Thursday, 8 October 2015

Review - Against the Ropes by Jeanette Murray

Title: Against the Ropes 
Series: First to Fight #2 
Author: Jeanette Murray 
Release Date: October 6, 2015

The author of Below the Belt continues her First to Fight series with a novel of one Marine’s battle to come out on top—in life and love…

As a troubled teen, Gregory Higgs channeled his energy into boxing instead of breaking the law. The ring gave him purpose and something to strive for. So did the Marines. Combining the two seemed like a natural fit.

Another natural fit? Reagan Robilard, the sweet athlete liaison who keeps all the fighters out of trouble and manages their PR—a job that gets more challenging when someone digs up the truth about Greg’s not-so-shiny past after equipment is vandalized at the gym.

Even if it wasn’t her job, Reagan can’t let Greg take the fall. Because passion doesn’t pull any punches when it comes to matters of the heart…

“Boys are weird…”

Yes, they are and more the interesting for it!

Reagan Robilard is the PR rep for Gregory Higgs’ Marine Corps boxing team. This is her first job after putting herself through university, so if she’s a bit unsure around all that raging testosterone, it’s understandable. Even though heels give her a mental boost she has to continue upping her game as she deals with a variety of seemingly innocent pranks regarding the team as well as resistance from the team athletes. Especially Gregory Higgs. 

One of the leaders of the team, he is also the most stubborn as he refuses to give up personal information for the sake of marketing. Butting heads, and hearts, will have these two battling wits in and out of the ring.

“A fighter’s a fighter. And anywhere can be a ring.”

I love how Reagan tries to be so tough and totally together while inside she is a quaky mass of nerves. Who can’t relate to someone as they “fake it ‘til they make it”? And Greg is a hard one to resist. He’s a fighter, a leader, a soldier and someone who worked very hard to leave his past behind. He’s grateful for what he has and doesn’t want to lose it.

“The way he leaned over her while talking into her ear was about as obvious as if he’d whipped it out and peed on her to mark his territory.”

While the story was slow going in spots, the chemistry between Reagan and Greg was unmistakable. When they also begin revealing themselves, their past, their shames, everything just amps up that much more. There is a scene of revelations between the two which was this sweet mix of emotion, heat and snark that had me melting on the spot.

Brad and Marianne, as well as Kara and the rest of the team, rounded out the story with more interesting characters, snappy dialogue and a sense of family. Not really a military story, more of a sports story with military overtones, the sub-plot which is tying all the stories together remains unresolved so we have another story to look forward to! 
~ Review by Diane

Jeanette Murray 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, her daughter, and the family dog on the outskirts of St. Louis. She is also the author of One Night with a Quarterback.

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