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Two strangers start out saving animals and end up rescuing each other in this heartwarming romance from the author of Unbreak Me.  Mari Tucker is a wildlife biologist who scoops bunnies and endangered tortoises out of harm’s way on construction sites. Still haunted by her past, she takes the most remote jobs in the Mojave Desert to avoid people and hide from her ex. It’s a Two strangers start out saving animals and end up rescuing each other in this heartwarming romance from the author of Unbreak Me.  Mari Tucker is a wildlife biologist who scoops bunnies and endangered tortoises out of harm’s way on construction sites. Still haunted by her past, she takes the most remote jobs in the Mojave Desert to avoid people and hide from her ex. It’s a simple, quiet life filled with sweet animals and solar-powered baking until she ends up assigned to Jack Wyatt’s crew. Construction foreman Jack Wyatt’s loud, foul-mouthed temper keeps even the most rugged of men on his crew in line. No mistake is overlooked, because out in the desert it could mean life or death. In his opinion, the job site is no place for sensitive biologists, especially one as shy as Mari. But instead of wilting from the heat and hard work, Mari wins over Jack and his crew one homemade brownie at a time. Jack and Mari find a comfortable rhythm, building a friendship that’s rare for both of them. After Jack’s rocky childhood, they have more in common than they’d imagined. But even the Mojave sun can’t chase away the shadows when the past is determined to track them down…


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Two strangers start out saving animals and end up rescuing each other in this heartwarming romance from the author of Unbreak Me.  Mari Tucker is a wildlife biologist who scoops bunnies and endangered tortoises out of harm’s way on construction sites. Still haunted by her past, she takes the most remote jobs in the Mojave Desert to avoid people and hide from her ex. It’s a Two strangers start out saving animals and end up rescuing each other in this heartwarming romance from the author of Unbreak Me.  Mari Tucker is a wildlife biologist who scoops bunnies and endangered tortoises out of harm’s way on construction sites. Still haunted by her past, she takes the most remote jobs in the Mojave Desert to avoid people and hide from her ex. It’s a simple, quiet life filled with sweet animals and solar-powered baking until she ends up assigned to Jack Wyatt’s crew. Construction foreman Jack Wyatt’s loud, foul-mouthed temper keeps even the most rugged of men on his crew in line. No mistake is overlooked, because out in the desert it could mean life or death. In his opinion, the job site is no place for sensitive biologists, especially one as shy as Mari. But instead of wilting from the heat and hard work, Mari wins over Jack and his crew one homemade brownie at a time. Jack and Mari find a comfortable rhythm, building a friendship that’s rare for both of them. After Jack’s rocky childhood, they have more in common than they’d imagined. But even the Mojave sun can’t chase away the shadows when the past is determined to track them down…

30 review for Breathe the Sky

  1. 5 out of 5

    Heather

    This was a quiet read where two completely different people fall in love in the desert. It was a quick read but it definitely packed an emotional punch. Our main character Mari was in an abusive marriage and she is still struggling with it. It was interesting how she was a biologist on a lineman job and how her relationship to Jack came to be. A sweet, romantic read.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Samantha

    DNF'd at 20% tw: severe emotional and physical abuse from an ex; stalking; sexual harassment; severe animal abuse in past; death of a sibling This is about a biologist running from her abusive ex-husband and a grumpy construction foreman with a traumatic past forming an unlikely romance when they work together on a site. I did like that they were older characters (young middle aged) and it seemed like they would have a sweet relationship. But while I don't think having this much trauma in a book DNF'd at 20% tw: severe emotional and physical abuse from an ex; stalking; sexual harassment; severe animal abuse in past; death of a sibling This is about a biologist running from her abusive ex-husband and a grumpy construction foreman with a traumatic past forming an unlikely romance when they work together on a site. I did like that they were older characters (young middle aged) and it seemed like they would have a sweet relationship. But while I don't think having this much trauma in a book is wrong, this is not the type of story I personally enjoy exploring. Both of their pasts are very brutal and it's brought up a lot, and that's just not the story for me.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Chris C - A Midlife Wife

