Last Hope by Sandra Carmel

Heat Level 3
SKU 978-0-3695-0353-4

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Intertwined Love, 1

A perilous journey to the peak of love…

Cole, a cutting-edge game software company CEO, organizes a Christmas present his long-term girlfriend, Hope, will never forget—a marriage proposal at the top of Sydney Harbour Bridge on Christmas Eve. And it ends up unforgettable all right, but not in the way he’d envisaged.

While on a mountain climbing trip, he has an accident and sustains a life-changing spinal injury, forcing him to miss their special date, leaving Hope stranded, alone and without answers. Cole struggles against his heart’s desire and cuts Hope out of his life without explanation, determined not to burden her with his disability. Can he confront his fears, pull himself back together and rekindle a relationship with the love of his life?

Be Warned: mild BDSM



He soothed the throbbing hot spot on her butt with his warm, wicked hand. “You better not be wet.” His playful, slow-burn smile suggested he already knew the answer.

The man knew how to turn her on, particularly when he went into full-on Dom mode.

He slid his hand between her legs and stroked her wet panties. “Fuck. You’re drenched.”

Always for him.

The look in his eyes and tone of his voice suggested he was impressed and debating whether to punish or reward her. “Hmmm… I think I might drag things out, let the tension, the anticipation build. I promise it’ll be worth the wait.”

Sounded perfect. Exactly what she’d counted on. Hope slipped out of her panties and packed them away with her negligee. She honestly hadn’t intended to argue about whether or not to wear clothes to bed.

Her intention with the lingerie had been to look sexy, desirable. Maybe make him think of offering her forever. Not that she had any problems being nude. They spent a lot of their time together that way.

She’d wanted to try something different, show him she refused to be complacent, that she wanted to continue making an effort. She wanted to prove she didn’t take him or their relationship for granted.

A soft, flickering amber glow brightened the tent’s interior and she glanced up. Cole had lit a couple of lanterns, which had the added benefit of highlighting his impeccable, masculine form.

She drank him in, his smooth, erect cock hitting his abdomen, taunting, teasing her, and her core clenched. He set the lanterns safely aside, crouched down, and unzipped the double sleeping bag.

Under each other’s heated gazes, they got in and cuddled together. He reached around her, zipped them in, and initiated a slow, sensual make-out session. But before she could get too worked up, he wound things down to affectionate, heart-melting caresses. Although she loved the sex, this was deeper, more meaningful. Is that what he’d intended?

An overdose of oxytocin surged through her veins, making her feel closer to Cole, not just physically, but also emotionally. Calm, safety, and comfort seeped into her brain and body, encouraging her to open up. “You know I love you, but do you love me?”

“Of course. Where did that come from?”

“You never say it, so…”

Cole tucked his fingers under her chin and tipped it up until her eyes met his piercing stare. “People say a lot of things, but you can’t rely on words. Actions are what count. Actions show how a person really feels.”

He had a point. His actions constantly showed he cared. However, words and discussions still held some real value. “Some things need to be spoken about, though, like our long-term plans, kids…”

Was that a flinch? “They do.”

“How do you feel about them?”

His hand froze on her thigh. “Kids or long-term plans?”

Had the air gotten colder? “Both. Are they something you want, with me?”

“Are they something you want?”

“Yes. Definitely. I’m getting close to mid-thirties, Cole.”

“You’ve got plenty of time.”

Not we’ve got plenty of time.

“How about you? You haven’t answered my question.” Her eyes searched his, trying to extract the truth from their churning, conflicted depths.

“I’m working on the whole long-term plan thing.” Were his muscles extra stiff, extra tense, or had she read into their stilted conversation? “As for kids, they’re not a deal breaker.” Did that mean he preferred to have children with his partner or that he’d rather not?

His replies were so politician-like at times, avoiding direct answers, talking around an issue, particularly when it involved the heart, emotions. “Having them or not having them?”

“Hope, honey, enough of the interrogation, okay?” His words were sweet, but his breath was harsh against her skin. All traces of the heart-warming connection and arousal they’d had only minutes ago—obliterated. Just like that, with a few simple words.


The expression in his eyes said don’t push me. The subject and his responses were important to her, though. She needed to know whether he considered her marriage material, whether kids featured in his future plans. If not, she’d have to reconsider their situation, possibly break things off and move on, even though it would be the hardest decision of her life.

“There’s something I want to ask you.”

