Defending Hayden: A Second Chances Novel

Defending Hayden: A Second Chances Novel

4.7 36
by L.P. Dover
     
 
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

Overview

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.

Praise for Defending Hayden
 
“L. P. Dover delivers a sexy and intriguing romance with Defending Hayden, sure to get your heart beating.”—New York Times bestselling author Heidi McLaughlin

“Sexy and emotional with characters you will root for, Defending Hayden is a great addition to the Second Chances series!”—Elisabeth Barrett, author of the Return to Briarwood series
 
Defending Hayden is a smart and heartwarming story that is impossible to put down. Throw in a sexy football player and some lovable animals and you’re all set.”—Stina Lindenblatt, author of This One Moment

“This book had the perfect balance of sadness and hope. It definitely made me tear up, but it also made me laugh. And get all up on the edge of my seat. There are some great side characters, a few who will be interesting to see in future books (hopefully) and just some that gave the book a great personality. Can’t wait to see what else happens in this series, and at some point, I’ll go back and read the previous books that I missed.”—The Romance Factor
  
“Ms. Dover has found herself a new fan with Defending Hayden.”—Cat’s Reviews
 
“I loved Hayden and Derek together. I liked how everything worked out for them. The author did an amazing job with an ending that I thought was perfect. . . . I definitely recommend it . . . and I can’t wait for more from the series.”—Smitten with Reading
 
Defending Hayden held on to my heart, hitting it hard, and never letting go. This story infiltrated me with feels from beginning to end. Defending Hayden is a sports romance wrapped in sweetness and soul. . . . This game may be over, but the sensational season of L.P. Dover stories has just begun, and I can’t wait for my soul to soar with more of this author’s evocative and emotional writing.”—Bookalicious Babes Blog
 
Includes a special message from the editor, as well as an excerpt from another Loveswept title.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781101967829
Publisher:
Random House Publishing Group
Publication date:
06/28/2016
Series:
Second Chances , #2
Sold by:
Random House
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
244
Sales rank:
5,907
File size:
1 MB

Related Subjects

Meet the Author

L. P. Dover is the New York Times bestselling author of the Second Chances series, the Forever Fae series, the Gloves Off series, the Armed and Dangerous series, and a standalone novel, Love, Lies, and Deception. She loves not only to write, but also to play tennis, hike in the mountains, go white-water rafting, and sing. A Southern belle with a former life in periodontics, L. P. Dover lives in North Carolina with her husband and two beautiful girls.

