Below the Belt (Harlequin Blaze, #404)
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Below the Belt (Harlequin Blaze, #404)

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3.7 of 5 stars 3.70  ·  rating details  ·  359 ratings  ·  32 reviews
He's not going down without a fight

To outfit his new gym, trainer Cooper Fitzgerald is looking for fresh boxing talent. Male boxing talent, that is. So what on earth is he thinking by taking on Jamie Sawyer? She's stubborn, difficult, aggressive--and far too hot for the kind of close contact training requires. But her skill in the ring is turning his professional head.

Too...more
ebook, 214 pages
Published June 1st 2008 by Harlequin (first published January 1st 2008)
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Shawna
5 stars – Contemporary/Sports Romance

Of all the Blaze books I’ve read, this had the best story and most well-developed characters, and yes, it still managed to be blazin’ hot too!

Cooper Fitzgerald, a former heavyweight boxing champion forced into early retirement because of an injury, is beginning a new career as gym proprietor and boxing trainer and looking for champion contenders. The last thing he wants is a feisty, stubborn, aggressive, and hotheaded woman demanding that he take her on, but...more
Mojca
A former boxer champ training a would-be-boxer chick, but their intimate trainer-fighter relationship is about to get even more intimate. In a different, and much more satisfying, way.

I have to give kudos to the author for creating one heck of a couple of well-developped characters with unseen depths and loads of layers.
But since I was in the mood for something a bit more frilly and relaxing (after two books that weren't satisfying at all), I just couldn't cope with the amount of angst and emoti...more
Maldivianbookreviewer

4 star Harlequin Blaze Romance

Though I have enjoyed reading a couple of sports themed romances (they have been far and few in between) this is the first of its kind for me. Even being not much of a sports buff in reality this book turned out to be delightfully good, no doubt a testament to Sarah Mayberry’s extremely talented writing abilities.

Likes:

1- Jamie Sawyer. She is one of the most different heroines that I have come across in the romance world and because of that I loved her to bits. Sh...more
Silverana
It’s annoying when the leads think of getting rid of their attraction to the other lead by finding the next available person. I thought I would like this one since it included a unique topic of boxing with romance. But, I couldn’t seem to get into it because of the heroine. She’s strong and determined and I like that she’s sticking with her goal to become a boxer when female boxers don’t easily get the approval of male boxers. But I didn’t like her belief of just easily sharing her body with any...more
Christa
Below the Belt was good for a short book. I am not at all interested in boxing, so the storyline wasn't terribly appealing to me. The hero, Cooper Fitzgerald, was very likeable. He had accepted the loss of his boxing career with equanimity and moved on with his life. I enjoyed the way in which he quickly acknowledged his unexpected feelings for the heroine without fighting them. I had a more difficult time relating to the heroine, a female boxer. Jamie Sawyer was sometimes abrasive and made rash...more
Nisha
Feb 19, 2010 Nisha rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: readers who need a change and like sexually aggressive heroines
I picked this book because it was written by Sarah Mayberry and because the premise is so different from anything I've read before. A female boxer trying to set right her father's wrongs, paired with the most amazing, honorable man/trainer, Cooper. Cooper is sexy as hell. Jamie is a little harder to like. She's driven and tough, and unlike every other romance novel, she's the jaded one.

It was an interesting change, but it was also hard to understand Jamie. Her reluctance to get into a relations...more
Sharon
This was pretty decent for a Harlequin romance novel. I liked the characters and the mix of boxing/sports in there was a welcome change to some of the other obstacles the heroines face. I liked all the characters and there was some good sex scenes! It didn't stand out a ton for me, but I enjoyed it!
Season
This book started out really good, got a little better and then disappointed me. I think it went too far for me. A little too nice and neat. I was left wishing it had ended sooner.
Allison
Good book. There was a little too much detail about the boxing matches for me. It made me hurt just reading about it.
Lianna
This was ok. Got bored of it after awhile and skimmed the rest.
Bungluna
This was a new one for me, but then, I've come to expect the unexpected from this author.

The hero is an ex-boxing champ turned trainer. The heroine is an ex-martial arts champ who wants to go pro as a boxer. The whole setting is unlike any I've ever seen in a romance before, never mind a series one. The author does not take any short cuts, piling as much character development and emotion as many a longer story wish they could! Even the ending is unique.

