Guest Reviewed by Ami
Title: Below the Belt
Author: Jeanette Murray
Series: First to Fight #1
Heroine/Hero: Marianne Cook/Brad Costa
Genre: MF Contemporary Romance
Length: 304 Pages
Release Date: April 7, 2015
Available at: Amazon and Barnes & Noble
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads
Blurb: There’s more than one way to win in the debut of the First to Fight series…
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…
Review: As a contemporary romance from new-to-me author, this story falls into the ‘okay’ zone for me. I am afraid that MAYBE it is because I am not really big on marine/army/corps men (I know, gasp!). I thought the summary sounded interesting, but when I finally read this, I just didn’t feel any connection between myself and the characters, nor could I exactly celebrating the chemistry either. To be perfectly honest, I kind of dragged my feet the whole way through.
Marianne was quite a tough focused woman. There was something really admirable for a female trainer in a room full of such high testosterone that could kept it together! Brad was the ‘minimum-talking’ strong type, but he sure has a lot of entertaining friends, with their antics, who served as great supporting characters in the book.
Personally, I don’t see myself continuing to read the series because it doesn’t tickle my fancy. However, those who enjoy that theme might want to try this for the fun of reading the camaraderie between the Marines, in addition to the romance.
Overall Impression: It was okay
*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in return for a fair and honest review.*