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Withering Hope  By  cover art

Withering Hope

By: Layla Hagen
Narrated by: Coleen Marlo,Michael David Axtell,Christy Romano
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Publisher's summary

A crash landing leads to a crash course in survival...and passion.

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. Aimee Myller's dreams of a fairytale getaway in Brazil come crashing right down with the plane.

Forced to fend for themselves with no civilization in sight, together Tristan and Aimee begin to forage for food and shelter. As they fight for survival, one thing becomes clear: Passion and desire grow faster than vegetation in the rainforest. As they get closer and begin to rely on one another, secrets are revealed. Secrets that neither of them can ignore. Secrets that could destroy them both.

©2015 Layla Hagen (P)2015 Audible, Inc.
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: Romance

What listeners say about Withering Hope

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  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

3.5- why don't you just stab me in the soul- stars

Ok, well that just happened.

I bought this audio while doped up on muscle relaxers and that's just a bad decision all around.

Most of the time I read straight up romance but sometimes it's nice to wave a little action over the top of the romance so after an hour, I was hooked! Aimee and Tristan crash land in the Amazon with all the difficulties and angst you would expect. The book is fantastic.

The reason why I am not jumping up and down begging everyone to listen is the epilogue. I know that I am not in the majority and I don't regret listening at all... But... Hmmm... The ending and I are not best friends. We like each other, we are glad to know each other... But I wouldn't want to have it over every night. If you know what I mean.

Beautiful story, awesome writing, I applaud the author for either a) researching the crap out of the Amazon and diseases and plants or b) really good at bsing.

The narration was on point. Couldn't have been better.

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6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A very addictive story!

This has been on my TBR for a while so when the opportunity to listen to the audio version came up I was saying 'pick me please.' I didn't read the blurb or any reviews first so I went in with no expectations of the storyline. I am so glad that I did that because it made the experience that much more enjoyable for me.

Aimee is en route to her fiance in Brazil to prepare for their wedding day, when the private plane she is in crashes into the Amazon rainforest. Fortunately she is not alone in her survival, the pilot Tristan has also survived and luckily for both of them he is ex-military so has a lot of survival skills hidden up his sleeve.

As the days pass and the hope of being rescued dwindles, these two have to adapt to their new reality and gathering food, looking after their health and keeping themselves safe from predators becomes their new way of life. With nothing else to do they find themselves talking to each other about anything and everything. They get to know each other in a way that neither of them have done with anyone else in their lives.

The situations they find themselves in are, at times, life threatening and this only strengthens the bond between them with feelings of more than friendship growing between them. With the knowledge that they may never get rescued clouding their minds they turn for comfort in each other and this only deepens the connection between them. It also makes Aimee question her feelings towards her fiance and she struggles with the guilt and what she is now feeling for Tristan.

“Tristan slipped into my soul the way mist travels in the forest after the rain: unseen, unstoppable, and ubiquitous.” - Aimee

I had no idea how this was going to play out, what would happen if they were rescued and she had to face her fiance? What if they were never rescued, could they survive a life in the rain forest and if so, how would any future children survive? It is easy to read something and make up your mind about how you would react or deal with a situation if you were in their shoes but that reality is that unless you were living it yourself, there is no telling what you would do.

This was an exciting, thrilling and addictive read. I couldn't stop listening and finished it at 1.30am in the morning. A story that I will remember for a long time from now.

“I used to hate waking up every morning. Now I look forward to every day, even though we're stuck in this place. Because it means one more day with you.” - Tristan

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3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

I loved every minute of this book!

Would you listen to Withering Hope again? Why?

I would listen to it again because the story is one that can never get old.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Aimee and Tristan are my faves because they brought hope, love, and understanding. to this story

Which scene was your favorite?

My favorite scene is the last scene at the end of the book. Not going into details but it made me weep.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I cried, laughed, and smiled through out this tale. It moved me.

Any additional comments?

I loved every minute of this book. Layla does a wonderful job of creating a world and plot that could truly happen.
Aimee has strength, bravery, and compassion for people she didn’t know she had. She feels like she has let her parents down, thereby letting herself down. However, when her plan goes down in the Amazon Rainforest she learns she never lost it and her parents would be proud of her life choices.
Tristan lives in a world few have seen and survived. He fears the dark nights or terror. However, he faces each day looking for a bright light. When the plan he is flying malfunctions he has to become the man he used to be; to survive the threats that come from the rainforest.

Aimee and Tristan have things that haunt them from their past. They have to learn to count on each other to make it another day. The buildup in this story is wonderful. I felt every moment the walls came down. Every moment when they thought it was their last.
I truly loved this story and the connection I felt with each of the characters. You will cry, smile, and hope with them every step of the way.
I highly recommend this book! 5 star read!

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2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Intense and Amazing

So at first, I was intrigued with the story line. But after the plane crash, and the routine of day to day life in the rainforest, I was worried about being bored. Right when I started getting bored, something unexpected (well, it was probably expected since its the rainforest) would happen and shit started getting real. Every time one crisis was averted, another would happen soon thereafter. I would find myself sitting on the edge of my seat in anticipation of what would come next.

