It Had to Be You

Renee Ann Smith —  March 23, 2014 — 6 Comments
“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~

susan may warren book 2Overshadowed 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 . . .

It Had to Be You Susan May Warren

It Had to Be You Susan May Warren

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)

***I made these graphics with free images from & tweaked them with Feel free to download, pin, tweet & share!

What you should do next . . .

***Thanks to LItfuse, Susan May Warren, and Tyndale House for providing a copy of It Had to Be You for me to review.

susie chairback new smAbout 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 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

This week I might be linking up with Inspire Me Monday, Sharing His Beauty, Mommmy Monday Blog Hop, Monday Musings, Hear It on Sunday, Unite @Rich Faith Rising, Modest MondaysBook Notes, Make Your Home Sing Monday, Salt & Light, Manic Monday, Teach Me Tuesdays, Titus 2 Tuesdays, Teaching What Is Good, What I Learned This Week, Titus 2sday Link-up, Living Proverbs 31, Busy Monday, Raising Homemakers, Deep Roots at Home, Imperfect Prose, Wholehearted Home Wednesdays, Winsome Wednesday, Wise Woman Wednesday, Three Word Wednesday, Works for Me Wednesday, A Little R&R, Capture Your Journey Wednesday, Adorned from Above Wednesday Link Party, Whimsy Wednesday, In Him We Live, Juana Mikels Wednesday Link-up, Hope in Every Season Homemaking Party, Thursday Favorite Things, Thriving Thursday, Hearts for Home, Thoughtful Thursday, Cozy Book Hop, Booknificent Thursday, Tell His Story, Thought Provoking Thursday, Raising Mighty Arrows, From House to Home Link Party, Share the Joy Thursday, Time Travel Thursday, Thrive @Home Link Up, Grace at Home, Faith-filled Friday, Fellowship Friday, Friendship Friday, Freedom Friday, Womanhood w/ Purpose Friday Link Up, Essential Friday Link-up, Saturday Sharefest, Sunday Stillness, and Heart Reflected.

Renee Ann Smith

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I teach literature in a Christian high school by day and write inspirational fiction by night. I love to share heart-touching quotes and stories here on my blog. So glad you stopped by!

6 responses to It Had to Be You

  1. Joy to you, Renee! Thoroughly enjoyed scrolling through and visiting this morning. I’m ready to be whisked away somewhere for a writing retreat – working on two manuscripts at present in between too much “have to write” and “have’s to do” – thankful it’s busy in my loves, though.

    Signed up for My Book Therapy – looking forward to more on that score.

    I have just launched my first link-up this week celebrating three years in Blogland – “All Things Bright and Beautiful” – where bloggers link an “encore performance” of their recent best posts that illustrate one of the four themes expressed in the first verse of the hymn, All Things Bright and Beautiful.

    Would love to have you plan to link in each month. Here’s the link-up if you can:

    All the details are there – plus my give-away!

    Loving all your visuals on your fb fan page! Joy!

  2. Visiting from Inspire Me Monday at Create With Joy.

    TBR’d the book on GoodReads and pinned the image w/the snow heart.

  3. Another very good book review; it sounds like a really great book. Also, as always thanks for the graphics; I always love them and tweet them.
    Blessings for you!

  4. I just finished reading and reviewing this book.
    What an amazing story – so inspiring!
    I really enjoyed your review and the quotes you shared!

    My book is marked with little placeholders so that I can go back and record all of my favorite quotes from that book in my journal! 🙂

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  1. When God sings | Doorkeeper - March 25, 2014

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