    Enjoyable and engaging but several issues for me. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ I love the plot of this book. It’s totally unique and an interesting look into different types of lifestyle that’s very apropos for today. The story is this book tells a story of two people who are working through trauma in their life but are willing to work through and take a chance. The author writes a compelling story, rich with detail and emotion. Her character development is also richly detailed but that’s where I have iss Enjoyable and engaging but several issues for me. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ I love the plot of this book. It’s totally unique and an interesting look into different types of lifestyle that’s very apropos for today. The story is this book tells a story of two people who are working through trauma in their life but are willing to work through and take a chance. The author writes a compelling story, rich with detail and emotion. Her character development is also richly detailed but that’s where I have issue with story. I really enjoyed Mari and the way she stood up for her convictions and the way she dealt with her trauma. The healing process was nicely developed. Plus, she was the only one who understood Jack. But then we get to Jack. I really wanted so much more for him. The way this read to me, he was mainly inarticulate, especially in uncomfortable situations. He seemed more like a boar of a man instead of the rough, gruff, tender person that he really was deep down. I don’t want to give away the story, because I appreciate how the characters work together, for the most part, to build their connection. But he seemed very lacking in his ability to reach her tender feelings and develop her confidence. The romance factor was definitely lacking in many ways. While I definitely enjoyed the story, I really wanted much more for Jack in terms of that tender connection instead of the fearful man he became in my eyes. A first time read for me for this author, but I would certainly read her other novels as well. Breathe the Sky is beautifully written and well executed for a lovely escape. We get many complex emotions through this story, with highs and lows, funny wit, healing, and growth. * copy received for review consideration Full review - https://amidlifewife.com/breathe-the-...

  4. 4 out of 5

    Kelly

    A romance that proves it’s never too late to find love. As always, Hazen’s characters are gorgeously developed and heartbreakingly tragic. The heat of the sun-baked desert is tangible as sweet Mari and gruff Jack find themselves and each other. Beautifully written from beginning to end!

  5. 5 out of 5

    G.L. Jackson

    If you have ever wanted to read a book about a pair of people who seriously have to shove themselves aside—put their shyness and insecurities on the shelf—in order to be together, then this is the book for you. Breathe the Sky is the story of Mari, a wildlife biologist, and Jack, a desert construction foreman, both so wrapped up in their own pain and hurt that neither has left room for anyone else. But circumstances mash them together enough, and repeatedly so, until they can't help but open up If you have ever wanted to read a book about a pair of people who seriously have to shove themselves aside—put their shyness and insecurities on the shelf—in order to be together, then this is the book for you. Breathe the Sky is the story of Mari, a wildlife biologist, and Jack, a desert construction foreman, both so wrapped up in their own pain and hurt that neither has left room for anyone else. But circumstances mash them together enough, and repeatedly so, until they can't help but open up to one another. This is honestly one of the most beautifully written romance novels I've read. Its progression is like a time-lapse photograph of a flower opening up. Sometimes it moves painfully slowly, and other times it's painted in beautiful loud broad strokes. At the end you know you'll end up with a gorgeous phenomenon of nature. Being able to witness Mari going from deer-in-the-headlights fearful to competent and self-confident is beautiful, and it's every bit as fulfilling to see Jack finally overcome his long-held self-loathing and learn to love again. Set against a Mojave desert backdrop, Breathe the Sky is both as desolate as the endless sand and as beautiful and filled with hope as that same desert's sunrise. I recommend this story for readers who are interested in older protagonists who've been through the wringer, but work hard for their happily ever after...and of course, for fans of author Michelle Hazen's other work.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Astrid - The Bookish Sweet Tooth

    TITLE: BREATHE THE SKY AUTHOR: Michelle Hazen SERIES: Standalone RELEASE DATE: July 18, 2020 GENRE: Contemporary Romance THEMES & TROPES: Domestic abuse RATING: 4 Stars CLIFFHANGER: No READ MY REVIEW ON THE BLOG Breathe The Sky sure is a kick in the feels. It's hard when one of the characters has an abusive past but when both of them were mistreated and abused it packs an extra punch. Mari got out of her marriage two years ago and has been hiding from her ex-husband since. She is part of a group of TITLE: BREATHE THE SKY AUTHOR: Michelle Hazen SERIES: Standalone RELEASE DATE: July 18, 2020 GENRE: Contemporary Romance THEMES & TROPES: Domestic abuse RATING: 4 Stars CLIFFHANGER: No READ MY REVIEW ON THE BLOG Breathe The Sky sure is a kick in the feels. It's hard when one of the characters has an abusive past but when both of them were mistreated and abused it packs an extra punch. Mari got out of her marriage two years ago and has been hiding from her ex-husband since. She is part of a group of biologists who make sure that no endangered animals are harmed at a construction site. This is where she meets Jack Wyatt, and if you think you've met grumpy men in books prepare for Jack. If you look up grump in the dictionary it's his pic you'll see. Goodness, this guy was growly, frowny, scowly. But he's also shy in a way and that shyness and his insecurities tugged on my heartstrings. His tendency to expect the worst was so sad. I wanted him to be happy but his prickly disposition made it a little harder for Mari to get close to him. But her patience with him, her kindness and how she was able to read him, let him trust her enough to open up to her. He kept leaning against his doorframe after she was gone, and it wasn’t until his cheeks started to ache in an unfamiliar way that he realized he was smiling. When Mari pushed Jack away a little I wasn't happy but the point was that there was a growing self-awareness, that Mari tried hard to overcome a pattern that was ingrained in her by her violent ex-husband and trust another man. That she eventually succeeded. Jack, too, got past his abusive childhood and teenage years and both of them felt empowered by the other one. I loved Marie's intuition, her ability to read Jack and Jack's adoration for her, all his bristling couldn't distract from his buttery soft core. I felt so much empathy and compassion for these two but also pride for every little step they made progress. She understood this man. They were born-again virgins at dating, to be sure, but she wasn’t wrong about him. She was going to stop giving in to all those slippery little impulses to believe the worst. This isn't an action-filled story, the quietness and slower pace of it is what's so compelling. Michelle Hazen draws a picture of two broken people, so broken that it really hurts to read about them, who break out of their conditioned responses and find happiness and healing with the unlikeliest person. This could have gone in a completely toxic direction but Mari and Jack were perfect and made each other whole again. It was the stakes they’d faced, slashed across both their skins in marks that would never fade or smooth. And yet they’d both stared down that cost and stolen back their lives for themselves. She was fucking proud. Of him. Of herself.