A jolt of excitement skittered along her spine and spread like a happiness virus, killing off the negativity, the assumptions. Maybe he’d been nervous, not resistant. Maybe he’d finally decided to say the words she’d been longing to hear. To propose they spend the rest of their lives together.

“I’m away next week. The weather’s finally going to be perfect to do the Kosciuszko climb.”

“Oh.” Him and his I-must-climb-the-highest-mountain-in-each-place-I-visit obsession. At first, she’d thought it quirky, endearing. Now, it seemed he cared about that more than anything else. Anyone else.

It was already hard to spend decent time together. Their work lives were so hectic, her with her erratic television schedule and him with his game software-development company … and fitting in his passion for mountain climbing.

“I realize it’s not the best timing, but you know how much I’ve wanted to do this. And I’ll be back by Christmas. Will you be free Christmas Eve?”

Was that his question? No I love you, no hint at wanting a more permanent commitment. Disappointment sank like a heavy stone in her heart. “Um. Yes.” Even though frustration simmered beneath her skin, she couldn’t say no to him. Yet. She’d give him until Christmas Eve. If things weren’t any clearer by then, she’d press him for answers.

The tension in his body seemed to drain away. He relaxed against her, his hand restarting its strokes up and down her thigh. “Good. Keep a look out in your inbox for an e-mail from me. I have something special planned.”


Product Reviews

Score: 5 out of 5 (based on 16 ratings)
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Last Hope
Written by Amber J on 5th Mar 2023

Hope and Cole have a great relationship and she thinks its about to go to the next step when he blindsides her by breaking things off. He goes as far as to disconnect his phone so she can't contact him. Sometime time later Cole is revealed to have been injured on his last climb. Hope is asked to be a presenter to Cole for an award he is up for and this has them coming back in touch again. Hope is stunned by what Cole has been hiding from her. Can they find their way back to each other? This is a great story that will draw you in from beginning to end. This is a well written and very entertaining story. Its a book that any book lover would enjoy.

Last hope
Written by Nate on 5th Mar 2023

I enjoyed Cole & Hope’s book. Cole, a cutting-edge game software company CEO, organizes a Christmas present his long-term girlfriend, Hope, will never forget—a marriage proposal at the top of Sydney Harbour Bridge on Christmas Eve. And it ends up unforgettable all right, but not in the way he’d envisaged. It was an intriguing read. And am voluntarily leaving my review.

Heart warming and passionate romance
Written by Caroline B on 5th Mar 2023

Wow... this is the first book I've read by the author and I wasn't disappointed at all, I couldn't put it down! Hope and Cole have a connection so deep they know exactly what the other is thinking, plus their chemistry is off the charts hot and will melt your Kindle! Everything is going fantastic for them, until suddenly he breaks it off...but why? Will they ever get back together? Expect lots of twists, passion, laughter, friendship, family, love and more throughout! Enjoy this emotional and passionate rollercoaster ride!

Cole & Hope!!
Written by Wendy L on 5th Mar 2023

This is the first in a new series and this is Cole and Hope’s story. When Cole suffers a life changing accident, he cuts all ties with his long time girlfriend Hope. Will Hope get him to come to his senses before it is too late? This is a well written story which is an emotional roller coaster, with second chances, turmoil, heartbreak, tension, and love, which leads to a steamy page turner. I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.

Short Story
Written by Jeanne R on 5th Mar 2023

This is the first book I've read written by Sandra Carmel; I can’t wait to read more of her books. This is the first book in the Interwined Love Series; it is a stand-alone short story. The story is about Hope & Cole. I received a free copy of this book via booksprout and I’m voluntarily leaving a review.

Second chance.
Written by Flavia K on 5th Mar 2023

Second chance. I liked the story, the plot and the characters. The reading is fluid and the scenes are well done. For my taste, it lacks a little feeling, but it is a good read.

Last Hope
Written by Stacii on 5th Mar 2023

Cole and Hope’s story was a good emotional second chance read that gets you right in the feels with his accident and then her getting removed from his life. But when they reconnect and see a hea.

Good emotional story!
Written by Ash J on 5th Mar 2023

I really enjoyed this story about a man who became disabled and didn't know how to handle the relationship he was in. It was really emotional and a little steamy but was a great story about overcoming shocking events in your life. Really good read.