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Defending Hayden: A Second Chances Novel 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 36 reviews.
Linda_RochesterNY 23 days ago
The book blurb does an excellent job of describing this story so I will just say I found this story to be a really sweet romance. It's easy to understand Derek's fear of starting a new relationship. He knows Hayden is the best thing that has ever happened to him but is he really ready to open his heart and face the possibility of loss again? Derek is a genuinely nice guy in this book, sweet and little bit fragile emotionally. Hayden is so open and warm and caring it's impossible not to love her too. This well-written and touching romance has some suspense as well. I enjoyed this book a lot. I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in return for an honest review.
Anlenhart1 3 months ago
4.5 Stars This the second book in the Second Chances series, I jump on the chance to review this book because I had just finished Saving Summer. I wanted to see how the author continued the story line about Derek. In the previous book, Derek lost his girlfriend and his unborn child to a tragic automobile accident. He drowns his sorrow in alcohol and women, but everything changes when he stops on the side of the road to help an injured dog. While caring for it, he meets Hayden, A plucky heroine who starts both dog and new owner on the path to healing. I really enjoyed reading this book and was happy i was given a free copy to review. i would recommend it to fans for sport and contemporary romances.
ali_reads 5 months ago
We met Derek in the last installment of the Second Chance series when his world fell apart and he almost died. While this book is a stand alone novel, I was glad that I had read the previous novel. Derek is still reeling from the loss of his girl friend and unborn baby and deals with his grief in all the wrong ways. When he finally gets his head back on straight and returns back to his home town he keeps running into Hayden. Hayden is totally unaware of who hit her with a door and crushed her phone. Through another encounter they met again and develop a friendship that evolves into more. As with the previous novel that I had read, there is great banter between Hayden and Derek, Derek and his team members, and of course steamy sex scenes! Looking forward to reading the next installment of this series. NetGalley ARC
BookMama_1 6 months ago
In Catching Summer we read about the devastating events surrounding Derek. In this next installment of the series we read about Derek trying to find his way back after such heartbreak. When the time comes to go back home, he runs into Hayden. A lover of animals and a vet at the local clinic, a relationship is the last thing she needs. Or that Derek needs. They find themselves drawn to each other while an enemy broods in the background. I was looking forward to Derek's story because I wanted to hear how he overcame his loss and was able to move on. I didn't think it would've happened so quickly upon his return, but I've never lost someone like that before. I thought their relationship moved rather quickly. I suspected the person behind Hayden's sabotage so it was no surprise to me who it was. I wanted to know what more about the one month Derek and Hayden were apart. I knew they loved each other, but what was Derek saying in his voicemails to Hayden? How was Michael helping Hayden get thru it? Also, was Hayden just sitting on her butt before investigating her clinic? You would think she would do more to prove her innocence and that Wilford would have done amore thorough investigation before suspending her. This book had a good lesson about moving on the right way from a tragic loss and overall was a good read. *ARC received from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*
Anonymous 7 months ago
Good read! Loved Derek & Hayden's story!
lucy117 7 months ago
Does time heal is the question??? Derek McLaughlin has lost the will to live when Brianna and his baby dies in an accident. Hayden Hunter is the one person to awaken Derek soul but will he take the chance at love.
iheartyabooks 8 months ago
There's no doubt Derek McLaughlin was a cocky jerk in the previous book (book six). But, we only got to see the background of his story. In this, book seven Defending Hayden, it's Derek's story. Now we get see the brokenness of this man up close and personal, and feel his pain. This strong, carefree Carolina Cougars linebacker was brought to his knees with the death of his girlfriend and his unborn child in a car accident that almost took Derek's life also. Since the accident, Derek has been carrying a heavy load of grief and guilt, which lead to him living a destructive lifestyle of alcohol, drugs, and one-night-stands. So Derek takes off and leaves Stonebrooke, North Carolina, his football career, and his teammates, to head toward the other side of the country. It's the only way he feels he can get his life together and get back into the game. Derek left for two months and now that he's back, he’s been able to put the drinking, drugs, and women behind him and is ready to try and save the only thing he has left: his professional football career. Only his head is still a mess. Hayden Hunter moved to Stonebrooke to work at an animal hospital. She’s a veterinarian and she just got out of a bad relationship where she caught her boyfriend cheating with her best friend. Hayden is no way looking to get in involve with a man, especially not a pro football player (emphasis on the word player). But fate has another plan for these two broken hearts. Hayden keeps running into Derek Hottie McLaughlin, and he’s making her crazy with the way he looks at her, making her heart pound hard for this sexy man. And Derek’s also starting to have feelings for the beautiful veterinarian—feelings that he hasn’t felt for a long time. Romance between Hayden and Derek starts to heat up only to fizzle out because of Derek's messed-up head, and his second chance is looking more like a long shot. I have to tell you, Derek is my favorite so far in the Second Chance series. This sexy footballer totally stole my heart, even if he did mess things up royally between him and Hayden, but the man has style and some smooth moves when it comes to winning Hayden's heart. I recommend Defending Hayden, Derek and Hayden’s second chance love story, as a must read.