  7. 4 out of 5

    1-Click Addict Support Group

    Quiet, contemplative, a soul-searching read… I’ve only read a few titles by this author, but each one was stellar… Mari was digging herself out of financial ruin, all the result of a relationship that ended very badly. She was hurting for money, for self-confidence and a place in the world she could feel safe and comfortable. Jack ran his work site with a lot of skill, much yelling and a reputation that preceded him… Underneath that blustery exterior, however, was a soul yearning for acceptance an Quiet, contemplative, a soul-searching read… I’ve only read a few titles by this author, but each one was stellar… Mari was digging herself out of financial ruin, all the result of a relationship that ended very badly. She was hurting for money, for self-confidence and a place in the world she could feel safe and comfortable. Jack ran his work site with a lot of skill, much yelling and a reputation that preceded him… Underneath that blustery exterior, however, was a soul yearning for acceptance and understanding. As the last sacrificial biologist of the team, Mari had to take her turn working with him, and what they both received was incredible… Their relationship was a slow sizzle, almost old-fashioned, as they meandered their way through work hiccups, personal obstacles and personalities that should have been polar opposites. Each step was awkward and almost shy, despite the maturity of them both. I smiled at the slow steps they took and reveled in the relationship that grew along the way. I loved Mari’s gentle competence, hew work dedication and her ability to read Jack and others in such insightful ways. Jack was anything but gentle with, as it turned out, everyone except her. Kindred spirits, they seemed to “get” each other and how they worked through their differences, sharing their pain, their dreams – and their fears, made for a courtship full of angst and high emotion. Overcoming their own fears meant opening themselves to a love like no other and their triumphs just made me smile even more. Loved it! ~Diane, 4.5 stars

  8. 4 out of 5

    Carol (StarAngel's Reviews) Allen

    4.5 Stars I absolutely LOVED Jack! I could have done without his partial sentences but that's just a pet peeve that I own. Mari was a such a lovable character and the strength that she grew into to had me rooting for her! The author did such a fantastic job of developing these characters that I felt that I grew right along with them!

  9. 4 out of 5

    Sandra

    **Updated review to include audiobook** Wonderful from start to finish! From Michelle Hazen's raw, realistic, beautiful prose to Brittany Pressley's spot on narration, BREATHE THE SKY is a story not easily forgotten. Long after your headphones are tucked away, Jack and Mari will linger; their second chance at life and having the strength to grab ahold of happiness and hope will fill readers' hearts. From the Mojave Desert setting to Hazen's sensitive handling of domestic abuse, BREATHE THE SKY dra **Updated review to include audiobook** Wonderful from start to finish! From Michelle Hazen's raw, realistic, beautiful prose to Brittany Pressley's spot on narration, BREATHE THE SKY is a story not easily forgotten. Long after your headphones are tucked away, Jack and Mari will linger; their second chance at life and having the strength to grab ahold of happiness and hope will fill readers' hearts. From the Mojave Desert setting to Hazen's sensitive handling of domestic abuse, BREATHE THE SKY draws readers in, the arid desert, gruff linemen, and dedicated biologists a surprisingly perfect backdrop for two people to see past their expectations and fall in love despite their traumatic pasts. I soaked up the unlikely friendship between Jack and Mari as it moves towards something more intimate. The dynamics between the gruff Jack and sweet, brownie-making Mari are fantastic. Watching them overcome the their pasts and open their hearts to both friendship and love was inspiring. 5/5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

  10. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Bailey

    This book touched my heart. Two broken people are in the process of learning how to heal themselves when they find each other. Emotional heart strings, romantic thoughtful touches, and a steamy tough guy hero that will leave you melting. Michelle has done it again! Love this book!

