Review: Below the Belt – Jeanette Murray

Posted March 8, 2015 by Elizabeth in Elizabeth B, Reviews / 0 Comments

Review:  Below the Belt – Jeanette MurrayBelow the Belt by Jeanette Murray
Series: First to Fight #1
Published by Berkley Publishing Group on April 7th 2015
Pages: 304
Also by this author: Takes Two to Tackle, Romancing the Running Back
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository

FIRST IN A NEW SERIES! 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…

Elizabeth B’s Thoughts

I love a feel good story and Below the Belt certainly is that! We meet Brad, a Marine training to try out for the Marine Boxing team and the team’s trainer, Marianne. Both Brad and Marianne are focused on the goals that have brought them together and aren’t looking for relationships.

Their story is a sweet one, both characters connect with each other from the first meeting and it doesn’t take long before they have a first date and a steamy kiss. One of my favorite things about watching Brad and Marianne together is that they talk and spend time together outside the bedroom, so even though their relationship moves quickly, it seems to be based on the things that are real vs just sexual chemistry.

Below the Belt also has a strong supporting cast of characters that really add to the story and help move everything along.  The book moves on a pretty even keel and is a fun read with interesting characters and great dialogue. I’m definitely looking forward the seeing what happens next in the series and am hoping that Brad and Marianne will make an appearance in future books.


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I'm a stay home parent and squeeze reading in wherever I can around driving kids around to school and activities. I read a little bit of everything, but really enjoy indie authors and Happy- Ever-Afters. I've been reviewing for Cocktails and Books since January 2015.