If Not for You, by Debbie Macomber

if not for you
Image belongs to Ballantine Books.

Debbie Macomber is a #1 New York Times best-selling author, and has written dozens of books in her career. She also loves to knit and help others, including her Knit 1, Bless 2 program. Debbie’s newest book is If Not for You, in the New Beginnings books, a series of stand-alone novels.

Beth Prudhomme loves her parents, but she’s had enough of her loving but domineering mother. So, Beth moves to Portland, near her Aunt Sunshine, a free-spirited artist. Beth gets the job she’s always dreamed of, as a high-school music teacher, and makes new friends, including Nichole and Rocco, who set up a blind date with Sam, a tattooed mechanic. Beth is reserved and proper, Sam is rough around the edges and unconventional:  the opposite of everything Beth’s mother wants for her.

After their awkward blind date, Beth and Sam leave, thinking themselves unscathed, but Beth is in a bad wreck, which Sam witnesses. He stays to comfort her, and finds himself drawn to her hospital room…and to Beth herself. Their attraction surprises them both, and they have many obstacles to overcome. Sam has the secrets of his past, and Beth her tendency to take trying to help a little too far. And then there’s her mother…

I loved A Girl’s Guide to Moving On, a previous book in the New Beginnings series, and some of those characters show up here, which I’ve always loved. The characters in this book really make it so worth reading. Beth is fighting a lifetime of habit and trying to forge a life of her own when calamity strikes. The she must deal with an injury as well as her own faults. And Sam has spent so many years hurting that he can’t imagine not hurting. As the two of them grow—together but separately as well—the reader is privileged to watch their choices change them.

(Galley provided by Ballantine Books.)

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