shot out of his mouth, and he crashed to the deck in a heap. A second later the bell rang to end the fight.
A dazed Jet staggered to his feet, helped by the referee. Connor bowed his respect to his opponent, who gave a be­grudging nod in return. The presiding judge stepped into the ring. Clasping a microphone, he announced: “The UK title for the Battle of Britain Junior Kickboxing Tournament goes to . . . CONNOR REEVES!”
The crowd roared in celebration as Connor was presented with the trophy, a silver figure of a kickboxer atop a column of white marble. Connor felt a wave of elation and raised the prize high above his head in acknowledgment of his sup­porters.
Dan gripped him around the shoulders. “Congratulations, champ!” he said, grinning. “Your father would be so proud of you.”
Connor looked up at the glittering trophy and at the cheering spectators. He dearly wished his dad could have been by his side to share this moment. His father was the one who’d encouraged him to start martial arts in the first place. It had been his passion—and it was Connor’s too.
“I have to admit, you had me worried there for a second,” said Dan.
“Feign and fight,” replied Connor. “You taught me that trick, remember? So you deserve to hold this as much as me.”
Passing Dan the trophy, he glanced toward the second row and was disappointed to see the silver-haired man had gone.
“Wasn’t the manager impressed, then?”
“Oh, I wouldn’t worry about him,” Dan admitted with a playful wink as he brandished the trophy.

“I’ve no idea who that man was. I just wanted you to fight at the top of your game—and you did!”
--This text refers to the paperback edition.

Product details

  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ B01KGZVU8E
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Philomel Books (May 9, 2017)
  • Publication date ‏ : ‎ May 9, 2017
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • File size ‏ : ‎ 3446 KB
  • Text-to-Speech ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Screen Reader ‏ : ‎ Supported
  • Enhanced typesetting ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • X-Ray ‏ : ‎ Not Enabled
  • Word Wise ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Print length ‏ : ‎ 269 pages
  • Lending ‏ : ‎ Not Enabled
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.4 out of 5 stars 95 ratings

About the author

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Chris Bradford is a true believer in 'practising what you preach'. For his award-winning Young Samurai series, he trained in samurai swordmanship, karate, ninjutsu and earned his black belt in Zen Kyu Shin Taijutsu.

For his new BODYGUARD series, Chris embarked on an intensive close protection course to become a qualified professional bodyguard. During his training, he acquired skills in unarmed combat, defensive driving, tactical firearms, threat assessments, surveillance, and even anti-ambush exercises.

For the SOUL Prophecy trilogy, Chris travelled extensively to experience first-hand the cultures featured in the story – from living with the Shona people in Zimbabwe, to trekking the Inca trail, to meditating in a Buddhist temple amid the mountains of Japan.

His best-selling books are published in over 25 languages and have garnered more than 35 children’s book award nominations, winning the Northern Ireland Book Awards 2011, the Hampshire Book Award 2014, the Brilliant Book Award 2014 and the Quick Read 2017. His first book The Way of the Warrior is deemed one of Puffin's 70 Best Ever Books, alongside Treasure Island and Robin Hood.

Chris was a featured World Book Day 2010 author and involved in the Read To A Million Kids campaign. His unique book performances and readings have garnered numerous accolades and he has appeared before more than 150,000 school children in more than 500 schools, 50 book festivals and 25 countries.

Before becoming a full-time author, he was a professional musician and songwriter (who once performed for HRH Queen Elizabeth II). His first five books were about the music industry and included the critically acclaimed, Heart &amp; Soul: Revealing the Craft of Songwriting.

He is a keen supporter of teachers and librarians in their quest to improve literacy skills and provides free Teachers' Guide to his books at and

To discover more about Chris go to

Customer reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5
95 global ratings

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1.0 out of 5 stars Half the book it could have been!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on March 11, 2018
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5.0 out of 5 stars Half a book!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on June 10, 2020
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1.0 out of 5 stars US and UK versions available - they are different so be careful when ordering!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on May 21, 2020
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4.0 out of 5 stars Great book for boys 11 years and up
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on June 14, 2019
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5.0 out of 5 stars Good
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 16, 2020
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