Posted in Contemporary

Susan May Warren’s 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.


This novel is the second book about the Christiansen family. The first one, for me, was a solid read. This one, however, I didn’t want to put down. Maybe it was just the lure of Jace, he is quite the hero. And a great hero can make for a great novel. So, here are things I noticed about the book:

Eden was a borderline heroine for me. I’ve noticed that I’m fairly harsh to the females in romance novels, so I really tried to put myself in her shoes, with her thoughts. And while this helped me understand her a bit more, she still managed to come off a bit self-absorbed sometimes. That said, I really liked that she was straightforward and so the novel didn’t suffer from self-absorbed-ness and lack of communication. Yet, there were times where I really liked her. And so, she was on the tightrope as a heroine.

Jace was amazing (why do men’s flaws make more sense?!). He’s a hockey player who is trying to redo his image. He’s also a good friend and someone who cares for others deeply. He does have a tendency to jump the gun, but I think he does a great job fixing it. I really did like him with Eden though. There’s a lot of chemistry there and more importantly you could really see them fall for each other and that was cute.

There’s this great side mystery in the book that brings Jace and Eden together. It’s kind of a sad mystery (when you find out all the facts), but completely intriguing.

Ms. Warren has a tendency in these novels to have two romances running alongside each other. Well, not so much in this one. It’s more like one romance and Jace’s friend’s pov. And frankly, I liked it more that way.

Spiritually, there is a lot going on, but what struck me is how you have to trust that God loves you and cares about you far more that you can grasp or think.

Overall, this is a wonderful novel and it reminded why I love Susan May Warren. I will admit, it deals with some tough topics that may play with your heart a bit, but you won’t want to put it down.

Romantic Scale: 9

P.S. Really enjoyed the prequel as well!

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