NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • Debbie Macomber has written an emotionally stirring novel that shows how sometimes a choice can seem wrong even though it’s absolutely right.
If not for her loving but controlling parents, Beth Prudhomme might never have taken charge of her life and moved from her native Chicago to Portland, Oregon, where she’s reconnected with her spirited Aunt Sunshine and found a job as a high school music teacher. If not for her friend Nichole, Beth would never have met Sam Carney, although first impressions have left Beth with serious doubts. Sam is everything Beth is not—and her parents’ worst nightmare: a tattooed auto mechanic who’s rough around the edges. Reserved and smart as a whip, Beth isn’t exactly Sam’s usual beer-drinking, pool-playing type of woman, either.
But if not for an awkward setup one evening, Beth might never have left early and been involved in a car crash. And if not for Sam—who witnessed the terrifying ordeal, rushed to her aid, and stayed with her until help arrived—Beth might have been all alone, or worse. Yet as events play out, Sam feels compelled to check on Beth almost daily at the hospital—even bringing his guitar to play songs to lift her spirits. Soon their unlikely friendship evolves into an intense attraction that surprises them both.
Before long, Beth’s strong-willed mother, Ellie, blows into town spouting harsh opinions, especially about Sam, and reopening old wounds with Sunshine. When shocking secrets from Sam’s past are revealed, Beth struggles to reconcile her feelings. But when Beth goes a step too far, she risks losing the man and the life she’s come to love.
Praise for If Not for You
“[An] uplifting and deliciously romantic tale with vibrant characters and a wide range of emotions.”—RT Book Reviews
“A heartwarming story of forgiveness and unexpected love.”—Harlequin Junkie
“A fun, sweet read.”—Publishers Weekly
Macomber (A Girl's Guide to Moving On) continues her New Beginnings series with two parallel stories of love almost lost. New-to-town music teacher Beth and mechanic Sam don't hit it off immediately when their mutual friends Nichole and Rocco set them up on a blind date in Portland, Ore. But the night takes an unexpected turn when Beth is in a car accident that leaves her in critical condition. From that evening on, Sam stands by her as she recovers from her injuries, but once Beth is out of the hospital, their growing bond is tested by their complicated pasts and hang-ups. Meanwhile, Beth decides to help her aunt Sunshine find the one who got away, sparking concerns that she's meddling too much in the lives of others. Although the stories dovetail well, showing Beth and Sunshine's very different relationships founded on unexpected connections, the book itself becomes weighed down by its own subplots, which would be better served by breaking the book in two. Even so, this latest from the prolific Macomber is a fun, sweet read that fans of her style will undoubtedly find satisfying.
IF NOT FOR YOU
Debbie Macomber pulls at our heartstrings with this latest book in her New Beginning series! If you read either of the previous books in the series, you'll be sure to recognize Nichole who is the BFF of the heroine of this one. It was fun to catch up on how she and Rocco are doing and hearing a little about Owen, Leanne & Nicolai! :) I enjoyed the characters and the plot for the most part, but found it a little difficult to connect with them as a whole. There were however several sub-plots that added a lot to the overall book.
Beth Prudhomme was at her wits end with her overbearing mother, so she up and moved from her home in Chicago to Portland, Oregon where her beloved Aunt Sunshine lived. It was exhilarating for her to finally be on her own to find the job of her dreams teaching music to high schoolers, and enjoying living however she wanted to. When her fellow teacher and friend Nichole wants to set her up with a friend of her husband's, she's leary, but she agrees to go.
Mechanic Sam Carney isn't the type of guy she'd ever take home to her mother. He's long haired and tattooed and cusses like a sailor. They are both quick to realize they aren't interested in each other and beat a hasty retreat as soon as dinner is over, but a chance accident at the corner changes their lives in ways they never could have imagined! Sam is the first on the scene after she's hit by a car that ran the red light, and he keeps her calm and stays by her side until help arrives. He goes to the hospital with her and finds himself returning every day while she recovers. The connection they felt at the accident scene and the hours they spend visiting draws them closer and eventually into a relationship. Will they each be able to overcome their own issues and pasts in order to make a future together?
Debbie’s style of writing and gift of story development had a way of keeping me wanting to read more of this novel everyday. She explored many sides of love and forgiveness. I often found the peaks and valleys of the relationships portrayed in this novel were disturbing. Yet I couldn’t put the book down. She