Must Read
Written by Danee on 5th Mar 2023

A first book from a new (to me) author. This was an emotional story, about how to pick up after a tragic event. That happens to Hope and Cole, Cole has finally planted a marriage proposal in spectacular fashion for his girlfriend Hope. When things don't go the way he planned because he has a serious accident during a climbing trip and then leaves hope behind with questions about why their date night missed and nothing is heard from again. Will Hope learn the truth and will Cole see the light and realize that he can't live without her and that they both deserve a chance at happiness? Or does he throw away what they had and the only person who cares and loves him. This is highly recommended, and I say keep a box of tissues handy because,

Liked it
Written by Bookishllly on 5th Mar 2023

A beautifully well-written story of love, hope and second chances. The storyline was good and the plot ‘flowed’ without any obvious gaps. This book touches on the ephemeral nature of life-about how nothing is guaranteed. It delves into how to appreciate what we have and every moment with our loved ones. It delves into the plight of people who have had life changing injuries and how they navigate and adapt to the changes. There was great character building. All of the characters were well rounded and delivered their roles perfectly. I wanted to shake Cole so badly. You don’t get to make a huge decision like that. No one gets to make a decision for a mentally capable adult. I enjoyed the romantic aspects and how the couple found their way to each other and to their happily ever after. I will recommend this book if you are looking for a quick, romantic and enjoyable read.

Written by Debs48 on 5th Mar 2023

Short and sweet but wow so much in this story called hope for a reason full on romance until one day that changed when she recieved his txt to say it was over she couldn’t understand why everything was great. He couldn’t let her be part of his now crippled life he loved her too much to burden her. When they meet because of his nominated award she sees why they finished what he needed to understand was she will always be there so over time that was what they did and together moved forward little steps

Second Chance Romance
Written by ljamison01 on 5th Mar 2023

This was such an uplifting, inspiring story. Hope and Cole have been in a relationship for about six months while camping and hiking, Hope tells Cole she loves him and asks him about his long term goals. Cole goes off alone on an adventure to climb and unfortunately falls and has a spinal cord injury. He then tells Hope they are over and blocks her number. Hope is upset thinking that she pushed him too hard and he wasn’t ready for kids and commitment so he broke it off. I’m not going to reveal how they reconnect and get their HEA. This story was very informative and explained things that I had no knowledge of. I’m so glad this author Sandra Carmel wrote this book to let us see that everyone deserves to love and be loved. It’s also great that we are showcasing and discussing different maladies in a love story.

Last Hope!
Written by Mary on 5th Mar 2023

This is a fairly short and quick read with tragedy, angst, heartbreak and heartwarming moments. It is also steamy and sweet. The story is about Cole and Hope. The story begins with a very hot and steamy vacation. Cole is a risk taker and loves pushing boundaries climbing. He is also a CEO and top gamer creator. He has gone on a climbing trip and promised Hope and wonderful evening. He has everything planned but he never shows up. Instead he breaks things off with her. This is a good story that is also very touching. I love the characters. I think my favorites are her brother and Cole's buddy.

Me before you vibes
Written by Amanda1444 on 5th Mar 2023

TV-presenter Hope and action-man Cole have already been a couple for a year and their relationship is described explicitly. Then Hope receives a sudden ‘breaking up’ message from Cole after he fails to turn up for an important date. Six months later we meet Cole again, just discharged from hospital and struggling to cope with the physical, emotional and mental traumas of an accident victim no longer able to walk. Hope has been kept in the dark and is grieving his disappearance from her life. When fate brings them together, Hope discovers Cole’s condition

Great story! Story of rebuilding and just a great book!
Written by Andrea R on 5th Mar 2023

I really loved how this author was able to deliver the story when the bit a distrust and questioning what is going on and then the rebuilding the foundation to try and get back the strong love they had. Great book and hope that this is a series that continues--author really did a great job.

The TBR Pile
Written by Bella on 18th Jun 2021

Cole is in love and ready to marry this wonderful woman. An accident happens and he’s forever changed. Now disabled he feels like he’d just be a burden to her. They can reconnect and find a happy ending? ​ What a tear jerker!! Cole is just broken, both body and spirit. He feels like his whole life has fallen apart and I feel terrible for him. Hope, the woman he loves is initially hurt by his rejection but then she finds out about his accident and she’s heartbroken. Why didn't he let her help? How could he think she wouldn’t still love him? This was such a sweet, emotion ride and I really enjoyed to the end.