If the title of this novel has your inner singer sounding like an Italian crooner than you've already got a head start on the setting of this novel. It Had to Be You, by Janice Thompson is book three in her series entitled Weddings by Bella. It features Bella Rossi, a young woman surrounded by a very vivacious and loving Italian family who happens to run the family wedding planning business, and her husband-to-be, D.J. Neeley, a true Texan cowboy who found his way onto their family home of Galveston Island via the construction business and never left after Bella captured his heart.If you love theme weddings and wedding chaos humor this book is full of it. I additionally found myself craving big band music and Italian cuisine after reading this. The entire Rossi clan is full of unique and wonderful characters. Bella's main character flaw is that she is too in love with her family to say 'no' to them. Her own wedding is fast approaching and other family members keep encroaching on her big day with wedding plans of their own. Bella is the classic 'giver'. She can't say no - even when her sister decides at Christmas to have her wedding only 3-4 weeks after Bella's own - Bella doesn't have the guts to tell her sister to delay her wedding a little so that Bella can get a grip on her own wedding plans and the major changes that will be happening in her life. Bella seems tossed about by well meaning family members that assume she is super human and can handle untold amounts of wedding creativity and stress on short notice because she plans weddings all the time, right? How many of us have had a hard time learning that lesson? Amidst all the wedding chaos, themes of forgiveness, not judging people by first impressions, and the power of living by example and that of prayer are woven beautifully into this at times humorous, but always loving, story. *Provided by the publisher for review.
It Had to be You by Janice Thompson is the third book in the Weddings by Bella series. Bella Rossi is finally getting ready for her own wedding to hunky cowboy D.J. Neely, after planning so many other weddings in the previous two books, but before she can really get ready for her big day, her Aunt Rosa and Uncle Laz have to walk down the aisle together. As the rest of the family from Italy flies in for the big day, complications seem to pop up by the dozen. And just when Bella thinks she has it under control, things really get out of hand. Thompson has created such a robust and hilarious group of characters in the Rossi family, it would be sad to say goodbye to them after just three books. It felt on occasion that Thompson was stretching the realms of credibility a bit much to give everyone their happy ending, but she writes with such gusto and flair, it's impossible to fault her for it. It's one of those books that will have the reader smiling with tears running down her face from both laughter and joy.
It Had to be You was a nice ending to a fantastic series. It wasn't as packed with comical tragedy and zany situations as the first two books, so the pacing was a bit slower. It had some great "old people" humor and Bella was her usual lovable self. DJ was pretty amazing, too. This was not my favorite in the series, though. I'd have to say my fav was the second book, probably because this one dealt with wrapping up details more and winding down the series, so my emotions weren't as engaged in the story. I usually find the last book in the series to be a nice conclusion but not as compelling as earlier books. Not sure why that is. At any rate, the ending was sweet and contained the typical innocent humor and Christian tone from earlier books embedded in the story. This series is a great example of what tender, inspirational fiction is supposed to be. Not too much yada yada and delivering plenty of smiles with a chuckle tossed in here and there. I'm bummed to see the series end, but at the same time I'm satisfied with it. The message about waiting and saving yourself for your marriage was subtle, but still there and quite powerful. I loved this series.
I am writing this review with a touch of sadness because now, the Weddings by Bella series is over. That is indeed a sad occasion, but I have enjoyed every minute of it from the very beginning. It Had to Be You is a fitting ending to the series. There is so much joy and happiness in this story. It provides a wonderful reminder of the joys of family during times of struggle and celebration. The Rossi family, well, and the Neeley family, are both families I would love to know in real life. This book still has plenty of the humor that I have enjoyed since Fools Rush In, but it has a double dose of sweetness that I really needed right about now.I found myself able to relate to Bella much more in this story than in the previous two books. She and I struggle with many of the same issues spiritually. She let her guard down more in this story and I got a good look at her struggles and how God can help with those struggles, even when we resist. She learned many important lessons as she tried to do too much and tried too hard to prove herself. Im sure a lot of women will see themselves in Bella, and they will be able to learn a lot from her.If you have enjoyed this series from the beginning as I have, you will love It Had to Be You. Janice Thompson knows her readers and she loves to give us what we want, and she does it so well. I would highly recommend reading the first two books in this series before reading It Had to Be You. I would hate for you to miss a moment of this fun, funny, and sweet series.
The Weddings by Bella series which is set in Galveston, Texas is wonderful! The last book of the series, It Had To Be You is funny, happy, exciting! It wraps up everyones lives! It was so great to see Laz and Rose get married, it was lovely to see Rose realize just how much Laz really loves her. I love the entire Italian family! The series is full of how Love should be! True, Godly LOVE. It was heart breaking to see this story end!