The Hail Mary
Waiting Series Book 3
Adult Contemporary Romance, Coming of Age Trilogy
Sixteen years is a long time. In a marriage, it’s a milestone. On the gridiron, it’s a miracle. Reed Johnson wants more time for everything, but time is funny that way.
It can be cruel.
With a body that can’t quite take the hits it used to and a heart tired of being torn in two different directions, Reed is faced with a reality he’s not quite ready for—life without the game. He became a man under Friday night game lights and in college stadium tunnels, and without the grit and the glory that’s earned ten yards at a time, he’s afraid of what kind of man he’ll be.
But there’s more than a game at stake now.
Reed’s wife, Nolan, is afraid too. She’s seen what can happen when the love of her life pushes himself too hard, and she can’t escape the nightmares she relives after almost losing her entire world to one single play on the field.
There is no compromise when it comes to football. Same goes for the heart. You’re either all in, or you get crushed. For Reed and Nolan, the clock is ticking down. Time…it does that. One way or another, they’re going to have to make a choice.
This is their hail Mary.
This is win or lose.
(The Hail Mary is book 3 in The Waiting Series, which follows high school sweethearts Reed Johnson and Nolan Lennox through football, life, love and everything messy that goes along with it. The series begins with Waiting on the Sidelines and Going Long.)
About the Author
Ginger Scott is an Amazon-bestselling and Goodreads Choice Awards-nominated author of several young and new adult romances, including Waiting on the Sidelines, Wild Reckless, The Falling Series and The Hard Count. A sucker for a good romance, Ginger’s other passion is sports, and she often blends the two in her stories. She has been writing and editing for newspapers, magazines and blogs for several years. She has told the stories of Olympians, politicians, actors, scientists, cowboys, criminals and towns. For more on her and her work, visit her website at http://www.littlemisswrite.com. When she's not writing, the odds are high that she's somewhere near a baseball diamond, either watching her son field pop flies like Bryce Harper or cheering on her favorite baseball team, the Arizona Diamondbacks. Ginger lives in Arizona and is married to her college sweetheart whom she met at ASU (fork 'em, Devils).
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 Hail Mary Stars Review by Lisa Late Night Reviewer Up All Night w/ Books Blog Hail Mary is the third and final installment in the Waiting on the Sidelines series by Ginger Scott and it is absolutely brilliant! I found this book a little different than your typical romance stories. It is more about life and relationships weathering the storm; about the struggles and the ups and downs of relationships. Things are not always easy and tough decisions must be made regarding life changes, emotions, and growing pains. This book will make you experience all the feels you want as a reader. It will make you nod your head and say: “I feel that too.” or “I get it!!!” Ms. Scott has done a remarkable job in bringing this story full circle and giving you little surprises that you just don't expect!!! I just love the synopsis that we get for this book: ”Sixteen years is a long time. In a marriage, it’s a milestone. On the gridiron, it’s a miracle. Reed Johnson wants more time for everything, but time is funny that way. It can be cruel.” At times I felt the story was moving a little slow but then I came to realize that I wanted it to move faster because I was that hooked and needed more. Hail Mary is very well written. The story flows and has so much information but you don't feel lost and are happy with all the "cleaned" up details from all three stories. I enjoyed every minute reading this one!!!
A fitting conclusion to a wonderful series! Taking this ride with Reed and Nolan has been one heck of an emotional roller coaster but so worth it. The Hail Mary does not disappoint. Ginger Scott fan for life!
What an amazing ride! “Waiting On The Sidelines” was my FIRST Young Adult (YA) book ever. It’s sequel, “Going Long,” has the distinction of being the FIRST book in my lifetime to actually make me CRY. That’s how DEEP these books go. They reach right down into your heart and soul and squeeze tightly. “The Hail Mary,” the conclusion of this series does the same only it goes deeper and the emotional ride is...well, hold onto your heart and soul because it’s going to get squeezed again. “The Hail Mary” finds Nolan and Reed, now married for 16 years, with a daughter of their own. Nolan is working with special needs children and Reed is heading toward the end of his professional football career. And that’s where Ginger Scott starts us off. We find Nolan and Reed, mostly due to Reed’s refusal to retire from football, in a dire situation. Their marriage is in trouble. The coming and going of my own 20th wedding anniversary took place while I was reading this gorgeous conclusion for Nolan and Reed. So, I was sucked in right from the first few pages. In my own marriage, it’s NOT 50-50. That would be falling short. Marriage is 100-100. It’s 100% of each spouse working on it every single day. So one of my first questions to myself was, “are both Nolan and Reed giving 100% or, are they falling short?” The answer is “yes” to both because that’s marriage. This amazing book shows what can happen when two people who started out as friends with mutual unspoken crushes on each other, finally fall in love, marry, and enter into real life. With real life problems, real life tragedies, real life hard work, and real life commitment to resolve, regroup, and rebuild. Reed will annoy the hell out of you just like he’s done before. Even Nolan will annoy the hell out of you just like she’s done before. But in the end, these two work their backsides off to get right with each other. “The Hail Mary” is packed with all of the emotion of the first two books and then some. It has angst but it also has extremely JOYFUL moments that anyone who read the first two books will want to read about. Ginger Scott doesn't just put words on a page, she actually writes that invisible hand that comes out and grabs your heart and squeezes it tightly. And that’s just the first chapter. And while I worried through most of the book that there would be no HEA, Ginger Scott peppers in the WORK throughout the book that brings them to their inevitable HEA. Resolving real issues in marriage don't just fix themselves and Ginger Scott embraces that fact, and shows you the real life work while still being entertaining. It is a book after all. You cannot get through this book without feeling what Nolan and Reed were feeling, and Ginger Scott writes ALL of her books that way. “The Hail Mary” simply exceeds all of the other books before it. I’ve read books before that follow characters in the same basic manner and I have found that at some point, an author tends to get lazy by falling back on previous material as “filler.” The flashbacks in this book do NOT do this at all. They’re all new scenes. And while one or two are situations from the first two books, they’re written in another character’s point of view. The flashbacks are not there just to fill up pages, they’re there to show us how they got to where they are now, and how reflecting back to those times can help to resolve the present.
