Below the Belt (First to Fight #1) by Jeanette Murray-Review and Giveaway
Below The Belt
First To Fight #1
by Jeanette Murray
Release Date: April 7, 2015
Genre: adult, contemporary, military romance
ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date April 7, 2015
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: BELOW THE BELT is the first installment in Jeanette Murray’s new contemporary, adult First to Fight military, romance series focusing on a group of Marine Corps boxers and the women they love. This is First Lieutenant Brad Costa and athletic trainer Marianne Cook’s storyline.
Marianne Cook has been hired as the physical therapist and trainer for the Marine’s new boxing team, and there is an instant chemistry between herself and First Lieutenant Brad Costa. At twenty nine years old Brad is the ‘elder statesman’ amongst the current team of Marines and with it comes some existing injuries that he is a little reluctant to share. As Brad continues to hide the extent of his pain and suffering, Marianne is all too aware that Brad hasn’t been truthful with his coach or his trainer.
The storyline follows two paths: the training, the comaraderie, and building friendships between a group of men thrown together with a common goal-to make the Marine Corps boxing team. Brad has been selected as one of three team leaders, and in this his skills and previous experience bring together the motley crew under his care. Brad and Marianne’s attraction to one another is immediate; Marianne has never before been involved with one of the men; Brad is a dedicated Marine who doesn’t do long term relationships. When our couple hit a rough patch, the Marines get together to push their friends in the right direction. The $ex scenes are intimate, provocative and romantic.
There is a secondary storyline building throughout the novel, one that focuses on a series of harassing threats and destruction of property aimed at the Marine Corps boxers. Reagan Robilard is brought in as the athletic liaison and PR consultant, and it is her job to help with the investigation into the threats and damage. Reagan’s story is next –AGAINST THE ROPES- where the search for the culprit(s) continues.
The colorful and charismatic supporting characters include the coaches, the boxers, family, friends and potential lovers. We are introduced to several Marines whose aim it is to qualify for the team. The developing friendships are amusing, refreshing and supportive. Some will not make the team, while others struggle on a daily basis. Marianne and Brad’s families play a supporting and sometimes humorous role throughout the story-Marianne’s mother is a Marine groupie who loves the attention and flirting with the men. The world building follows the Marine Corps boxing team through their training, determination and after hours play.
BELOW THE BELT is a delightful read with a fascinating and engaging cast of characters. Although BELOW THE BELT focuses on the Marine Corp boxing team we do not see any military action-it is all about the athletes and the competition. Jeanette Murray’s BELOW THE BELT was a delight to read.
Copy supplied by the publisher through Netgalley.
Reviewed by Sandy
Jeanette spends her days surrounded by hunky alpha men…at least in her imagination. In real life, she’s a wife and a mother, keeping tabs on her husband of seven years, her four year old daughter (often called Tot) and the family dog, a lovable (but completely stupid) Goldendoodle named Clyde. Hang around long enough and you’re guaranteed to hear at least one or two stories about these three. She and her family currently live just outside of St. Louis.
What’s with the two names? Great question. Jeanette writes for a few different publishers. And due to the timing of some releases, two names just seemed like the right option. But Jeanette can assure you, no matter which pen name you’re reading, you’re going to get sexy contemporary love.
Jeanette and her publisher are offering a paper copy of BELOW THE BELT to ONE (1) lucky commenter at The Reading Cafe
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8. Giveaway open to USA only
9. Giveaway runs from April 8-13, 2015