weluvdopey 8 months ago
This is a great book; this is the seventh book in the Second Chances written by L.P. Dover. This is a great book with a wonderful story and well developed characters. This book will keep you reading long into the night. This was such a great read and full of surprises. I am looking forward to reading the next book by this great author. A Review copy was provided to me in exchange for a fair and honest review. The free book held no determination on my personal review.
disneytothemax 8 months ago
Thanks to Random House Publishing Group - Loveswept via NetGalley for a copy of this book! This is the first book I've read by L.P. Dover and it won't be the last! This is book 7 in the Last Chances series and I was afraid I'd be lost....but nope!! Come read this book and follow Hayden and Derek's journey. It's an amazing one! Derek is a Carolina Cougar linebacker and is on top of the world. That is, until his pregnant girlfriend is in a fatal car accident. Then Derek was on the fast path to destruction. Drugs, alcohol and faceless, meaning sex is his life now. Hayden is a veterinarian and a roadside encounter brings Derek in her life. He's got a bad attitude, but she can see he's a wonderful person underneath of that gruffness. Loved this book!! I'll have to go back and read books 1-6, since I enjoyed this one so much!
Becca_Anne 8 months ago
What can I say about this book other than that it is complete awesomesauce. I fell in love with the story almost from the very beginning. I found myself crying, laughing, smiling, and even get angry when things weren't going the way that I wanted them to or quick enough for my liking. My heart felt like it was being wrenched from my chest as I reread what Derek went through with the loss of his girlfriend. From his addiction with alcohol to his other vices he was on a one way path spiraling downward very quickly. A ranch in Montana helped him find his way back. Hayden is a vet who isn't looking for a relationship especially with a player and not just a football player. Her and Derek become closer when they help and bond over an injured dog. Things aren't always easy for these two. Sometimes fear causes you to hurt the ones you love the most. A great book that kept me on my toes. I loved the characters and story line and can't wait to see what Ms. Dover comes up with for us next.
KristinaSnyder 8 months ago
Defending Hayden!!! Wow, just wow!! I have been waiting on this book since I read Catching Summer. Derek went through something very traumatic in Catching Summer so I couldn’t wait to get his story. Defending Hayden was an emotional read for me. It picked up a couple months after the events in Catching Summer. I love how we get the dual POVs. Switching between Hayden’s and Derek’s voices helped me connect with them on a deeper level. I was able to feel everything they felt. The twists!!! With the books in this series, I try to expect the unexpected now and still I am always shocked with what happens and who the villain is behind the mess. Derek is still struggling with his losses, but seems to be doing a lot better than he was. He ends up going back home and focuses on the one thing that means the most to him, football. His team who is his family. Then he meets Hayden and everything changes for him. Hayden is one of the main doctors and the Veterinary Clinic she works at. She has a true passion and love for the animals. It is hard for her to open up, but Hayden pushed through her defenses. This couple had some ups and downs but they always worked through it. They protected each other at all costs. Defending Hayden was another fantastic book in the Second Chances series. This is one of my favorite series!!! I just adore the characters. I love how they continue to pop up in other stories so that I can see what is going on with them. This book was a real page turner. I was hooked from the very first page and each chapter left me wanting more. If you are looking for a story full of love, forgiveness, romance, action then this book is it!!! This book is a MUST read!!!
Cryssy_M 8 months ago
L.P. Dover has done it again!! I received a copy of this book from Netgalley for an honest review. Derek McLaughlin is one of the Carolina Cougars linebackers and most people know not to mess with him. After his pregnant girlfriend dies in an auto accident, Derrek turns to both the bottle and drugs. It’s not a pretty sight. He also tries to lose himself in one night stands, but nothing eases his pain. When he goes to the scene of the accident, he happens across Hayden. A beautiful veterinarian who seemingly sees directly into Derek’s and recognizes that his behavior is hiding a heart full of pain that hasn’t healed yet. This is Hayden and Derek’s story. As with all of L.P. Dover’s work, this is not just a simple HEA. There is always suspense and this book is no different. Someone is out to get Hayden, and Derek is going to try to protect her at all costs. He knows most people don’t get a second chance at love and he is determined to keep her safe. I would recommend reading the entire Second Chances series, but you don’t have to. I’m only telling you to because L.P. Dover is such amazing author that you don’t want to skip any of her stories. The writing is great and the characters are awesome. I love the way L.P. writes, she draws you in and makes you feel like you are part of the story.
Lori-Gonzo 8 months ago
From the very beginning my heart went out to Derek. He was so broken and lost. And I could feel the pain as I read all he went through, and that was just the prologue. The way Derek and Hayden met was very cute. Then the second time it was heart stopping but beautifully touching and jump started their whole relationship. I loved the pace of their relationship and friendship. They were very cute together. I loved the way they naturally fit and were so comfortable around each other. And I especially loved the way Derek's teammates would mess with him. Derek and Hayden's story really was beautiful, a bit sad in places, but totally worth any tears, anger, heart swells. I am looking forward to more in this series. I received this book in exchange for an honest review from the publisher through Netgalley.
