Title: Withering Hope
Narrators: Coleen Marlo, Michael David Axtell & Christy Romano
Publisher: Audible Studios (Unabridged)
Length of Production: 6hrs and 57 mins
Publication: December 11, 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.
The narration by Coleen Marlo as Aimee and Michael David Axtell as Tristan and pacing of the audiobook makes for an easy listen. The extended time and wildly growing dangerous atmosphere of the rain forest Aimee and Tristan experience effectively separates the characters and the listeners from the real world. Which makes their isolation and less than possible chances of surviving, being found or making it out of there on their on and alive even more gripping.
The bond and love between Aimee and Tristan has a slow development, which I enjoyed and appreciate because I’m a believer of slow burns and giving a story and characters times to fully understand and be sure about their connections and decisions. Seeing as how this book is only roughly 7hrs long, I was really impressed with how well these two characters were fleshed out.
Aimee’s character has the most dramatic change from the beginning of the book as we learn more about her lonely childhood and seemingly rational compliance to marry her close, yet brother-like friend, Chris.
Although I would have liked to have had more of Tristan’s perspective in this book, I think the listeners will empathize with Aimee’s character as she deals with her growing feelings toward Tristan and the life she’s left behind.
No rescue helicopter arrives. Not the following morning, or any morning after it. I expect Aimee to break down, but she doesn’t. It shouldn’t surprise me, though. I’ve suspected she is strong since I first met her.
Chris Moore hired me as his pilot two and a half years ago, giving me the chance for a
fresh start I so desperately needed. I was grateful to him, and even liked him. Despite his wealth and success, he was grounded and unpretentious. When I first met Aimee, I was pleasantly surprised to learn that she was just as unassuming.
And so much more.
She went out of her way to be friendly, making it easy to adjust to my side job as her driver when Chris didn’t need me as a pilot. I suppose I came off as cold to her, because I only acknowledged her effort with a curt thank you. But I wasn’t used to anyone being friendly to me. Over the past years people had either shown me pity or feared me. Not Aimee. Of course, she didn’t know anything about my past—Chris kept his word and never told her.
When first I drove Aimee to Chris’s parents’ mansion, I realized Aimee hadn’t given me any special treatment. She was genuinely friendly to everyone on the staff. They all liked to be around her.
So did I.
I liked it a little too much.
She had a way of growing on people without even trying. She was warm and eager to get to really know people. A bit too eager… and the secrets I carried were best left buried. So I was content with being around her, or observing her from a distance.
From where it was safe.
Here, where our lifeline depends on working and sticking together, where I’m prepared to do just about anything to keep her safe, it will be hard to keep that distance, but I will do my best.
Welcome! My name is Layla Hagen and I am a 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 🙂