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New Release Review and Giveaway! WITHERING HOPE by Layla Hagen

I may never get on a plane again…

Withering Hope by Layla Hagen
Publication date: January 19th 2015
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance


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.



Withering Hope has convinced me that the Amazon rain forest isnot a dream vacation destination…unless I’ve got a real shower with plenty of shampoo and body wash and a laundry service…and maybe not even then. BUGS.

Withering Hope was an intense read. Aimee and Tristan meet a lot of challenges together in the rain forest: insects, wild animals (snakes!), poisonous plants, isolation, the weather… They have very little in the way of supplies; fortunately Tristan, ex-military, has some working knowledge of survival in hostile terrain and puts them in the right path for finding edible food, making weapons, and so on. Aimee, who isn’t really an outdoors kind of girl, had a lot of adjusting to do.

They cobble together an existence, though, growing closer all the while. Aimee has a lot of issues with guilt–she is already engaged, after all, to the best friend she’d known since childhood–and Tristan’s dark past adds a lot of anguish to his mental state as well. But eventually they can’t resist any longer…

The majority of the novel is told from Aimee’s point-of-view, with short snippets here and there from Tristan’s. It’s pretty clear to readers early on from Aimee’s thoughts that Aimee and Chris’s relationship probably shouldn’t have gone in a romantic direction, but it took the principal members of the relationship much longer to figure this out than anyone else–you feel bad for Chris, but not horrible.

The time spent on the island is by far the most engaging part of the book–the time after doesn’t feel quite as real. I really felt as if I could have done without the epilogue altogether, and almost wish I hadn’t read it–definitely not my cup of tea. Still, it was an engrossing story about love and survival. With bugs. And jaguars.

Rating: 4 stars / B+

I received a complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review.


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

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  1. Haha I think the bugs would get to me first I’d probably be scared of those more than the freaky wild animals that must roam that forest! It sounds like a great read, though, and survivalist stories do make you appreciate what you have, eh? I also recommend On the Island which I read and loved recently, though it seems a bit more slow paced than this one.

  2. Oh, I don’t know–the jaguars were pretty terrifying! (But the bugs were more prevalent throughout the story…)

    Oh, I really liked On the Island! (And I didn’t think I would at all.) But yes, this one has a much more life-threatening feel to it.

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