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It Had To Be You is my very first SEP book and I fell in love with it! This book was published in 1994 and that is really important to note because it affects your understanding of the book.
I’m what you call someone who grew up in a time prior to the internet boom, so I know what it was like prior to that. So yeah. This book has a little bit of a nostalgia factor.
No cell phones!
No social media!
Gils V Boys – no girls in sports!
$100,000 was a huge sum of money
And best of all the amazing Walkman!
It is a little funny reading the book now because we are dealing with athletes and celebrities and there is really no mention of modern tech, so that’s pretty neat!
Despite all that, the romance alone stands the test of time. It’s been 24 years since this book has been published and the plot is still as relevant today as it was when it was first published.
I’m a sucker for books with daddy issues and this one has it in spades! Phoebe Somerfield inherits the Chicago Stars Football team from her father with the condition that the team wins the AFP Championships.
It Had To Be You is one of the few books that I’ve read that features a curvy girl described as really curvy! I have read a few books featuring curvy heroines, but they normally aren’t that curvy, if you know what I mean.
The hero, Dan Calebow, Head Coach of the Chicago Stars is the typical alpha male – and a bit misogynistic. Initially, he came off as a douche and I honestly had to try hard to remember that this was written in 1994. His thoughts on women were highly traditional and he was definitely judgmental AF! In the end, though, this gruff hero won me over.
I honestly think the best thing about It Had To Be You is the character development. Phoebe does a lot of growing up and a lot of soul-searching. She is an amazing heroine and a feminist even before feminism became a thing. She hid behind a veneer of a haughty spoiled rich kid when in fact she was the sweetest most loving person. Definitely a perfect heroine for Dan.
Trigger warning! There is a rape incident in this book. This is Phoebe’s backstory and there are a few instances where she relieves that fateful night. However, what Dan did for Phoebe was really sweet and awesome.
I also love Phoebe’s relationship with her younger half-sister, Molly. I also love how their relationship developed from animosity to love and I’m looking forward to Molly’s own HEA.
I’m not a fan of football. In fact, I don’t understand it and I don’t think I’ve even seen one game. But you know what? That AFP Championship games’ last few minutes had me at the edge of my seat even though I knew what the ending would be! That was an awesome play by play, SEP!
I am so glad that I picked up this It Had To Be You. While I don’t care much for the narrator, I still enjoyed it. It is an awesome book about love, life, redemption, coming to terms with preconceived notions, and healing.
If you haven’t read this book before, pick it up and read it! I can’t recommend this book enough!
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Do you like reading older contemporaries or does the lack of tech bother you?
Lorelei AA7 says
Loved your review. I know I’ve read or listened to it a while back, and now I want to go back and listen to it again!
I don’t mind missing all the technology and other things you listed that was missing. I really enjoyed it in fact. But it’s good that you mentioned it in your review because often one can think -oh, he/she could have texted or called, or googled, but that wasn’t part of what we did in the 90’s I think.
Yes, it was quite nostalgic to read about books without the modern tech 🙂
Quinn's Book Nook says
I’m so glad you loved this! I really like it, too, but also agree that Dan can be a bit judgmental. It was so great to see Dan really get to know Phoebe. I actually really like Anna Fields as that narrator. I’m sorry she wasn’t your favorite. I think she narrates all the books but the most recent one. But my favorite in this series is definitely Match Me If You Can.
Anna Fields’ narration is actually growing on me. I just finished This Heart of Mine and I don’t mind the narration as much as I did before 🙂
Lover Of Romance says
I have been wanting to read this so badly, its my on my TBR FOREVER!!! And the good ole days with no cell phones or automatic windows and WALKIE TALKIES hehe The younger generations are so spoiled now hehe
Lover Of Romance recently posted…Book Review-The Duke with the Dragon Tattoo by Kerrigan Byrne
hahaha yeah, I know what you mean 🙂 but I found it really fascinating and nostalgic remembering the good ‘ol days! Also, SEP is an amazing Rom-Com writer! I mean WOW! I was LOLing as I listened to the audio!
Can you believe that I have yet to read a book by SEP? Nereyda likes her books I think, so I need to give this one a shot. I love love love that she is curvy and that the author didn’t shy away from describing her that way. I’m glad you loved this one!
Nick recently posted…A Story Of Grief & Finding Oneself: The Other Side of Lost by Jessi Kirby
Oh you should try her, Nick! She has a way of writing Rom-Coms that are absolutely funny and romantic, too!