Monday, January 19, 2015

Book Tour Review & Giveaway: Withering Hope by Layla Hagen

Title: Withering Hope
Author: Layla Hagen
Publication Date: January 19, 2015
Publisher: Self published
Pages: N/A (ebook)
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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.


As you might already be aware if you stop by regularly, I'm not a super huge fan of contemporary fiction. That being said, once I read the blurb for Withering Hope I was sure I had to read it! I'm a sucker for survival stories and the New Adult genre is growing on me...

Withering Hope begins with Aimee on her way to her fiancé and her wedding. She's known her pilot, Tristan, for years and has always been friendly with him. But that friendship is pushed to a whole new level very quickly as the pace ramps up only a few pages in and the two are stranded in the rainforest together.

This book doesn't waste any time getting straight to the punch - the rainforest is a dangerous place and there isn't much hope for rescue. Layla Hagen has painted a fascinating and terrifying picture within the pages of Withering Hope, never sugar coating the horror or beauty of the rainforest. Reading about the physical trials of Tristan and Aimee in their dangerous surroundings was heart-stopping enough, but then there was a whole added layer of emotional difficulties as Aimee attempted to reconcile the feelings she had for Tristan, the man keeping her alive, with the fact that she was supposed to get married before their plane took what comes to feel like a permanent detour.

The two main characters in Withering Hope are likable and sympathetic. As a married woman, I could totally sympathize with Aimee's dilemma when it came to Tristan. I almost immediately began to root for them as a couple - after all, who could blame her after everything they've gone through? As a war veteran, I was also able to sympathize with the PTSD Tristan endured and his unwillingness to let Aimee in. I loved the romance between them and, unlike in some New Adult books, it was believable and natural instead of forced. Definitely no instalove here!

Withering Hope made me feel in ways that most books do not. I celebrated when they had any small victory over their situation and I cried with them too (something that literally has never happened). Layla Hagen did a fantastic job creating characters and a world that drew me in and wouldn't let go for days after I finished the last page. Maybe I won't be so quick to dismiss contemporary NA in the future.

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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