My reviews of Molly O'Keefe's Crooked Creek Ranch series are probably starting to get a bit dull.
Here's a quick synopsis of the crux of each of my reviews,
Wow! These characters are fully fleshed-out, complex people. I completely believed in their romance because their path toward happiness was hard and took work, but the payoff was completely worth it! This pushes the boundaries of what we talk about when we talk about characters and stories in romance! Exclamation points!
Each of these three novels explores the path of challenging, driven, damaged people as they find happiness together. Crazy Thing Called Love features Madelyn (formerly known as Maddy), a rising star who hosts a morning talk show in Dallas, and Billy, an aging hockey enforcer whose career is at rock bottom.
Oh, and Billy and Maddy used to be married.
This is a scenario I usually would avoid reading, because generally speaking, it seems that relationships run their course for a reason, so the reconciliations generally read as superficial or not long lasting in the context of real life. However, in the case of Crazy Thing Called Love, the setup works.
Billy and Maddy married young--way young--and while they were in love, they were also immature and their marriage was rooted in their mutual desire to escape their lives. Billy's hockey career was their ticket out.
Maddy left Billy, having lost herself and her identity amidst Billy's rising stardom and remade herself into a polished, confident local media star. But in a strange way, within her job she also loses a piece of herself,
AM Dallas needed her to be the trusted, knowledgeable, well-dressed, and skinny best friend every woman in Dallas wanted to have. She didn’t have opinions, or outrage or passion. She smiled and told people about the delicious wonder that was gluten-free cheese.
Billy's in desperate need of a new image after spending the season riding the bench for the Dallas Mavericks (yes, this makes me snicker, because the Mavericks are a basketball team, not a hockey team). He has a lot of anger and bitterness and has the potential to go in a very dark direction.
When Maddy's talk show proposes proposes a makeover of Dallas's notorious bad boy hockey player--clothes, hair, etiquette, the works--she balks, not wanting to revisit that part of her life and definitely not wanting her coworkers to know her past. But Billy embraces the chance to reconnect with his ex-wife.
Their forced renunion after 14 years is challenging, to say the least.
As a rule Billy didn’t believe in fate, but having her come back into his life when it was at its very darkest, that seemed important. Like something he shouldn’t ignore. Something he didn’t want to ignore.