Line of Scrimmage

Line of Scrimmage

by Marie Force


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An NFL quarterback in the Hail Mary play of his life…

Ryan Sanderson has ten days to convince his wife Susannah to give their marriage another chance—and there is nothing he won’t do to win her back, even if he has to play a little dirty...

Read Marie Force’s first published novel now with an ALL NEW extended epilogue!

“Marie’s debut novel is wonderful! I was captured on the first page, and her characters are bigger than life. The emotional tug-of-war between two people who loved deeply but lost, takes you to the core in matters of the heart. Marie does a marvelous job leading you to the edge, and back again. So buckle up for a fun ride!” —Magical Musings.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781946136374
Publisher: HTJB, Inc.
Publication date: 12/17/2017
Pages: 338
Sales rank: 983,356
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Marie Force is the New York Times bestselling author of many romance novels, including the Gansett Island series, the Fatal series, and the Green Mountain books. She also writes the Quantum erotic romance series as M. S. Force. Visit her at

Tanya Eby has been a voice-over artist for over a decade. She is an Audie-nominated and AudioFile Earphones Award-winning narrator. Besides narrating, Tanya spends her time teaching creative writing classes at the collegiate level, blogging, and working on her own novels.

Read an Excerpt

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.

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

Customer Reviews

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Line of Scrimmage 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 109 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved this story of Ryan and Susannah ... I don't know how Marie Force consistently writes 5 Star books.  This is probably the 15th book I've read by Marie, I've loved everyone of them.  They are all unique in their own way, nothing formulaic about her writing, in any of her books.  Marie Force is my favorite author. If you haven't read one of her books, you don't know what you are missing.  Buy one today, you won't be disappointed. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wow, I loved it !! Couldn't put it down this is a must read! I have read several of her books and love them...this is my favorite to date!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was a great book, would love to see more about these characters.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am one of the unusual women who love sports and I truly loved this story of Ryan and Suzie...The characters were well developed and the sports (football) was more of a backdrop to the romance... The supporting characters were well done but not all were likeable... One of the most interesting aspects of the story was how one person can poison the lives of so many others... Marie Force is a great writer and tells super stories... I would truly recommend this book and even if you are not into sports don't turn away because the football is not really relevant to the story...
Reid20 More than 1 year ago
4 1/2 stars! I really liked this book. Ryan Sanderson was definitely sexy as well as being a nice guy. This book is different because the couple is married already, but their divorce will be final in 10 days. Ryan does not want that to happen. He still loves Susannah and wants to win her back. I think what I liked most about this book was how it changed my mind about the characters. I started it with the expectation that Ryan screwed up and was going to have to work hard to win Susannah back. However, as I read more, I began to feel that Susannah was not very honest with Ryan and was even more to blame for their break-up. They were a sweet couple and I really routed for them. The book was touching. Good read.
kysmom02 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Everyone who knows me, knows how much I love football. So right away this book appealed to me. Not only that, but I loved this author's recent book Love at First Flight.This was a super quick read for me because once I got started, I couldn't wait to find out how it ended. Don't get me wrong, this book is one of those that you can predict as far as the main idea goes. Man and woman in love, some sort of conflict, happy ending. But, Force did an awesome job keeping me guessing. Even though I knew there was something bad coming, it wasn't at all what I had thought. So, while somewhat predictable, there were still surprises that kept me turning pages.There were laugh out loud parts at the start of this book that were great, and then some pretty emotional stuff toward the end. I found that I was bummed when I read the last page, because I was connected with Ryan and Susie. Overall, great book, but not as good as Love at First Flight. Either way, Force has a new fan!
Cherylk on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Susannah is hoping that the second times the charm. In ten days, Susannah's divorce will be final to her soon to be ex-husband. Before that can happen, Susannah¿s soon to be ex-husband comes back into the picture. Ryan Sanderson is the Denver Maverick¿s star quarterback. He is ready to make some changes in his life and that includes starting with his wife, Susannah. Ryan tells Susannah that if she agrees to spend the remaining ten days with him¿.uninterrupted then he will allow the divorce to go through. As much as Susannah and her fiancé, Henry does not like the idea, Susannah agrees. Besides it¿s only ten days with her soon to be ex-husband. What¿s the worse that can happen? For me the characters in Line of Scrimmage, both Susannah and Ryan are what made the book so enjoyable for me. The chemistry they shared between them as well as the personalities about them was great. Ryan is every woman¿s fantasy...a hot, sexy, macho football player. I have not read many sports romance books, in fact I can count how many I have read on one hand but after reading Marie Force¿s Line of Scrimmage; I just might have to read more. Ms. Force is a new author for me and such a delight. She has created the winning goal with Line of Scrimmage. I will be reading more books from this author.
