If Not for You by Debbie Macomber (review by Kristi)

if not for you

About the book:  An emotionally stirring novel that shows how obstacles can be overcome, differences can be strengths, and 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.

Kindle Edition                                  Published March 21, 2017 by Ballantine Books

 

My review:  This book was everything I expected from Debbie Macomber. Down-to-earth characters, a believable storyline, and great writing combined to make this a quick and easy read for me. If Not for You is classic Debbie Macomber.

While the premise of this book could be seen as very cliche for romance, upper-class woman meets rough-around-the-edges guy, Debbie keeps the story fresh and real. I like her writing style and the way she writes about everyday people. She keeps the story interesting and keeps the reader engaged from beginning to end.

There is a great mix of characters in this book that adds to the realness of the story. All of the characters are well-developed. I liked the chemistry between the two main characters and how their relationship went from awkward to friends to more. There is a natural progression to their relationship that adds to the story and makes it that much more realistic.

Fans of Debbie Macomber are sure to enjoy this story. This would also be a great introduction to the author and her writing. I like to think of this author’s work as “comfort reads”. A nice, cozy read for a lazy afternoon.

I received a free copy of this book from the publisher through Netgalley and was not required to write a positive review. All opinions are mine.

 

About the author:  Debbie Macomber is a #1 New York Times bestselling author and one of today’s most popular writers with more than 200 million copies of her books in print worldwide. In her novels, Macomber brings to life compelling relationships that embrace family and enduring friendships, uplifting her readers with stories of connection and hope. Macomber’s novels have spent over 990 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list. Sixteen of these novels hit the number one spot.

In 2016, Macomber’s all-new hardcover publications include A Girl’s Guide to Moving On (February), Sweet Tomorrows (August), and Twelve Days of Christmas (October) and an adult coloring book, The World of Debbie Macomber: Come Home To Color (April). In addition to fiction, Macomber has also published two bestselling cookbooks, numerous inspirational and nonfiction works, and two acclaimed children’s books.

Celebrated as “the official storyteller of Christmas”, Macomber’s annual Christmas books are beloved and five have been crafted into original Hallmark Channel movies. Macomber is also the author of the bestselling Cedar Cove Series which the Hallmark Channel chose as the basis for its first dramatic scripted television series. Debuting in 2013, Debbie Macomber’s Cedar Cove was a ratings favorite for three seasons.

Macomber owns two businesses in Port Orchard, WA, the town which inspired the Cedar Cove Series. These include The Grey House Café, formerly the Victorian Rose Tea Room, featured in the Cedar Cove Series, and A Good Yarn Shop, introduced in her popular Blossom Street novels. They are located on the Village Square campus, which also serves as Debbie’s corporate headquarters.

She and her husband, Wayne, serve on the Guideposts National Advisory Cabinet, and she is World Vision’s international spokesperson for their Knit for Kids charity initiative. A devoted grandmother, Debbie and Wayne live in Port Orchard, Washington and winter in Florida.

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