Author: L.P. Dover
Rating: 4.5 stars
Buy Links: Amazon
Type: Novel in Series
Provided by Publisher
Blurb: The Carolina Cougars keep fighting for love as the Second Chances series from bestselling author L. P. Dover continues! In Defending Hayden, a damaged football star teams up with the only woman who can take the pain away.
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.
Review: Those hot Carolina Panthers make great serial fodder, and Ms. Dover knows how to not only bring the heat, but also the pathos with her well-written novels about these football players. This one picks up from the first with a story that I was really happy to see, since it involves a heart-breaking loss.
Derek had lost his girlfriend Brianna and their unborn baby in a horrible car accident. It had been a revenge plan against his friend Evan that had gone terribly wrong. He’d been through hell but finally made his way back to football. He certainly didn’t expect to find himself attracted to another woman…especially so soon!
Veterinarian Hayden Hunter, burned by a previous relationship that had cost her not only a boyfriend but her best friend, Emily, is not looking for love. She’s happily settled in her job as a veterinarian and is loving her life. The only downside is that she’s three hours away from her family and friends, but having her friend Michael there has been great. But Michael’s moving back home soon, leaving her sad but happy for him. When she sees a dog get hit on the side of the road one day, she immediately stops to help. Derek’s behind her and also pulls over to help. They immediately hit it off, but neither are looking for anything other than friendship.
How long do you think it goes before feelings of friendship turn into something more?
I love the way that Ms. Trentham pulls in the couple from the other Second Chances novel as well as featuring plenty of new characters that I can’t wait to read more about. There’s some suspense at the Veterinarian clinic as well as some from Derek’s side that add to the story line and make it much more than just a romance. I loved how the characters grew and compromised to get to a great end.
Read it as well as the first–you’ll enjoy them both! Thanks!