Book Review: If Not For You by Debbie Macomber

I decided that it was time to read some of the novels that I had picked up at the library sale. I had read a Debbie Macomber story before and decided that If Not For You would be a perfect Saturday afternoon read.

Genre: Romance, Contemporary fiction


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 thoughts:

For all those of you who have been on a blind date, you can sympathise with the characters when their blind date turns awkward. Their blind date, however, does lead to a romance albeit in a different way. The novel describes a love that slowly grows over a period of time, including all the misconceptions that a new romance does experience.

Even though I have enjoyed a previous novel by Debbie Macomber, this one was slow going for me. As I tried to pinpoint what I did not like about it, I thought about the writing style. The voice of Macomber appears too strongly for me. She explains too much instead of leaving it to the reader to use their own experience to decipher the characters’ experiences. As a result, the story did not flow easily; and the author’s voice distracted me from enjoying the budding romance between Beth and Sam. Is this Macomber’s writing style? I cannot remember and would need to read another of her novel’s soon in order to verify whether it is.

If you can see past the writing style in this novel, this book is a perfect quick read to while away a lazy afternoon.

I give this novel ⭐⭐ 2 stars.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2018

(This novel was the 71st in my 50 book pledge for 2018)

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