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The Flight of Hope

By: HJ Bellus
Narrated by: Lacy Laurel
Length: 8 hrs and 26 mins
5 out of 5 stars (1 rating)

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Publisher's Summary

A tragic accident. A mother in mourning. Can a second chance rise from the wreckage? 

Marlee Foster’s life was just getting started. She couldn’t wait for the return of her husband from deployment. After all, he’d be there just in time for the birth of their daughter. The welcome home party is full of joy, but on the way home, tragedy strikes…

When Marlee loses her husband and daughter, her friends and family do their best to heal her broken heart. But painful reminders of a future she’ll never see haunt her every day in the small town. Her only hope at a second chance is to leave it all behind…

As she sets out on a soul-searching adventure, the mourning widow wonders if the wilderness will give her hope for a brighter future or if she’ll forever be chained to a devastating past. During her journey, Marlee is about to learn that love has a funny way of coming back to those who need it the most…

The Flight of Hope is a heart-wrenching contemporary romance in the vein of Nicholas Sparks. If you like emotional journeys, strong-willed heroines, and second chance romances, then you’ll love HJ Bellus’ touching tale. 

Buy The Flight of Hope to settle in with a tear-jerker today!

©2017 HJ Bellus (P)2017 HJ Bellus

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Profile Image for Karen M.
  • Karen M.
  • 21-12-2017

Tear Jerker

Marlee struggled to begin living again after the loss of her husband and unborn child. She deserved a happy ending, not more heartbreak. I enjoy romances that make me feel better at the end, not rip my heart out. It was a great story but I hated the ending. Lacy Laurel's performance as narrator was terrific as always.

I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review. This review is my honest opinion.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Erin Lewis
  • 29-07-2019

So emotional

I knew this was going to be an emotional roller coaster of a read and listening to narrator Lacy Laurel I was impressed with the angst and emotion portrayed.

I’m not sure what to say about this book. How much pain, suffering, loss and death can someone take? Marlee Foster is a woman who has lost so much and is barely living life. Shattered by so much loss she doesn’t know how much more she can take.

The pain and suffering experienced by Marlee was palpable as narrator Lacy Laurel read this story and my heart just about broke for her.

As Marlee struggles to live one day at a time, faced with constant reminders of all she has lost, she knows she has to leave.
 
From start to finish this was an emotional journey about surviving tremendous loss, courage and a determination and strength of will that was inspiring.
#AudiobookObsessionReviewer




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  • Heather Swan
  • 11-06-2019

Listen to the signs! and have tissues!!!

I am so glad I listened to this wonderfully amazing audiobook. It pulled on my heartstrings from the beginning. After losing her whole hearts in an awful accident, Marlee is able to find love again. She just had to follow the signs her first love was sending her from above. not many can say they have had true love twice. Bentley was her first true love but Jed was her final true love. they fell in love when they both most needed it. what an amazing life they had. The narration was perfect! This is a must listen to in my opinion!!!

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  • Brandi-Lets Read Romance
  • 11-04-2018

True love happens

3.5 Stars

I actually enjoyed this book. I was nervous going in, wasn't sure what to expect (no, I didn't read the blurb, just trusted a friend when she said I had to read it).

Marlee has been through so much. We know that from just the prologue. But what she continues to endure and what she goes through to find her happiness is impressive.

Marlee and Bentley have a storybook romance. Falling in love as children, they know they will always be together. That's just how it will always be.
Until one night when the world basically implodes and Marlee is left to scrape together some semblance of a life.

The first half of this book is fantastic. Honestly, I felt the love and the life that Bentley and Marlee were building. I believed they would be together forever (except, I knew better because everyone said I would cry).
It's the second half of Marlee's life that baffles me. It's not that it isn't believable, but it feel rushed. It feels like she just wakes up and decides to be better and BOOM, she's better. I mean, maybe grief works that way. Maybe drowning your sorrows in a bottle is easily fixed. I don't know, I haven't lived it.

I feel as if HJ Bellus could have continued to build this second chance. I don't think anyone would have been sad to read more about Marlee and Jed and Caleb and Fender. NO ONE. In fact, I wish we weren't missing all of that in between time (read it and you'll know what I'm talking about). I want all of those stories. Give me more build-up. I'm gonna need more than a few signs from above that this is how it's supposed to be.

