It Had To Be You by Susan May Warren | Giveaway and Blog Tour

Susan May Warren is celebrating the release of her newest Christiansen Family novel, It Had To Be You, with a $100 Visa cash card giveaway and offering readers a free book club kit.


One winner will receive:

  • $100 Visa cash card
  • Take a Chance on Me and It Had to Be You by Susan May Warren

Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on March 29th. Winner will be announced April 1st on Susan’s blog. Also, visit her website to learn more about the It Had To Be You backstory and Susan’s free book club kit.

Don’t miss a moment of the fun; enter today and be sure to stop by Susan’s blog on April 1st to see if you won.


{More about It Had To Be You}

A Christensen Family Novel.

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.

Learn more and purchase a copy at Susan’s website.

Susan May Warren

{More About Susan May Warren}

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 exciting updates on her new releases, previous books, and more, visit her website at

Find out more about Susan May at




WordSmith says:

March 5, 2014 at 7:48 pm

What a fantastic read! Before I’d finished the first chapter, I knew this book was probably going to be one of my favorites for 2014. Susan May Warren’s writing is engaging and fun. The story drew me in from page one. I had several late-night reading sessions with this book because I didn’t want to put it down. Fans of Karen Kingsbury will love Susan May Warren.

This story had a good mix of ups and downs, happiness and heartbreak, and misunderstandings and reconciliation. For the most part, I liked the characters and found them believable.



Kritters Ramblings says:

March 6, 2014 at 7:21 am

The storyline that I enjoyed even more than Eden’s was Jace Jacobsen’s hockey mentor – Sam and his daughter Maddy who is struggling with a heart transplant. Their storyline completely brought me to tears; it was sweet and heartbreaking all at the same time.



Little Blurbs says:

March 7, 2014 at 11:02 am

It’s been a while since I’ve read a book by Susan May Warren, but I loved finding myself back in Deep Haven again. Actually, when I finished this book, I didn’t want to leave Deep Haven so I picked up a couple more of her books to read. As I started reading It Had to be You, I was quickly caught up in the story and couldn’t wait to see how it worked itself out. I enjoyed getting another glimpse into the life of the Christiansen family and watching how their relationships evolved. I even enjoyed getting to know Jace Jacobsen, even though I didn’t really care for his character at first. Warren has a way of writing that really makes readers feel like they could be sitting across the table sharing a meal with the characters and this book is no different.



WORD Up! says:

March 10, 2014 at 10:14 am

This is an incredibly touching love story from an incredibly gifted author!

Susan May Warren has taken two of my favorite things, her books and hockey, and combined them to give me such enjoyment and a few things to think about. Her narrative of the hockey is spot on! Her characters are multi-dimensional and so real that I want them as my friends. I thank the Lord for Christian fiction like this that challenges me in my own walk and pushes me to pray and study the Word about the changes God wants to make in me. This novel led me to speak with Jesus about snap judgment of people, compassion and hope. Although this is a terrific continuation of the stories of the Christiansen family, this novel reads beautifully as a stand-alone.



Working Mommy Journal says:

March 11, 2014 at 5:10 am

Fantastic book from start to finish. Eden and Jace were two very realistic characters that were easy to hold dear and relate to. I love how she slowly opened the layers of Jace’s personality and true self showing we can never truly judge a book by its cover (or in this case the media hype!).



The Mary Book Reader says:

March 11, 2014 at 9:12 am

I was so sad when the book ended. I can’t wait for the next book Take a Chance on Me coming this summer. Don’t miss this 5 star book, I highly recommend this book.



The Talbert Report says:

March 11, 2014 at 2:05 pm

Eden was definitely on a journey to self-discovery in this novel so it was pretty nice to see that journey and the conclusion of it. I did like this story and the characters, even during all their misunderstandings!

If you like Christian romance you will enjoy this novel.



Radiant Light says:

March 11, 2014 at 2:36 pm

Susan has continued the Christiansen saga in her new book It Had to Be You. What I love about Susan is that she creates strong characters.
The family is a great one, one everyone wants to be apart of. I have found myself quite attached to them.
With that said, this is a great book!



Taylor Reid Reads and Breathes says:

March 11, 2014 at 7:31 pm

It Had to be You is the second novel in the Christiansen family series, and it has trumped the first one as my favorite of the series as of now! Susan May Warren has a gift of giving an authentic voice to her characters that are so loveable that they feel like family and friends. It Had to be You is the perfect mixture of love, godly romantic relationships, plus, Warren’s humorous writing comes through perfectly. Give it a try this year and you’ll be more than happy that you did.



Julie Arduini says:

March 12, 2014 at 8:23 am

I enjoyed It Had to be You because Susan May Warren is a master at creating heartfelt Midwest characters. In this particular book she uses hockey as a backdrop, something I haven’t seen before. I found this realistic given the dangers of the sport and really enjoyed reading about it and how the characters interact because of hockey.

I also enjoy stories that take you through consequences without beating you over the head about it. It’s great romance, and I think redemption, too.

I recommend you check out It Had to be You.



My Mis-Matched World says:

March 12, 2014 at 10:25 am

I give It Had to be You 4/5 stars. It is a great read, and I enjoyed the story. I just wish it moved quicker.



