Title: With Every Breath
Author: Lia Riley
Format: eBook/Paperback, 288 pages
Published: December 29th 2015 by Forever
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N
Rating: 3 out of 5 Wine Glasses
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.
With Every Breath had an intriguing premises and I couldn't wait to dive in to what promised to be a thrilling adventure and romance. The story itself didn't quite live up to the potential, but it turned out to be a cute contemporary read that in the end I enjoyed.
Auden Woods is determined to win a prized internship and job at a Colorado magazine. So determined that she is willing to venture out of her nice, safe world and onto the rugged terrain of La Aguja, despite the lack of encouragement from family and health difficulties. Once she reaches Patagonia though, Auden quickly finds herself in danger and in need of a rescue. Enter Scottish-American climber Rhys MacAskill. Rhys is seeking penance for an accident that cost him his brother, and the summit is where he hopes to find peace away from the prying eyes of the media and the disdain of others. The last thing he wants to do is invite a naive journalist into his tent for the night but when an oncoming storm makes the decision for him, Rhys and Auden find themselves stuck in close proximity for the night, where every heated breath and whispered sigh can be heard...and can't be ignored...
With Every Breath was a fast moving story of life, and loss, forgiveness and acceptance, with a bit of high altitude suspense sprinkled in. Rhys and Auden are both floundering in life for very different reasons. Rhys is dealing with the loss of his brother and guilt of being responsible for that loss, while Auden is trying to find herself, someone completely separate from her wretched twin sister. There was a definite attraction from the start between Rhys and Auden, and though this was a story with a quickly moving relationship, it worked and didn't scream insta-love. It was more like two lost puzzle pieces being found and fitting together. As you can tell, Rhys is a wounded hero, but he is also a hero with a sexy brogue and a hot, scruffy outdoorsy vibe going on. Someone who I would picture looking right at home in the middle of the Colorado Rockies. His rough demeanor was a little off-putting but also understandable when his circumstances come to light. Auden was a bit of a push over but I liked that her character grew a little back bone during her time with Rhys. What I enjoyed most was the fun and entertaining banter between them. Their dialogue often left me smiling.
I was looking forward to more of an adventure when picking up this book instead of an angst ridden story and that is where my disappointment came in. I think the author over did it trying for the feels, and it came across as just too much. Sometimes less is more. Near the end, the pitfalls and tragedies that the characters suffered through seemed to be mashed together for affect and came across as artificial. I was also confused by the lack of a proper ending, thinking there might be a sequel to the story, because of the many strings that were left hanging concerning the characters home lives for a simple stand-alone novel.
All in all, though I did expect more from the book, it was over all a good read. The world building and character development were well done and I'll look for more stories from this author in the future.