Molly O’Keefe’s latest is bursting with heat and heart, a tantalizing romance about old love and second chances. Little more than children, Billy Wilkins and Maddy Baumgarten got married thinking that with love nothing else mattered. Unfortunately life proved them wrong. Fourteen years later, after changing her name and her image, Maddy now hosts Dallas’s most popular morning TV show as Madelyn Cornish. No one knows about her past and she wants to keep it that way. But now her show’s producers have decided to do a segment about a make-over of NHL’s reigning bad-boy of hockey, none other than her ex Billy. Billy knows this is his perfect, and probably only, chance to get close to Maddy again. His life has been one big fight and she was the only bright spot in it. Can he show her that they have changed? That they deserve another shot?
Crazy Thing Called Love actually started with All I Want For Christmas Is You, O’Keefe’s novella in the Naughty & Nice anthology. Thought it isn’t necessary that readers read the novella first, I think that it definitely gives a lot more background into Billy’s history. In the book, you are given an idea of how bad his childhood was, the things that happened to him, but you get so much more with the novella. O’Keefe describes how messed up his family is, how needy and twisted his addict sisters are, how different Maddy’s life is, and how much he truly relies on her.
Billy definitely needed a growing up period and it took a long time for him to do that. But the good parts of Billy are there, they just need a little help being the biggest part of him. Knowing what kind of history he has, though, it is truly heartbreaking to see the man he became, especially knowing there was potential for more. Maddy is understandably resistant to have anything to do with Billy. She was devastated by how their relationship played out, but I truly enjoyed how both of them grew in the book and the fact that love didn’t cure everything. Both of them were at a point where change could take root, they just needed a little push in the right direction.
O’Keefe does a fantastic job creating completely messed-up, but likable characters. People that you root for and fall in love with, and just want to hug when things are bad, which is most of the time. You’ll cheer for them at the end, with tears in your eyes.