Crystal61 8 months ago
This book was hard to put down. Two people who have been hurt, in different ways, learn to trust and love again. After one hiccup that hurts Hayden deeply, their mutual attraction proves strong enough to move beyond. There is a lot of trouble and danger surrounding Hayden, but Derek is there for her. His heart finally opens up to the possibilities of loving Hayden. I thoroughly enjoyed this story and highly recommend it. I received this story through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
Joy-Anne 8 months ago
Wow, another fantastic book by a fantastic author. You will be hooked on this story from the moment that you start reading. It has wonderful characters, a fabulous story and moves along at a great pace. This book must be read, you will not be sorry that you did so
Kats_Read 8 months ago
This book was so good. I have only read a few books within this series, but each of them are so good. I think this one is my favorite of all of the ones I've read, and my favorite of all of LP Dover's books. The last half of the novel had me hooked and I couldn't put it down. I was hooked from the beginning and each time I had to put it down, it was difficult. LP Dover writes some of the best novels that always have me hooked.
Lorizen 8 months ago
My second book in the Carolina Cougars series. This book deals with Derek and his attempt to cope with the death of his girlfriend. Obviously spiraling out of control and emotionally unreachable. He takes time off the regroup and returns only to meet Hayden, stranded on the side of the road. Neither of these two are looking for a relationship and certainly not love. It was interesting as always, to see L.P. work her two main characters through their paces into a place where they needed to be on a emotional level. Certainly not without bumps, hiccups and twists, but she gets them there. It's always nice to see the characters from the previous book(s) make their appearances and this book was no exception. I thought this book was a little more developed than Catching Summer. This was a great read. **arc from NetGalley /Loveswept in exchange for an honest review** 1 like ·
Lheanne 8 months ago
This book is absolutely amazing!! LP Dover never disappoints and I couldn't put this book down once I started!! I can't wait for the next book in this series!!
Laura_F 8 months ago
I read some of the books in the Second Chances series but not all of them. This book can definitely be read as a standalone. Derek, a linebacker for the Carolina Cougars, lost his girlfriend and their unborn baby in a horrible car accident. He goes off the rails after surviving the accident and takes some much needed time away. On his first day back, he literally runs into Hayden. Hayden is a veterinarian who has been burned badly in the past. She doesn't know who Derek is and isn't a football fan. This author always does an amazing job of connecting readers to the characters and this book is no exception. There are so many emotions in this book from humor to devastating sadness but there is also a ton of heat. From the very first sentence, I was sucked in and couldn't stop reading until the book was finished. I can't wait to read the rest of the series! *I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.*
ravenwolf_EPTX 8 months ago
4.3 ~ Fantastic Chemistry, Enjoyable Plot, Exciting & Endearing. ⭐ ⭐ Provided by Netgalley in Exchange for an Honest Review ⭐ ⭐ Judging a Book by it's Cover: Looks to be a Young Adult couple in intimate embrace while he's in his football uniform standing in a stadium. I'd read the previous book in this series and was so taken by it's story and the quality of writing that I'd hoped that wonderful experience would carry over to this book as well. Looking Deeper: Alternating first-person POV's, clearly defined and easy to follow. Wow, I just loved Derek and Hayden. Derek had just been through the worst level of hell (read "Catching Summer"), which is touched upon enough for readers to catch up on what happened, but some of the magnitude was amiss in a way if you'd not read it first-hand. The aftermath is detailed in Defending Hayden, however, and that is what defines Derek as we get to know him now. Hayden's relatively new in town as is not a big football fan, so she does not know or really care who the man was that ran into her and broke her brand new phone. A refreshing change for Derek and an exciting encounter for her best friend, Michael. Her primary passion is the animals she cares for as a vet. Her sweet and big-hearted personality are what lure Derek back to the land of the living. These two just have such a great chemistry together. Even when Derek was being a cowardly jerk, there was such a raw vulnerability to him that it was hard to dislike him. There were plenty of secondary characters filling the cracks and crevices as needed, between the Cougars team and staff, vet staff, and a few minor others. The dialogue was smart and sensible. Their interaction was natural and believable. The plot was dynamic and entertaining while the flow was liquidy smooth. There were some conflicts, most of which were resolved rather well. I'm a little sad to know that I'd pegged the "situation" from the first incident with Lady (who and why), however I also suspected the same person that Hayden did for the reasons she did, but more as an accomplice. The conclusion was solid enough, but look forward to seeing glimpses of how their relationship continues as time goes by. I hope Jax gets a story soon as is able to redeem himself, although we all pretty much hated him in the last book, there's a fresh sadness about him now. For those interested in reading this book, I'd say it can stand alone pretty well, but readers would benefit by reading Catching Summer first. This was a great book and most likely would have received five stars if I had not been able to predict what was happening. Also, if the HEA was more than implied and something a little more concrete were to have occurred to solidify them. ------------------------------------------------------------------------- Rating: [R] ~ Score: 4.3 ~ Stars: 4 (4.5, if half-stars were allowed) -------------------------------------------------------------------------
