Little known fact: Because of the hurricane-force winds that blow directly across the top of Mount Everest, there are only a handful of days in the year it can be summited. These breaks in the wind typically happen in the month of May. As in right now. Today we are celebrating by sharing Megan Westfield’s new release—a new-adult romance set on Mount Everest. Hurry and grab it because it’s temporarily on sale for $0.99!
Title: Leaving Everest
Author: Megan Westfield
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Leaving Everest Synopsis:Twenty-year-old Emily Winslowe has had an adventurous upbringing. Daughter of a Himalayan mountain guide, she has climbed Mount Everest and other peaks most Americans only dream of. But for all her mountaineering prowess, she's lacking some key experiences. Namely, guys. Especially one guy in particular—Luke, her childhood best friend who she hasn't seen since he left for college in the United States two years ago. Luke unexpectedly reappears as a guide just in time for the Everest climbing season. He's even more handsome than she remembers, and that something that had been building between them during their last season together is back in front of them, bigger than ever. The problem is, there's a detail about Emily's past that Luke doesn't know. It's the reason she ended up in the Himalayas in the first place...and the reason she must make it to the summit of Mount Everest this year. It's also the reason she would never consider following him back to Washington after the climbing season ends. But first, they'll have to survive the mountain.
Luke and I crawled into his tent, and he looped his headlamp strap through an X in the tent poles.
In previous seasons, Luke had shared a tent with Mingma, so we had mostly hung out in my tent. His tent—
this tent—was quite impersonal and typical for a guy, except for the worn copy of World’s 19ers on his pillow. I’d gotten him that book as a graduation present, purchased with the birthday money my grandparents had sent that year.
I looked from the book to him, finding a hint of discomfort on his face. Claustrophobia, perhaps? Like a two-person tent wasn’t big enough for us now that he had a girlfriend? Or that there were things he should have been doing, but he was stuck with me because he’d been a nice guy who’d noticed something was wrong and invited me to watch Pound Rescue?
I tried not to think about this as Luke slid World’s 19ers to the side and propped his tablet against his pillow. The tablet was a definite upgrade from the rickety portable DVD player I still used.
Luke sat on the far side of the sleeping pad. He unzipped his sleeping bag and spread it wide like a blanket. Even wearing thick down jackets and long underwear, you couldn’t just hang out in a tent in the ten-degree Himalaya night without a sleeping bag.
Next, Luke and I would lie down on his bed to watch the movie. Now it was me feeling claustrophobic. In just
seconds, we’d be squished together out of necessity because of the narrowness of the foam pad, the smallness of the screen, and needing to share earbuds. It didn’t matter that we’d watched a hundred movies this way; the last time we’d watched a movie together, we’d ended up cuddling and on the brink of something more.
A pang of regret hit me that our last season together hadn’t been a full one. I had this strange feeling that if it had, my whole world right now might be completely different.
Luke was lying down now, scrolling through his tablet for the Pound Rescue episodes. If I delayed joining him on his bed any longer it would be awkward. More awkward than it already was.
I lifted the edge of his sleeping bag and crawled in next to him. He reached up behind my head and clicked off his headlamp. The light from the screen was the only thing illuminating the tent now. He handed me the right-side earbud. To my utter humiliation, my fingers were shaking so much that I dropped it.
The episode started, but I couldn’t focus at all. Despite the multiple layers of clothing and jackets between us, every point of his body that touched mine was burning.
And his smell! Being so close to him, beneath the very sleeping bag he slept in every night, was like being inside a cozy, warm air freshener made of the Nepalese soap his mom used for laundry.
My body longed to nudge closer. To prompt him to put his arm around my shoulders as if there had been a time warp and we were back in that afternoon of the earthquake.
My willpower to resist this was melting.
No! I scolded myself silently. I couldn’t let him see that I had not moved on like he had. That still, after all this time, I was overpoweringly attracted to him.
Luke paused the movie. “What’s up?”
He’d noticed. Shit.