Leaving Everest by Megan Westfield is romance with a side of adventure! Check out an exclusive excerpt from the novel here.
About ‘Leaving Everest’ by Megan Westfield:
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 Norgay, 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.
‘Leaving Everest’ by Megan Westfield exclusive excerpt:
I flicked the match, carefully lowering it onto the knots of the bracelet, holding my breath so I wouldn’t accidentally push the flame onto his skin. The purple cord grew wet in the yellow flame, and then I pulled the match back and extinguished it with a single puff.
After I was done, his arm lingered on my knee. I dared not move as we watched the thread of smoke at the end of the match twist leisurely toward the ceiling, unaffected by the winds raging outside the tent.
It hit me stronger than it ever had before that he was leaving. I longed to tell him how much I was going to miss him. To throw our entire friendship away on the chance that the quick pulse in his wrist had been a sign that he felt the same as me.
He lifted his arm, looking down at his wrist as he pulled his sleeve back into place.
“Pound Rescue?” he asked. It was my favorite reality show.
“We finished all of them.”
“Walkabout Media’s surfing show?”
“Okay,” I said, setting up the portable DVD player one of last season’s clients had passed along to me when he went home.
For once, it was warm enough to lie on top of my sleeping bag rather than under it, and that’s what we did. This time, though, he twisted into me slightly as I lay next to him. As the show began to play, I put the right-side earbud in and handed him the left. He’d already snagged my pillow, so I rested my chin on my folded arms. Our hands were so close that I hardly noticed when he started twisting my new bracelet around my wrist.
And then I did.
The air turned explosive. Even though I had no idea how he felt about me or what it would mean, it was like I knew with absolute certainty that something was about to happen. We moved closer, one imperceptibly slow movement flowing into another as the endless aqua ocean waves rolled across the screen.
Now we were both on our sides, his chest tight against my back, his hand still holding my wrist around the bracelet. My eyes were closed with the sensations of it all: the heat of his body, the woodsy smell of his deodorant, and his heartbeat against my ribs.
That’s why it took me a few seconds to notice the tent was no longer being pushed by the wind but shaking like a dog after a swim.
What was going on?
The foghorn-low rumble grew into a roar all around us.
With terror, I realized what it was.
Rocks were shifting and crunching. People were shouting in panic. There could be climbers in the icefall being buried right now. Where was Dad? Where were our Sherpas?
Luke and I threw on our boots and scrambled to get out of the tent.
Then, the unmistakable blast of an avalanche rattled our eardrums. The entire west face of Lingtren Peak had let loose, and in an instant, there was a monstrously large, roiling cloud of snow and debris careening straight toward Base Camp.