WITHERING HOPE by Layla HagenWithering Hope by Layla Hagen
Published by Gallery Books on January 19th 2015
Pages: 266
Genres: Contemporary, Love & Romance, Romance
eARC provided by The Author



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.

Reading time 5 mins

Layla has done it again! Withering Hope made me swoon, and cry, and then swoon some more. Her characters are flawless and she just has this ability to draw you in and make you love them. This story had fear, romance, heartbreak, and joy all wrapped into a nice book sized package.

Aimee is on her way to meet her fiancé. A few more days and she will finally be marrying her best friend Chris. In route on the private plane the pilot, (Tristan), runs into trouble and has to land….in the amazon. Grateful to be alive but stuck with no means of communication and very few supplies, Aimee and Tristan have nothing but each other. Tristan has survival skills but is a bit broken by his past. Aimee might be the only one who can break down his walls. Despite being in love with Chris, Aimee begins to feel something for Tristan she never felt for Chris. This is more than just a fleeting fling. They grow to really love each other. Their tale is one of survival and hope in the most unlikely place.

I don’t read much contemporary romance. Layla Hagen is one author who writes so well, she makes me forget my disdain and just enjoy the romance. Aimee and Tristan don’t have an insta love. There is a triangle brewing in the background but that didn’t even bother me. These two simmer over their feelings and the them have a mutual attraction with angst that has merit. I loved that Aimee has such a big heart and how Tristan was so strong. Aimee really struggles with missing her wedding, maybe it was for the best but she needed this to realize that. Their love overcomes their circumstances. Aimee and Tristan are not superheros and their adventures show their faults as well as help them work on strengths. I was on the edge of my seat for a while thinking someone might not make it. These two go through a lot in this story.

 I won’t spoil this for you. I will just say that the ending of this tale made me cry, in front of my Miguel and my kids. I wept and it took about a half an hour for me to explain to reassure them that it was the book and not something they had done. This was such a bittersweet tale of love that endures. This book touched me deeply. Thank you Layla!


(Tristan’s POV)
No rescue helicopter arrives. Not the following morning, or any morning after it. I expect Aimee to break down, but she doesn’t. It shouldn’t surprise me, though. I’ve suspected she is strong since I first met her.
Chris Moore hired me as his pilot two and a half years ago, giving me the chance for a
fresh start I so desperately needed. I was grateful to him, and even liked him. Despite his wealth and success, he was grounded and unpretentious. When I first met Aimee, I was pleasantly surprised to learn that she was just as unassuming.
And so much more.
She went out of her way to be friendly, making it easy to adjust to my side job as her driver when Chris didn’t need me as a pilot. I suppose I came off as cold to her, because I only acknowledged her effort with a curt thank you. But I wasn’t used to anyone being friendly to me. Over the past years people had either shown me pity or feared me. Not Aimee. Of course, she didn’t know anything about my past—Chris kept his word and never told her.
When first I drove Aimee to Chris’s parents’ mansion, I realized Aimee hadn’t given me any special treatment. She was genuinely friendly to everyone on the staff. They all liked to be around her.
So did I.
I liked it a little too much.
She had a way of growing on people without even trying. She was warm and eager to get to really know people. A bit too eager… and the secrets I carried were best left buried. So I was content with being around her, or observing her from a distance.
From where it was safe.
Here, where our lifeline depends on working and sticking together, where I’m prepared to do just about anything to keep her safe, it will be hard to keep that distance, but I will do my best.

My Rating

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.

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