(Second Chances #7)
Published by: Loveswept
Publication date: June 28th 2016
Genres: Adult, Romance, Suspense
No one’s tougher than Carolina Cougars linebacker Derek McLaughlin. But when a fatal car accident claims the life of his girlfriend, Derek finds himself caught in a destructive spiral of drugs, alcohol, and meaningless sex. But not even a string of one-night stands can ease the hurt. Football is all he has left. Then fate leads him back to the scene of the crash, and into the arms of a kind, gorgeous woman who sees past his façade to the man he once was . . . and can be again.
When a chance roadside encounter brings Derek into her life, veterinarian Hayden Hunter isn’t fooled by his bad attitude: All bark and no bite, he’s hiding a wounded heart beneath that gruff demeanor. And Hayden wants to be the one to kiss it all better. Soon they both find that a dose of passion is potent medicine. But when a hidden enemy lashes out at Hayden, Derek steps up to do what he does best: put his body on the line in the name of love.
Guilt plagued me and I felt sick. Getting out of bed, I paced the room, running my hands angrily through my hair. I didn’t want to hurt Hayden. Keeping her away would protect her from my life. She was bound to leave me anyway. I’d fuck up somehow and it would ruin her. What the hell was I talking about? I’d already fucked her up.
“Derek?” Her voice was like honey, silky and sweet. I’d imagined what it would be like to hear that voice screaming my name as I fucked her over and over. Last night had been the best night of my life, but it had scared the shit out of me. I couldn’t shake it. “Derek, are you okay?” she asked. Stopping midstep, I turned to face her, and her eyes widenened when she got a glimpse of my face. I could only imagine what she saw. So many emotions battled inside me. She held the blanket to her chest, and her lips trembled. “Please tell me this wasn’t just a game to you,” she whispered.
Swallowing hard, I sat down on the edge of the bed and reached for her. She recoiled from my touch. “None of this was a game, Hayden. Last night was fucking amazing.”
Her eyes glistened, but her jaw was firm. “Then why are you looking at me like that? Like you regret what we did.”
I wanted to touch her, but last night had been my only chance. She’d never let me close to her again. “I don’t regret it, but eventually you will. You’re not the only one who’s lost someone they cared about. I can’t go through it again. It’s best to stop this before it goes any further.”
“Any further?” she scoffed. She waved her arm around the room, her anger so thick I could cut it with a knife. “If you didn’t want it to go any further, then why did you bring me here? Why would you do that to me?”
“Because I care about you,” I said, knowing it made no sense to her.
“Then why are you pushing me away?” she cried.
Standing, I got up and walked over to the window. “You wouldn’t understand.”
New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author, L.P. Dover, is a southern belle residing in North Carolina along with her husband and two beautiful girls. Before she even began her literary journey she worked in Periodontics enjoying the wonderment of dental surgeries.
Not only does she love to write, but she loves to play tennis, go on mountain hikes, white water rafting, and you can’t forget the passion for singing. Her two number one fans expect a concert each and every night before bedtime and those songs usually consist of Christmas carols.
Aside from being a wife and mother, L.P. Dover has written over seventeen novels including her Forever Fae series, the Second Chances series, the Gloves Off series, and her standalone novel, Love, Lies, and Deception. Her favorite genre to read is romantic suspense and she also loves writing it. However, if she had to choose a setting to live in it would have to be with her faeries in the Land of the Fae.
L.P. Dover is represented by Marisa Corvisiero of Corvisiero Literary Agency.
Rating : 4 out of 5 Stars
Defending Hayden is a lovely story of second chance and new beginnings featuring Derek McLaughlin, the star NFL linebacker of the Caroline Cougars. Derek has lost his girlfriend and their unborn baby in a car accident. They were collateral damage in an attempted murder scheme. Since then, he has been running away from his life. After 8 months, he feels the time has come to join his team members and finally get his life back in order, as best he can.
When he literally crashes into Hayden Hunter, and subsequently gets to know her, it’s like a breath of fresh air. Hayden is spontaneous and doesn’t seem to have a care in the world. Being around her helps him forget his sorrow. Neither of them wants a relationship, though. Both are scared and traumatized by their past experience. Hayden is convinced Derek is out of her reach and will never be interested in a girl like her. Derek is afraid of losing her and ashamed of his past philandering ways. But when Hayden will experience a tragedy at her veterinary practice, due to a malicious setup, Derek will not hesitate to put everything on the line to help her, and show her how deeply he cares for her.
This story was a sweet and easy read, with well-developed and engaging characters. I felt that the pace was adequate, with an acceleration at the end of story. This book can be read as a standalone. It was my first read in the Second Chance series, but I definitely want to catch up.
An advanced copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.