Even though I admired the story, I had a h...more
Shay
Another good one from Sarah Mayberry. I'm a fan.
Stacey O'driscoll
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mfred
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Rose
Jan 02, 2012 Rose rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Rose by: Goodreads, Harlequin recs
I'm a bit torn as to what I think about Below the Belt in retrospect, because having a love for sports and an appreciation of boxing in general context - this book was definitely a different venture into what I've read in the Blaze line. I really liked the attention to the sport and fight scenes in the work.

On one hand, I enjoyed reading about the relationship and dynamic between Cooper and Jamie. Jamie was just a bit too hot-headed/headstrong for me to really align with her character, though s...more
Kathy
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
adventurat
The boxing ring is an unusual setting for a romance novel, but pretty much every character in this book spends, or has spent, a significant amount of time in one. The heroine is a would-be boxer, whose father and grandfather were both fighters. Her ex-boyfriend is a boxer-cum-trainer, her new trainer-cum-boyfriend is a retired champion, the friend who introduces her to the new trainer is also a fighter.

There is a lot of fighting in this book, both in the ring and out of it, punctuated by steamy...more
Wendy
I surprisingly enjoyed this even though I dislike boxing. There's a human side to all characters in Sarah Mayberry's novels which makes things more interesting instead of just another romance novel with porn scenes lol.

Oh, and I really liked how the female character wasn't just strong physically but also emotionally and mentally strong. Her character is unique to typical romance novels where usually women characters may be "independent" but don't have much else to show for it. In this novel, ho...more
ms bookjunkie
Powerful, emotionally satisfying story. I loved it! Awesome hero, relatable heroine (driven, emotionally scarred), interesting story. How many times do you get to read about female boxers? Fascinating!

(The reason it took me a while to finish is because it's not prudent to read Sarah Mayberry books in public. In this book alone, she made me seethe with fury, snortle with glee and bawl out loud. Several times.)
Netanella
Loved this book - inspired by "Million Dollar Baby", with super-awesome Cooper in the role of the Eastwood trainer, except younger and cut and oh so in touch with his feelings. Jamie was good, too, driven to redeem her family name and her hatred of her father that she once loved. This is a great book, and finally a realistic portrayal of how those fit bodies on the book covers keep in such great shape.
Katie
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Katherine O'Grady
I bought this one from eHarlequin.

I bought this book for two reasons: 1) I like Sarah Mayberry's books, 2) I'm not a boxing fan and wanted to see what Ms. Mayberry could do with the theme.
Short version: this book is so good. Read it. Now.
Longer version: the heroine is kick-ass strong. She is confident and strong throughout the book. The hero is the perfect compliment to her
Megan
Well, I have to say Sarah Mayberry is one of my go-to authors. I have enjoyed every single title I have read by her. So, I'm going to buy a couple more and hope they are as wonderful.
This story is so sweet and, at times, heartbreaking. I enjoyed it from the very beginning. I love how Mayberry never ceases to make me smile, laugh, and frequently cry during one of her stories.
Bobs (Reader Unbound)
Oh, my Gosh! Who would have thought that boxing is so damn HOT!!!!
I am known for my soft sport for sportsmen, but thanks to this book here my Number One Dream Man should be a boxer! That is it ! I have decided ! Thank you Sarah Mayberry
Jessica
Oh, God. No more contemporary series romance. I'm off it altogether. Lately the plots are too simplistic, the characters to stock, and the sex too boring. This book was no exception.
Nada Al-Karmi
It was OK. Liked the idea and the romance. Hated how sensitive men are when women try to do what they do. However, nobody likes seeing his girl getting beaten up, so i get it.
Bree
Rec'd to me by Sayrui_x. Really, really enjoyed it. Great characters and a convincing love story. Need more Mayberry now.
Karla
Sarah Mayberry never disappoints. I love how her heroines always have work or a career that they are passionate about.
Lorie Glowania
A strong female boxer fights for her families honor and name and meets her match
KarenH
Sarah Mayberry doesn't know how to write a bad romance!
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19909
Sarah Mayberry was born in Melbourne, Australia, and is the middle of three children. From the time that she first “stole” paper from kindergarten and stapled it together to make “books,” Sarah has always wanted to be a writer. In line with this ambition, on graduation from high school she completed a bachelor of arts degree majoring in professional writing, then sat down to write a book. When ins...more
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“He foll0wed her as she crossed to the four-station apparatus. His attention was glued to her butt the whole way. realizing what he was doing, he snapped his gaze away and checked to make sure no one had noticed.
Nope. They were all too busy staring at Jamie's butt.”
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