Member Reviews

"It Had to Be You" puts a fresh spin on the "Mr. and Mrs. Smith" concept. Tautly written, spicy but propulsive enough to keep it from spilling into romance novel territory, with delightful European backdrop to boot. Good for fans of unhinged/sociopathic/murderous MCs, assassins, bucolic (if bloody) train rides through Europe.

Was this review helpful?

Thank you Berkley and PRH Audio for my gifted copies. All opinions are my own. I’m so glad I requested It Had to Be You. This was such a wild ride and I couldn’t put it down.

Eva and Jonathan meet on a crowded sleeper train to Paris. They have an instant connection and hook up but don’t expect to see each other again because love isn’t common when you’re an assassin.
They meet again months later at the Hall of Mirrors in Versailles because Eva is hired to kill Jonathan. This starts a wild journey across Europe. The audiobook narration by Will Dameon and January LaVoy was perfection!

I’d recommend this if you liked The Blonde Identity or The Takedown. This was slightly more unhinged but I couldn’t stop reading it!

Was this review helpful?

Thank you Berkley for the gifted digital ARC!

I really enjoyed this sexy Mr. and Mrs. Smith-esque novel. It was a quick read with short chapters (which I love) and I also enjoyed that we got to read from both Eva and Jonathan's perspectives.

The ending was very twisty and fun and I really enjoyed how everything wrapped up. This is a perfect vacation read!

It Had to Be You pub date is July 16.

Was this review helpful?

“I would die for her, I think, I might even let her kill me”

OKAY TOXIC ROMANCE GIRLIES UNITE! we ride at dawn with this thriller romance that gives mr and mrs smith meets butcher and blackbird 😮‍💨

this wasn’t my favorite by this author, but it was such a wild ride I was here for it!! two assassins-for-hire meet by chance on a mission, only to pick up a hit on each other six months later 🫨 and you know I love a good dramaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

the pacing was all over the place which kept me from getting super invested in the story - it kept switching from so much action to total description based writing that made me want to skip entire chapters 🫡🙃

overall, the story itself had good bones, but it was a one and done shot for me 🤠 the characters were a total hot mess, especially for their trauma filled past (which they super glossed over??? give me flashbacks!!)… and the 360 they both did at the end? made zero sense I swear

I did binge it in one night so that was a fun time, but I think I’d rather just watch mr and mrs smith or re-read the butcher and blackbird series!!! thank you to berkley for the gifted advanced and gifted copies in exchange for an honest review!

rating: 3 stars
wine pairing: provence rosé

Was this review helpful?

This might be the best book I've read all year. European summer, I'd tell you but then I'd have to kill you, and LOTS OF STEAMY SCENES THAT HAD ME SWEATING. This book was surprisingly fun and fact paced. I didn't expect to love this as much as I did, but I truly couldn't put this down. I couldn't even tell whether I was sweating from the anticipation of them killing each other or about to jump each other's bones –– that's how THICK the tension was. If there's any couple I'll be rooting for, it's these two. It's disgusting how stupidly obsessed I am with this book. As soon as I finished it, I felt this compulsion to pick it up again and fall in love with this story. This left a book size (bullet?) hole in my heart and I need another book to fill it, asap, but I fear Eliza Jane Brazier pulled off my favorite trope so beautifully that nothing else even begins to compare. Begging for a sequel. Anything. Please.

Was this review helpful?

What do you get when you mix two contract killers, a huge romantic attraction, and a lot of weapons? A ridiculously sexy ride. Loved every minute of it. This book is a total Mr. and Mrs. Smith action - packed romp! I was hooked from page one. The characters are as wild as the predicaments they find themselves in. I hope this turns into a series. Total fun. Loved it.

Was this review helpful?

This book was Mr. and Mrs. Smith on steroids! There's a lot going on aside from steamy interludes between Eva and Jonathan (aliases, not their real names), because they are both assassins for hire. When they find out that someone wants the both of them dead, they prepare themselves for the ultimate showdown. I really enjoyed the alternating POVs of Eva and Jonathan. It was awesome to be able to get inside each of their heads. I loved their internal monologues, the fun twists, and the real laughs. I’m not sure if this was an action thriller disguised as a romance, or a romance disguised as an action thriller? Whatever you want to call it, it was a fun ride. I could not put this one down. There was also quite a bit of spice which was unexpected but I'm glad that it fit in the story and never felt too out of place. This is definitely a book for people who like dark humor, characters that are emotionally tortured, and who love a good cat and mouse game. The tense scenarios were fun and fresh, showing off their skills as deadly assassins that's actually fun to go through. Thanks to Eliza Jane Brazier, Netgalley and Berkeley Publishing Group for an e-arc in exchange for my thoughts. I look forward to Eliza’s next novel!

Was this review helpful?

Eliza Jane Brazier came out swinging with this sexy cat and mouse thriller that's a refreshing take on the Mr. and Mrs. Smith relationship.