The Hail Mary is the fantastic third book in Ginger Scott’s The Waiting series. This book is the quintessential arc from angsty YA and NA novels to a realistic, mature adult romance. It is perfection! The series started with the over-the-top angsty Waiting on the Sidelines and Going Long. Those two books are quintessential Young Adult and New Adult romance novels. While the first two novels in the series were filled with dramatic highs and lows, the latest novel’s drama and vibe is much more mature. Nolan and Reed are married. They have parents who need help. They have a teenaged child and careers, and one of those careers is taking a lot out of their relationship. Ms. Scott has beautifully transitioned Nolan and Reed’s love story in The Hail Mary. The naïve hopefulness is gone, and in its place is the weight of everyday life. Football is a tough career. It is tough on the body and it is tough on relationships. While Reed will remain QB1 in Nolan’s heart, how long will he remain physically with her if he continues to make himself a tackling dummy on the field? As Nolan and Reed have seen both on and off the field, life can change in an instant. They have been in a long push-pull battle of their wants and needs. This creates a highly emotional read. I deeply felt all the stressors weighing down on their relationship. I loved this mature, realistic series conclusion; it is a fabulously crafted story. The flashbacks are a perfect reminder of why these two got together and stayed together. I absolutely adored Reed’s memories of their budding relationship in high school. The alternating POV narrative perfectly reflects all the unsaid hopes and resentments between a long-married couple. The Hail Mary is Ms. Scott’s most genuine novel to date. It lovingly shows how much effort goes into a marriage and a family, and it beautifully depicts the difficult challenge of conflicting needs and life choices. Whether you’re a long time fan of Nolan and Reed or you’re new to their love story, you can’t help but be affected by the beauty of this tale. The saying about nothing worthwhile coming easily comes to mind when I think of Nolan and Reed in The Hail Mary. Their respective and collective victories and losses changed them but not their love and devotion for one another. This beautiful love story needs to be on the big screen!
4 stars — This whole series has been hard for me to read. The thing is, Ms. Scott is an amazing writer…that is not in question. But I’ve found that I guess I’m not that big a fan of somewhat more angsty reads. I don’t mean like teen angst stuff (though the first book had some of that), but just books with a lot of hardship and realism. I guess I need more balance in my books. I was worried about what Ms. Scott was going to put our MCs through, and rightly so. We start the book off with a marriage experiencing turmoil. It’s so real you guys. It’s not the usual fighting or cheating or whatever…no, it’s more nuanced than that. The love is still there, but life, and choices, and fear are making things difficult. I’m not going to get into it, but I both loved what was portrayed, while simultaneously being completely frustrated with both Reed and Nolan and their behavior. But here’s the thing…as much as I don’t like reading a story where the MCs frustrate me, Ms. Scott really does make me understand why they’re behaving the way they are, why they’ve made those decisions, and she honestly makes me *feel* the agony of being at odds with your spouse, with no easy solution on the horizon. In an ideal/perfect world (or heck, in a movie), the compromise would be obvious, and it would be resolved real quick. But that’s not real life. In real life we’re flawed human beings that can’t always see our way through. Now, saying all that, I was more frustrated with one character than the other (though neither gets a pass). And I will admit that I didn’t expect the resolution to take so long to come…part of me saw the little steps they made along the way, and another part of me feels like “why did this one thing finally get through?” So I’m conflicted. Enough with all that vagueness. LOVED seeing all our side characters again, and seeing where they’re all at in their lives. I appreciated that they all had their own paths and even some had their own struggles (that we didn’t get into, but again…real life). Buck was amazing. Jason surprised the crap out of me…I loved the evolution of his and Reed’s relationship. All in all, this series did get better with each book…or maybe it’s that I was prepared and knew what to expect. If you’re looking for a cookie cutter book, you’re going to be disappointed. If you’re looking for real characters that might make you uncomfortable with their flaws, then this is the book for you.