With Every Breath
by Lia Riley
A New Adult Romance
Released December 29th 2015
BREATHE DEEP … AND JUMP IN
At the ends of the earth, Patagonia is a land where ambition trumps reason and the savage summit of La Aguja lures the most determined climbers. It’s also the last spot a “play-it-safe girl” like Auden Woods expects to find herself. But she’ll lace up her brand-new hiking boots and do whatever it takes to secure a dream job at an adventure magazine . . . even if it kills her. And it just might. When disaster strikes, her only chance at survival comes in the form of the surliest, sexiest mountaineer ever to come out of Scotland.
After a climbing accident cost him his brother, professional mountaineer Rhys MacAskill is at the end of his rope. Redemption is not in his future. That is, until a terrifying storm blows a budding journalist into his tent and it’s up to him to make sure they both survive until morning. Despite the demons weighing on him, Rhys can’t resist the temptation of the charming American and one wild night just isn’t enough.
Auden and Rhys soon learn there are no shortcuts as they navigate their way between life, death, and atonement, and discover something they never expected—love.
Whenever I start a new book expect her unique style of story-telling, her feisty heroines and her moody yet sexy heroes. And With Every Breath she does it once again!
With witty dialogue, a heavy dose of sizzling chemistry and a vast range in emotions, Lia Riley managed to draw me into the Auden and Rhys’ journey. I admit, I loved every single element she brought to the page. From the flirty banter through the stolen moments along their adventure and even the rampant emotions both Auden and Rhys were dealing. Everything worked together well bringing forth a sweet yet sexy and emotion-driven story.
Of course, it helped tremendously that the story was infused with Lia Riley’s understated humor which helped to move the story along and showcase the unique personality of the characters. While Rhys was appeared carefree and unbothered, he carried a great amount of guilt that weighted him down every day. And while Auden didn’t have major issues to deal with she did come into herself and came out a more confident and assured woman ready to tackle the world.
Auden and Rhys complemented each other in the most basic of ways. They had a great amount of chemistry that jumped off the page, but it was the moments when they found solace in each other when neither expected to find it in the other that truly sold me on the romance. I enjoyed their bickering and easy rapport, but it was the candid moments that showcased how deeply connected they were.
Although I’ve come to enjoy Lia Riley’s more angsty stories, I appreciated the fact that she balanced the emotions brought to the page with humor and camaraderie. The emotions were apparent, yet subtle enough that they didn’t weight down the story. And let me tell you, there were some mighty emotional moments in there!
All in all, a fantastic story. I loved watching Auden and Rhys, two complete strangers, find themselves and love along the way.
*I received a copy of this title in exchange of my honest opinion.
Even in my sleeping bag and dry shirt, her teeth chatter. If she balked at my request to undress, she’s going to go ape over this. Fuck it. There isn’t a choice.
A thin furrow appears between her brows. “Yeah?”
My stomach tightens. “I’m going to warm you.”
“How?” Her eyes widen.
I can’t hold her gaze and say what I must. “Body‑to‑body contact.”
The world outside rips apart, but in the tent, a heavy silence reigns. She shifts to a half sit. “Oh, no, it’s OK. Look, I’ll be better in a few minutes.”
“You said yourself the cold makes your asthma worse.”
“I know you don’t have a reason to trust me. In fact, if this were normal circumstances, I’d no’ recommend it. But here we are.”
“Nothing about today is normal.” She slowly reclines to the mat, folding her arms across her chest like a mummy, eyes screwed shut.
“No harm’s going to come to you.” It sounds like I’m making a solemn oath.
She opens one eye, gives me an unfathomable look, before closing it again. I’m not used to a woman regarding me like something to endure. Uncertainty weaves through me.
I ease beside her. “This’ll go easier if you turn to the side.” Away from me.
“Good idea.” She rolls to face the tent wall. Her features are hidden, but I can hear each uneven breath, the slightly shuddering inhalation followed by a pause before giving way to a raspy exhalation.
She remains still when I reach, warily securing a handhold on her ribs, their sudden rise and fall the only sign of her silent gasp. “This all right?”
She utters no reply only a brief nod and grips the sleeping bag tighter.
“Everything will be fine, I promise you.” I keep my voice cool, aloof. Give no sign that my chest aches, as if instead of a heart, a great wallowing drunk stumbles about. I never cuddle. Prior to my last girlfriend, Sadie, my dealings with the opposite sex were kept to simple and straightforward shags. Occasionally girls tried to compete with the mountains, but they never stood a chance.
Auden gives another tentative nod, and her scent invades my senses, simple and straightforward, a hint of sweat from exertion, combined with the fresh fragrance of rain. She begins to settle, her violent shiver attacks growing fewer and further between, same with her coughing fits. I keep my pose rigid, controlled, resisting the mad urge to relax into her body as blood pounds thickly in my ears. I can’t do this, be with another person, be human. I need to be a machine. A robot with one goal and one goal alone. To conquer a mountain like La Aguja there can be no room left inside me for any other desire.
When my mind quiets and other wants are eliminated, my attention naturally focuses on visualizing the climb. Once on the rock, this single-minded concentration will translate effortlessly into correct hand- and footholds or gear placements. In order to climb like you are the only person in the world, you can’t care about anything other than living in the moment. There can be no significant other in the mind’s periphery wielding the power to distract.
Outside the wind shakes the nylon, redoubling its assault. Zipped tight, shut away from the world, we could be anywhere. I’d always appreciated that about tents, how once inside, you became the ruler of your own cramped kingdom of cast-off socks, sleeping bags, and carefully chosen gear. This time in Valle del Frances, away from the scene at the main climbing camp, is meant to be a chance to establish a cease-fire in the battle with myself. Being in a tent, in the wilderness, far from a world I don’t understand and that sure as hell doesn’t understand me, is calming.
Now Auden Woods has come along and triggered a whole new conflict with her icy blue eyes.
Icy blue eyes? Looks like prolonged abstinence brings out a lad’s poetic side. If she looks back, she’ll see my mouth twisted in a humorless smile.
She doesn’t, though. She’s too busy trembling, and so I gather her closer, an unfamiliar protective sensation welling inside me. “Better?” I whisper, more a hoarse croak than anything gallant.
“Yes,” she says, turning, her full lips slightly parting to offer the word.
We’re two strangers, haven’t even shaken hands, and yet our bodies press flush. Despite every intention, mine starts to react, and Christ, quick, what are unsexy topics to ponder? When in doubt, go for geology. The Andes are the result of which type of plate boundary?
Conquering La Aguja is going to take all my mental resources. The next few days are needed for getting focused, concentrated, and prepared for the challenge ahead. Auden shifts, drawing closer, and my next breath is almost as ragged as hers.
Aye, this girl is just the sort of distraction that could ruin everything.
About the Author
Lia Riley writes offbeat New Adult Romance. After studying at the University of Montana-Missoula, she scoured the world armed only with a backpack, overconfidence and a terrible sense of direction. She counts shooting vodka with a Ukranian mechanic in Antarctica, sipping yerba mate with gauchos in Chile and swilling fourex with stationhands in Outback Australia among her accomplishments. A British literature fanatic at heart, Lia considers Mr. Darcy and Edward Rochester as her fictional boyfriends. Her very patient husband doesn’t mind. Much. When not torturing heroes (because c’mon, who doesn’t love a good tortured hero?), Lia herds unruly chickens, camps, beach combs, daydreams about as-of-yet unwritten books, wades through a mile-high TBR pile and schemes yet another trip. She and her family live mostly in Northern California.