Review & Giveaway: Withering Hope by Layla Hagen

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 received a copy from the author in exchange for an honest review*

The setup of the story certainly was very original. A plane crash in the middle of the Amazon, with nothing to help you survive except some limited supplies and a hot pilote. When I put it like that, I know it sounds cheesy, but that's definitely not what we got.

With the first half of the book more focused on the survival in the jungle, didn't always make it very easy to connect with the characters. Though I do feel more prepared should I ever end up in a situation like Tristan and Aimee. So while it was interesting, that spark needed to come soon.

Luckily it did. Even though Aimee was on her way to her wedding, it becomes pretty clear from the beginning that not everything was as happy go lucky between her and her fiance. Still he meant a lot to her, and the thoughts of him don't go away that easily. Considering the extreme conditions Aimee is in right now with Tristan, makes the connection between them grow. Due time it becomes harder for her to hold on to what she had before and what she feels for Tristan is undeniable. I liked how it wasn't "I'm here in the jungle with a hot guy, FU fiance and lets shag away." There was an inner emotional struggle she needed to overcome, before she could take that next step with Tristan.

Tristan, who BTW was a total badass in the jungle. The man has some serious survival skills, even though they are not natural born, I think both him and Aimee were very lucky at that time. Being stuck in the jungle with a pretty women has both advantages and disadvantages. He certainly has more trouble hiding how he feels about Aimee. The only thing that might hold him back is his past, and his loyalty towards Aimee's fiance for giving him a chance. Still when you're stuck in the jungle so long with one person, a certain bond will form no matter what. This one just happens to turn out pretty positive for them two.

Withering Hope was a good story. For me the emotional connection between the two characters could have been deepened out a bit more, the same with his past. While the survival skills were interesting, they didn't always feel necessary in the continuum of the plot. Still each character had its own charm and fun qualities. I wouldn't consider it a fast read, though it did have a certain lightness to it, even despite the predicament Aimee and Tristan find themselves in.

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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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  1. I really enjoy survivalist stories so I'm def intrigued by this one! Great review, Athena! Glad you liked it! :)

  2. Thank you so much for the review, Athena <3