Author: Susan May Warren
Review by Grace Olson
Taken from Tyndale House Publishers’ website description of It Had to Be You:
Eden Christiansen never imagined her role as her younger brother Owen’s cheerleader would keep her on the sidelines of her own life. Sure, it feels good to be needed, but looking after the reckless NHL rookie leaves little time for Eden to focus on her own career. She dreamed of making a name for herself as a reporter, but is stuck writing obits—and starting to fear she doesn’t have the chops to land a major story. If only someone would step up to mentor Owen . . . but she knows better than to expect help from team veteran and bad-boy enforcer Jace Jacobsen.
Jace has built his career on the infamous reputation of his aggressive behavior—on and off the ice. Now at a crossroads about his future in hockey, that reputation has him trapped. And the guilt-trip he’s getting from Eden Christiansen isn’t making things any easier. But when Owen’s carelessness leads to a career-threatening injury and Eden stumbles upon a story that could be her big break, she and Jace are thrown together . . . and begin to wonder if they belong on the same team after all.
I’m sure you’ve all caught on by now that I am an unashamed fan of Susan’s writing. It shouldn’t surprise you that I loved this second book in her Christiansen Family Series, It Had to Be You. I know, I know, I’m reviewing out of order, but that’s how it turned out this time.
I loved the plot thread of the John Doe that Eden and Jace try to help, even though they have no reason to continue to pursue his story. It created interesting situations for Jace and Eden to have to deal with.
Jace’s friend, Sam, and his story was also compelling. It was hard to read, as Sam tries so hard to provide what is best for his daughter, and comes to the realization that that might not be him. I ached for him throughout the story and I’m glad how Susan resolved that story line.
As a writer, I liked reading about Eden’s foray into journalism and how she struggled with the position she was placed in, how where she was at seemed rather unimportant and not nearly using her talents.
The romance, as in her other books, is great. These two compelling characters start off disliking each other and are gradually dragged together. I wasn’t entirely sure how Susan would fix the problem areas in their relationship, which was part of the reason I sped through this book.
The lesson Susan teaches in this book about trusting God, and how that sometimes means letting go, is beautiful. She manages it without coming across as preaching, instead weaving this thread in so well that it comes about naturally.
This book also includes a novella at the end that tells the tale of how John and Ingrid met and how their relationship progressed. It’s a fantastic bonus that you won’t want to skip. 🙂
About the Author
Biography from Tyndale House Publishers’ website: Susan May Warren is the bestselling, Christy and RITA Award–winning author of more than forty novels whose compelling plots and unforgettable characters have won acclaim with readers and reviewers alike. She served with her husband and four children as a missionary in Russia for eight years before she and her family returned home to the States. She now writes full-time as her husband runs a lodge on Lake Superior in northern Minnesota, where many of her books are set. She and her family enjoy hiking, canoeing, and being involved in their local church.
Susan holds a BA in mass communications from the University of Minnesota. Several of her critically acclaimed novels have been ECPA and CBA bestsellers, were chosen as Top Picks by Romantic Times, and have won the RWA’s Inspirational Reader’s Choice contest and the American Christian Fiction Writers Book of the Year award. Five of her books have been Christy Award finalists. In addition to her writing, Susan loves to teach and speak at women’s events about God’s amazing grace in our lives.~ To learn more about Susan and her other books, visit her web page: http://www.susanmaywarren.com/