Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Left Hanging

34145839As a nurse and single mom, Darla Battle hides her loneliness behind a smile. But when she discovers that the new cute doctor everyone is talking about is her daughter’s father, she knows she needs to keep her distance from the man who abandoned her and their child, Stella.

When Theo Edwards returns to Nashville to finish his medical training, he never expects to run into Darla, a girl he spent one night with seven years ago. For reasons he can’t fathom, her attitude toward him is frosty, but he still hopes to ignite the spark they once felt.

Once Darla realizes Theo doesn’t know he’s Stella’s father, she has no idea how to tell him the truth. And the longer she waits, the more difficult it becomes. When the situation spins out of control, can the two come together for the sake of their daughter? Or is forgiveness out of reach?

*May Contain Spoilers*

Cindy Dorminy delivers a novel full of love, family, fear, and fun with her new book, Left Hanging. This contemporary romance really does have everything a fan of the genre would want. Once I started it, there was no stopping. 

Darla Battle and Theo Edwards share the spotlight as the main characters of Left Hanging. Darla is a nurse and a single mom who lives for her daughter Stella. In short, she's a fighter. Darla doesn't have many people in her corner but she tries to give her daughter everything. She sees Stella as her single ray of sunshine in a world that has never been easy on her. Darla's a very caring, hopeful woman who fell in love with Theo, a man she spent one night with in college, and never stopped loving him. Her commitment to her daughter is amazing and respectable. Though she's not experienced much luck or happiness over the years, Darla fights away the darkness by loving her daughter. I don't think there's any way readers won't love her character, even when Theo's sudden reappearance pushes her into a flurry of fear and uncertainty. Darla wants Theo to be in Stella's life and her life, and she knows she needs to confront him with the fact that he has a daughter who needs him. The reactions Darla has to various situations make her a relatable character who doesn't know what to do to reach the truth, though she's willing to try again and again. 

Theo Edwards is a doctor with a huge heart who has a lot to offer the world with his generous nature. His desire to help people is evident in his actions and readers will respect him for it. Theo is also open and honest, trustworthy, and caring. When he sees Darla, he knows that she's the one who got away and makes it a point to do everything to reconnect with her. He recognizes that she's afraid and tries to put her at ease, helping her trust him again. Though a huge misunderstanding and the secret that Darla's daughter is Theo's daughter threatens their budding relationship. 

The plot of this novel is a bit tricky because of all the factors that influence Darla and Theo. First off, Theo's ex-girlfriend Mallory (who used to be Darla's friend) refuses to believe that Theo doesn't want to be with her. Second, Darla thinks that Theo knows about Stella and abandoned them. Third, Darla doesn't know how to confront Theo with the news of Stella. And finally, Theo has type one diabetes and believes that he's infertile. Add in the Edwards family and Darla's two best friends and things head quickly toward chaos. The various points of this plot are all connected and work to influence the main characters in their decisions as new situations pop up and impede Darla's progress toward telling Theo the whole truth. The whole fiasco is quite funny, with an ongoing game of hangman throughout the course of the novel, until the plot takes a dangerous turn. At this point, consequences become life or death, adding a dramatic ending to this lighthearted contemporary romance. 

As I said, Left Hanging delivers. It covers so much in the span of a few weeks that at times it seems a little overwhelming. Though the various upsets will push readers to the novel's conclusion. It also gets a little confusing at times as the chapters switch between first person narratives of Theo and Darla. A few times it was hard to keep straight who was narrating. The only thing I wish this book did have was an epilogue. I would have really liked a glimpse into the future of Theo and Darla, but maybe we can hope for a sequel. 

Rating: 4.5/5 Cups

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