Line of Scrimmage

Line of Scrimmage

4.4 104
by Marie Force

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Compelling contemporary romance from New York Times and USA Today best-selling, award-winning author Marie Force.

She's given up on him and moved on...

Susannah finally has a peaceful, calm life and a no-surprises man. Marriage to football superstar Ryan Sanderson was a whirlwind of passion, heat, energy, and

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Compelling contemporary romance from New York Times and USA Today best-selling, award-winning author Marie Force.

She's given up on him and moved on...

Susannah finally has a peaceful, calm life and a no-surprises man. Marriage to football superstar Ryan Sanderson was a whirlwind of passion, heat, energy, and excitement, but Susannah got sick of playing second fiddle to his team, watching women throwing themselves at him, and living in terror of the hard hits he took on the field. With their divorce just days from being final, she's already planning a wedding with her new fiancé...

He's finally figured out what's really important to him. If only it's not too late...

Ryan has just ten days to convince his soon-to-be ex-wife to give him a second chance. He has just brought home his third championship and his career is at its pinnacle, but during the year of their separation, Ryan's come to realize it doesn't mean anything at all without Susannah...

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Force's debut contemporary reads like an overly long category romance. Ryan Sanderson, three-time Super Bowl-winning quarterback for the Denver Mavericks, interrupts his almost-ex-wife, Susannah, while she's dining with her new fiancé, Henry, and his parents. Ryan threatens to slow the divorce proceedings, delaying Susannah and Henry's wedding, unless she allows him to woo her until their marriage legally dissolves in 10 days. Susannah capitulates, and after they finally communicate with one another about the stillbirth that destroyed their marriage, their passion reignites. When Henry reappears on the scene, however, the story falters. Henry, who has loved Susannah for years, always tried to get between her and Ryan, and she seems to have meekly tolerated it. Susannah's passivity and poor judgment reflect poorly on her, and Henry has few positive qualities. Ryan, on the other hand, is a good guy desperate to fix past mistakes, a terrific change of pace from the typical reluctant hero. (Sept.)

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From the Publisher
"With its humor and endearing characters, Forces' charming novel will appeal to a broad spectrum of [fans]." —Booklist
With its humor and endearing characters, Force's charming novel will appeal to a broad spectrum of readers, reaching far beyond sports fans.
Shelley Mosley
Romance Reader at Heart
The cast of supporting characters, many of which are friends of the couple and also involved with Ryan's team, the Denver Mavericks, add to the warmth and realism of this tale. I look forward to reading more novels from Marie Force. I thoroughly enjoyed Line of Scrimmage and this one is definitely going on the keeper shelf.
Maambe Kanbi
Revisiting the Moon's Library
I couldn't put this book down and I did tear up a couple times because it shows a couple working through their difficulties with such heartbreaking detail... but I liked Ryan and Susannah so much that I'm glad their story ended so well. I will definitely be reading more Marie Force!
Dora Mak
J. Kaye's Book Blog
My eyes stayed glued to the book and I couldn't stop reading until it was over. It was a book that made me laugh as well as cry.
J. Kaye
Yankee Romance Reviewers
I found this story ripe with emotion, steadfast with passion and downright endearing. Ladies hold onto your hats cause this Line of Scrimmage is full of secret game plays.
LINE OF SCRIMMAGE is a skillfully told story about a marriage in crisis and the lengths a couple will go to save it. Début author Marie Force put her football research to good use when writing this book, adding credibility and interest to an already awesome novel.
Ramblings on Romance
Overall, a great romance with steamy sex scenes, and a lovely story between a married couple who still love each other dearly.
Simply Romance Reviews
Line of Scrimmage scored a "touchdown" from me! It was an enjoyable read and one that found a place on my keeper shelf.
Marie Force writes with humor, passion and compassion...I think women will enjoy reading this book, whether they are baseball fans, football fans, or simply fans of good old fashioned love.
Ivette Ricco
Wild on Books
A very strong debut novel for Marie Force, LINE OF SCRIMMAGE is one of the best contemporary romances I have read this year.
Fresh Fiction
The characters are extremely likable but it's just as much fun to dislike the villains of the story, right along with the good guys.
Stacey Hayman
World According to Books
I just can't say enough about this book. This is definitely a reread for me.

— Kara
This is a great book by a new (to me) author. I loved the emotional depth of this book.
Carrie Zimmerman
Book Loons
Marie Force makes a nice debut in Line of Scrimmage... [It] is an enjoyable and often insightful story, especially during those moments when Susannah and Ryan are onstage and working through their differences.
Martina Bexte
I Just Finished Reviews
Considering this is the author's first book, I am really impressed. I will certainly be reading her next book. Read Line of Scrimmage if you want to read a nice romantic book. I promise it won't disappoint.
Queue My Review
The thing I liked best about Marie Force's novel is the lesson that no marriage, no matter who you are or what your situation is, can survive without working at it and learning to compromise and see your partner's point of view. Ms. Force didn't scream this at me, she snuck it in throughout the book while I wasn't looking. Clever, clever woman!
Quentin Marshall
Once Upon a Romance
Ms. Force's voice is fresh and unique. She's penned Line of Scrimmage with twists and turns to the ultimate HEA. She' created two amazingly heart-on-the-sleeve characters.
Connie Payne
The Romance Studio
I really enjoyed this book. The main characters a debutante and an NFL quarterback are a great mix and the author gives enough football background to flesh out the tale without confusing readers unfamiliar with the sport.
A Romance Review
Line of Scrimmage is a romantic and sexy football romance.
Romance Junkies
The story is filled to the brim with characters you fall in love with, plot twists you'd never guess and plenty of action in between.
Cat Brown
the Bad and the Unread The Good
I definitely recommend this book if you like sweet contemporaries, with a kick of heat, as well as sports heroes.