Eva hooks up with a sexy stranger named Jonathon on a sleeper train from Florence to Paris, expecting to never see him again. Months later she's shocked when she received her next mark, and it's Jonathon. Both Eva and Jonathon are extremely skilled assassins, and soon, they are embroiled in a lethal flirtation that places them at odds with each other. As they try to outplay one another, their feelings for each other complicate things, and the lines of love and death blur.

This was a perfectly paced, incredibly fun take on assassins with sexual tension. I really enjoyed the way Brazier switched between each killer's POV, which ratcheted up the suspense as I tried to figure out who was telling the truth at each turn. The emotional depth of both characters made them accessible and approachable, and I was burning through the finale pages to see how everything was going to play out.

Fans of Mr. and Mrs. Smith (especially the new series from Donald Glover) and sexually charged thrillers will devour It Had to Be You!

Was this review helpful?

I was excited to read this book! With the promise of a Mr. and Mrs. Smith premise, it did deliver on two characters who are delusional and fall madly in love. However, I wanted action! I craved adventure, fight scenes, something fast paced, but when a scene ramped up, it was over too quickly, losing my attention. The plot was riddled with holes, loose ends that left me wondering about the aftermath of several characters.

Was this review helpful?

Thank you Berkley and NetGalley for the ARC

What a pleasant surprise! This was such an entertaining read...it gave John Wick but make it rom com. I had a lot of fun reading this one and would recommend to others.

4 maybe 4.5 stars!

Was this review helpful?

It Had to Be You tells the riveting story of two assassins facing a deadly dilemma - they are each other's targets. Traveling through Western Europe, they must fight their mutual attraction while playing a dangerous game of desire and death. This intoxicatingly suspenseful and provocatively steamy book drew me into a forbidden romance filled with suspense and intrigue. I was captivated by every thrilling moment.

Was this review helpful?

Everyone knows that Eliza Jane Brazier is a full-blown auto-read author for me and her latest 2024 novel, IT HAD TO BE YOU, further cements that. IT HAD TO BE YOU is the most unhinged, spicy, and BEST novel that she has ever written and I cannot wait for everyone to get their hands on this unique romance-thriller!

Eva and Jonathan are two contract killers who meet unexpectedly on a sleeper train from Florence to Paris; unbeknownst to them about their secret career paths. Their chemistry is magnetic and the two hook up while on the train, but leave each other thinking they may never see each other again. When the two end up running into each other six month later in the Hall of Mirrors (my favorite place ever!!) in Versailles, the two's magnetic pull towards each other further is harnessed. However, Eva was contracted to kill Jonathan, leading to a total collision of their worlds in ways we would never expect.

I knew this book would be spicy but HOT DAMN did it get spicy! IT HAD TO BE YOU is the perfect combination of Carola Lovering meets Lisa Jewell. This book is sexy, wild, unhinged, amazing, spectacular, the moment, iconic, and a total blast. I read IT HAD TO BE YOU in one sitting because I couldn't put it down. I do think this book hits harder for me because it involves toxic romance and ummmm, I can relate! This book is so unique and hard to pinpoint how to categorize, but I think it's a romance-thriller? All I know is that Eliza Jane Brazier has busted the door down on a new subgenre that I want more of. Readers of this author must prioritize this—it's an amazing beach read. Expect IT HAD TO BE YOU to be in my top reads of the year!

Was this review helpful?

It Had to Be You by Eliza Jane Brazier is about Eva and Jonathon, contract killers who meet on a train. Soon after, they are hired to kill each other.

This book is labeled as a thriller, but to me, it felt like a romance book with a super fun twist. I loved the alternating POV, so you really knew what each character was thinking. There were several great spicy scenes.

Overall, this was a fun book to read! I enjoyed it and would recommend. It Had to Be You is being published July 16, 2024.

Thank you to Berkley Publishing and NetGalley for the eARC.

Was this review helpful?

📣 a steamy thriller with steam & a HEA

Thanks to the publisher & Netgalley for the complimentary ARC. All opinions provided are my own.

📖 what’s the last book that made you go 😮?

That time Jess barely read a summary before requesting a book & realized later she missed some crucial details…

I thought Eliza Jane Brazier’s It Had To Be You was gonna be like a Julie James’ book. I realized very quickly—maybe after one of the leads said how much they loved killing people—that I was wrong.

The title of this book sounds so romantic. There’s no denying that Eva & Jonathan have a special kind of relationship, that they are attracted to each other & devoted to each other, & that they are each other’s person.

They’re also contract killers who at different moments in the book lie to each other & even try to unalive the other.

Potato, po-tah-to.

This book is not for the faint of heart & there were a couple of times I got a bit squeamish. (I don’t usually like my characters to like killing 🤣). But it’s also often funny & sarcastic & occasionally poignant, & the two leads do make a human & romantic connection that feels like a HEA at the end.

This book was not at all what I was expecting. But I ended up having fun on the ride.

4.25 ⭐️. Out 07/16.