Anyway, all I'm saying is I wish the same amount of time that was spent on Marlee's relationship with Bentley was spent on Marlee's life after (again, I will not be super spoilery, so read the damn book).

I will say that HJ Bellus pulled a tear out of me. I wasn't sobbing or anything. I mean it quite literally. ONE SINGLE TEAR.
If she had built on that "after" for Marlee, I would have shed more. For sure.

*I listened to this book and enjoyed Lacy Laurel's narration. She did a great job of giving each character a voice and I was never confused as to who was speaking.

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  • Lilly's Book World
  • 12-02-2018

I cried

This is one emotional book, from start to end and it kept me listening until the end. Marlee’s life has known happiness for a short while only, but then everything shifts. She has married her first boyfriend and childhood best friend. Their relationship has been perfect!

I would talk about the story, but the focus is on Marlee’s life and how she faced all the challenges she encountered. She faced the loss of her first child and has prepared herself mentally for never having a child. However, when this happens, tragedy also comes and takes away her most treasured possessions. And then she collapses. We see a person fighting alcohol, fighting life and finally, trying to start over. She sees the world with different eyes. When she meets Jed and his family, her mentality is completely different. She starts to enjoy different things and remembers as well her passion.

She knows that time is now precious and will make the most of it with her new family, always keeping close to her heart the memory of her loved ones. I see “The Flight of Hope” as a story about never giving up on living, facing the pain and having the courage to love again. The writing is beautiful and the characters as well developed. The author has done a great job presenting Marlee’s turmoil and pain, but as well her battle with alcohol and with her suicidal tendencies.

The narration was also great. Whenever I listened to books narrated by Lacy Laurel, I always heard certain inflation or a rounded intonation if I put it like that. But in this story, she really did an amazing job. I wonder if she cried when reading this book J Her interpretation of male characters is great as always.

So this is definitely a great book, although I would not recommend it to people suffering from depression or anxiety, as this will probably accentuate them. I loved every page, I cried and learned to laugh again together with the main character. I hope you will enjoy it too! Five stars, no doubt!

I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Lacy Laurel. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.

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  • BookAddict'sReviews
  • 22-01-2018

Emotional Roller Coaster

HJ Bellus is a great writer! This story was absolutely beautiful and super romantic. I fell in love with these characters and wanted to know how everything would turn out from the beginning. I was so heartbroken in parts due to things being extremely sad, but it was worth the emotional roller coaster! The characters and plot are written excellently. I would highly recommend and I will certainly read more by Bellus in the future! I give it a 5/5!

Laurel is also a great narrator. She pairs well with this novel. Her character expressions are different and interesting. I was able to figure out who was speaking and not get confused. She also has great expression in her voice. I could honestly picture the characters better than if I had read this by listening to her. Audio was clear as well! I give it a 5/5!

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  • Bewitched Reader
  • 10-01-2018

Don't forget the tissues.

Ugly cry doesn't even begin to describe how emotional this book is. My heart broke for Marlee as she struggled to cope with the loss of Bentley and Hope. The raw pain she felt after the accident bled through HJ Bellus's words. I listened to this audiobook while at work and I could feel every ounce of emotion through Lacy Laurel's wonderful narration. Lacy did an amazing job at narrating Marlee's story and giving each of these lovable characters their own unique sound. I had to wait a few days after finishing this audiobook before writing my review to digest my feelings towards this book and I've come to a conclusion. This story is heartfelt and real. It made me laugh and more times than I could count. Simply put, this story is absolutely magnificent.

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  • Jessica C
  • 10-01-2018

Beautifully Sad Book

The emotions in this book are totally real. I thought this story was absolutely beautifully written. My eyes are burning from crying so much while listening to this book. Audiobooks are something that I've never really been into, other than listening to them while driving on a long road trip, however, my aunt had asked me to make some crochet hats that she can give to one of the local hospitals in February for Heart Health Month (all red hats for preemies and up) so I figured I should knock some audiobooks out since I very well can't READ while crocheting lol. I had to stop hats so many times because there were tears streaming down my face. 

This story is told through the eyes of Marlee and her experiences of love and loss and being able to function again after that devastating loss. 