  11. 4 out of 5

    Guilty Pleasures Book Reviews

    Amanda’s review: Breathe the Sky is a book that touched my heart and one of the best books I’ve read this year. The story is about two individuals who don’t look like they would go together but end up being exactly what they each needed to smooth out their rough edges and heal their souls. Mari Tucker is a biologist who protects wildlife on construction sites. Jack Wyatt hates having to follow the rules the biologist tell him because it makes his job twice as hard to do. Jack’s gruff and grumpy m Amanda’s review: Breathe the Sky is a book that touched my heart and one of the best books I’ve read this year. The story is about two individuals who don’t look like they would go together but end up being exactly what they each needed to smooth out their rough edges and heal their souls. Mari Tucker is a biologist who protects wildlife on construction sites. Jack Wyatt hates having to follow the rules the biologist tell him because it makes his job twice as hard to do. Jack’s gruff and grumpy managerial style scares Mari but she isn’t going to let him get away with anything on her shift. She slowly wins him over one brownie at a time and they build an understanding and the beginning of a friendship. Both Mari and Jack are products of abuse and both have a hard time relating to other people. Their friendship is a test of sort to figure out how to stretch their small boundaries and reach out to the other and socialize. The story went at a good pace to develop these characters and see how they slowly learn to trust each other. You get to see beyond Jack’s rough exterior is a man with a soft heart and how Mari has real strength inside her quiet and timid demeanor. I love the development of their friendship builds to sexual tension and finally they realize its love for one another. It wasn’t always easy but once Mari and Jack found one another, they weren’t going to just let it go that easy. What touched my heart is when you read the part in the story where the title of the book comes from. That is powerful writing. This is my second story and she has become a favorite all due to her beautiful writing. Breathe the Sky is a heartfelt and uplifting story that resonated with me and I know it will for others. Review copy provided for a voluntary review.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Margaret (xoxoLibro)

    Ya'll the absolute cuteness, the shy, awkward, struggles of these two lovebirds....I could barely stand it! Summary: Gruff, secretly sweet man + reserved, intelligent woman / (working through past trauma) x (genuine respect) = the most adorably heartwarming love story I've read in ages. Why I Loved Breathe The Sky: I'd literally been tweeting about wanting to read something with a gruff, grumpy love interest who was secretly a huge softy, and Breathe The Sky delivered! Jack is the actual grumpiest a Ya'll the absolute cuteness, the shy, awkward, struggles of these two lovebirds....I could barely stand it! Summary: Gruff, secretly sweet man + reserved, intelligent woman / (working through past trauma) x (genuine respect) = the most adorably heartwarming love story I've read in ages. Why I Loved Breathe The Sky: I'd literally been tweeting about wanting to read something with a gruff, grumpy love interest who was secretly a huge softy, and Breathe The Sky delivered! Jack is the actual grumpiest and he seems to get grumpier, the more he's trying to cover up being a good person. And our girl, Mari. This sweet, quietly strong woman who's been through hell and back. She sees right through Jack's facade, understanding him in a way that no one else does. It's almost like they speak the same language. <3 There's something really amazing about the way Hazen crafts her characters. It's so much more than beautiful people with a lot of chemistry. Her characters *feel* real. They have so much depth - fear and pain and hope and plans...and the way they fit together is MAGIC. But you know what the very best part of Hazen's books are? That the women fix themselves.Their men support and love them, but it's the women who choose to face their trauma head-on and take their power back. It's so empowering! Honorable Mentions: - Desert sex with very large...um...cacti. *wink* - A look into a fascinating career/lifestyle that is completely foreign to me -- working on desert build sites. - Overcoming past domestic violence trauma to find love and happiness.** **I do think it's important to note that said violence never takes place on the page. This is a story about battling (and overcoming) your demons, not living them.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Mary Ann Marlowe

    I was lucky enough to read an advance copy of this beautiful book. Jack and Mari are an unlikely pair. Jack's gruff and grumpy. Mari's kind and open-hearted. Both come from a similar background that has left them with wounds that would seem to make it even more difficult for these two to find one another, but as Mari teaches Jack how to take more care of the small animals in his construction zone, she also coaxed him into a gentle friendship with her, and he begins to want to shelter her as much I was lucky enough to read an advance copy of this beautiful book. Jack and Mari are an unlikely pair. Jack's gruff and grumpy. Mari's kind and open-hearted. Both come from a similar background that has left them with wounds that would seem to make it even more difficult for these two to find one another, but as Mari teaches Jack how to take more care of the small animals in his construction zone, she also coaxed him into a gentle friendship with her, and he begins to want to shelter her as much as any of the baby turtles he's come to appreciate. This begins as a bit of a slow burn, but Jack and Mari aren't debutante teenagers, and when they decide to advance their relationship, they do so with an adult's pragmatism, not that their romance lacks anything in the way of sparks and surprises for all that. If anything, their intimacy is refreshingly honest and real. I loved how the back story was handled adeptly, but even more, I loved that Mari and Jack, through the confidence they gain with each other, learn that they have the power to heal their own wounds. Watch for this one!