Scaramouche89 8 months ago
L. P. Dover has done it again! With DEFENDING HAYDEN delivered one more absolutely swoon-worthy second chance romance and knowing there will be only one more book in this remarkable series is breaking my heart. Derek McLaughlin, one of Carolina Cougars’ linebackers, is still trying to recover from the loss of his pregnant girlfriend who died in a horrific car accident. Only he is not dealing well with it, as in his grief he abandons the team and his friends, the bottle being his new best friend, meaningless one night stands the close second. It takes long for him to decide he cannot live like this any longer, and that is when he meets Hayden. First running into her at the bar and later finding her at a scene of another accident. Hayden Hunter, a dedicated veterinarian, has a big heart for animals and is working as hard and as best as she can for her furry patients. When she first meets Derek, she has no clue as to who he is, she is only aware that Derek is hurting, badly, and she wants to help him ease the pain. The two of them form a friendship over animals, which can only be described as beautiful. They do not rush things, and slowly they are developing feelings that go much further than friendship. Of course love does not come that easily, and soon trouble calls Hayden’s name at the vet clinic she is working at, her reputation and career put on the line – possibly even more, if she is not careful enough. With the threat becoming realer and realer, Derek has to step up and do what he has to do in order to protect Hayden and with her his second chance at happiness. This book broke and melted my heart at the same time. The wound from the car accident was fresh, as I read CATCHING SUMMER only a couple of months ago. Going through that again and feeling Derek’s pain almost broke me. What is happening at the clinic is not that easy to stomach either and my heart started hurting all over again. This story, once again, has just the right mixture of sweet and sexy, angst and suspense, love and emotion. It flows seamlessly and is hard to put down once started reading. Stories by L.P. are never a sweet and mushy, easily achieved HEA – which is what makes her books so compelling and addictive. Whenever I am in a book funk, I know for sure a book written by L.P. Dover will get me out of it. One of my all-time favorite authors! And whereas this book can be thoroughly be enjoyed as standalone, I highly recommend for you to start – or go back to – the beginning!
micharch 8 months ago
Hayden and Derek meet on Derek's first night back in town after having to take several months off to collect himself after a personal tragedy. Hayden is a Veterinarian and Derek has returned to reclaim his spot on the team. Derek is trying to get his life back on track and is not looking for love. Hayden is devoted to her career and is not looking to get into a relationship with anyone, let alone Derek. They were both standoffish and tried to guard their hearts. Derek and Hayden had decide if the risk was worth the reward of a relationship with them. They definitely had their moments and both of them could have been considered wary of one another at times. When things finally seem to hit a groove, an incident at work causes Hayden to come under fire. It was well told, flowed well and was more than interesting enough for me to keep turning the pages. I liked how L.P. Dover was able to make their story believable in light of both character's backgrounds and life experiences. I was given an ARC by Net Galley an honest review.
voraciousreaderKB 8 months ago
Enchanting! http://www.cocktailsandbooks.com I was given an advanced copy of this book to write an honest review for Netgalley and Cocktails and Books. I have enjoyed reading all of the books in L. P. Dover’s Second Chances series and I was eagerly anticipating Defending Hayden, the newest addition to the series. This is an enchanting story about two people who have been hurt but are willing to open their hearts and fall in love again. Derek is a professional football player with the Carolina Cougars and he has gone through some tough times. He lost his girlfriend and unborn child during a senseless automobile accident and has had a difficult time getting over it and moving on. After months of drinking too much and countless encounters with anonymous women, he finally cleans up his act and that is when he meets Hayden Hunter. Derek and Hayden are easy to like. They are perfect for each other and have lots of chemistry together. Derek is a good guy and I was glad he was given a second chance to find happiness. Hayden is a dedicated veterinarian; she is smart, confident and fun to be around and perfect for Derek. I enjoyed this sweet story and the endearing characters. Hayden’s best friend Michael was funny and always there when Hayden needed him. All the guys on the football team are like family. They care about each other and also love to give each other a hard time and I was laughing at their antics. There is also some mystery included in the story when it is discovered someone is tampering with the animals in the veterinary clinic.
NicoleMW 8 months ago
Defending Hayden was a great addition to the Second Chances series, I absolutely loved this book. I was able to relate to both Hayden and Derek. Derek was the book boyfriend that I definitely want. Great combination of love and suspense
EllenAnderson 8 months ago
I couldn't wait when I saw this follow up book in LP Dover's series. After reading Catching Summer, I wanted to make sure the I didn't miss anything that came out about this series. This particular book is about Derek, who we met in the last book, and a Veterinarian named Hayden. They have instant attraction to each other, but both try fighting it. We could have just had a happy story, but strange things started happening to Hayden's patients at the kennel. Someone needs to find out what's happening, before it's too late. A great story, I would definitely recommend this book to others.