Against the Ropes is the second book in the First to Fight series from Jeanette Murray. Though this is about another couple than the first book, the characters are connected and the story seems to continue from the first. I would recommend reading these in order as I was a little confused when starting this one since I hadn't read the first book. There was a lot going on when this one started and there were a lot of characters to try to figure out right away, and it was a bit frustrating to begin with. Because of that this one was hard for me to get into, and I think I would have been much better off having read the first book, Below the Belt.
Greg Higgs was a troubled teen that turned to boxing in order to channel his energy in a better way. That along with the Marines helped him to become a better man, and it was a natural fit for him. When he meets the new athlete liaison in charge of the PR for the boxers, he knows that she would fit him perfectly as well. But Reagan Robilard is fresh out of college and trying to figure out her new job, which is becoming more and more difficult as someone is out to get the fighters. With Greg's past coming to light, Reagan is determined to do whatever it takes to look out for him. But can Reagan and Greg figure out what is going on between them, while also dealing with everything surrounding the boxers?
I will admit that while I liked these characters okay, I didn't really feel invested in them. They just weren't doing a lot for me, and I didn't feel much of anything at all. I wasn't super interested in them, and I felt like a lot of that was because there was so much more that could have been explored here. The author didn't really seem to delve deep enough for me to care about them, and I think that there was so much more potential when it came to both Greg and Reagan and their back-stories. There was chemistry between them and I really liked seeing them together. I wish there had been more there as well though, as there was much that could have been expanded upon and the sex scenes felt short and almost abbreviated.
While this one had potential, it just seemed to fall short and I was wishing for me. Because of of those issues along with the fact that I felt like I had been dropped into the middle of a story here and was a bit confused, this one just wasn't holding my interest. I found myself bored and wanting to skim more than once. There were also a few times while reading that things seemed to sort of happen out of nowhere or that I felt like I had missed something, but then I would go back and see that I hadn't. It was disorienting and I wasn't sure exactly what was going on. Overall, this was one that I think could have been really good, but it just missed the mark. There is also something that affects both Greg and Reagan here that was unresolved, and I am assuming that it will be dealt with in the next installment of the series. Though I am curious to know what happens, I am not sure if I will read the next one after reading this book. If you have read Below the Belt and are a fan of Jeanette Murray's, you will probably enjoy this one. If you are new to the series though, I would recommend starting at the beginning so that you hopefully don't have all the same issues that I had here.
**ARC Provided by Publisher**