  14. 4 out of 5

    Mary

    This book does need a bit of a trigger warning, for discussions of domestic violence. While it’s never portrayed in real time on the page, Mari is still emotionally in a process of healing from very visceral fear that might resonate uncomfortably for someone. Personally, I found this issue and the discomfort surrounding it to be handled with really moving, poignant sensitivity. I’m blown away that such a heavy topic could be broached in the context of a theoretically-light read -- the balance is This book does need a bit of a trigger warning, for discussions of domestic violence. While it’s never portrayed in real time on the page, Mari is still emotionally in a process of healing from very visceral fear that might resonate uncomfortably for someone. Personally, I found this issue and the discomfort surrounding it to be handled with really moving, poignant sensitivity. I’m blown away that such a heavy topic could be broached in the context of a theoretically-light read -- the balance is so skillfully accomplished it made my head spin. One minute I’d be moved to tears; the next I’d be snorting with laughter and getting looks. ...Because you can’t read this book indoors. Best setting I found was an empty ballpark in the evening for the sand, bunnies, and sunset. My favorite thing about this book is the incredible respect given to two broken characters: past what may appear to be their odd behaviors and insecurities, you’re let all the way in to their selfless motivations and their aspirations for growth. -- And they DO grow, and it’s thrilling to witness. This book is gentle, sensitive, and patient; but all the more dynamic for the fact that the dynamism comes from within. The lead characters learn to trust each other, but moreover the compassion they have for each other enables them to self-reflect on their own intrinsic worth and instincts, and learn to trust themselves. Like pretty much all Hazen’s lead characters, they’re somehow *exceedingly* human: completely relatable and real, and also achingly beautiful, so you feel like you’re a better human for knowing them. Have I mentioned yet that this book is gorgeous?! Several of the most fundamental topics -- trust, respect, safety, hope, second chances, beauty inclusive of flaws -- are handled through absolutely perfect wildlife metaphors layered enough and alluring enough to endure and develop over the course of the entire book. Hazen’s descriptions of the desert are stunning; you can hear Jack’s voice as he talks; you feel the sun-baked metal and smell the brownies. I could talk about this book forever. I’m so honored I got to read it early, and I’ll definitely be reading it again. And again.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Isha Coleman

    Hazen puts the heart under a microscope to explore the treasures hidden inside. Breathe the Sky is as fragile as it is strong. Jack and Mari turn beautifully broken into an inspirational love song. Tissues are a must.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Deborah Maroulis

    Michelle Hazen has done it again. This story is sexy, timely, personal, heart-wrenching, and fulfilling all at once. Plus the sex scenes...I'm surprised my Kindle didn't erupt into flames! I will forever buy anything Ms. Hazen writes, and I will cheer, cry, root for, and scream from the first word on the page to the last. Just do yourself a favor and preorder this book now. And if you haven't read UNBREAK ME, do that now. NOW.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Erin Lindsay McCabe

    I’ve been in a bit of a reading slump (thanks COVID) and this was just the kind of book I needed. I loved Hazen’s novel Unbreak Me and so I pre-ordered this one, and it finally came yesterday. I decided to crack it open late last night, stayed up into the wee hours and pretty much read it every spare second today until I finished. I love the emotional depth that Hazen brings to her romances, that she doesn’t shy away from writing characters with difficult pasts (domestic abuse and child abuse in I’ve been in a bit of a reading slump (thanks COVID) and this was just the kind of book I needed. I loved Hazen’s novel Unbreak Me and so I pre-ordered this one, and it finally came yesterday. I decided to crack it open late last night, stayed up into the wee hours and pretty much read it every spare second today until I finished. I love the emotional depth that Hazen brings to her romances, that she doesn’t shy away from writing characters with difficult pasts (domestic abuse and child abuse in this novel), and that she writes with a more literary style. I was completely engrossed in the story and found it almost impossible to put down. My only complaint is there were some particulars of a plot thread I felt got dropped just a bit (the sparrow nest). Regardless—this is the kind of romance I love, the kind that feels like a complete meal to read, rather than a bag of candy that goes down fast and tastes great in the moment but leaves you feeling a little nauseous and unfulfilled when you finally quit and realize you’ve the whole thing in one sitting. This story is satisfying and leaves you wishing you could spend more time with Mari and Jack.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Barbara

    Once again, Michelle Hazen has once again touched upon a difficult subject with heart and soul. I really embraced Mari and Jack, two battered souls desperately in need of healing. If physical abuse is a trigger for you, this book is not for you. While I feel the subject was handled well, it may be too much for some people. I loved the growth of these two characters - individually and together - over the course of the story, and how they each found ways to help each other heal and find what's mos Once again, Michelle Hazen has once again touched upon a difficult subject with heart and soul. I really embraced Mari and Jack, two battered souls desperately in need of healing. If physical abuse is a trigger for you, this book is not for you. While I feel the subject was handled well, it may be too much for some people. I loved the growth of these two characters - individually and together - over the course of the story, and how they each found ways to help each other heal and find what's most important to them. Once I started, I didn't want to put the book down. There were scenes that made me laugh, and others had me reaching for a tissue. There were some poignant scenes and descriptions that really brought the story to life and had me feeling like I was there with Mari and Jack. Can't wait to see what Michelle comes up with next!!