Homemaking Organized says:

March 12, 2014 at 11:08 am

It Had to Be You by Susan May Warren was really good reading. A can’t put down story. Well written and full of details to keep me (and you) hooked. I know nothing about hockey or the newspaper world but that doesn’t matter I still loved it. And now I know a little more about those two worlds.



Book Reviews from an Avid Reader says:

March 12, 2014 at 8:32 pm

This is another great romance from Warren. I loved Eden as the family member who encouraged everyone – to the detriment of her own career. I loved how Jace was able to bring out the best in her. The antagonistic relationship the two had, well, you’ve just got to read the book to see if they can work it out. All this and hockey too.



Slow It Down says:

March 12, 2014 at 11:00 pm

I love hockey, so needless to say I was excited for It Had to Be You. Susan May Warren does a fantastic job of using hockey, not only as a sport, but also as another character in the book. This book is filled with passion, teamwork, and much action.
Many of us can relate (I know I can) to looking to the future rather than living in the moment that the Lord has written for us. Warren creates characters that are relatable, loveable, and laughable but that can frustrate the reader (in a good way) as well. As the reader, you only want them to realize their own potential when you do! When reading It Had to Be You, you will find yourself laughing, crying, and cheering all the way to the end.



Wife Mommy Me says:

March 13, 2014 at 7:48 am

Susan May Warren has a gift of giving an authentic voice to her characters along with true to life personalities that match your friends and family. It Had to be You is the second novel in the Christiansen family series and while I haven’t read book one, I have read Warren’s work before so I knew this was going to be a book that left me aching for more. It Had to be You is the perfect mixture of love, godly romantic relationships.



Britt Reads Fiction says:

March 13, 2014 at 8:53 am

I am absolutely loving this series about the Christiansen family! It Had to Be You is a wonderful addition and I just could not put this book down once I started reading it! The author did such a great job creating characters that are flawed, yet likeable. And the setting she chose, the hockey world, is exciting and dangerous at the same time.

There is just so much to this story and it is all fantastic.



Karen’s Korner says:

March 13, 2014 at 9:29 am

I am a huge fan of Susan May Warren. I think she is the grand dame of contemporary romantic fiction. I read this book in 2 days (actually one night and part of the next morning) because once I began I could not put it down. Warren does an amazing job and really knows how to spin a captivating story. I loved Eden and Jace, and they definitely have a lot to learn when it comes to life. I loved the way she portrayed Gods hand as He brought the circumstances in their lives out of control so that they would trust what He has for them. It is one of those stories you will not be able to put down. I couldn’t. There was an added bonus at the end of the book, a free novella called I Really Do Miss Your Smile. This is the story of the Christiansen parents, Ingrid Young and John Christiansen. I liked the background it provided. I cannot wait to meet up with the Christiansen family again.



Bluerose’s Heart says:

March 13, 2014 at 6:57 pm

I read an e-copy, so I was shocked to see it has almost 500 pages! (I didn’t notice it!) Other than the few moments, I really connected with Eden! She is really sweet and caring. She’s still searching for the talent that God has blessed her with. I can relate! The sweet bond that her family has warmed my heart. As with all families, there is trouble at times, but there is an abundance of love to make up for it.



Maureen’s Musings says:

March 14, 2014 at 6:32 am

Ms Warren, places you right on the ice, in the living room. You are going to feel like you are a participant! Talk about feeling the cold emanating from the ice! You also feel the pain of parents loving and wanting the best for their children. How can you let go? We find some amazing answers.
Looking at the book and seeing how big it is can be intimating, but in reality, it was a very quick, page turning read. You will not want to miss this one!



The World As I See It says:

March 14, 2014 at 10:45 am

It Had To Be You by Susan May Warren was an amazing book. I read this book in a few days and after I got a chapter into the book I didn’t want to put it down. I love the authors writing and her characters.



Reviewing Novels Online says:

March 14, 2014 at 4:10 pm

In this novel, Susan gets at some of the nitty gritty parts of the dynamics of a family life where there are siblings versus where there is an only child. Yes,and the way we can and do hurt the ones we love the most. I saw myself in more than just one of the characters, which i think is the talent of a good writer. As well as writing about characters that are undeniably realistic in situations we can find around us every day, the father, John is a very wise man, and his sayings resonate with the reader.
I loved this book,and this series is a must keeper for me. It will go on the shelf together with Karen Kingsbury and Terri Blackstock.



All Things Are Possible says:

March 14, 2014 at 4:39 pm

I am a HUGE hockey fan so I loved the fact that It Had to Be You was centered around the world of hockey in the NHL. The male lead, Jace Jacobsen is a star hockey player and the female lead, Eden Christiansen has a younger brother who is a rising star in the NHL. To say that Jace and Eden butt heads is an understatement. Sparks fly but the chemistry was fantastic.

There were several story lines woven within the covers of this book and I found each of them pulling me into the story and holding me there until I turned the last page.

An AWESOME read! 5 BIG stars!!!



The Life and Times of a pwnmom… says:

March 15, 2014 at 3:32 pm

I believe that most everyone can relate to one character in this book or the other. Maybe you are the shadow… on the sidelines of life and cheering everyone else on or maybe you have a reputation that you don’t want and maybe don’t even deserve. God is bigger than both of these situations and so much more… He has a plan for your life.

This book is a great read. Not only does it have a beautiful love story (that most girls want), but it also has an uplifting and encouraging message. I would definitely recommend this book to a friend (or stranger!).



