Monday, January 19, 2015

Withering Hope by Layla Hagen is Now Available & Reviewed

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.

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Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca

Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

Damn you Layla Hagen. I just finished reading Withering Hope and my eyes hurt and my nose is stuffed up from crying. The last book that left me feeling this way upon its conclusion was Always by Kindle Alexander. I found myself so invested in Aimee and Tristan that I felt their guilt, their pain, their happiness, their fear, their love, and their loss on a soul deep level. This is one of those books that will stick with me for a very long time; one that I might never read again, but don’t regret one single tear shed over it.

As the blurb indicates, the majority of the story takes place while Aimee and Tristan are stranded when their plane crashes in the Amazon rainforest. Ms. Hagen wastes no time in getting straight to the action. While there is no buildup of the characters and their backstory, Aimee’s memories and flashbacks provided enough history that I was drawn in almost immediately. Like Tristan, I underestimated Aimee’s resolve and expected her to break down several times throughout the ordeal. Her strength was awe-inspiring and those rare times when she finally did break down, I couldn’t fault her for it. While most of the book is told from Aimee’s point of view, we do get a few chapters from Tristan’s POV and while short, they reveal a lot about Tristan and his feelings toward Aimee. He was drawn to Aimee long before the crash, but the gratitude he had for Chris, Aimee’s fiancé, and the respect he had for both Chris and Aimee made him keep his distance. After the crash, he continues to do so while doing everything that he can to insure her safety. When Aimee inadvertently soothes Tristan’s inner turmoil, he admits to himself that he cannot give up the peace she brings him. Even though Tristan realizes that his feelings toward Aimee have changed, she resists self-examination of her feelings because she loves Chris and has since they were children. But when the jungle seems intent on testing their mortality, Aimee is forced to admit that the love she feels for Chris does not compare with what she has come to feel for Tristan. Rather than being smothered by guilt, Aimee finds that this admission actually frees her and she becomes determined to live happily with Tristan for as long as the rainforest will let them because nature’s threats are getting closer and more dangerous.

Withering Hope is a romance that is full of drama, action, danger, and love. Unlike many of the angst-fueled books I read (and enjoy), the drama within is not manufactured by the characters but rather, it is due to their surroundings and their circumstances. Being faced with life and death situations cause both Aimee and Tristan to examine their lives, their feelings, and their expectations. I have a tendency to enjoy books in which the characters engage in serious self-examination and Withering Hope is no exception. While I can’t say that Aimee and Tristan’s story is a happy one, I can say that they find happiness in the time they have together. So when you’re ready for a story of true love and you don’t mind shedding the tears that go with it, grab your hanky, find a quiet place to read in private (because no one in real life is pretty crier), and settle in for a read that will break your heart while mending it at the same time. Beautifully done Ms. Hagen.

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.

Connect with Layla

Facebook  ~  Twitter  ~  tsū  ~  Website  ~  Goodreads

Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Withering Hope by Layla Hagen to read and review for this tour.

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