“My prayer is that you would believe God has a good story for you, too. Because only then will you truly hear the voice of God, telling you what He told me years ago when He put you in my arms: ‘I will take delight in her. I will rejoice over her with joyful songs‘ (Zephaniah 3:17).” ~Ingrid Christiansen to her daughter Eden, It Had to Be You~
Overshadowed by her talented siblings, Eden Christiansen is a born story-teller, who doesn’t quite believe that God has a good story for her life. Eden can help others see their potential but cannot see her own. As a child, she spent her free time hidden in a book. Now she’s still hiding from life—or maybe living it vicariously through her NHL star brother Owen.
Enter playboy hockey star Jace ‘J-Hammer’ Jacobsen, who has everything his fans want in life, but longs for something more. His friend Sam, who finds himself in crisis when his adorable daughter Maddy needs a second heart transplant. The entire Christiansen family, who welcome all comers into their loving circle. And a teenage John Doe, who needs someone to watch over him.
These are the folks God uses to show Jace and Eden that His take on their stories is very different from their own.
This good-for-your-heart story ties together God’s wisdom, sweet romance, personal suffering, sacrifice, death, life, and God answering our wildest, most impossible dreams in His own special way.
I love how Susan May Warren novels touch on the most deeply felt needs and fears of our hearts—and often present heart-breaking situations with no easy answers—yet leave me feeling uplifted and hopeful.
What I liked best . . .
- The under-confident heroine, Eden, penning beautiful memorials to ordinary folks in her obit column
- The powerful yet endearing hero, Jace (High school girls will want to marry him. Grandmotherly types will want to bake him cookies.)
- When Eden & her friend Russell are in the stands of his first Blue Ox hockey game
- Jace’s best friend Sam singing to his little girl Maddy
- The scenes describing a weekend with the Christiansen family (My students & I soooo want to visit Deep Haven!)
I limited myself to sharing two favorite quotes . . .
You don’t have to change the world to earn the applause of heaven. (Click to Tweet)
We expect God’s love to be all nice and neatly packaged. But He’ll do what He has to in order to draw us to that place where we need him. (Click to Tweet)
What you should do next . . .
- Check out the It Had to Be You Pinterest board and “meet” the main characters from the story.
- Grab a copy of this heart-warming must-read and share it! My high school students LOVE Susan May Warren books. I’d recommend the Christiansen family series for junior high age on up. You can purchase It Had to Be You at this link.
- And sneak a peak at book three, When I Fall in Love, Grace Christiansen and Max Sharpe’s story, here. I’m already looking forward to its July release!!
- Read my review of book one, Take a Chance on Me, here.
- Read more about the Christiansen family series here.
***Thanks to LItfuse, Susan May Warren, and Tyndale House for providing a copy of It Had to Be You for me to review.
About the Author: Susan May Warren is the bestselling, 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.
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. She also runs a writing community for authors.
Visit MyBookTherapy.com to learn more.
***For any writers out there, joining My Book Therapy was one of the best decisions I’ve made yet in my writing journey. I recently attended the MBT Deep Thinkers Retreat and found that so many things connected for me during those five days. You should hop to the website and join the free level today!
You can connect with SMW