We start off the book in the prologue, and that's when my waterworks started. In Chapter 1, we get to listen to Marlee as a little girl as her Papa takes her and her friend Bentley fishing. Everyone has Marlee, nicknamed Birdie, on a pedastal. She had the most perfect life. She had the love of her family, and the love of her man, Bentley. Her and Bentley were happy, though it doesn't stick. I'm stopping there, because I don't want to 1) ruin the book for you and 2) start crying again. 

Ms. Bellus wrote an amazing book. It has everything you could want for a tear-jerker book. This emotional story will absolutely suck me in. I think this book will make you think about life and most definitely value all those little moment, and value those people in your life who mean the most to you, because you absolutely never know when something could change that happiness. 

Ms. Laurel did an awesome job narrating this book. You could most definitely tell when she was doing different people's voices. I've never heard someone capture the emotions as good as Ms. Laurel did. 

I would definitely recommend this book, whether you want to read a book, or want a good audiobook! <3



I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Lacy Laurel. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.

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  • N. Mahoney
  • 08-01-2018

An emotional journey

If you could sum up The Flight of Hope in three words, what would they be?

Find strength within

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Flight of Hope?

Marlee meeting Jed, Caleb and Fender was the most memorable moment for me

What about Lacy Laurel’s performance did you like?

I feel that Lacy Laurel did an amazing job of expressing emotion throughout the story without overplaying it. She kept it believable from start to finish.When Lacy was speaking as different characters it was easily recognisable whom she was speaking as and she managed to do this without interrupting the flow of the story.

Who was the most memorable character of The Flight of Hope and why?

Marnee, as the main character whom this story revolves around was memorable for her stength.

Any additional comments?

. This book is an emotional journey told in a way that shows the positives and negatives of a life lived with love and loss and finding a reason to work through the pain of loss in order to feel alive again.H J Bellus really has a grasp on love and loss and shows great insight into both. The story is told through the eyes of Marlee and her experiences of deep enduring love, and devastating pain of loss and the path to being able to function again.
I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Lacy Laurel. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.

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  • Sara
  • 05-01-2018

More than a tear jerker!

So I’ve been hearing about The Flight of Hope and knew it was going to be a book that would tear me up. Ha! This book was more than I expected, I’m not sure anyone can prepare themselves for the heartbreak that this book will give you. It’s nearly beyond an ugly cry book!! Birdie, or Marlee, had the perfect life. If we could go through and pick someone’s life, I would choose hers. She had the love of her family and the love of her man, Bently. Everyone had Birdie on a pedestal. She was happy, they were happy, life was happy. It doesn’t stay though. I can’t get into this book again; I can’t handle falling apart again.

H.J. Bellus wrote the most amazing book! It has everything you want in a tear jerker! Bellus wrote an emotional story that will suck you in. You won’t be able to read this book and just go to the next. You are going to have to think on it… think on Birdie and her life. It’s an ultra book hanger!! I do not have the words to properly say how amazing this story is! Bellus writes this breath-taking story. It will make you think about life, it will make you value all those little moments in life that make you really feel alive.

Lacy Laurel was a magnificent narrator! I’ve never heard someone capture the emotions of her characters as well as Laurel did in this book. It was emotional and captivating, and Laurel’s performance was spot on! I’m not sure I’ve ever cried as much through a book as I have with this on, and I’ve read a ton of Nicolas Sparks (King of the tear jerkers!!). If you want to feel like you are a part of this story, I can’t recommend the audio more!

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  • Marie Palmer
  • 18-11-2018

Emotional Rollercoaster

I absolutely loved this book!
The story was a heart wrenching bittersweet love story.
I loved the characters HJ Bellus created, they were real people with substance, beautiful people whom Lacy Laurel brought to life and made each personality shine through. This book and this narrator were so in cinque!
The story was real, I lived it with every word and felt every joy and sadness.
Definitely a must to add to your list!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Mary Grace Shelton
  • 13-08-2019

Cried like a baby!!

HJ Bellus is the only author or make me cry like a baby. So good! Lacy Laurel does a fantastic job- she is a favorite of mine! Recommend this book to anyone that loves the emotional Rollercoaster.

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  • Tasha Barefield
  • 11-07-2019

A MUST READ for all hopeless romantics!

