As the second book in the Christiansen Family novel series, It Had to Be You follows Eden, the oldest daughter and second child of John and Ingrid Christiansen. Working in the obits department of the Minneapolis Star Tribune, Eden dreams of becoming a serious reporter. However, every spare moment of her life is taken up as chief cheerleader, family representative, nurse, and surrogate mother for her little brother, Owen, who makes it onto the NHL's newest team, the St. Paul Blue Ox. When the spotlight and unexpected injuries damage Owen's chances to succeed in the NHL, Eden comes face-to-face with Blue Ox captain, Jace Jacobsen. Together, they come to realize that God's plan is not limited by their respective job titles.
Like so many of Ms. Warren's other books, It Had to Be You is challenging to summarize without giving away significant plot points. The novel offers a fascinating examination of how people come to define one's purpose in life. While Eden aspires to be more than what other people define her, she comes to discover how God has put her in exactly the right place all along. Meanwhile, Jace realizes that he can be more than the hockey persona that his fans have come to expect. Throughout the book, other characters encounter situations that cause them to question God's reasoning for tragedy, with some situations resulting in greater faith and relative resolution, while others surpass the timeline of the book itself. As a person who has faced similar questions in their life, I felt that these situations were very accurately portrayed and greatly enhanced the believability of the characters.
Overall, I greatly enjoyed reading It Had to Be You and look forward to Ms. Warren's forthcoming novels.
I feel as though I've hit the literary gold mine with this series.
November 26, 2014
This series just keeps getting better and it was quite spectacular to begin with. Be still my heart. Hockey players. Yes, this author goes there and youll not be able to put this book down. It Had to be You, is the 2nd book in the Christiansen Family Series and the stars of this story are Eden Christiansen and Jace Jacobsen. Eden lives in Minneapolis and helps manage and care for her 20 year old baby brother, Owen, who is a rising star among the NHL. She is also an aspiring writer/reporter who feels stuck in the obit department at the Star Tribune. Eden is her familys greatest cheerleader. She loves and supports her parents and siblings but seems to fall short in her own eyes. Jace is the NHL veteran of the team with a raucous bad boy reputation due to being the teams Enforcer.
Oh, I would be so amiss to leave out Jaces best friend, Sam, a retired NHL player, widower, and daddy to adorable 9 year old Maddie. Maddie is a heart transplant recipient and Sam is giving his all to keep her healthy. He has literally given everything he has in order to pay the bills incurred over years of medical treatment. Throw in a strong mix of the remaining Christiansen clan, and you have the makings of an amazing story! I feel as though Ive hit the literary gold mine with this series.
Another great novel about the family from Deep, Minnesota
August 25, 2014
It Had to Be You is another good book about the Christiansen family from Deep, Minnesota. This time the spotlight is on Eden who really loves her family and is especially protective of her little brother, Owen. The story takes place mostly in the city and we see Eden really struggling with finding out what her place is in life because she feels she is just on the sidelines especially since her family seems to rely on her too much. She also dreams to be a successful reporter and through her work, she meets Jace. Jace seems to be a bit rough at first and wishes that he could be seen as more than just an enforcer for the National Hockey League. As Eden and Jace get to know each other, hints of interest and romance trickle however, they are too fearful to allow love to blossom. Will Jace and Eden overcome their fear and make a life together? Will Eden find out where she belongs in life? Will Jace ever come to terms with his career and being in the spotlight a lot?
I like Susan May Warren and this book didn't disappoint. Yes, it's pretty clear from the beginning what is going to happen, but she doesn't make every character's life be just perfect. Owen lost his ability to play hockey because of an accident caused by anger; Jace fought headaches and gave up playing because of the risk to his health. But overall, I think it's a good Christian Romance. I really enjoy reading about the Christiansen family.