Tuesday, March 21, 2017

If Not For You by Debbie Macomber

Title: If Not For You
Author: Debbie Macomber
My Rating: B

Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: New Beginnings #3
Main Characters: Beth and Sam
Release Date: March 2017
Publisher:  Ballantine Books
Links to Purchase:
Sexual Intensity: mild

Story Overview:
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. 
My Review:
When I first began this book I wasn't sure I would be able to make it through it. Beth has a serious issue in that she's a complete pushover. Letting her mother control everything about her life until the age of 25...I just can't fathom that and even hearing about it after the fact drove me nuts. 

But while this book does touch on that dysfunctional relationship a lot, the focus for me was Beth and Sam. I love that they meet on a blind date and both agree at first meeting that there is no way they are a match. But when Beth is in a car wreck on the way home...that Sam witnesses...it connects them in a much different, deeper way. I loved that little twist and the fact that they aren't people who would normally connect. 

Because of the nature of how they connect, their relationship is a really slow build. I loved that especially since it meant Sam wasn't scared away...until he was already in too deep. I also really loved although their backgrounds and styles are completely different, they connect over music. I loved the visuals of their jam sessions in the rehab clinic. 

I also really loved the addition of Beth's aunt, Sunshine. She adds so much depth and dimension to the story. I also really love the side story that featured her. In fact, eventually I came to love all the story that featured Beth's family...especially at the end. 

The story started out really strong...with the car accident. But it lost a bit of momentum in the middle that it gained again toward the end. Overall, though, it was a good story. I enjoyed reading it. 
I received a complimentary copy of this book in return for an honest review.

No comments: