Book Review: You can physically run away but the problems you’re running from will follow.

If Not For You

By Debbie Macomber 

In the third installment of the New Beginnings Series, Debbie Macomber continues with her “Inspiring series of stories about friendship, reinvention, and hope. These stories affirm the ability of every woman to forge a new path, believe in love, and fearlessly find happiness.”

If Not For You is the story of Beth Prudhomme, moving to Portland, Oregon away from her childhood home in Chicago. One of the main reasons is to create a life outside of her parent’s control. Adding salt to the wound, she is counseled by her Aunt Sunshine, her mother’s sister. A feud has kept the sisters apart since college and of course it all started over a man. Sunshine welcomes Beth to the Pacific Northwest with open arms, hoping someday a reconciliation with her sister might happen. Beth takes a position at the high school as a music teacher where she befriends Nichole. Nichole was featured in book two, A Girl’s Guide to Moving On where she met Rocco. Now married Nichole invites Beth over for dinner hoping she will hit it off with Rocco’s mechanic friend, Sam Carney. 

The two couldn’t be more opposite if they tried. Yet, opposites do attract, at least in magnets. These two, not so much… They couldn’t leave fast enough from the blind dinner date but fate had other plans. Sitting side by side in their respectful cars at a stop light, Beth gets hit by another car. Sam watches the entire accident in a surreal, “This can’t be happening” sort of way. He rushes to Beth’s side, assuring her until the first responders arrive. 

While it is a horrific way for a relationship to begin, it is the accident that breaches the wall between them. Sam continues to “check up” on her in the hospital and during her physical therapy at the rehabilitation center. They soon find they have more in common than they believed. 

As with all of Debbie Macomber’s stories, there are layers upon layers and If Not For You is no exception. The title has significance in so many ways, if not for Nichole, Sam and Beth would not have met. If not for Peter, Sunshine and her Sister, Ellie might still be on speaking terms. If not for the accident Sam might have never moved beyond his protections to see Beth for who she truly is. If not for Beth meddling in affairs she has no business in, Peter would never know Sunshine forgave him for his betrayal. If not for Beth starting the unraveling of the tensions between all of them by moving in the first place, If Not For You couldn’t come full circle to re-weave these family threads into a revised tapestry. 

If Not For You is a magnetic story sure to keep readers stuck to the pages just to find out how it all ends! 

Be sure to visit Debbie Macomber’s website for a reading guide after you purchase this book.

All of the Titles in New Beginnings Series:
Last One Home

A Girl’s Guide to Moving On

If Not For You 


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.

FTC Disclaimer: I received an ARC of this title via Net Galley and Penguin Random House for review purposes only, no other compensation was awarded. 


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