  19. 4 out of 5

    Andrea (Hammock and Read)

    Outside of the ex-husband this book was some of the closest to my real life, just change out the bio for archy and you have seasonal work and a lot of archy lives. You can tell it was the authors life for a while as she nailed it! It was also nice to have older lover story and working through their past and self doubts. It was a slow burn with some nice steam at the end. Mari doesn't let the boys club get in the way of doing her job and Jack is protecting his works as he sees fit. The moments of Outside of the ex-husband this book was some of the closest to my real life, just change out the bio for archy and you have seasonal work and a lot of archy lives. You can tell it was the authors life for a while as she nailed it! It was also nice to have older lover story and working through their past and self doubts. It was a slow burn with some nice steam at the end. Mari doesn't let the boys club get in the way of doing her job and Jack is protecting his works as he sees fit. The moments of big tough guy saving a turtle are 100! This was my first Michelle Hazen and really enjoyed the writing and story line. It was a really nice real life story and especially a different story we don't get much of! It was a nice change to see us nerds get a love story for once. Overall, 4 stars and 3 steam

  20. 5 out of 5

    Terri M.

    Breathe the Sky is a wonderful examination of abuse, the power abusers have over their victims and how the victims can find strength in themselves with the help of trusted others to break out of the cycle of fear. I receive an advanced reader copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

  21. 5 out of 5

    ☆☆Hannah☆☆

    I enjoyed this authors Sex, Love, and Rock & Roll series. However, this book didn't work for me. Mari was annoying to me. I know she was trying to do her job but it still bothered me. Jack was an okay character. The good thing is that both of them finally got a happy ending. I enjoyed this authors Sex, Love, and Rock & Roll series. However, this book didn't work for me. Mari was annoying to me. I know she was trying to do her job but it still bothered me. Jack was an okay character. The good thing is that both of them finally got a happy ending.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Rachel

    I received an ARC from Netgalley. Thank you to Netgalley, the publisher Berkley Publishing Group, and the author Michelle Hazen for the copy. All opinions expressed are my own. I read this entire book in one glorious day. My emotions were captured early on, and I needed to see how the story developed, and the characters healed and grew together. Mari & Jack meet in the Mojave desert. Jack is the foreman of a construction company setting up power lines. Mari is a biologist, and her job is to protec I received an ARC from Netgalley. Thank you to Netgalley, the publisher Berkley Publishing Group, and the author Michelle Hazen for the copy. All opinions expressed are my own. I read this entire book in one glorious day. My emotions were captured early on, and I needed to see how the story developed, and the characters healed and grew together. Mari & Jack meet in the Mojave desert. Jack is the foreman of a construction company setting up power lines. Mari is a biologist, and her job is to protect the wildlife in the construction area (think modern-day Lorax). Jack is outspoken, and at first, cannot see what the fuss is about a few small turtles or birds. Both Jack & Mari find themselves drawn together. Their relationship starts slowly, and builds from friends into more. When their pasts pulls them apart, both Jack & Mari must confront the people who harmed them in the past, and make difficult decisions to change the course of their future. As a note of caution, this book deals with abuse. Both main characters have experience physical and emotional abuse. Jack grew up with a physical and emotional abusive father and brother. It was an interesting juxtaposition between Jack and his brother and their own reactions to growing up in an abusive environment. Mari also experienced abuse. First with her step-father, and then after marriage from her (now ex) husband. This book has a beautiful cover, and contains a beautiful story within. I look forward to reading more books by this author.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Ari

    It’s hard to rate this one. 2 stars are not enough, but 3 might be too many. I loved the first half, but disliked the later (they both acted out of character after all the buildup). I liked the cover, didn't even read about it, but it was a bit too much for me at times. The consistency (or the lack of it) was my main problem here, I just wanted for things to evolve in a different way.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Anna Theurer (Anna's Bookshelf)

    Breathe the Sky is a remarkable, thought provoking, and emotional read that captured my attention from the first page and kept me entertained until the very end. This author has a beautiful writing style as she skillfully weaves together story that is both original and engaging. The characters are interesting, unique, and likable. Mari and Jack seem like opposites on the surface, but they both have heartbreaking backstories that have left open wounds. While they each have their own flaws and thi Breathe the Sky is a remarkable, thought provoking, and emotional read that captured my attention from the first page and kept me entertained until the very end. This author has a beautiful writing style as she skillfully weaves together story that is both original and engaging. The characters are interesting, unique, and likable. Mari and Jack seem like opposites on the surface, but they both have heartbreaking backstories that have left open wounds. While they each have their own flaws and things to overcome, they both possess an inner strength which is admirable. Mari may be quiet, but she is also strong. I loved her as a heroine and the author did an excellent job portraying her character growth. Jack is surly, but he also has a soft side to him which I adored. Their relationship is more along the lines of a slow burn romance which I think worked very well for this book. I enjoyed watching their relationship evolve. Written with the Mojave Desert as a backdrop, I found myself fascinated with the natural beauty as well as all the intricate workings of construction work in an area with endangered species. These are things that I never really thought much about, but this author sparked my interest for sure! It is clear that this author has done her research. Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this breathtaking novel. The storyline was solid and the book moved at a good pace. The author did a phenomenal job with character development throughout the book. This book is emotional at times, but it is also sweet and heartwarming.

