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.
Review: This book was a quick read and alternates between the two main characters telling the story – journalist, Auden, from Colorado, or mountain climber, Rhys, from Scotland. Emotions are high throughout and I shed some tears along with a few laughs.
Asthmatic Auden, has an evil twin sister, Harper, who is going to be skiing in the Olympics. Auden is a writer and she and Harper have never gotten along since they were children and it seems to have gotten worse now that they are older. Their parents seem to focus most of their energy on Harper even when Auden was sick. Needless to say she feels she has something to prove to everyone. She runs into Rhys on a mountain in Pantagonia while going on an adventure to try and hook herself a full time writing job for Outsider magazine instead of just an internship. He saves her from the weather while she’s having an asthma attack and although they have little in common they get along well. The both have a skewed sense of humor as well as demons they are fighting – his is the injuries his brother, Cameron, suffered while they were on a climb together and bad weather hit. Watching them both try to right their worlds was interesting especially since they became vested in each other very quickly.
There were family and friends – Rhys’ were a different breed since they are all adventurers and climbers, doubts, hurt, anger, fear, a feeling of being invincible, fights, secrets, lots of loving and ultimately love. Rhys and Auden both had to deal with their pain and their families the way they thought best even if the other didn’t always agree. When they go their separate ways things pick up for both of them in unexpected ways. The descriptions of the weather, the mountains, the water, the trails and the camps were vivid and made me feel that I was there especially feeling the cold, the rain and the dampness. There were some twists and turns to the story and emotions turned on a dime. The epilogue tied up the loose ends and gives us the happily ever after I was rooting for in the offing.
Riley is a new to me author and I look forward to reading more of her books especially in the Wanderlust series.
Favorite Quote: My heart thumps hard enough he can probably hear it. “Are we fighting or flirting:”