Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for Layla Hagen’s Withering Hope!
Withering Hope by Layla Hagen
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Publication date: January 16, 2015
How I got it: From the author
Add it: Goodreads
Buy it: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
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.
I wasn’t really sure what to expect going into Withering Hope, but what I got was an all-consuming book that I just couldn’t walk away from until I finished it. And I didn’t stop thinking about it for quite a few days after finishing.
It’s kind of odd that I chose to read this book considering I am so NOT a good flyer, so I like to pretend bad things don’t happen when flying and planes never crash. But something about the blurb (and the cover!) for this one drew me in and I knew I had to read it. I’m a fan of Layla’s other books, but this one was something totally different for me. And her too, I believe.
I found Aimee and Tristan both to be very likable characters. I’m glad we got to read both of their points of view during the book. It made it that much easier for me to connect with both of them. I enjoyed reading as they learned more about each other and opened up in new ways. What they went through together in the jungle was real and intense – just like the feelings that developed because of that time spent with each other.
As much as I enjoyed the characters and the romance, it was the survivalist aspect that kept me on the edge of my seat. I really admire the way Layla built the world Aimee and Tristan were trapped in after the plane crash. I felt like I was right there with them the entire time. I could picture everything… right down to the spiders and snakes (OMG). Never once was there a time when I could sit back and relax, convinced everything was going to work out. There were too many factors and so many great twists that I found it impossible to be lulled into a sense of security. I love when a book puts me through the paces like this.
Without going too far into spoiler territory, I just have to say that I did have mixed feelings about the second epilogue. I cried when I read it and got just a bit angry that it all went down as it did. I thought it totally unnecessary. It was like someone punched me in the gut. But after some further reflection, however, I think it was just a testament to the power of these characters’ love and I can appreciate it for that. It was bittersweet and I’m ok with that.
I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.