Title: Defending Hayden
Author: L.P. Dover
My Rating: B+
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Second Chances #7
Main Characters: Hayden and Derek
Release Date: June 2016
Links to Purchase:
Sexual Intensity: spicy
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.
I'm really liking this series. We met Derek in the last book and mourned with him when his pregnant girlfriend tragically died. In this book he's just coming back to North Carolina and rejoining the team after months of mourning. He's trying to gather up the crumbs of his life.
Hayden is also starting off fresh in this book. She's a vet and is working at a vet clinic and has only been there a few months, but she loves it and life in this small town. The two run into one another...literally...and there's some chemistry. Then that increases even more in their next meeting.
There's a lot happening in this book. While Hayden and Derek are slowly adjusting to the idea that there might be something between them, although it's not convenient, there's many, many things happening in the background. There's the whole Carolina Cougars football storyline. I can't wait to see how the story with their kicker develops. Then there's Hayden's gay best friend who is also a vet. I loved how he also developed a love interest in this book. There was a bit of a suspense line also, although it wasn't a real complicated one, it did add some great drama to the end that I enjoyed.
And overall, the romance was good, too. I loved Hayden and Derek together. I liked how everything worked out for them. The author did an amazing job with an end that I thought was perfect. It was good and I definitely recommend it...and I can't wait for more from the series.
I received a complimentary copy of this book in return for an honest review.