Blurb: 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.
It Had to Be You by Susan May Warren is book two in the Christiansen family series. Since I wanted to like the first one so much, I had to give book two a shot. (I can never decide if it’s the book or the author just isn’t my cup of tea until I read at least two books, sometimes more if I really wanted to like them.) This was also another story featuring a star hockey player. I’m really not into sports but this is the one sport I do have a vague fanship for so I enjoyed that aspect. Especially as it addresses the serious physical danger hockey and football players face, which is the reason I have qualms with liking the sport.
While not as overwhelmingly serious as the first book, it was still a heavy story – not a light and fluffy romantic read, that’s for sure. I liked Jace and Eden a lot. There were times I got frustrated with Eden as she judged him based off her initial impression and then was constantly jumping to conclusions over everything he did. I found Jace a very sympathetic character so it was hard seeing her judge him so harshly (though, of course, I had the advantage of reading his POV while she didn’t. 😉 ) There was also a heart-wrenching side-story involving a young girl in desperate need of a transplant.
The book also included a novella, I Really Do Miss Your Smile, about the Christiansen parents. When it came to the romance, I liked it better than the main books since it was cuter and fluffier. But I thought it suffered from the drawbacks I usually find in novellas – not enough character development and a bit of insta-love. But that’s definitely personal taste – I rarely care for novellas but many people love them.
Over all, I’d say it’s an excellent series, just a bit too heavy for my tastes. Are there sports you especially like/dislike to read?
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