For The Love Of Books says:

March 16, 2014 at 11:08 am

It Had To Be You is another fantastic book by Susan May Warren. This book takes place in both Minneapolis and Deep Haven, Minnesota. Susan May Warren writes with authority on Minnesota, hockey, professional sports players, writing, transplants, and all things medical. Again I love having the ability to get to know new characters and seeing where life is taking old friends from past novels. As I said in my review of Take A Chance On Me, I love the Christiansen family, they are a fantastic family who support one another. Their lives are not simple but they have one another and their faith. I loved all the characters in this story but I think Jace Jacobsen was my favorite. He is not who he seems and as the story progresses you see who he is and who he wants to be. I could not put this book down, I found myself completely taken in with this book. I found myself laughing in parts and crying in others as events unfolded. I really felt like I was there watching it all unfold. As with the first book in this series, It Had To Be You started with a letter to Eden from Ingrid about what she sees in Eden and hope for her future. I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys Christian Fiction, you will not be disappointed. I cannot wait to read the next book in this series. I give this book 5 STARS.



A Mom After God’s Own Heart says:

March 16, 2014 at 8:40 pm

Once again Susan May Warren has brought us back to the Christensen family in the way she does best – with an attention grabbing, well-written novel that will hook you from page one. I found myself reading late into the night to grasp each scene and interaction between the characters.



A Year of Jubilee Reviews says:

March 17, 2014 at 7:08 am

Have you ever felt like you are living on sidelines, trying to look in to the action, and no one notices? That you are living your life through others, by caring for them and making sure they succeed. No limelight ever, but instead constantly supporting those around you.
That is the life for Eden, never breaking free from being the unnoticed helper. God uses all of us, and we are all gifted. Susan May Warren uses her characters to related to our own lives, and helps to show how they all fit into God’s perfect plan. I couldn’t put this book down!



The Review Stew says:

March 17, 2014 at 8:25 am

This book was just as good as I have expected from every single book that has been written by Susan May Warren over the years! She is one of my favorites and still is after this book!

I loved watching Eden and Jace grow as people and grow together in love. They surpassed many trials and troubles in their experiences throughout the book to come out stronger in their faith, relationships and work life.

This was a wonderful romance story that I just couldn’t put down!



TammyisBlessed says:

March 17, 2014 at 11:23 am

Susan May Warren is one of my favourite authors and this book did not disappoint. One thing I like about her writing (as opposed to Karen Kingsbury) is that her characters can’t read each other’s thoughts just by looking in their eyes. In fact, they often read each other’s body language completely wrong. You know, like normal people. In this case, they possibly misunderstand each other too much to be totally believable, but it’s still more believable than the other way around.

We are a hockey loving family around here, so I really enjoyed that aspect of this storyline. I also really enjoyed the theological look at why God allows things to happen, and the definition of hope.



A Book Lover says:

March 17, 2014 at 5:53 pm

I loved this latest book in the Christiansen family series. It can be read on its own but the whole series is good. Jace is the perfect hunky hero with the right amount of bad boy fallibility. Eden is a great heroine. She is stronger and smarter than she realizes. She thinks it is her life to take care of her siblings especially her brother Owen. Jace and Owen play professional hockey together. The author does a good job with just enough hockey details. The characters and the plot were well developed and unique. It held my attention from the beginning. The sparks fly between Jace and Eden in an appropriate way. Jace and Owen are not perfect. There is some alcohol and fighting in the book. It is not prominent it just adds to the realness of the characters. The conclusion is satisfying and sigh worthy. This was another great Susan May Warren love story. Highly Recommended.



Cara Putman says:

March 17, 2014 at 9:17 pm

The book is the exploration of the reluctance we sometimes have to shed the roles we either create or accept in our lives, no matter how poorly they fit. And those roles can prevent us from becoming the people we want and hope to be. These were characters I longed to return to and I hated to see the story end. A double thumbs up for readers who love romance with a strong spiritual thread.



A Room Without Books is Empty says:

March 18, 2014 at 5:44 pm

I feel myself becoming attached to the Christiansen Family . this is the second book in the series and I have liked what I have read so far. Looking forward to more in this series.



Cindy’s Book Reviews says:

March 18, 2014 at 6:36 pm

OH MY!! Love, love, loved this book. I missed out on book one in this series, but I will be trying to find it soon!! This book had me crying nearly in the first chapter. Eden was so nice, and her family often seemed oblivious of the fact that they were using her, and not taking notice of her talents. I wanted to smack her brother Owen. Several times. This was a great story, and I am daring to say this. It is my favorite SMW book to date. Great book, great characters. Loved the prequel included in the back also. 5 stars No question!!
This book was provided for review purposes only no payment was received for this review.
To see other bloggers in this tour click on the landing page link



Nothing Less says:

March 18, 2014 at 9:36 pm

It’s a classic story of good girl falling for bad boy, but whereas that may be a well-worn story plot, there’s nothing well-worn about everything that makes this story exactly the incredible book that it is. You instantly love the characters – the heroine Eden is loyal, giving, spunky, yet her insecurities come across the pages in such a way that I found myself identifying with her so much in a very personal way, while what’s not to love about a bad boy turned good guy like studly hockey player Jace? What has really impressed me about the books by Susan May Warren is the level of personalness that really comes at you from every angle. It feels real, not just a two-dimensional love story but a 3D holograph of real people, the kind of people that you wish you could know in real life.



