Crazy Thing Called Love by Molly O'Keefe - Fiction
NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY NPR
In this poignant and deeply sensual new contemporary romance--perfect for readers of Susan Elizabeth Phillips and Rachel Gibson--Molly O'Keefe proves that lost loves don't have to stay lost forever.
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.
"Irresistible and satisfying . . . addictive and sexy romance at its best."--New York Times bestselling author Susan Mallery
"Molly O'Keefe is a unique, not-to-be-missed voice in romantic fiction."--New York Times bestselling author Susan Andersen
From the Paperback edition.
O'Keefe / CRAZY THING CALLED LOVE
Fourteen years later
Billy Wilkins sat on the bench, bone dry. He might as well have been wearing slippers. A freaking robe. All he could do was sit there and watch as the second-rate team he'd been traded to blew their shot at the play-offs.
If the coaches weren't going to play him, all of it was totally useless--the skates, the pads, the stick in his hand--worthless. Just like him.
"Pull Leserd!" he shouted over the screaming in the Bendor Arena. "He's done. That's the fourth goal he's let in in five minutes."
But Coach Hornsby wasn't listening. He never listened to what Billy yelled during the games. Hornsby wouldn't even look at him, much less reply.
But that was Coach Hornsby. Stubborn, righteous, and probably deaf.
Billy waved off the water bottle one of the trainers offered him. No need to hydrate. He hadn't even broken a sweat tonight.
And what was worse, worse than the dry pads, the clear visor, the body he'd recuperated back into prime shape only to have it sit unused on the bench, was that he didn't care. He didn't care that the coach didn't listen to him. Didn't care that the kid in the net was totally overwhelmed and the Mavericks' rally to get into the play-offs was going to die a pitiful death right here. Right now.
"If you stopped being an asshole, he might listen to you," said Jan Fforde, their injured starting goalie, his consonants blunted by his Swedish accent.
"Not much chance of that." Whether Billy was talking about being an asshole or their coach listening to him, he wasn't sure. Being an asshole was his way of life: it was why hockey teams had been paying his way for over sixteen years. The sport needed assholes and Billy was the best. Used to be anyway.
Until he landed in Dallas, with a coach who preached respect and integrity.
Someone should tell Hornsby that respect and integrity didn't win games. Didn't turn momentum. A good fight did that. Let Billy get out there and drop gloves with that big Renegade center, Churov, and then the game would turn around. The crowd that was booing them would cheer.
The Renegades, who were beating the Mavericks on their own ice, would have blood on their faces and they'd know their opponents had gone down swinging.
The Mavericks' first line, O'Neill, Blake, and Grotosky, surged back into Renegade ice, skating their hearts out. Blake wound up and hammered a slap shot that ricocheted off the post. A mob in front of the goal scrambled for the puck and everyone on the bench stood up screaming. A goal right now would tie the game and they'd have a shot in overtime.
"Come on!" Billy whispered, willing his fight into those young guys out there with the fast legs and the strong arms and barely managed talent. "Come--"
The buzzer silenced the crowd for a moment and then the few Boston Renegades fans in the arena roared.
The Mavericks were out.
Disheartened, silent, the team skated back toward the bench, knocking fists, defeat riding their young shoulders. This team had fought longer and harder than anyone had expected, keeping the play-off dream alive for a community that barely cared. Despite losing tonight, they'd fought like demons.
Hornsby was silent and Billy could think of a thousand better coaches. His grandma for one. And she was dead.
"Good effort, guys," Billy said, slapping shoulders. His teammates grunted, unsmiling.
Blake, their captain, finally led the team onto center ice to shake hands. Billy stood at the end, the only guy besides Fforde who hadn't seen ice time. Who hadn't felt the...