If Not for You

Ballantine. (New Beginnings, Bk. 3). Mar. 2017. 384p. ISBN 9780553391961. $27; ebk. ISBN 9780553391978. CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE
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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