The Overweight Bookshelf says:

March 18, 2014 at 11:07 pm

A large part of the appeal of Susie’s writing is she takes the ordinary and makes it extraordinary. Her stories are founded on authentic human experiences in faith, family and love. It Had to be You explores the dynamics of the Christiansen family at a more organic level and doesn’t assume to give readers a perception of the perfect family. They are real and susceptible to internal conflicts, yet come out more loveable and endearing than ever for their struggles. Susie understands that readers can’t identify with perfect and look for characters who have attributes that resonate. This book examines issues of identity, purpose and belonging with eloquently integrated faith elements. A must-read just like its predecessor.



Amanda’s Pile of Books says:

March 19, 2014 at 6:15 am

Once I began it, I had to know what was going to happen. The author did a great job with writing a fun and captivating story.



Books By Amanda says:

March 19, 2014 at 6:20 am

I laughed, I cried, I cried some more, and I cheered for the characters.

Supported by a stellar cast of characters you can’t help but love, this is a story about heart conditions, desperation, despair, losing everything important, new beginnings, old hurts, and finally, forgiveness.



Knits Reads and Reviews says:

March 19, 2014 at 7:57 pm

This story revolves around hockey, Eden is one of those people who just don’t get it…oh, she gets hockey, she just doesn’t get how great she is.

……..Things begin to happen in the story line, bad things, life changing events that will break your heart. But it’s not all sad and gloom, there are some real heartwarming, happy things as well.

A great plot, great characters that come to life and a very entertaining read!



Manifest Blog says:

March 20, 2014 at 10:29 am

Warren’s characters are presented honestly, showing all the warts and blemishes; but still revealed the goodness that is there when individuals invite Jesus into their lives. I fell in love with the Christiansen family – Mom, Dad and six kids – and I look forward to additional books in the series. They were one of those families that made me not want to say goodbye. Single Dad, Sam also worked his way into my heart.
There is much to like and enjoy and also much to think about in It Had to be You. I recommend this book and as stated am looking forward to additional volumes in the series.



Jen’s Journey says:

March 20, 2014 at 12:33 pm

It Had to Be You is the second book in the Christiansen Family series and one that I truly enjoyed. I really loved this book. I am a huge hockey fan (GO PREDS!) so as soon as I started reading and found out hockey was involved, I couldn’t put it down.

It Had to Be You

I was already familiar with the Christiansen family from reading Take A Chance On Me (book one) and the prequel novella, so it was great to get this view of Eden’s life.

I really love the way Susan May Warren’s writing draws you in to the story. You feel for these characters – when they hurt so do you, and she makes family issues come alive — such as sibling rivalry, jealously — but she also talks about forgiveness.

Susan has and always will be one of my favorite authors. I cannot wait for her next book!



3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, & Sissy, Too! says:

March 20, 2014 at 9:04 pm

This is a story of family faith, love and loyalty. How far will an older sister go to help her younger brother? Will she give up all of her own dreams?



Saving More Than Me says:

March 20, 2014 at 11:02 pm

Susan May Warren is one of my favorite authors and never disappoints with her novels. The characters in her book are always easy to relate to and this book is no exception. I found myself feeling lost and conflicted with protagonist Eden and guarded and frustrated with Eden’s brother Owen. I was instantly drawn to the lost and conflicted Jace and I surprisingly found myself rooting for him on more than one occasion. But that is Susan May Warren’s gift—->she consistently writes stories that are genuine, raw, and realistic. You don’t read a Susan May Warren book… experience it.



Perfect Beginnings says:

March 21, 2014 at 5:08 am

I have always enjoyed Susan May Warren’s books and this book was no exception. With likable characters that are a bit more realistic than most I really liked it.I appreciated the character of Eden because she struggled with her own self worth and talents.I always appreciate characters that are realistic and I feel like that is something that Ms. Warren is the master at doing.
I highly recommend this book to anyone who is looking for a quick,enjoyable read. I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.



Lighthouse Academy says:

March 21, 2014 at 7:04 am

Susan May Warren has done it again. A heart-stopping novel that wraps the characters around your heartstrings and doesn’t let go. IT HAD TO BE YOU is the second book in the A Christiansen Family series, but it easily stands alone. Fans will want to read Take a Chance on Me the first book in the series, and the novella (included free in IT HAD TO BE YOU), I Really Do Miss Your Smile.
I’ve said this before and I’ll say this again. I want to write like Susan May Warren. She is absolutely the best, and I love her books. I’m her number one fan. IT HAD TO BE YOU ripped my heart out and I cried at the end. Now I can’t wait for the next book in the series to come out (this summer.) Awesome book, awesome author. Discussion questions are also included at the end of the book. Don’t miss IT HAD TO BE



lost Island of Book Reviews says:

March 21, 2014 at 9:44 am

I have loved every book of Susan May Warren’s that I have loved. This book was no different. This is Book 2 of the Christiansen Family Series. I love how the author draws you in to the characters lives and you become part of the story. Each character had a well thought out story and the interaction between them was real and down to earth. I loved watching Eden as she grew from being an over-protective sister to the realization that she deserved her own live also.
Watching her learn to trust Jace was so real. It can be hard to put away the past and hope for a better future, but we see a relationship of truth and forgiveness that everyone can relate to in some way.
The addition of the mystery of John Doe, and Jace’s relationship with Sam and his daughter Maddy, only make the book more genuine in the way the characters dealt with tragedy and the unknown. While learning to rely on their faith, they progress through stages easily understood by others.
This is a book where you will love the journey just as much as the ending. You don’t want to miss this story! You will find the addition of a prequel and more included. There are some great discussion questions which would be great for a book club.



