Read It Had to Be You (Christiansen Family) Online

Authors: Susan May Warren

Tags: #FICTION / Christian / Romance, #FICTION / Romance / Contemporary

It Had to Be You (Christiansen Family)

BOOK: It Had to Be You (Christiansen Family)
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PRAISE FOR SUSAN MAY WARREN

“A gem of a story, threaded with truth and hope, laughter and romance. Susan May Warren brings the Christiansen family to life, as if they might be my family or yours, with her smooth writing and engaging storytelling.”

RACHEL HAUCK, BESTSELLING AUTHOR OF
THE WEDDING DRESS

“Warren’s new series launch has it all: romance, suspense, and intrigue. It is sure to please her many fans and win her new readers, especially those who enjoy Terri Blackstock.”

LIBRARY JOURNAL

“Warren . . . has crafted an engaging tale of romance, rivalry, and the power of forgiveness.”

PUBLISHERS WEEKLY

“Warren once again creates a compelling community full of vivid individuals whose anguish and dreams are so real and relatable, readers will long for every character to attain the freedom their hearts desire.”

BOOKLIST


Take a Chance on Me
is the first of six books in this new series from prolific author Susan May Warren
 
—and I couldn’t be more excited! I’ve already fallen in love with the Christiansen family . . . and I can’t wait to see how Warren brings true and lasting love into the lives of Darek’s two brothers and three sisters.”

SERENA CHASE,
USA TODAY

“A compelling story of forgiveness and redemption,
Take a Chance on Me
will have readers taking a chance on each beloved character!”

CBA RETAILERS+RESOURCES

“Warren’s latest is a touching tale of love discovered and the meaning of family.”

ROMANTIC TIMES

“Susan May Warren pens a delightful story of heartache and healing in her latest Deep Haven novel, which introduces the Christiansen family and a new series of contemporary romance tales.”

RELZREVIEWZ.COM

“Susan Warren writes with a fresh, new voice and creates characters that will delight her readers.”

KAREN KINGSBURY,
NEW YORK TIMES
BESTSELLING AUTHOR

“I’m proud of Susie; my friend gets better with every book.”

DEE HENDERSON,
NEW YORK TIMES
BESTSELLING AUTHOR

“Warren handles well the many facets of lives intertwined by love, hope, and tragedy.”

PUBLISHERS WEEKLY

“Warren’s characters are well-developed, and she knows how to create a first-rate contemporary romance.”

LIBRARY JOURNAL

“Vibrant characters and vivid language zoom this action-packed romance to the top of the charts. This is a one-sitting read
 
—once you pick it up, you won’t want to put it down.”

ROMANTIC TIMES

“An eminently readable story, perfect for book clubs. . . .”

CROSSWALK.COM

Visit Tyndale online at
www.tyndale.com
.

Visit Susan May Warren’s website at
www.susanmaywarren.com
.

TYNDALE
and Tyndale’s quill logo are registered trademarks of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.

It Had to Be You
copyright © 2014 by Susan May Warren. All rights reserved.

I Really Do Miss Your Smile
copyright © 2013 by Susan May Warren. All rights reserved.

I Really Do Miss Your Smile
previously published by Susan May Warren Fiction, LLC.

It Had to Be You
cover photograph copyright © Pali Rao/Getty. All rights reserved.

I Really Do Miss Your Smile
cover photograph copyright © Dmitriy Shironosov/
Dreamstime.com
. All rights reserved.

Designed by Jennifer Phelps

Edited by Sarah Mason

Published in association with the literary agency of The Steve Laube Agency, 5025 N. Central Ave., #635, Phoenix, AZ 85012.

Scripture quotations are taken from the
Holy Bible
, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2007, 2013 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

Scripture quotations in
I Really Do Miss Your Smile
are taken from the Holy Bible,
New International Version
,
®
NIV
.
®
Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by Biblica, Inc.

Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
www.zondervan.com
.

It Had to Be You
and
I Really Do Miss Your Smile
are works of fiction. Where real people, events, establishments, organizations, or locales appear, they are used fictitiously. All other elements of the novels are drawn from the author’s imagination.

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

Warren, Susan May, date.

  It had to be you / Susan May Warren.

       p. cm. – (Christiansen family)

  ISBN 978-1-4143-7842-8 (sc)

1. Women journalists
 
—Fiction. 2. Hockey players
 
—Fiction. 3. Brothers and sisters
 
—Fiction. I. Title.

