“Withering Hope” by Layla Hagen – My Review


Title: “Withering Hope”

Author: Layla Hagen

Genre: Contemporary / New Adult Romance

Release Date: 19th February, 2015.


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.  


My Review

ARC provided by the author in exchange for an honest review

This is such an incredibly beautiful love story I hardly know where to begin. It is a story of despair, of love, of hope. And it is about a love story that is filled with beauty amidst a cruel setting. I cried, I laughed, and I swooned while reading “Withering Hope” by Layla Hagen, and I dare you to not do the same when you pick it up.

I have only admiration for the heroine, Aimee Myller: she seems to be a strong, determined young woman, and I think that her zest for life is portrayed really well. She has a deep sense of loyalty, too, and the way she feels guilty as she begins to develop deeper feelings towards Tristan Bress feels very realistic and genuine. I would also like to add that the fact that she does everything in her power to be an asset to Tristan, instead of a liability, in the Amazonian jungle is what made me fall in love with her completely.

“I thought the bond between us here in the rainforest was one of friendship. But maybe it’s more. Maybe I feel more for this man who’s not only the strongest person I’ve met, but who also seems more determined to keep me alive than himself.” (Aimee)

Tristan is a very complex, mysterious, and such a closed-off character – in the beginning of the book, at least – and I admit that I was so invested in peeling away his secrets, layer by layer, that I forgot all about the time and that I simply kept reading until the clock struck two in the morning! (This does not happen often, by the way.) Once Tristan’s past and secrets were revealed, my heart broke for him, and I loved seeing how his love for Aimee changes him in many ways. This man has such a beautiful soul, and I love how the author surprised me: what you see is definitely not what you get when it concerns this man. Not in all matters, anyway.

“I wish I could take care of her and make her happy in the way she deserves. I wish I could start fresh with her.” (Tristan)

I have to say that I was a bit sceptical about the setting of this book when I first started reading it, BUT my doubts were very soon put to shame. The fact that most of this book does not involve any secondary characters at all is a bold move by Miss Hagen, but she managed to keep me enthralled throughout the entire book. The imagery in the book is very vivid and lifelike. Miss Hagen possesses a gift of transporting me into her world, and her storytelling skills are simply amazing: she truly made me believe that I was in the rainforest with Aimee and Tristan. Moreover, I have to applaud her for writing such a unique and well-researched love story.

It should not come as a surprise that being the sole survivors of a plane crash makes Aimee and Tristan form such an incredibly strong bond. The fact that their connection ends up being such a profound and meaningful love – one that defies logic, perhaps – is told in a very unique way, and that is why I give the book my highest rating: 5 stars.

“Those terrifying months in the rainforest were, in a way, a gift. Maybe it’s true what they say, that without darkness, you can never truly appreciate the light.” (Aimee)

I loved every page of this romance novel: it is different, the characters complement each other extremely well, and the environment is portrayed in a realistic way. To me, the pace of the story is perfect, and the manner in which Aimee and Tristan’s love for each other develops is remarkable, yet realistic. The ending and the epilogue made me sob – not something that happens often, I might add – but not in a sad way: no, I was a very happy bookaholic because of the beauty of it.

Miss Hagen, thank you for such a wonderful reading experience! “Withering Hope” is most definitely an all-time favourite book of mine. ❤



Amazon US

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Layla Hagen Profile

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



Goodreads Author Profile




Random Musings Of A Bookaholic, part 3

Hello, everyone.

I know it has been a while since I made a similar post. Initially, I thought I would write such a post twice a month – however, I have to admit that I do not have the time to do that, so I am cutting it down to once a month instead. Besides, I am not that interesting. 😉

Today, I thought I would tell you a but more about myself and I will also give you my current TBR list. I do have a few ARCs to read as well so I think it is safe to say that my list will not differ much over the next few months. You never know with me, though…

So, onwards to giving you a little more insight as to who this Danish Bookaholic is.

1) I am not a journalist or a professional writer of any kind. My day job is in the shipping & freighting business. Rather shocking, is it not? To tell you the truth, I never thought that that would be my line of work…Sometimes, I still wonder if I made the right choice, career-wise, but isn’t that always the way? Anyway, I enjoy it very much because I get to talk with a great many different people every day + I LOVE being a problem-solver!

2) Before I met my hubby, I did not, under any circumstance, want children. I was 100% positive that I did not carry the “Mum Gene”, and I did not even like children that much. I know, I know, it sounds pretty stupid. I am still the kind of person who needs my “alone time” and luckily, I am blessed to have an amazing husband who understands and respects that about me and gives me that. ❤️

3) I absolutely HATE it when people are late and do not call me to say they will not be able to meet me at the appointed time. EXCEPT when my closest and dearest friend does it. (You know who you are. 😉) I have known this woman since 5th grade so I am used to the fact that she is often 5-10 mins late.

4) I have an illness: it is called OWPD – “Obsessed-With-Paperbacks-Disorder”. LOL! Okay, one should never joke about these things but it is true. I think the hubby was under the impression that I would buy less paperbacks when I got my Kindle – but he was so wrong! Whenever I have read a book I love, I have to own the printed version, too…Sorry, hubby! 😉

5) I will rather spend money on books than clothes. Please do not get me wrong: I love shopping! I love new clothes, to dress up and make myself look great. I especially love beautiful lingerie. BUT: if given the choice, I would rather spend my last dollar on books…A true bookaholic, eh?

So, there you have it: 5 random things about me. I hope I have not bored you to death! 😉

And now for my current TBR list…As always, ARCs are not included. I hope you will get inspired! ❤️

Wicked_Beat.JPG LouderThanLove TryCoverJustHuman StillHuman New Playing With Her Heart cover StubbornLove ALittleTooFar Consequences Truth Convicted Stripped.JPG

As with my previous similar posts, click on the title of the book and you will be directed to Amazon Kindle Store.

“Wicked Beat” by Olivia Cunning – I know, I know…Eric Sticks is actually my favourite of the Sinners boys, so I really need to read his story.

“Louder Than Love” by Jessica Topper – Sigh. I really want to read this so I best get on with it.

“Try” by Ella Frank – My second M/M read and all the bloggers I know are raving about this book!

“Just Human” & “Still Human” by Kerry Heavens – I was so lucky to win these books and the reviews are fab!

“Playing With Her Heart” by Lauren Blakely – I am fast becoming a fan of this author’s work and I have been told that this is one of her best books.

“Stubborn Love” by Natalie Ward – The companion novel to “I Love You To Death” which is one of my all-time-favourites.

“A Little Too Far” by Lisa Desrochers – I love a good book with a taboo love story and this one has two!

“Consequences“, “Truth” and “Convicted” by Aleatha Romig – I am prepared to get my mind blown away and am glad I bought the books once all three became available.

“Stripped” by Jasinda Wilder – I am guessing I will be in need of a sweet romance after having read the above books so that is why this one is back on my list.