jjmachshev on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Reviewed for; book release Sep08Can you believe it? Me, Mrs. doesn¿t really read `sports¿ romances, and I¿ve read two in the last week! And enjoyed both! This is surely cause for celebration. My most recent is ¿Line of Scrimmage¿ by Marie Force. It¿s about football, did you guess? It¿s also about the debutante and the quarterback. But don¿t hate them for that because their life hasn¿t been a bed of roses.Susannah is finally calling it quits. After ten years of marriage to football¿s `Golden Boy¿, she¿s just 10 days away from divorce. She¿s going to marry the man she left behind who never gave up on her (and never let her forget it either) 30 days after her divorce is final. So when her soon-to-be-ex shows up demanding she spend the remaining 10 days of their marriage with him, she¿s furious. But he swears if she doesn¿t, he¿ll contest the divorce. What¿s a girl to do?Ryan never meant to cut it this close. He¿s been against the divorce from day one. Susie is the only girl for him and he¿s always been true to her. While he doesn¿t know exactly what happened to kill their romance, he knows he¿s not about to give up without a battle. So if he has to blackmail (he prefers bully or persuade) her into giving him this time; then so be it.The author did a great job of personalizing these characters. I actually grew to care for this couple. They have taken several hard knocks during their marriage; ones that many marriages don¿t survive. So once I read enough to get to know both of them, I wanted their relationship to continue. I wanted them to be happy, together. At first I disliked Susannah¿which is interesting because I think most women readers normally take the female¿s side in a `divorce¿ situation and have to be persuaded over to the other side. But from page one, she seemed pretentious and weak...she rubbed me the wrong way. As the story progressed, I would like her, then dislike her, then like her, then dislike her. She frustrated me which made me admire Ryan even more! Ryan, on the other hand, was almost too good to be true. Poor boy makes good yet doesn¿t fall victim to booze, drugs, or women. He also was willing to admit mistakes and sacrifice even his pride for his woman. Like I said, hard to believe. But I still fell a little in love with him, and isn¿t that what we want in all our heroes?¿Line of Scrimmage¿ kept me `in¿ the story. I didn¿t get bored or want to put the book down. I wanted to know about this couple and how they would resolve their problems. I think 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!
ZosiaCanberra on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Two strikes and I'm done. No more Marie Force for me. I said I wanted the heroine of Love at First Flight to be hit by a bus on page one. My hatred for the heroine of this book is even stronger, and so I guess I'll be wishing a freeway full of them to hit Susannah. Imagine for a minute that you read a book where the hero gets the heroine pregnant while he's still engaged to another woman. When everyone gets upset, he thinks he's the victim, and everyone supports him instead of the offended parties. Can you imagine such a book, and can you imagine finishing the book and being on the side of a man like that? NO WAY!! But this author doesn't write her men like that. No, her speciality is nasty, selfish female characters. Susannah and hunky, millionaire American football superstar Ryan - in some bizarre court order that doesn't allow them to get divorced yet (and that includes weird clauses about not being able to get divorced if they sleep under the same roof even once!) - are done. Their marriage is over, and Susannah is engaged to another man. But Ryan waltzes back into the house, also claiming weird legal powers to be able to stop the divorce whenever he wants. Do these guys have a legal system where they live, or do they just make it up as it suits them? The whole thing reads like an over-long category romance, and that's exactly how the professional review on Amazon described the book. If you turned Ryan into a billionaire sheikh, then maybe I would have come into this one expecting what I got. Perhaps "The Billionaire Footballer's Two-Timing Society Tramp". So, Susannah spends nine days having sex with her ex, going on trips away with him, and TRYING TO GET PREGNANT TO HIM!! All the while she's engaged to another man. And, absolutely the best thing to do when you're due in divorce court in a couple of days is to get pregnant to the man you're divorcing. Way to go Susannah! But it's okay to cheat on the fiancé. See, he wears glasses and has a bowtie. The geek! He's been in love with Susannah since they were kids, but of course he's far too nerdy to be worthy of the heroine of this book. Susannah gets upset because the fiancé and his family are unhappy about her calling off the wedding. Gee, you think?! I sure believe they have a right to be furious, and the author's complete lack of empathy for the characters she screwed over makes me furious. But never fear! Halfway through the book, all the secondary characters go through the Massive Personality Change. Suddenly they're all evil, conspiring, violent people who have spent years trying to break up the poor, rich, gorgeous hero and heroine. It's no longer a bad thing that Susannah cheats on her fiancé, EVENTUALLY calls off the wedding, and ruins his life. No, now he's gone through the MPC and is a dangerous criminal, we don't have to worry about realistic characterisation and conflict resolution. Now that everyone but Susannah and Ryan is evil, it's okay to treat them like crap. Force's heroines cry. And cry. And cry nonstop. They're almost always in the wrong, and the tears often come after they've done something awful - like cheat on their fiancé. I can't stand characters who cry at the drop of a hat. I can't stand them even when they have a good reason to cry, let alone when they deserve to be shot. But Susannah's not done yet. After all of that self-centred cruelty, she went and sealed her fate at a society ball (Harlequin Presents anyone?). She saw her husband talking to another woman, decided that meant they were having an affair, and then got into a fistfight. In the middle of a ball, with hundreds of people looking on. The thing that really annoyed me about that particular act of unbelievable stupidity was that the lack of trust she showed in her husband was never dealt with. The book finished without any resolution to the fact she publicly accused him of having an affair. Starting a family doesn't erase the fact you have a crappy relationship. These are two people wh
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A very good romantic novel with a lot of “twists and turns!” Enjoyed the characters very much!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have NOT read a Marie Force novel that didn't deserve five stara. She has the uncanny ability to draw you into the story from the first pages. In this onr, it starts with the unusual premise of a soon-to-be ex-husband showing up to win back his wife. As they spend time together, the reader learns how lack of communication led to their demise of theirmarriage, and we watched them grow back in love and back into a strong marriage.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Really great read. Loved it!
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This book drew me in within the first few pages. I literally could not put it down, and i too, would love to hear more from these characters. Marie Force is a great story-teller who captures her audience in every way!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Just ok
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The book showed the adversities that different people go through and how we fumble to overcome them. If we let it love can conquer!
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I love Marie Force - great book
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