Book Review: Withering Hope

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Amazon synopsis: “En route to a tropical paradise, overworked and dedicated Aimee Myller is ready to begin her new life. But when the plane defects, the pilot, sexy Tristan Bress, needs to make an emergency landing in the heart of the Amazon rainforest.

With no way to reach civilisation, being rescued is their only hope. A slim one that withers away, desperation taking its place. Because death wanders in the jungle under many forms: starvation, disease, and fangs of beasts.

Forced to fend for themselves, Tristan and Aimee begin to forage for food and shelter. As they fight for survival, they grow closer. Despite knowing he’s off limits, Aimee can’t deny her attraction to Tristan. 

Tristan knows Aimee is the one woman he can’t have. But how can he fight love when she’s slowly becoming everything to him?”

Length and medium: 262 pages, Kindle ebook

Published by and date: Layla Hagen on January 18, 2015

Destiny’s Thoughts

I think anyone that’s ever seen or read romance can find out where this story is going just based on the synopsis. I like that. I love reading books or watching movies that seem incredibly predictable because there’s always something that’s a bit different than you expected.

This book was one I began fully knowing the ending but hoping for a bit of a surprise and I’m happy I took the chance. I don’t want to give too much away but I half expected a more passionate relationship between the two from the beginning. I figured she would be worried about surviving but doing barely anything to help, holding on to the hope of rescue while he makes awful jokes about living there together forever together like some kind of Lost situation.

Instead, Aimee was strong from the beginning. She listened to Tristan and the two of them worked on surviving and keeping each other sane. There are even a few chapters sprinkled in from Tristan’s point of view that seem to really admire her ability to adapt and be useful.

The one thing that drove me nuts about Aimee was her privileged life. Her parents were rich but very humanitarian. She became a lawyer and graduated early with all her effort and dedication. Everything just seemed so easy for her. She adds in a sob story but I just couldn’t engage with her back story well. It felt… not really perfect but not really something I could relate to either. Her parents left her alone often to go save villages from military coups or dig wells. I can’t quite place why her story rubbed me the wrong way but I found myself rolling my eyes whenever she shared something from her past. Her strength and willingness to help, though, really warmed me to her.


Even with Aimee’s pampered lifestyle, I ate this book up. I read through it so quickly and hadn’t even realized how much progress I was making until I came to the epilogue. I’d liken the feeling to eating a bag of chips while watching tv and then you suddenly feel more of the wrapper than the chips and look down to see two left in the bag. I wanted more but knew that I had to make the most of it.

I’d recommend this book to romance readers and anyone interested in a story of how survival and shared struggle leads to an unbreakable bond. Though it does get a bit mature so probably wouldn’t get it for 17 or younger audiences.

If you’d like to check out this book, click here.

Layla Hagen has many more contemporary romance novels. She has been crowned an USA Today bestselling author. You can check out some more of her books and her website here.


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