Now I want to touch on the emotional factor of Withering Hope. We hear most of the story from Aimee's POV. We really get to know her, and she is a very likable character. We occasionally get short chapters from Tristan's POV about how much she loves Aimee and to what lengths he will go to protect her. It's pretty obvious from his first POV chapter that the love that the two of them are going to have is going to be epic.

A lot of other reviewers have drawn connections between Aimee & Tristan's love to Noah & Ally from The Notebook. Never have I ever been about to compare another love to Noah and Ally. Until this book. Their love is full, complete, breathtaking and heartbreaking. You will tear up. You will be filled with hope, and then despair. Withering Hope is an extremely emotional book, and while that seems obvious to me at this moment after finishing the book, it honestly took me by surprise.

I would love to see this book turned into a movie. I also look forward to reading more books by Layla Hagen. Her writing and storytelling was purely amazing. Lastly, I really enjoyed the narrators. They both captured the emotion perfectly taking the story to its full potential.

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2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Best book ever!

I loved this book. Fell in love with the characters. It was perfect - in every way. Their plight. Fight. Love. Ugh. I listened to the whole thing in one day! It was beyond perfect and beautiful.

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1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

I liked the premise of this, but not the execution

I liked the premise of this, but not the execution. It was a bit slow and the situations were unrealistic and some scenes felt forced in order to fit the story, rather than flow naturally. The ending was interesting, and somewhat unexpected.

The narrator enunciated the words instead of acting them or having the emotion the scenes needed. The narrator also paused a lot between sentences which stilted the flow of the story.

This is a book that'd probably better being read, than listened to.

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1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Pretty mid

Overall this story is pretty mid. Not particularly bad but not particularly good (at least for me). I picked this up because I wanted a slow burn romance survival story. Technically within the context of the story the romance IS slow burn, but since the novel is short it didn’t really feel like it. Narration was okay, not spectacular but it wasn’t bad enough to make me stop listening. And believe me, I WILL stop listening if a narrator is bad.
My main issues occur with the believability of the situation and the MMC. *POTENTIAL SPOILERS*

- They way the animals in the forest behave isn’t realistic and I found myself cringing every time they were described. Jaguars and birds don’t behave like that. The author also missed the word “poisonous” several times which drove me nuts. Snakes and spiders aren’t poisonous, they’re venomous. There is a difference.
- The characters are restricted to a relatively small physical location and yet they always seem to find plenty of birds eggs and fruit to eat. For four months. Doesn’t seem believable unless this “hill” they are on is much bigger than how it sounds.
- I don’t like the characterization of the MMC. We’re told he’s guarded and he’s presented as this strong stoic type but his actions and words don’t seem to match that. He comes off as blubbery and needy when he finally “opens up”. Strong guys can be emotionally vulnerable but the way it was portrayed didn’t seem realistic.
- Speaking of the MMC, he has some POV chapters but they’re so paltry that they serve no purpose. If you’re not going to flesh out a character from their POV then don’t give them chapters.
- Oh yeah, early on the MMC makes mention of some big secret that he doesn’t want the FMC to know. It’s intriguing at first because you think it’s going to make for some twist in the story, but it doesn’t. It’s just him having survivors guilt from his past which doesn’t really impact the story. It’s only purpose is as a catalyst to bring the characters into even closer physical contact.
- No reason for the plane crash it provided. Not the worst but I would’ve liked a reason. What I actually hated was that there was no reason given for the random “no fly zone” over their crash site. WTF? How does that even make sense? It’s like the author couldn’t figure out another way to justify how long it took the characters to be rescued.
- The marriage thing at the end made me gag. Look I get that emotions run high in stressful situations and I’m totally onboard with them falling for each other. But marriage? After four months? Mind you they had no real relationship prior to crashing.
- The epilogue is unnecessary and from a random character’s POV who the readers never even heard mention of before. It was a sweet scene but could’ve easily been included in the final chapter from the MMC’s POV.

I like the idea of the story and I will say it wasn’t boring even though it felt unbelievable. I just don’t think the details were well thought out. There’s definitely a receptive audience out there for this novel, the ratings prove that. It just wasn’t up to my personal standards.

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

meh

mediocre story, details and lack of realistic situations. The 2 narrators pronounce the lead characters name "Amy" 2 very different ways so it's annoying.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

the epilogue! unique sweet love story

wow, what a book. sometimes romance novels can get redundant where you feel like you're listening to the same stories over and over right? well this one is definitely unique. it's interesting and different and just lovely. the previous reviews that talk about the epilogue are spot on. I came close to crying during the epilogue and even said out loud "did ya have to go there Layla?!". that's all I'll say about that.

the whole book was just really well written. she develops the characters thoroughly so it's not one of those instalove/ lust type romances. you truly understand who they are and why the other person falls in love with them.

the narration was ok. her voice for Tristan wasn't much different than her voice for Aimee, which normally drives me crazy but for some reason didn't this time. the story itself distracted from it. the male narrator only does a few chapters fyi, it's mainly from her POV.

if you like true love emotional romances with some strife and challenges this is the book for you! definitely worth a credit.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

5 stars until the very end

& when I say 5 stars til the very end...I mean except for the very end. 😭 like I was so happy and then notebook vibes.

BUT, I could still listen to this book again and again. I think I will make this a yearly read because I don't want to forget it. loved this book so much.

if you want a romance about being stranded in wilderness, this is it!

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