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USA TodayWhy you should read it: I love that author Susan May Warren is writing each book of this series to stand alone, all while growing reader affection for the tightknit Minnesota family from which her characters come. This installment in the Christiansen family saga focuses on Twin Cities¬–relocated daughter Eden, whose presence and help are often taken for granted. She is the family caretaker, the nurturer, and she has no real grip on who she is outside of that identity. With an understated loveliness just waiting to be brought to the surface, Eden is the perfect mix of tough loyalty and personal vulnerability—and she needs help to figure out who she is and what she wants out of life, rather than only enabling the pursuit of dreams for those she loves. Enter, Jace.
Oh, Jace. *fans self* This guy is a professional hockey player with longish dark curls, a bit of beard, the physique of a Scottish warrior and a past that haunts him. He is a devoted friend, cooks a mean grilled cheese, and little children don’t even think twice before curling up in his lap to listen to him read stories — with sound effects! And did I mention he can sing along with Sinatra and Bublé? *fans self again* Jace Jacobsen is total book-boyfriend material . . . and may soon be taking up residence among my “favorite tortured heroes of all time.”
If you have not added this book to your shopping cart by now, check your pulse. It Had to be You is a sigh-worthy, coming-into-her-own romance highlighting the importance of family, the necessity of faith, and how losing yourself for the right reasons can open your heart to something beautiful.