  PS3623.A865I83 2014

  813´.6
 
—dc23 2013032947

ISBN 978-1-4143-9060-4 (ePub); ISBN 978-1-4143-8437-5 (Kindle); ISBN 978-1-4143-9061-1 (Apple)

Build: 2014-01-10 08:53:42

For Your glory, Lord

CONTENTS

     
Prologue

     
Chapter 1

     
Chapter 2

     
Chapter 3

     
Chapter 4

     
Chapter 5

     
Chapter 6

     
Chapter 7

     
Chapter 8

     
Chapter 9

     
Chapter 10

     
Chapter 11

     
Chapter 12

     
Chapter 13

     
Chapter 14

     
Chapter 15

     
Chapter 16

     
Chapter 17

     
Chapter 18

     
Chapter 19

     
Chapter 20

     
Chapter 21

     
Chapter 22

     
Epilogue

     
I Really Do Miss Your Smile, free series prequel novella

     
Chapter 1

     
Chapter 2

     
Chapter 3

     
Chapter 4

     
Chapter 5

     
Chapter 6

     
Chapter 7

     
Epilogue

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

I
LOVE TEAM SPORTS
 
—football, basketball, hockey
 
—because they illustrate that it takes every player working their position with their A game to produce a win. Writing a novel is no different, and the more books I write, the more it becomes clear to me that producing a powerful story takes a team of people.

I am deeply grateful to the following “teammates” who brought their A game to this story:

David Warren, who knows exactly the right questions to ask me as I build my plot. I expect his books to line my own shelves someday!

Noah Warren, who is always willing to listen, brainstorm, and give me great ideas. Another storycrafter in the family!

Peter Warren, who taught me that letting go of your superstar is a good thing, even if it’s painful. You make me proud of the man you’ve become.

Sarah Warren, who helps others find their dreams, supports mine, and lifts her voice to inspire us all. Thank you for being exactly you.

Andrew Warren, for sharing the journey with me. It had to be you.

Rachel Hauck, for helping me craft every scene, every moment, every sentence. You are my secret weapon. (Okay, not so secret anymore!)

Elaine Clampitt (aka P. J. Ryley), who knows her hockey. Thank you for fielding my endless hockey questions and tapping into your network of coaches and family to find me exactly the scenarios that would work. All mistakes are mine alone
 
—but I am grateful for your knowledge, patience, and insights! I can’t wait to read
your
hockey books!

Alena Tauriainen, dear friend and amazing writer. Thank you for giving me God’s words for the unseen. You are a treasure to me.

A special shout-out to Diane Stoddard and her amazing book club friends for their brainstorming. Thank you for “Jace”!

Karen Watson, for her enthusiasm and dedication to this series. Thank you for investing in these stories.

Stephanie Broene, for her ideas and insights that make every book stronger.

Sarah Mason, for making me sound good. You work magic with every mess I send you.

The readers of the Christiansen series, especially the SMW Fiction launch team. Thank you for praying, encouraging, and sharing my books with such enthusiasm. I’m blessed by your generous support.

Steve Laube. Amazing agent. Pastor at heart. Dear friend. The Calm One. Thank you.

Jesus
 
—of course
 
—who shows me that I can trust Him with every single book to untangle it and reveal new truths that set me free. Thank You for fresh grace and for teaching me to delight in You too.

My dearest Eden,

I suppose, someday, after I have passed, you will dig through my journals and happen upon this letter. I pray that it finds you as amazed at the life God has gifted to you as I was when I discovered a daughter in my arms.

In truth, Eden, I thought you would be a son. In fact, I feared having a daughter because I didn’t know how to parent a little girl. Not yet, having only Darek for experience. I quickly discovered not only that you were not Darek, but that having a daughter would become one of my greatest delights. I saw myself in your curiosity, and when, at the tender age of two, you climbed onto my lap holding a book and said, “Read to me, Mommy,” I knew you would be special.

While Darek stretched my faith, you, Daughter, taught me to enjoy the journey. I relished the moments when you would wrap your arms around my neck, meet my eyes, and tell me a story. “Mommy, wait until you hear what happened to me today.” Whether it was the discovery of a bird’s nest in the yard or one of your siblings (probably Casper) digging themselves into trouble, you knew how to rivet me to your every word.

You’ve always been a storyteller, Eden, but more than that, you can look at someone and find the good in them, something to believe in. And if you can’t see it, you simply create it. You give your heart wholly to the ones you love, are
fiercely loyal, and don’t know how to let them fail. More, you blame yourself when they disappoint you.

This may be your biggest challenge. Because I fear that for all your ability to see the potential in others, you’re blind to it in yourself. You see your value only in what you bring to your siblings, your friends, your world, instead of believing in the remarkable woman you are, in the person God created.

For some reason, you believe you are a failure. Only you believe this. And only you can change that belief.

As a child, you would spend your free time buried in a book, hiding in other worlds, other lives. I believe you are still hiding. That it feels easier, perhaps, to believe you aren’t as amazing as your siblings. But you don’t have to change the world to earn the applause of heaven.

My prayer for you 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).

I pray you hear the delight of your Savior, Daughter, as we have been delighted with you.

Always,

Your mother

BOOK: It Had to Be You (Christiansen Family)
3.94Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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