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If Not for You
Cover of If Not for You
If Not for You
A Novel
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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • Debbie Macomber has written an emotionally stirring novel that shows how 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.
Praise for If Not for You
"[An] uplifting and deliciously romantic tale with vibrant characters and a wide range of emotions."—RT Book Reviews

"A heartwarming story of forgiveness and unexpected love."—Harlequin Junkie

"A fun, sweet read."—Publishers Weekly
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • Debbie Macomber has written an emotionally stirring novel that shows how 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.
Praise for If Not for You
"[An] uplifting and deliciously romantic tale with vibrant characters and a wide range of emotions."—RT Book Reviews

"A heartwarming story of forgiveness and unexpected love."—Harlequin Junkie

"A fun, sweet read."—Publishers Weekly
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Excerpts-
  • From the book CHAPTER 1

    v

    Beth

    "Give Mozart a chance," Beth pleaded with the teenage boy who stared doggedly down at the classroom floor. "Once you listen to his music you'll feel differently, I promise."

    The youth continued to avoid eye contact and then chanced a look in the direction of Bailey Madison. Beth had noticed the teenage girl sneaking glances in his direction through most of the class. Before class, both students had asked for transfers, which disappointed her. Beth didn't want to lose either one.

    "I like music, but I'm not into that classical stuff," Noah told her.

    "But you might be if you gave it a chance," Beth said in what she hoped was an encouraging voice. Noah Folgate sat through the entire class period with his arms folded and his eyes closed, except when he took peeks at Bailey.

    "Besides, the only reason I signed up for the class was because my girlfriend, I mean my ex-girlfriend, did."

    "You can stay in the class," Bailey said. "I'm dropping out."

    Beth motioned for Bailey to join them. Noah's gaze narrowed and he crossed his arms and refused to look in the other girl's direction.

    "Bailey, why did you register for the class?" Beth asked.

    Clenching her books to her chest, Bailey shrugged. "I'm in band. I like anything to do with music."

    "Are you and Noah friends?"

    "We . . . ​used to be."

    "Would you like to be again?" Beth asked.

    Noah stared at the teenage girl. Bailey nodded and her voice trembled when she said, "More than anything."

    Noah blinked as though her words had shocked him.

    Beth knew better than to get caught in the middle of teenage angst. She really did, but she'd watched these two closely through class and suspected that whatever had happened between them was what prompted them to ask for a transfer.

    "Noah, would you be willing to give the class another week?"

    The high school junior shrugged.

    "Bailey, what about you?"

    "I suppose that would be all right."

    "Great." Beth rubbed her palms together. "We'll talk again next Friday, and if you both feel the same way, I'll do what I can to help you find another class."

    "Can I go now?" Noah asked.

    "Of course."

    The boy shot out of the class, but Bailey lingered behind. "I know what you're doing, Miss Prudhomme. I don't think it'll help. Noah thinks I cheated on him. I didn't, but I can't make him believe me. I don't know that I can be with someone who doubts me and has trust issues. I'll give it another week, but don't expect Noah to change his mind. If he doesn't, it will be far too painful to be in class with him and see him every day."

    "Of course," Beth said sympathetically. She hoped they could work it out. She'd done what she could; the rest was up to them. She really hated to see them drop out of the class for personal reasons, especially when by their own admission they were both musically inclined. Unfortunately, they had little understanding or appreciation of the depth and beauty of classical music. Given the chance, she believed they would come to love it as much as she did. Noah and Bailey were exactly the kind of students she enjoyed most. The challenge, of course, was to keep the two of them from dropping out of class.

    This was Beth's first teaching experience, but she'd had some success convincing her private piano students to give Schubert, Bach, and Beethoven a try. Once they'd learned about the great composers and played their music, her private students had been hooked. Beth hoped to hook these high school students as well.

    Feeling like she'd made headway, Beth straightened her...
About the Author-
  • Debbie Macomber, the author of Sweet Tomorrows, A Girl's Guide to Moving On, Last One Home, Silver Linings, Love Letters, Mr. Miracle, Blossom Street Brides, and Rose Harbor in Bloom, is a leading voice in women's fiction. Ten of her novels have reached #1 on the New York Times bestseller lists, and five of her beloved Christmas novels have been hit movies on the Hallmark Channel, including Mrs. Miracle and Mr. Miracle. Hallmark Channel also produced the original series Debbie Macomber's Cedar Cove, based on Macomber's Cedar Cove books. She has more than 200 million copies of her books in print worldwide.
Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    January 23, 2017
    Macomber (A Girl’s Guide to Moving On) continues her New Beginnings series with two parallel stories of love almost lost. New-to-town music teacher Beth and mechanic Sam don’t hit it off immediately when their mutual friends Nichole and Rocco set them up on a blind date in Portland, Ore. But the night takes an unexpected turn when Beth is in a car accident that leaves her in critical condition. From that evening on, Sam stands by her as she recovers from her injuries, but once Beth is out of the hospital, their growing bond is tested by their complicated pasts and hang-ups. Meanwhile, Beth decides to help her aunt Sunshine find the one who got away, sparking concerns that she’s meddling too much in the lives of others. Although the stories dovetail well, showing Beth and Sunshine’s very different relationships founded on unexpected connections, the book itself becomes weighed down by its own subplots, which would be better served by breaking the book in two. Even so, this latest from the prolific Macomber is a fun, sweet read that fans of her style will undoubtedly find satisfying. Agent: Theresa Park, Park Literary.

  • Library Journal

    November 1, 2016
    A stand-alone with a few characters from A Girl's Guide to Moving On, this latest from the No. 1 New York Times best-selling Macomber stars Beth, who's escaped her conservative Chicago parents for Portland, OR, where she works as a high school music teacher. Can she find love with tattooed mechanic Sam?

    Copyright 2016 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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If Not for You
A Novel
Debbie Macomber
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