Thursday 29 January 2015

Review: Withering Hope by Layla Hagen with giveaway

 **** 4 Stars

Withering Hope by Layla Hagen 

Publication date:
January 19th 2015
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

The Blurb


Aimee’s wedding is supposed to turn out perfect. Her dress, her fiancé and the location—the idyllic holiday ranch in Brazil—are perfect.

But all Aimee’s plans come crashing down when the private jet that’s taking her from the U.S. to the ranch—where her fiancé awaits her—defects mid-flight and the pilot is forced to perform an emergency landing in the heart of the Amazon rainforest.

With no way to reach civilisation, being rescued is Aimee and Tristan’s—the pilot—only hope. A slim one that slowly withers away, desperation taking its place. Because death wanders in the jungle under many forms: starvation, diseases. Beasts.

As Aimee and Tristan fight to find ways to survive, they grow closer. Together they discover that facing old, inner agonies carved by painful pasts takes just as much courage, if not even more, than facing the rainforest.

Despite her devotion to her fiancé, Aimee can’t hide her feelings for Tristan—the man for whom she’s slowly becoming everything. You can hide many things in the rainforest. But not lies. Or love.

Withering Hope is the story of a man who desperately needs forgiveness and the woman who brings
 him hope. It is a story in which hope births wings and blooms into a love that is as beautiful and intense as it is forbidden.

My Thoughts

I loved the sound of this synopsis so much that I had to sign up for Layla Hagen's blog tour. What was great about this book is that for the most part it really is all just about the two main characters - Aimee & Tristan. With them being stranded in the Amazon rainforest the focus is all on them and we don't meet anyone else until right at the end. The fact that it is all about the two of them and their blossoming relationship makes for a really powerful read.

So we have Aimee flying out on her fiance's private jet to the Brazilian ranch where she is just days away from marrying her childhood sweetheart & best friend, Chris. Everything is perfect & her head is full of the wedding when the plane develops a fault and the pilot Tristan, has to make an emergency landing in the middle of the jungle. Aimee & Tristan then find themselves forced to spend time with each other in isolation until either help arrives or they are able to make their own way out.

For most of the story we see everything from Aimee's point of view with just a few chapters thrown in to tell things from Tristan's perspective. Tristan is clearly a man in great pain, full of guilt and tortured by something that happens in his past. He is however drawn to Aimee and there is something about her that settles him & brings him peace.

My peace carries her smell and sounds like her voice.                                 It feels like her touch,                                                                       But I have to give up that peace. 

For once, something is happening that will pull me out of that pit - it already does.                                                                                                                                 Someone.                                                                                         And now that I've found her, I can't give her up.
As the story starts out Aimee tries her best to keep her thoughts of her fiance & upcoming wedding at the forefront of her mind and does her upmost to fight her her growing attraction to Tristan. However being with someone 24/7 in a dangerous situation for day after day, week after week means you come to depend on that one person as you fight for survival and so the inevitable happens & Aimee starts to let Tristan in.

Tristan slipped into my soul the way mist travels in the forest after the rain: unseen, unstoppable, and ubiquitous. Our feelings resemble the mist in a way, too. When you're surrounded by the mist you don't see it clearly, though you feel it in the thickness of the air. You know it's there, but you can't touch it or know for sure if it's real.

This book is a wonderful story about survival & fighting the odds, it is both passionate and powerful. At times heartbreaking but with just enough of a glimpse of hope. Layla Hagen is able to build the chemistry between Aimee & Tristan to such an intensity it almost leaves you breathless. She starts out with a small spark but that ignites into something so much deeper, Aimee & Tristan become almost one person. I adored both of their characters, both well written and I could really feel Tristan's pain.

One of the things I enjoyed most about this book was the amount of suspense Hagen was able to build. Not knowing whether either Tristan or Aimee would make it to the end of the story made sure I was totally immersed. As you would expect being stranded in the jungle threw up so many possibilities of one or the other meeting their fate but this book was about hope & the connection I felt to the characters meant I was willing them both on.

And finally the epilogue of this book is one of the most beautiful things that I have ever read and one of the most magical things about this book. I highly recommend it for fans of romance against all odds & who like a little bit of danger & heartbreak thrown in. Be prepared for a rollercoaster ride & have your tissues handy.

About The Author

My name is Layla Hagen and I am a New Adult Contemporary Romance author.
I fell in love with books when I was nine years old, and my love affair with stories continues even now, many years later.
I write romantic stories and can’t wait to share them with the world.
And I drink coffee. Lots of it, in case the photo didn’t make it obvious enough

Author links:


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  1. Great review, Sam! This sounds really intense and highly character driven which is awesome! I love how much emotional range it seem to have, too! Glad you liked it! :)

  2. Thank you so much for this wonderful review!! I am immensely happy you liked their story so much, and the epilogue!!