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Title: Line of Scrimmage
Author: Marie Force

Published in October 2008 by Sourcebooks Casablanca Romance
Genre: Contemporary Romance
ISBN 10: 1-4022-1424-3
ISBN 13: 978-1-4022-1424-0


Ryan Sanderson has it all. No one could have a better career in the game of football than he has, especially since his team just won another Super Bowl. The Denver Mavericks were on top, as was Ryan. The only thing disappointing him was the simple fact he was carried off the field, and hospitalized after a hard hit by an opposing player, and didn't get to see the end of the game won by the Mavericks with a score of 35-7. Ah well, what were a few broken ribs and a severely bruised face compared to how he would have felt if they had lost that all important game on top of his injuries. It was good to be a winner, and yet Ryan didn't let it all go to his head. He had been doing some serious thinking. There was the up-coming contract, which, if he signed, would give him three more years and another fifty million dollars. There was the endorsement wanted by more than one company, and his agent to pacify. There was also his wife to go home to, and that more than anything gave him a reason to check out of the New Orleans hospital against doctor’s orders. He hurt, he was tired, and he wanted to go home.

Ryan let himself in as he always did, and it didn't bother him at all to see the look on Susannah's face when she saw him. She was entertaining, that didn't bother him one bit, who she was entertaining was another matter altogether, but he would work on that later. All Ryan cared about at the moment was getting home, seeing Susannah, and getting into bed, and pretty much in that order, too. Yes, it was true that Ryan Sanderson did have it all, except for his wife. She was the one thing he wanted more than anything else, and he was bound, bet, and determined to get back in her good graces. He had a plan, an idea that he nurtured and decided to carry out while flat on his back, it was also another reason he had to come back to Denver, back to where his heart resided and his soul felt safe. There was only one problem, one minor setback in his view. She was engaged to someone else, and he only had ten days before their divorce would be final and she would be lost forever.

Time was flying by for Susannah Sanderson, and she was counting down the days. She would soon marry her long-time childhood friend, Henry Merrill, and get the calm and peaceful life she had always dreamed of having. Plans were well underway, her parents and sister were flying in, Henry's parents were already here, and there was only about a month or so for her to wait until the big day. Meanwhile she had a host of responsibilities she would miss in her new life, but it was for the better. No longer would she have to put up with the rumour, the innuendo, and the spotlight of being a professional athlete's wife. No more unexpected parties, no huge charity functions to chair, no more excitement, not always of the good kind, and freedom and the peace of a normal life. She wasn't certain if she knew what was normal anymore, but her mother, sister, and Henry assured her constantly she would be better off, and if they all thought so, it was probably true. That is what she wanted and craved anyway, and it was one reason, the only reason, she would admit to anyone for her desire to divorce Ryan Sanderson, pro athlete, Denver Mavericks Quarterback, star, and all-around pain.

Susannah never stopped to think about it very much, and now there were only ten days left before she would be a free woman. The sound of one simple word resounded with promise for better things, better times ahead. No fuss, no muss, and no worries except for getting married and settling down into her dream life. It was not as though Ryan and life with him had been all bad, it was only from where she stood that showed her how unhappy she was, and the only way to cure the unhappiness was to get rid of the things making her life so lonely, miserable, and unfulfilled. Ryan was the culmination of all of them, and in ridding herself of the unwanted husband, no matter how handsome, sexy, rich, famous, kind...uh-oh, there could be trouble ahead if those days did not move fast enough. She didn't want Ryan around, she didn't want to see him, talk to him, or even thing about him, yet there he was in the flesh. Against her will, her heart almost broke to see him there, battered and bruised like a warrior home from battle, and ready to fight for his right to be there in a place she didn't want him to be at all...

What made Marie Force think of writing about football? It was probably the romance, and the character. Ryan Sanderson is a force to be reckoned with, and he is no pushover, well, not for anyone but his wife. The problem is that Ryan's wife has asked for a divorce, and the judge has made her wait another six months before granting it. There was a reason there, but none knew why he tacked on the additional six months, but Ryan had only ten precious days to get Susannah to change her mind. His greatest problem has always been her family, they didn't want him in their lives, and had been trying for ten LONG years to get Susannah to get rid of him. Ryan hated the fact Susannah couldn't see that, but meanwhile, he was going to concentrate on trying to make these last ten days count and hope they would lead to a lifetime's worth of more...

Line of Scrimmage is a really great book, especially if you like an action packed romance. There are a lot of things going on in this book, a whole lot of feeling, and everyone agrees there is no romance without feeling. THe problem is the difficulty for Susannah to admit her own feelings, and her part in thier split, just as it is hard for Ryan to cop to his own feelings of neglect and sorrow at the way Susannah moved away from him after they lost their first child at birth. Now he has the fight of his life on hand, and somehow, he has to convince Susannah to look at her own feelings, and come back to him. Marie writes with a light touch, but the book grips you from beginning to end. Detail of life in the NFL must have been meticulously researched, and the plot is well thought out and nicely executed. Line of Scrimmage has a lot of surprises for the reader, and one can't put the book down once started. If you want a hot read for a cool fall night, then Marie's book, Line of Scrimmage, is a definite must buy. It is available from Buy Sourcebook's Casablanca Romances, and from Amazon, so get a copy and enjoy this tale of romance with a very happy ending that will assuredly please and appease all!

Yours in good reading,

Rose!

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