[CWs: murder, violence, suicide ideation, reference to past abuse. When they first meet she knows he is high but she sexually propositions him & they have sex.]

Was this review helpful?

Two assassins meeting on a sleeper train to Paris sounds like the beginning of a joke, but it was also an excellent setup for this book. Eva meets Jonathan on the train and they hit it off immediately, although neither of them admits what they do for a living. They have one incredible night together and then separate, never to see each other again. Except, then Eva's next job turns out to be killing Jonathan. This sets them off an a whirlwind trip throughout Europe, getting to know each other and the organization lurking in the shadows.

This was an incredibly fun summer read. Eva and Jonathan have both done terrible things but somehow I found myself rooting for them from the very beginning. The assassinations are thrilling and getting inside the minds of these two contract killers was the most interesting character study. This would be so fun to devour by a pool or a beach if you're in the mood for a pretty fantastical thriller!

Was this review helpful?

I loved the dual points of view and seeing the inner thoughts of the characters. What a unique story as well! I enjoyed the intrigue, the travel, and the couple. It was a great weekend read!

Was this review helpful?

Review has been posted on Goodreads and instagram

Arc Review
Publishing Date-7/16/2024
My Rating- 4.5 Stars

“She wears a long black dress and long black gloves to hide any bloodstains. She carries a silver purse, a Glock, and a prayer”

What To Expect/Content Warnings
❤️‍🔥Dark Romantic Comedy
❤️‍🔥Dual POV
❤️‍🔥He Falls First
❤️‍🔥Contract Killers
❤️‍🔥European Setting
❤️‍🔥Spice, Spice and more Spice
❤️‍🔥Murders
❤️‍🔥Talks Of Suicide
❤️‍🔥Use of Guns & Knives

“She is crazy, and it is so fucking hot. I want to get down on my knees and worship her, the only god in this whole chapel”

My Thoughts-
This book is exactly what I needed to get me out of a slump. I throughly enjoyed this book. For me this was such a fun and face paced read. The premise is so unique. Two contract killers who are both ordered to kill one another, but end of falling in love. Sign me up. This was a very engaging read. I wanted to know who put the hit out on the both of them, and I wanted to see what would happen between these two, romantically or in death. Between the banter and inner monologues I was cackling. This is certainly a deranged and dark book but the comedy aspect lightens the mood. The characters were very likable and flawed. Even though the main characters were cold blooded killer, they both had a soft side that most can relate to. This was a chaotic read and I loved every page, I definitely recommend this book.

“What did I expect was going to happen? He told me he was going to kill me, several times. I acted like it was foreplay”

“I would die for her, I think. I might even let her kill me”

Playlist-
💋Bad Guy- Billie Ellish
💋Burning Desire- Lana Del Rey
💋Too Sweet- Hozier
💋Never Be The Same- Camila Cabello
💋Bad Habits- Steve Lacy
💋Down Bad- Taylor Swift
💋Paint The Town Red- Doja Cat
💋Sunflower- Post Malone
💋We Found Love- Rihanna
💋Dont Blame Me- Taylor Swift
💋Blinding Lights- The Weekend
💋Levitating- Dua Lipa
💋Murder On The Dancefloor- Sophie Ellis Bextor
💋Passport Bros- Bas, J.cole

✨Thanks to NetGalley, The Author, & Berkley Publishing for an advance copy of this book in exchange for an honest review ✨

Was this review helpful?

Unstable assassins assigned to kill each other and they fall in love? Sign me up. Really enjoyed this one even though the tone was a little all over the place, but I am always here for stories about being on the run in Europe. Dark and frothy, an entertaining ride.

Was this review helpful?

Special thanks to @Berkleyromance @Berkleypub and Netgalley @netgalley for this e-arc. All thoughts are my own.


Eva and Jonathan hook up on a sleeper train in Paris and never expect to see each other again. They each felt a spark, but sparks aren’t allowed in their line of work.

Six months later, they run into each other again. This time not by chance. Eva has been hired to kill Jonathan. She’s a contract killer and doesn’t know he is too.

This kicks off a high-stakes adventure across Western Europe. As they get close to completing their assignments, it becomes clear that they are also being hunted by something more dangerous than love.


The way this book started out made me immediately have to suspend all rational thought because in what world would this happen? I just couldn’t fathom it happening at all. But, setting that aside, the story continued with some drama and angst. The middle felt like it was long and drawn out, and I’m still not sure that everything was needed to make the story. I think that a lot of the things that happened in the middle could have been removed to tighten up the plot and make for a more enjoyable read. I know that this book was supposed to be enemies to lovers, but I’m confused because they were never enemies so how does that work? Wouldn’t they just be lovers? I went into this book expecting so much more based on the synopsis, but it never fully developed for me. I did enjoy the European setting, which was a lot of fun, but the setting can’t carry the whole book.

Was this review helpful?

A fun rom/thriller in the vein of Mr and Mrs. Smith--lots of drama and hijinks. Loved the setting as well!

Was this review helpful?