  25. 5 out of 5

    alexis gibboney

    “You’re freaking kidding me. He catches bunnies for you, takes you for rides on his motorcycle, looks at you like he wants to curl up in your lap and purr, and has an enormous dong?” First and foremost let me just say that Michelle Hazen writes some of the most heart wrenching romance I have ever read. I absolutely love it! Breathe the Sky was about two broken beautiful people who come together and find themselves in the middle of the Mojave Desert. This books has cute turtles/tortoises, hot cons “You’re freaking kidding me. He catches bunnies for you, takes you for rides on his motorcycle, looks at you like he wants to curl up in your lap and purr, and has an enormous dong?” First and foremost let me just say that Michelle Hazen writes some of the most heart wrenching romance I have ever read. I absolutely love it! Breathe the Sky was about two broken beautiful people who come together and find themselves in the middle of the Mojave Desert. This books has cute turtles/tortoises, hot construction workers, brownies, and sweet love. WHAT ELSE COULD YOU NEED?? Jack and Mari both are running from the past, they run right into each other. But when the past is hot on their heels, will they look back or move forward?

  26. 4 out of 5

    Mikaela (Booklover1974)

    I liked it a lot! It felt refreshing that it was two mature people that had been battered by life but still hoped for love inside. Even if they tried to convinced themselves that they weren't lovable. It's upsetting with all the abuse but that's life for some people in the real life and sometimes you need to read about it to appreciate what you have. Thank you to the publisher and Edelweiss for the opportunity to review this new novel.

  27. 4 out of 5

    OpenBookSociety.com

    https://openbooksociety.com/article/b... Breathe the Sky By Michelle Hazen ISBN13: 9781984803313 Brought to you by OBS reviewer Andra Summary: Mari Tucker is a wildlife biologist who scoops bunnies and endangered tortoises out of harm’s way on construction sites. Still haunted by her past, she takes the most remote jobs in the Mojave Desert to avoid people and hide from her ex. It’s a simple, quiet life filled with sweet animals and solar-powered baking until she ends up assigned to Jack Wyatt’s cre https://openbooksociety.com/article/b... Breathe the Sky By Michelle Hazen ISBN13: 9781984803313 Brought to you by OBS reviewer Andra Summary: Mari Tucker is a wildlife biologist who scoops bunnies and endangered tortoises out of harm’s way on construction sites. Still haunted by her past, she takes the most remote jobs in the Mojave Desert to avoid people and hide from her ex. It’s a simple, quiet life filled with sweet animals and solar-powered baking until she ends up assigned to Jack Wyatt’s crew. Construction foreman Jack Wyatt’s loud, foul-mouthed temper keeps even the most rugged of men on his crew in line. No mistake is overlooked, because out in the desert it could mean life or death. In his opinion, the job site is no place for sensitive biologists, especially one as shy as Mari. But instead of wilting from the heat and hard work, Mari wins over Jack and his crew one homemade brownie at a time. Jack and Mari find a comfortable rhythm, building a friendship that’s rare for both of them. After Jack’s rocky childhood, they have more in common than they’d imagined. But even the Mojave sun can’t chase away the shadows when the past is determined to track them down…Goodreads) Review: Breathe the Sky by Michelle Hazen is the second book I have read by Ms. Hazen and my opinion of this author has not changed – I really enjoy reading her stories! They are engaging, interesting storylines with a pace of action that kept me engaged throughout. Take note: there is a fair amount more detail in her love scenes than in the previous book I have read of Ms. Hazen’s (Unbreak Me) and that may bother some readers (I felt a little too much detail, but not so much that I was put off – I just like to leave a little more to my own imagination). Mari, a wildlife biologist, has left an abusive ex-husband and has restarted her life keeping under the radar by living in her vehicle while taking jobs in remote locations. Jack, a construction foreman, has had to endure a childhood of abuse not just from his father but also from his older brother is also leading a more socially secluded existence. Both seem to feel they are undeserving of love (i.e. blaming themselves in part for the abuse they have had to endure). I REALLY enjoyed the aspect of the story that Mari was the watchful eye on site to protect the wildlife (by making sure the construction site adhered to the Endangered Species Act. We often, as a society ignore the fact that we are all this planet in a relatively symbiotic relationship with other creatures and must respect that, if we are to sustain life on this planet. Along the way to Mari and Jack forming a relationship, we have a number of other interesting and engaging storylines. The inter-relationships with their other co-workers shows that these two “socially inept” individuals can indeed create bonds with others, it just takes longer. And as they form relationships with others – they gain the confidence in themselves again. The transformation was slow and steady and intriguing to experience along with Mari and Jack. Of course – there were some hiccups – but that is to be expected as life is never a that easy. We get to see Mari stand up for the wildlife she is trying to protect and how she transforms Jack’s views on this! Truly inspirational and in some respects kind of funny how much Jack changed his tune! Mari’s slowly developed close relationship with Jack’s team was endearing. Some of the characters on the team are “interesting” and will keep you chuckling time and again. I found Michelle Hazen’s writing style very descriptive, evocative and thought provoking. Parts of the story were very heavy, yet the writing was handled with such care for the character and her struggles to overcome her past. And then, we have scenes where I just could not help but laugh. As a prior resident of the deserts in Arizona – I loved reading the descriptions written by Ms. Hazen – a lovely trip down memory lane. In the final analysis, Breathe the Sky is a slowly burning love story between two individuals with very heavy baggage that they are both dealing with. This baggage allows them to understand each other and take the slow road to a wonderful, simpatico relationship where each is better off. I will certainly endeavour to read more of Ms. Hazen’s books as I find her style easy to read with wonderful content which engages my imagination and in fact, teaches me many things (an lovely education on the wildlife that needs are concerted effort to respect there habitat). *OBS would like to thank the publisher for supplying a free copy of this title in exchange for an honest review*

