ROMANCE

If Not for You

Ballantine. (New Beginnings, Bk. 3). Mar. 2017. 384p. ISBN 9780553391961. $27; ebk. ISBN 9780553391978. CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE
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Having left her Chicago hometown for Portland, OR, and now far from her controlling mother's influence, music teacher Beth Prudhomme is tentatively spreading her wings. She even accepts a blind date with a man who would horrify her mother! But beneath his rough exterior, Sam Carney is a decent, caring guy, and although he's not into relationships, when a texting teen driver lands Beth in the hospital, it's Sam who's there when she needs him. A likable supporting cast (Beth's flamboyant, artistic Aunt Sunshine is a standout) keep the action moving and the plot intriguing in a well-crafted story that includes several romantic relationships and is rich with unresolved interpersonal issues.
VERDICT Wholesome and thoughtful, Macomber's latest is a heartwarming treat. Macomber (Twelve Days of Christmas) lives in Port Orchard, WA.

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