The Koala Bear Writer says:

March 21, 2014 at 11:37 am

It’s always fun to find a book where I have something in common with the main character. In Susan May Warren’s book It Had to Be You, I found myself connecting with Eden because she’s a writer. She actually has a job as a writer, albeit a writer of obituaries, and a degree in journalism (cool). Eden wants more, though; she’s tired of writing obits, feeling like she’s stuck in a rut while someone else is getting all the headlines and big stories.



All Grown Up? says:

March 21, 2014 at 8:27 pm

Every time I read the title of It Had to Be You by Susan May Warren, I start humming. I can’t help it. I keep humming it while I’m reading the book, it fits it so perfectly. I loved the references to music throughout as well!~

Eden and Jace are two totally different types of people. Eden an encourager, a helper, a take on the world’s problems type girl. Jace is a go getter. He sees it, conquers it and achieves it. He’s not used to sitting back and watching the world pass him by. How do these two come together to make a match?

Susan May Warren takes two characters that seemingly have no shot in the world to fall in love and weaves a beautiful tale around them and those in their lives. She takes the character faults and foibles and shows us how Grace and Mercy extend to all of us.



sunny island breezes says:

March 22, 2014 at 4:46 pm

You might as well have that box of tissues nearby when you start reading this novel. You’re going to need them unless you have malfunctioning tear ducts.

Susan May Warren always manages to give us books that give us insight into the human condition and guide as they entertain us. Thank you, Ms Warren.



Once Upon A Book says:

March 22, 2014 at 11:45 pm

I was surprised how fast I read this book. I loved reading about Eden and Jace. I would totally marry Jace. He had a beard!



Renee@Doorkeeper says:

March 23, 2014 at 9:59 am

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 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.)
~Jace’s best friend Sam singing to his little girl Maddy
~Eden’s friend Russell at his first NHL game
~A weekend visit with the Christiansens



Brooke @ i blog 4 books says:

March 23, 2014 at 9:12 pm

The writing was flawless. The emotions were intense—for the characters and for me! And the romance was just beautiful. It Had To Be You was an amazing book, and I highly, highly recommend it! [5 stars]



Our Homeschooling Pilgrimage says:

March 24, 2014 at 7:12 am

I have positively fallen in love with the Christiansen Family series! It Had to Be You is a fabulous addition and I had a hard time putting it down once I started reading it! Susan May Warren did a wonderful job creating realistic characters that are flawed, yet likeable. And although I am not a hockey fan, I found this setting to be dangerous, and exciting at the same time.



Adventures in Unsell Land says:

March 24, 2014 at 7:32 am

I always enjoy Susan May Warrens relatable characters in her stories and she is so good at writing stories that I would describe as deeply felt. It is one of the things that always draws me into her novels. It Had To Be You was indeed deeply felt. If you enjoy a good contemporary romance novel then I would recommend this book to you.



The IE Mommy says:

March 24, 2014 at 9:24 am

Warren’s characters are so lovable and in depth that you really feel like you know them. Eden is the girl that’s humble and sweet and loses sight of herself while helping her brother Owen pursue his dreams of being a hockey star. Jace is the guy that your mom told you to stay away from because he’s trouble! With charming good lucks and a baby boy reputation, he’s trouble on the ice and off! But their worlds collide and they are brought together by their circumstances.



Happy Little Homemaker says:

March 24, 2014 at 12:33 pm

It was a great book. I was thoroughly enjoying it. The characters were real, flawed, and had dimension. The setting of Minnesota, cold & hockey is pretty similar to Michigan, if a little more intense.

But there were a ton of sub stories and I wasn’t sure why they were there until the very end. And it was worth it. If you are one of those people whose favorite part of a trip is the journey, It Had to Be You would be a great book for you. The point is not immediately clear, but the trip is a good one.

Not super suspenseful, not super emotionally charged, it’s good reading before bed. Especially if you find that you get super immersed in whatever book you are reading like I do.



Growing For Christ says:

March 25, 2014 at 6:24 am

A search of my blog will clue you into the fact that I’m a big fan of Susan May Warren’s books so when I had the chance to recieve a copy of It Had to be You I jumped on it because I so enjoy her style of writing and I wanted to see what was going on in the Christiansen family. I was pulled into the story of Owen and Eden, although it’s more about Eden than Owen, but she’s his self-proclaimed cheerleader, care taker and all around door mat for her younger brother – everything else takes a back seat to her brother and his career in the NHL. I felt bad and could also relate to Eden – I know how it feels to be the one who feels they must keep an eye on all things and try so hard to keep the family together or at least one member from failing or falling – I also know the feeling………



When life gets you down…read a book says:

March 25, 2014 at 5:37 pm

The Christiansen family reminds me of the Baxter family (Karen Kingsbury’s creation). In fact, those two families I have enjoyed reading about and following. I’m so glad that Deep Haven hasn’t been buried and is alive and well, still producing wonderful stories within. The Christiansen family is a family who has had a tough time. They have had their share of difficulties and triumphs. However, they are still loving God through it all.

