Tuesday, February 18, 2014

*It Had to be You*

It Had to Be You (Christiansen Family #2)

Ok... lets get this out of the way right away. 
I now need to read Take a Chance on Me, the first stand-alone-yet-connected novel about the Christiansen siblings!!! 

It is wonderful to find a set of books featuring siblings that lets us into their world. We learn about their work, we watch them explore their hopes and dreams, and we see them in their relationships with the family and in romance. 

Oh yes. It's a great thing to discover Susan May Warren's newest series. 

In It Had to Be You, we meet Eden Christiansen. "Precise and Professional" is what comes to mind when I think of her. 
Eden has a good head on her shoulders and lots of ambition... but she feels side-lined, stuck in limbo. 
And as a grown woman, that's not where she pictured herself. She's trained to be a reporter, but she's now writing obits. 
She's single and not interested in dating-just-for-the-sake-of-dating, she wants something special, and boring. 
It has to be boring, because she has enough excitement (and stress, and head-aches) with her brother Owen. 

Ah, Owen. The annoying, arrogant guy whom I have a sneaking suspicion I will learn to love when he gets his own story told. Of course, he's got a lot of changing to do, because right now he's a jerk. And he's a professional hockey player, with all his new fame and money going to his head. 
Yep... he's on a crash course. 

And it doesn't help that Owen's idol and team captain, Jace drove down that same road not too long ago. 

With Eden acting as Owen's personal secretary and caretaker, she sees a lot of Jace. And she doesn't like what she sees. 
Why, when Owen's reckless behavior is an imitation of Jace, doesn't Jace stop him before he destroys himself? 
That's what Eden would do... she would stop Owen, and save him from himself. She's had to do it often enough. 

At first "It had to be you" is an ironic way of describing Jace and Eden's relationship. It just had to be him, didn't it? 
Just what she needed, another self-centered maniac on skates. Isn't Owen enough to manage in one lifetime?
Jace: the tough guy with the well earned reputation, the scrapper and the fighter. 
The hockey player who lived up to all the stereotypes, who lived for the ice and had violence in his eyes.
He just had to work his way into her life, and he had to have a real heart buried under all of that, didn't he. 
A heart that managed to show up more and more often when he was around her. 

Yes. I really enjoyed this story. 
Susan May Warren's writing fosters a strong connection to the main characters. They were realistic to me, as individuals. 
She also wove in at least two separate and very well done secondary plots that I cannot reveal, that brought out a lot of depth in Jace and Eden. 

Ladies, this one is a keeper. 

Thank you to Tyndale for my review copy.

Susan May Warren I can't help be amazed at the gifts God has delighted me with - a wonderful husband, four amazing children, and the opportunity to write for Him.

I've been writing as long as I can remember - I won my first book writing contest in first grade! Over the years, writing has become, for me, a way to praise God and see Him at work in my life.

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