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Product Details

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Excerpt from Chapter 1

IF THERE WAS ONE THING SUSANNAH SANDERSON-SOON to be Susannah Merrill-excelled at, it was setting an elegant table. Along with sparkling crystal and gold on silver flatware, there were dainty tapered candles perched in sterling candlesticks. A floral centerpiece in buttery yellows and golds complemented the main attraction: her grandmother's Limoges china. Susannah often said that in a fire she'd grab the photo album from her debutante ball and as much of Grandma Sally's china as she could carry.

Not every dinner party warranted the use of the china with the pale flowers and strip of fourteen-carat gold around the edge. But entertaining her fiancé and his parents certainly qualified as a china-worthy event.

Susannah glanced at Henry, and he smiled with approval as he took a bite of the succulent leg of lamb she had prepared with just a touch of mint.

"This is absolutely delicious, honey," Henrietta Merrill said to her future daughter-in-law.
"You're a lucky man, son," Martin Merrill added.
"There's nothing quite like being married to a beautiful woman who can cook."

Henry reached for Susannah's hand, his love for her apparent in his worshiping gaze. "I know, Dad."

When a strand of his salt and pepper hair fell across his forehead, Susannah had to resist the urge to brush it back from his handsome face. Henry wouldn't approve of such an overt display of affection in front of his parents. The paisley bow tie he wore with his starched light blue shirt was a little crooked, but it only made him more adorable to her. He filled her with such an overwhelming sense of safety and tranquility-two things that had been sorely lacking in her life until Henry had returned to it. In just one month she would be his wife, and she'd have that safety and tranquility forever. Susannah couldn't wait.

Almost as if he could read her thoughts, Henry squeezed her hand and then released it to reach for his wine glass.

"Have you found your mother-of-the-groom dress yet, Mrs. Merrill?" Susannah asked. Henry's parents were spending the month before the wedding with their son in Denver.

"Just yesterday at Nordstrom. It's a lovely pale green silk."

Susannah forced herself not to cringe. The color would be horrible with the deep reds she had chosen for the late February wedding. "I'm glad you found something you're happy with."
"Now tell me," Henrietta said with a twinkle in her eye. "What's with this 'Mrs. Merrill' business?"
"Sorry," Susannah said with a small laugh. "Old habits die hard. I've been calling you Mrs. Merrill since Henry and I dated in high school."
"Well, now you're going to be his wife, so I thought we'd agreed to dispense with the formalities, hadn't we?"
"Of course . . . Mother."
Henrietta's portly face lit up with a warm smile.

After Susannah served her famous chocolate mousse, her future in-laws lingered over coffee-decaf so Martin would be able to sleep.

Susannah was startled to hear a chime echo through the house, indicating the front door had opened.

"Were you expecting someone, honey?" Henry asked.
"No." She pushed back her chair but froze halfway up, flinching when she heard first one boot and then another drop onto the marble floor in the foyer. Only one person had ever dropped his boots in her foyer . . . It couldn't be. Could it? Oh, God, please no . . . "Excuse me," Susannah stammered to her guests as she rushed from the dining room, through the kitchen, and into the foyer, stopping short at the sight of her ex-husband, Ryan.
"What are you doing here?" she asked in an exaggerated whisper.

He was bent in half putting something into the shabby duffel bag that sat at his feet. When he slowly stood up to his full six-foot, four inches, his signature Stetson shaded half his face. One deep dimple appeared when he smiled at her. "Hello, darlin'," he said in the lazy Texas drawl that used to stop her heart. But now, like everything else about him, it left her cold.

"What are you doing here?" she asked again.
"I'm home," he said with a casual lift of his broad shoulders. He shrugged off a beat-up calfskin jacket and tossed it at the coat stand.

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What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
"With its humor and endearing characters, Forces' charming novel will appeal to a broad spectrum of [fans]." —-Booklist

Meet the Author

Marie Force has worked as a reporter, editor and writer for the last 20 years, serving most recently as the communications director for a national membership organization. A lifelong reader of romance, she lives with her husband and two children in her home state of Rhode Island and had to become a football fan when the muse delivered Ryan to her doorstep! Line of Scrimmage is her first novel. Her second book, Same Time Sunday, will be out in Spring 2009.
Marie Force has been a professional writer and editor for more than twenty years. She resides in Rhode Island with her husband, two children, and a dog named Brandy. She is also the author of Line of Scrimmage, Love at First Flight, Fatal Affair and Fatal Justice.

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