Jan 01

With Every Breath by Lia Riley Review


5 Smooches!

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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.


Is it ok to admit I judged this book by it’s blurb?  Words like ‘summit of La Aguja’, ‘climbers’, ‘mountaineers’ and ’hiking-boots’ assaulted me and I instantly felt a bit dubious as I didn’t know anything about this type of adventure romance and going up a mountain seemed as interesting as listening to my hubby list all the modifications he wants do to his car to make it race faster (because he’s clearly experiencing a midlife crisis and you can only drive the legal limit anyway) but once again I was proven to be a terrible narrow-minded individual because not only did this book take me out of my comfort zone in reading, but it completely blew my mind in every way.  It goes beyond the romance genre and into something all of its own making.  Sure we get to traverse inhospitable regions and learn the reality and perils of climbing, especially unprepared and in extreme weather, but on this incredible journey we’re shown one of the greatest and most memorable romance stories.  The connection that gruff Scottish mountaineer Rhys MacAskill and the wonderfully named Auden Woods experience is elemental, fierce, as well as instantaneous, whether their stunning natural surroundings amplify those feelings and emotions I’m not quite sure, but what these two go through together in only a few days amounts to more passion, confusion, fear and longing than most people get to experience in the entirety of their lives.

‘“Careful lass.  I bite.”  My fingers clasp her a little harder.  

She takes hold of my hair as defiance flashes in her gaze.  Closer, she comes.  Her quickened breath warms my face.  There’s a strangled noise.  Shit, that’s me.  A freckle punctuates the corner of her top lip.  She bypasses my mouth and gives me jaw a sweetly sharp nip.  “Bet I can bite harder.”’’

The way Lia describes Patagonia-the harsh and unpredictable weather and the vast array of colour, sound and light-paints a rather vivid canvas in your head, so you find it no trouble at all to imagine yourself in that tent, in a storm, battling back raging hormones and awkwardness.  Rhys is utter perfection, he has the damaged lone wolf skill set down pat and it’s Auden’s remarkably infectious personality that brings an element of light and fun to both Rhys and the story over all.  She is endearingly clumsy but lovable to his gruff and terse nature and together they create a force to be reckoned with.  It’s a fabulous story and I can honestly say there wasn’t one single thing I would have altered.  There are so many dramatic points, twists and tragic situations mixed in with funnier lighter moments and some hot and heavy ones, that you are literally flipping that page over as quickly as your eyes will let you read.  Tremendously well written with two completely engaging characters to lead you through this exciting adventure.

And on that note I would like to offer up an apology to Lia Riley for doubting the brilliance of With Every Breath simply from reading the synopsis.