RITA Reader Challenge Review

RITA Reader Challenge: Crazy Thing Called Love by Molly O’Keefe


Title: Crazy Thing Called Love
Author: Molly O'Keefe
Publication Info: Bantam January 2013
ISBN: 978-0345533692
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Book Crazy Thing Called Love. Way too much purple This RITA® Reader Challenge 2014 review was written by TheoLibrarian. This story was nominated for the RITA® in the Contemporary Romance category.

The summary:

Dallas TV morning show host Madelyn Cornish is poised, perfect, and unflappable, from her glossy smile to her sleek professionalism. No one knows that her iron will guards a shattered heart and memories of a man she’s determined to lock out. Until that man shows up at a morning meeting like a bad dream: Billy Wilkins, sexy hockey superstar in a tailspin—still skating, still fighting, and still her ex-husband.

Now the producers want this poster child for bad behavior to undergo an on-air makeover, and Billy, who has nothing to lose, agrees to the project. It’s his only chance to get near Maddy again, and to fight for the right things this time around. He believes in the fire in Maddy’s whiskey eyes and the passion that ignites the air between them. This bad-boy heartbreaker wants a last shot to be redeemed by the only thing that matters: Maddy’s love.

And here is TheoLibrarian's review:

I was so excited to read and review Crazy Thing Called Love because the premise hit two of my big catnip buttons:

1) Hockey

2) A former couple coming together and getting over their issues in a realistic way

Not all of my catnip books deliver, but this one totally does. It's just…so good.  I can't even.  I've taken a couple days to write this review because I've been busy running around and telling everyone I know they have to read it.  How did I love this book? Allow me to count the ways:

1) The hero. Billy Wilkins is a professional hockey player. He is a big, bad enforcer known for his fights. Billy is no classical pretty boy. His face is marked by a long, somewhat mysterious scar (more catnip!!) and he has no interest in dressing well or being otherwise polished. He is nearing the end of his career and it looks like he will be going out with a whimper rather than with a bang. 

2) The heroine. Madelyn (Maddy) Cornish is the star of a Dallas area morning news/talk show. She knows what she wants from her career and she will do anything to get it. This includes working to maintain the perfect television body and throwing herself into her work entirely. She thinks she is content with this life she has built around herself after her previous marriage.

3) Their past. Billy and Madelyn had been married until 14 years previously. They married very young and divorced after two years of marriage because they both did some stupid things. Rather than just letting the reader fill in the blanks about the specifics of their previous problems, O'Keefe provides the occasional flashback to important moments in Billy and Maddy's relationship. The combination of these flashback chapters and the prequel novella, All I Want for Christmas is You, gives the reader a full picture of why the two fell in love originally and what drove them apart.  I loved knowing these specifics because, by the ending, I could be confident that they had worked out the their original problems and wouldn't be driven apart by the same things again.

4) The set up. Billy has made a mess of his public image and is encouraged to go on Madelyn's show for a full makeover. This lends both sweet and dramatic moments to the story and provides a plausible reason for them to be back in the same space again.

5) The emotion. The emotion between Maddy and Billy is raw and real. They have been through so much both together and apart. Time and time again, their exchanges broke my heart.

“You're right. I can't deny it. I do love you. I have always loved you, even when I hated you I still loved you. But you know something, love was never our problem, Billy. It's the rest of the shit we can't do.”

6) The resolution. Obviously, I won't spoil the battle for the HEA. But the resolution was so well crafted that it deserves some mention in vague terms. Billy and Maddy aren't fixed by their love for each other. It is their love for each other that makes them both recognize their own problems and strive to fix them.

Overall, this was a beautifully built book.  I knew exactly why Maddy and Billy cared for each other, what had driven them apart in the past, and why I should trust that they were better equipped to be together now.  If you love sports stories, the formally together trope, deeply emotional, and/or well-written contemporary romance, this is the book for you.

This book is available from Goodreads | Amazon | BN | Kobo | All Romance eBooks

Comments are Closed

  1. 1
    Christine says:

    I totally agree with this review – it’s one of my favourite books by Molly O’Keefe.  My other favourite is book 2 of the Crooked Creek Ranch Series ‘Can’t Hurry Love’  and I highly recommend it as well.

  2. 2
    Nikki says:

    Molly O’Keefe has become one of my auto-buy authors. There are so many things to love about this book—the sports, the emotion, the resolution. I’ve yet to read a book by her that I didn’t like. You wrote a great review.

  3. 3
    Rachel says:

    It looks like the Crooked Creek Series is bundled for $7.99 on Kindle – which is like buy 2, get 1 free, price wise.  (And I may have totally just bought it.)

  4. 4
    Christine says:

    Rachel, you have made a good decision!  Although Book 1 was not my favourite of the series, it does introduce the characters and book 2 and 3 are excellent.

  5. 5
    jane says:

    Any reason it’s listed as science fiction/fantasy. It sounds like it’s just a regular contemporary romance (I guess all fiction could be considered fantasy?) but where does the science fiction come into it?

  6. 6
    Christine says:

    It definitely isn’t science fiction/fantasy, just straight up contemporary romance.

  7. 7
    flchen1 says:

    Great review, Amanda—I just finished this myself and loved it.  Thanks for articulating so well what was great about this book!  My first experience with Ms. O’Keefe—I’ll be back for more!

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