Both have what she wants … but only one has what she needs.
Working with professional athletes and helping them recover from their injuries has always been Kate Townsend’s dream, but after an accident left her scarred and heartbroken years ago she refuses to let what happened in her past happen again. Staying focused is the key, as well as not letting her feelings interfere with her job … no matter the circumstances. All of that is easier said than done when not only one, but two men crave her healing touch, igniting every single desire she’s denied herself for so long.
Cooper Davis, NFL’s star quarterback and most eligible bachelor, packs up and leaves his home to move across the states to the East Coast after an injury results in the embarrassing trade to another team. Bitter from the pain, he deals with his problems through drugs and alcohol—almost ruining his football career—until he meets the one woman who makes him want to feel; the same woman who refuses to give up on him no matter how many times he screws up. He has to have her, and he’s not going to stop until he makes her his. Especially, now that someone else threatens to take her away.
Motocross champion and local bad boy Luke Collins never takes no for an answer. For the past four months he’s used his charms to get what he wants, and now he’s so close to getting the girl of his dreams … if she’ll give in just once. One time is all he needs, and he’s never been known to fail, but he’s also never had to fight for a woman’s affections. Only one man will win their way into Kate’s heart, but which one will intercept the other and take what they want? Which one will she choose?
We pulled into the parking lot of the practice field and I shut off my car, the tension in the air crackling like fire. When I turned to look at her, it was like her stormy gray gaze could see right through me. There were a shit ton of things I wanted, but nothing as much as leaning forward to kiss those lips of hers.
With her breaths coming fast and low, she licked her dry lips and shook her head. “Cooper, we can’t.”
Bending over the center console, I glanced down at her lips and murmured low, “Yes we can, Kate, and I’m going to make sure we do.”
Taking my elbow, Cooper guided me to his car and opened the door. “I’m not worried about your brother, Kate. I’m not going to do anything to you unless you ask me to.”
“Like what?” I asked coyly.
Shielded from view by the car door, Cooper leaned in and brought his lips closer to mine, opening them slightly. I couldn’t move, but then again … I didn’t want to. Instead of kissing me, he murmured across my lips, “I’m sure you’ll figure that out when the time comes. If you want me to kiss you, I’m not going to do it until you place your soft lips on mine first. If you want me to touch you, I’m not going to unless you beg me for it. It’s all on you now, love.”
“In your eyes I see exactly what I want. You’re not here with me because of my money or because of what I do. You actually see the people you’re around and the goodness inside of them. That is what gives me hope.”
“Hope for what?” I asked breathlessly, mesmerized.
He brushed my hair away from my face and smoothed his thumb along my jaw. “Hope that one day you will see in my eyes what I see in yours. There’s a craving deep inside of you that I can see each time I touch you. It burns brighter every single time. I’ve never seen that with anyone, and that is how I know I have a chance.”
“You don’t have to worry about him making the moves on me, Luke. He said he wouldn’t touch me unless I asked him to. I think we’re both safe.”
Placing his hands against the wall, Luke trapped me in and murmured in my ear, “Hmm … he’s better than I thought. You know he’s just playing games with you, right?”
“Everyone plays games in their own way, Luke. Even you do, but it’s not going to change anything,” I told him.
“Good,” he murmured huskily. “Although, I’d have to say that’s where me and him differ.” He trailed his finger down my cheek and past my neck to my collarbone. “I’d be afraid you would never ask me. That’s why I have to take what I want until you tell me no.”
Finally, Cooper gazed up at me, his eyes red and pained. “Please tell me you forgive me for this, Kate. You know I never wanted to hurt you.”
“I know, and there’s nothing to forgive,” I whispered, tears falling down my cheeks. “I’m so proud of you for pushing through it. I know it wasn’t easy.”
Nodding quickly, he got to his feet and pulled me over to my bed, holding my hands gently in his. With his weary gaze on my wrists, he thumbed the bruises gently and murmured, “Do you want to know why I don’t ever want to hurt you? Why it kills me that it was my hands that did this to you?”
“Why?” I whispered, holding my breath.
Sighing heavily, he lifted his gaze and placed both hands on my cheeks, wiping away my tears. “It’s because I love you, Kate, and people aren’t supposed to hurt the ones they love. The last thing I want is for you to hate me for what I did.”
USA TODAY Bestselling author, L.P. Dover, is the author of the Forever Fae series, as well as the Second Chances standalone series, and her NA romantic suspense standalone called Love, Lies, and Deception. She lives in the beautiful state of North Carolina with her husband, her two wild girls, and her rambunctious kitten Katrina.
Before she began her career in the literary world, L.P. Dover spent her years going to college and then graduated to cleaning teeth, which she loved doing. At least until the characters in her head called her away. She has never been the same since.