I think what makes the Christiansen family (and the Baxter’s) so fun to read about is that it is real life. There is life, death, problems, illness, fires, and accidents.



A Busy Mom of Two says:

March 25, 2014 at 6:27 pm

I enjoyed reading Eden’s story, her journey of discovery. Susan May Warren does a nice job developing her characters and making you feel like you are a part of their family too. The strong faith of the family is evident throughout the book. The author does occasionally reference back to events from the prior story, but there is no loss in starting in at book two because everything you need to know, she shares. That being said, I still think I might go back and read the first one too.
I found that the book was one that was easy to fit into my life and I didn’t struggle to pick up where I left off, which in my life is a good thing – since reading for 10 or 15 minutes at a time seems to be how most of my reading is done.
I look forward to reading more books by Susan May Warren in the future.



Our Little Corner of the World says:

March 26, 2014 at 8:14 am

As always, Susan May Warren does not disappoint with her latest novel. One of my favorite things was when she starts looking for the friends and family members of a young man, John Doe, in a coma in the hospital. Her dedication and determination to locate this man’s family so that they could be there with him is remarkable. It Had to be You is a wonderful novel that everyone needs to check out.



Elle in Organic Shoes says:

March 26, 2014 at 12:56 pm

Warren’s writing will draw you in and make you believe you are a member of the Christiansen family. For those of you who love a well developed christian romance story with a side of mystery, characters you can relate to, and a book you will not want to put down, this is the book for you!



Book, Books Everywhere says:

March 26, 2014 at 2:07 pm

When does helping and supporting become enabling and avoidance of a personal life? That is what Eden is struggling with in this novel. She loves her family and her brother and she has been his cheerleader for so long, that she had gotten used to putting her own desires on the back burner to make sure that she is there for him. That she attends games and cheers him on and looks out for him outside of the arena starts to take up more of her day than she can afford. Her job at the newspaper has been a struggle, she loves to write and wants to make a difference, but doesn’t see herself doing that while working in the obits department.

Each of the characters in this book is wrestling with something, some turn to prayer while others sink into despair. How do you find the balance you need to live the life you are meant to have and to trust that you are being led down the path that is just right for you.



3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, & Sissy, Too! says:

March 26, 2014 at 9:29 pm

This is a story of a young woman’s love and concern for her younger brother and his future. This is a story of love, family, faith and loyalty.



Ramblings of a Coffee Addicted Writer says:

March 27, 2014 at 1:17 am

I have never read the first book in the series, Take a Chance on Me, but I don’t think I missed anything as the sequel feels like a standalone type sequel, though it does feature the Christiansen family. I’ve never been a hockey fan, but it didn’t ever bother me that a part of the plot involves the NHL. Susan May Warren is a natural storyteller with charming characters and realistic plots. It Had To Be You plays out like a Hallmark Channel movie, a little sappy at times, but heartfelt and enjoyable at the end.



Buzzing About Books says:

March 27, 2014 at 8:25 am

Susan May Warren is a master storyteller and has penned another fantastic story in It Had to be You!

Set amidst the exciting sport of hockey, this story is full of emotion, spiritual wisdom, and tender romance. There were times my heart ached while I was reading and other times when it rejoiced.

I love the way Susan May Warren brings her characters to life and can’t wait to spend more time with the Christiansen family!



Story Matters says:

March 27, 2014 at 11:06 am

Warren knows how to write romance. If I had to complain about something, it would be to speed up the romance a bit–the two main characters seemed to spend an awfully long time not liking each other before they finally did–but I take that more as my own fault. I’m an impatient reader. I did like how Warren skillfully weaves two other subplots, plus a strong faith message, into her main story-line–the culmination of which makes for a particularly satisfying ending.



Shoopette’s Book Reviews says:

March 27, 2014 at 1:24 pm

I’m not a hockey fan, but any time a book incorporates sports in some way, it’s usually a good thing. That was definitely true for It Had to Be You. The hockey life seemed to be realistic, which added another level to the novel overall.
The Christiansen family is such a fun and engaging family to read about, and the setting of Deep Haven, Minnesota, is so enjoyable.
If you’ve enjoyed other Deep Haven novels by Susan May Warren, then you will enjoy this one as well.



Morning Glories and Moonflowers says:

March 27, 2014 at 1:45 pm

I was a bit skeptical of this story as it began with the main character, Eden Christiansen, going on a date with a mortician! Soon after that I was utterly engaged with the story. Loved it. Eden lives her life in the shadow of her brother, Owen, a quickly rising hockey star with an incredibly bright future- until tragedy strikes. I didn’t see this coming at all! The story of Sam and his precious 9 year old daughter, Maddy, is woven into the book in a tenderly engaging way. Their story is full of sadness yet somehow God is able to shine through it all. Susan May Warren has an amazing ability to make her readers feel for the characters. It’s beautiful how she uses their lives to reflect on the Lord.



Preslaysa says:

March 27, 2014 at 6:08 pm

Love. Love. Love. This story. Susan May Warren writes emotion like no other.



Giveaway Lady says:

March 27, 2014 at 8:35 pm

This is a book I would give ten stars if I could. I normally don’t like the books with the bad boy hero but this one threw me for a loop. Susan Warren writes characters with such depth and the story-line had so much meaning in it. LOVED IT!



