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I Belong

Review: Below the Belt by Jeanette Murray

Below the BeltTitle: Below the Belt

Author: Jeanette Murray

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Series: First to Fight (Book #1)

Publication Date: April 7, 2015

Format: Paperback, 296 Pages

ISBN-10: 0425279251 (Berkley/Penguin)

ISBN-13: 978-0425279250 (Berkley/Penguin)

Reviewed by: Roxanne


Athletic trainer Marianne Cook is ready to do whatever it takes to turn the men of the Marine Corps boxing team into fighting machines. After all, her ultimate goal is to land a job training professional athletes. But when she notices a certain hard-bodied marine trying to hide an injury, Marianne realizes that she’ll have to use covert tactics to get him talking.

First Lieutenant Brad Costa has waited years for the chance to fight for a spot on the Marine Corps boxing team, knowing he has to push twice as hard to get half as far as his younger counterparts. Brad tries to downplay his injuries to the attractive trainer who has his dreams in her hands, but Marianne isn’t buying it. Maybe it’s time to deploy some targeted flattery.

As Brad and Marianne’s attraction turns red-hot, there’s more than one person having a hard time keeping their eyes on the prize…

Quick & Dirty: Smoking hot romance between a trainer and a Marine Boxer!

Opening Sentence: “First Lieutenant Bradley Costa tossed his pack on the bed and sank to the mattress beside it.”

Excerpt: Yes

The Review:

Brad is trying out for the Marine Boxing Team, he first meets Marianne when he saves her from being hit on by a young Marine. It turns out that Marianne is the athletic trainer for the Team, and when she notices that he is favoring a leg, Brad attempts to distract her by asking her out on a date. As their attraction heats up, and Brad continues to hide his injury will their love survive the truth?

It seems like I left a lot out but this is such a quick and easy read that I could easily give away the whole book in a paragraph! Let me first say this, I don’t usually like military romances, as an Army brat, Marine and then Army wife, I find that I often notice the things wrong about books written with military characters in them. That being said, I really didn’t catch to many here, plus side, I really didn’t know how the Team situations work, so I couldn’t judge anything except the book. I enjoyed it a lot! I used to love romance a lot, but have since moved away from the genre in the last few years, but I still really enjoy a good one.

This is a good one, just the right mix of steaminess, and plot! The main characters are flawed but likable and smoking hot! I mean seriously, all joking aside, who doesn’t want to read a book about a smoking hot Marine!! I also enjoyed that instead of a deployment or some other combat related story that can often get heavy and deep, this was completely light-hearted, which I think is what made it such an enjoyable read. Sometimes we don’t want drama, combat, kidnappings and death. Sometimes we just need a little bit of drama, laughs and whole lot of fun!

Notable Scenes:

“There was no way in hell he was telling the sexy athletic trainer he was hurting.”

“That sort of intensity was intriguing to her, as well as impressive.”

“Like cool lemonade with a hint of the key lime tartness from their shared dessert.”

“They were all struggling through a downward dog-at least two of the Marine infants had snickered at the name-and now most were moaning at the fact that they couldn’t do the poses even halfway.”

“Not when he knew it would it be like looking at his own future.”

“She was gone, and there was no way in hell she wanted him chasing after her.”

First to Fight Series:

1. Below the Belt

2. Against the Ropes

3. Fight to the Finish


FTC Advisory: Berkley/Penguin provided me with a copy of Below the Belt. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.

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