I love HJ Bellus's writing and her stories, this one did not disappoint in fact it's my favourite so far and one of my top listens this year! It follows the life of Marlee and the loves of her life, without spoilers she has a lot of joy and a lot of heartbreak but you can't help but feel happy for her in the end. Marlee got to experience the wonders of a deep and meaningful love and you get to journey with her through this which is written so beautifully by HJ Bellus and described so incredibly by Lacy Laurel who does an amazing job of helping you feel the ups and downs of Marlee's emotions. I can't put into words how wonderful this story is even though I sobbed harder than I can remember before! This is a must read for all diehard romance listeners! #AudiobookObsession

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  • Gwen
  • 25-06-2019

Beautiful story of hope!

I had listened to another of HJ Bellus emotional rollercoaster story. I was ready and packed with some tissues. I so enjoyed the story of Marlee, while listening to her joy in high-school with Bentley, her wedding and then her terrible loss.
I felt her pain and her despair. Then her journey to recovery with Jed. I love second chances, this one didn’t disappoint.
#AudiobookObssession 🎧

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  • angeljoy
  • 20-06-2019

Omg

This is a story of heartbreak and second chances. Wow. Loved it would love to read more about the Bryant family

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  • Lovinghotbooks1
  • 11-06-2019

So sad and beautiful

I cried my eyes out and I loved it. Maybe some would say it’s sappy but I like sappy. It’s not happy ending but it’s still happy ending (Confused...read and it will be clear)
For me this story is about taking chances even when things are not guaranteed to be perfect. That’s what life’s about.

The characters is developed in to realistic personalities that I definitely can relate to.
No unnecessary descriptions of surroundings
Good dialogues that has meaning (this whole story is very strong and meaningful)
Sweet love scenes and other sweet scenes that has my heart squeezing.

Narrator:
Clear pronunciation and read with feelings so I enjoyed it very much

5 stars overall

🎧AudiobookObsessionReviewer

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  • Geri Nelson
  • 19-05-2019

Loving Again

This had me in all of my feelings. Being a military personnel and a former military wife. I knew the feelings Birdie was feeling. I remember sitting close to the tv to hear any reports about my spouse being deployed. The fact I was pregnant during his deployment. It brought all the memories back. I truly enjoyed this book. Narrator brought Birdies feelings to the forefront. This a must read.

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  • Gillek2
  • 11-05-2019

Living, Loving and New Beginnings!

Marlee and Bentley were friends as children, high school sweetheart and shared a love that knew no bounds. When Bentley returned home injured after his mission in the army the love between them was stronger than ever and they were happily expecting their daughter Hope. One night changed everything when an accident claimed both Bentley and Hope and Marlee was left devastated unable to face all the memories in her hometown, so she left.

She ends up in a small town where all Marlee wanted to do was to use alcohol to numb her pain but when she meets the family that runs the local store, they help her to live again. Jed and his son Fender are dealing with their own trauma and Jed and Marlee help each other to heal. Marlee brings Jed hope and Jed shows Marlee that Bentley would want her to live and the relationship between them was both beautiful and heartbreaking.

This is an emotional story about living, loving and never giving up despite what life throws at you. It will make you laugh, it will make you cry but it will definitely make you feel. The narrator did a great job of bringing out all of the emotion of this story. I was given a copy of this audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.
🎧AudiobookObsession.

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  • Mari Garcia
  • 14-03-2019

truer words were never spoken ...

the blurb on this books says "beautiful, ugly, passionate, gut-wrenching, and everything in between". Wow. Just wow. truer words were never spoken. This book makes you go through the wringer of all emotions. The author does prep you well in the blurb for this book. It IS beautiful, ugly, passionate and gut-wrenching. It is the best story and a story that will stay with you. The author and narrator combo made this listen everything. They balance each other well. The story just came to life.


🎧AudiobookObsession

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  • Julie D
  • 02-03-2019

Amazing.. heart wrenching

HJ Bellus did a wonderful job with this story. This is a story of a love and loss, but it’s so much more! I felt everything right along with the characters. I laughed and cried multiple tiles while listening. The characters are so true to life and so relatable that you can put yourself in their shoes. This is one I will come back to because it was so good!

Lacy Laurel was a perfect choice for narrator! She did an amazing job with the characters!!