Seeling with all Yur Heart says:

March 28, 2014 at 12:01 am

Susan May Warren draws the audience into the adventure of the Christiansen family and friends as they live very active lives in Minneapolis in a story that is written with a mother’s heart and life experience. Each page speaks about an individual’s choices in faith and how God can redeem what looks to be a life wasted. I appreciated the reality that is reflected in some parts of the story when a character hears words of wisdom with their ears, but God brings it to a rock solid truth in their heart.



Two Children and a Migraine says:

March 28, 2014 at 1:46 pm

Personally I find that there is nothing worse then reading a book and being able to predict what is going to happen throughout it. Do not get me wrong, I love to relate to the characters, but I do not want to read the book and feel as though the story line has happened before. I can say this definitely was not the case with this book. It was entertaining and can say it honestly kept me up later then normal a few nights. I just did not want to put the book down at all.



Sharon’s Garden of Book Reviews says:

March 28, 2014 at 3:12 pm

This is a gentle romance, with uplifting inspirational aspects, that is just a lovely read. There is a great deal of hockey interspersed throughout the story, and I actually learned a great deal about the sport while I was enjoying the tale. There is also the influence of the great love and support of the Christensen family continued in this book, and it’s nice to have some updates on the rest of the clan.

Susan’s writing style is very engaging – her characters are warm and personable, and the setting in the cold of Minnesota is realistic and plays a huge role itself in this story. Susan also includes enough backstory in this book that first-time readers can quickly pick up on the history of the Christensen’s and read this as a stand alone novel. I highly recommend it!



Create With Joy says:

March 29, 2014 at 1:17 pm

What happens when you sacrifice your hopes and dreams for someone else – and those sacrifices aren’t appreciated?

What happens when you judge someone harshly – then find out you are wrong?

It Had To Be You is an amazing love story that reeled me in from the start. It opens with a letter – meant to be read posthumously – from mother to daughter Eden, the central character for the book. It’s a letter filled with insight and blessing – a letter from someone who truly sees. In many ways, this letter sets the tone for the book.

This is a book whose characters you will love – whose problems you will relate to – whose stories you will want to follow and see through to the end. Once you start reading, you won’t want to put it down!

Highly recommended… awaiting more from this author!



Savings in Seconds says:

March 29, 2014 at 9:22 pm

I was a little surprised at how meaty the book was. Were all those pages necessary to explain what was clearly a love story? Yeah. Because the book really focuses on Eden Christiansen and her growing-up experiences. The side stories that weave the scaffolding for It Had To Be You really hold up this book. I was surprised at the ending(s) because the whole thing played out completely differently in my mind. I’m interested to learn more about this series and hope to see more about little Maddy, one of the side characters.



Vic’s Media Room says:

March 30, 2014 at 12:21 am

I am not a big fan of hockey. I hope I just didn’t offend the hockey enthusiasts out there it is just not a sport that I can get in to. Having said that Ms. Warren does make the sport interesting and she does it through her characters. Two of them, Jace and Owen, are hockey players and, of course, Eden has ties to both of them. It is fun watching these two learn the truth about each other as both of them came into the relationship with preconceived ideas. The Christiansen Family is not perfect but they are interesting. Ms. Warren does a superb job of making each character come alive so much that they seem as if they have been our friends all our lives.



Let’s Eat 2 Day says:

April 1, 2014 at 1:14 pm

I really enjoyed this book. All the Susan May Warren books are really enjoyable. This one is no exception. There are many life lessons and it is a fun read too. I love the Christian values. The characters are engaging and warm. When you read this book you will feel as though you know the characters.



Tressa’s Wishful Endings says:

April 1, 2014 at 1:15 pm

I basically just ate the book up! There was enough tension, depth, and romance balanced with some humor and heartbreak. Yes, there was heartbreak. I teared up pretty good in a few spots. Moving on to the happier parts…the romance was really sweet and I loved how the author let the tension between the two MC’s grow…

It was such an inspirational romantic book that left me feeling happy and content (except for needing the next book!!!) I would recommend It Had to be You to those who enjoy Christian Romance or just general Romance…



Heidi McCahan says:

April 1, 2014 at 1:16 pm

I haven’t encountered too many contemporary romance novels that portray a realistic picture of professional hockey and I think Warren did a fantastic job with this aspect of the novel. Her writing style is such that you are drawn into the story immediately. As she often has done in previous works, Warren expertly weaves in themes of loss, the struggle to overcome devastating life events and ultimately the hope and redemption that comes from bringing our burdens to the Lord and not relying solely on our own efforts. This novel is most appropriate for women, probably age 16 and up, given some of the tougher themes incorporated in the sub-plots.



The Forgiven Former Feminist says:

April 1, 2014 at 1:24 pm

Let me begin by saying that I enjoyed this story, it was cute in a kitschy kind of way. This book had a good plot, a fair amount of Bible verses and a cast of colorful characters. It Had to be You tells the story of a down and out young woman on her quest for self-fulfillment. The woman goes through the usual struggles of any young female in literature and movies today: girl meets boy, girl likes boy, girl builds up a bunch of self-doubts, boy and girl have a falling out, and boy comes back to girl and admits he loves her. Although somewhat unoriginal, this story-line does seem to be a favorite among women my age (20-40).



Live Vi-Carrie-ous says:

April 1, 2014 at 1:32 pm

The complexity of the characters and the interwoven plots are just part of what made this such a great book. Warren knows her characters on a cellular level. They never act in a way that rings untrue. The secondary plots are strong on their own and only add to the richness of the main storyline.



Our Family Porch says:

April 1, 2014 at 1:38 pm

I’ve never regretted reading one of Mrs. Warren’s books. It Had to be You was not an exception. The characters, the plot, the writing – combined, they created an engaging read that had me laughing and crying with the characters.



WORD Up! says:

April 1, 2014 at 1:42 pm

Susan May Warren has taken two of my favorite things, her books and hockey, and combined them to give me such enjoyment and a few things to think about. Her narrative of the hockey is spot on! Her characters are multi-dimensional and so real that I want them as my friends. I thank the Lord for Christian fiction like this that challenges me in my own walk and pushes me to pray and study the Word about the changes God wants to make in me. This novel led me to speak with Jesus about snap judgment of people, compassion and hope. Although this is a terrific continuation of the stories of the Christiansen family, this novel reads beautifully as a stand-alone.



Iola’s Christian Reads says:

April 1, 2014 at 3:31 pm

I thoroughly enjoyed It Had to Be You. Jace was a wonderful hero, a bit like Mr Darcy in that he was rich and handsome, and Eden’s initial impressions of him turned out to be all wrong. With Eden, I liked the way she wasn’t impressed by Jace’s fame (but perhaps less impressed with the way she held Jace responsible for Owen’s mistakes). Overall, this was Eden’s story, as she was the one who had to learn to see herself as a person of value in her own right, not merely a shadow of her famous younger brother.

One of the strengths of Susan May Warren’s writing has always been her ability to weave Christian themes and lessons into a story without it sounding like preaching, and It Had to Be You is no exception. Recommended for all Deep Haven fans.



Greatly Blessed says:

April 1, 2014 at 5:19 pm

This book will make you smile. It may make you cry. And hopefully, it will make you register to be an organ donor. I know Sam and Maddy’s story made me want to double check my license for that telltale pink dot.

I loved the way there were several different threads going within the story line. I felt made the book more multifaceted. This was a worthwhile read, and I’ll be looking for more books by Susan May Warren next time we make it to the library.



deal sharing aunt says:

April 1, 2014 at 5:35 pm

I liked the ending and I can not wait to read more about this family. I am giving this book a 5/5.



Leah’s Good Reads says:

April 1, 2014 at 7:31 pm

Susie May’s books strike a perfect balance for me. There are two parts I like about a fiction novel- especially a romance. I want to know the behind the scenes thoughts of the characters. If it’s told in first person, I want to know the narrator, and I want to know what the narrator thinks about the other characters. I also want consistent, flowing action that makes sense.

Susie May’s books are the perfect balance. I know the characters. They are fully developed. I know what they’re thinking. I can read their emotions. But there is also a consistent flow of action. Things happen in a reasonable way. Things are not totally predictable, but they are believable.



For Him and My Family says:

April 1, 2014 at 9:00 pm

I have never read any of the Christiansen novels before but I really enjoyed this one. you find yourself drawn to Eden and caring about her and her family. You understand her need to watch over her brother and help him in his life. And then there comes Jace. He’s a bad boy. He’s everything her parents probably warned her about. . . . and yet, he’s also so much more. Can Jace make the right decision to turn his life around? Can Eden take time for herself or will she forever be stuck in her current path? Great read and definitely one you won’t want to put down! It Had to be You is definitely a great book in my mind.



Ashley’s Bookshelf says:

April 1, 2014 at 9:17 pm

This book is not just a simple meeting and falling in love book. Two people do meet and there is a story there, but it is much deeper than simple romance. The author does a great job with her characters, the grow and change throughout the book. Everyone is who they are, but there is always something more. This book will literally bring you to tears and then have you cheering on these characters.
This one is a 5/5. It was a lot deeper book than I was expecting, but in a good way!



pamela blackj says:

April 2, 2014 at 8:43 am

Bloggers Review~ wonderful, delightful, story. the perfect love tale. Thank you to all the ladies and publish team at LitFuse for making book reviews like this one happen! God Bless



Splashes of Joy says:

April 8, 2014 at 9:48 pm

When I finished reading It Had to be You, I felt as though I’d had a front row seat with this family and team! I loved all of the vivid details in each scene. Ms. Warren does an amazing job of pulling you right into the story along with her other characters, and I think that was my favorite part in reading! I can just go on and on about this book, but I think you need to read It Had to be You and see for yourself!



Life Isn’t Always a Fairy Tale says:

April 12, 2014 at 8:18 am

Such a page turner. This book was awesome! First read by Susan May Warren and I loved it! I couldn’t believe how my emotions went from disliking Jace to enjoying him. It’s amazing the emotion that Susan was able to evoke from me as the reader as I was reading this book. It made me laugh, have tears and just feel at home when reading this book. I cannot wait to read the first one in this series and I CANNOT wait until the third book comes out. Well done Susan! You made me a fan of your books!



Serenity Reviews says:

April 15, 2014 at 5:15 pm

It Had To Be You is an emotional roller coaster touring the journey of a couple engaging in the most unlikely of romances. Admittedly somewhat predictable and a little confusing at first, especially if you haven’t read the first book, the novel absolutely successfully pulls on the heart strings of every woman and romantic. The characters are likable and the reader finds themselves rooting for their happiness even as reading about their struggles and despair. This tear jerker is best read with a full box of tissue very nearby.