  28. 4 out of 5

    Kathy

    Breathe the Sky by Michelle Hazen  is a marvelous contemporary romance with a breathtaking setting. Following years of abuse, biologist Mari Tucker has escaped her ex-husband, Brad and started a new life for herself. She works in the Mojave Desert with a handful of other biologists who are monitoring a crew installing electrical lines. Mari is quiet, keeps to herself, and dreads the day Brad finds her. Due to her past, she is sensitive about loud and aggressive men, so the last person she wants t Breathe the Sky by Michelle Hazen  is a marvelous contemporary romance with a breathtaking setting. Following years of abuse, biologist Mari Tucker has escaped her ex-husband, Brad and started a new life for herself. She works in the Mojave Desert with a handful of other biologists who are monitoring a crew installing electrical lines. Mari is quiet, keeps to herself, and dreads the day Brad finds her. Due to her past, she is sensitive about loud and aggressive men, so the last person she wants to monitor is foreman Jack Wyatt. But as she gets to know him, Mari realizes they share more in common that she originally believes. And when she begins spending time with him outside of work, will Mari act on her growing attraction for brash, yet gentle, Jack? Jack might have left Alabama but he still carries the scars from his abusive childhood and dysfunctional relationship with his brother Leroy.  Jack does not suffer fools lightly and although he is foul-mouthed and shouty, he genuinely cares about the men working for him. He is under a lot of pressure to keep the project moving so he impatiently and emphatically refuses to listen to the biologists' explanations about why they are protecting certain species. But when Mari is assigned to watch him and his crew, Jack appreciates her quiet way of getting her point across.  Jack is protective of Mari but will he let down the walls he uses to keep everyone at arms' length? Mari and Jack's relationship gradually shifts from professional to friendship to romance. Mari takes the first hesitant step to friendship but Jack is hard to read. She does not push hard but she is persistent as she sets aside her fears of rejection.  Jack is certainly enamored by Mari, but due to his past and the negative voices in his head, he is initially a little uneasy about  their budding friendship. Mari opens up to him about her past and while Jack tells her some details about his, he tends to be tighter lipped. Just as their romance is beginning to gain traction, Mari's knee-jerk reaction and unrealistic expectations put a future together in jeopardy. For his part, Jack is willing to give her the space she requests but a family emergency is an additional threat to their relationship. Breathe the Sky is a slow-growing, heartfelt romance. The characters are beautifully developed with back stories that tug on the heartstrings. The Mojave Desert springs vividly to life and provides the perfect backdrop for Jack and Mari's heartwarming romance. With a few obstacles for Mari and Jack to overcome,  Michelle Hazen  brings this charming love story to an uplifting, sigh-worthy conclusion. A must read for fans of contemporary romances.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Comfy Couch Book Reviews

    I seem to have been waiting for this so long, and once I had it in my hands I was transported to the remote Mojave desert and really could imagine the dust and the heat while meeting Mari the wildlife biologist and Jack the rough and gruff construction guy. Mari and Jack meet when she is allocated to his crew to monitor their work and make sure that no harm comes to the desert creatures who might be in the way. Until he meets Mari Jack has had no time for anything or anyone that gets in his way, I seem to have been waiting for this so long, and once I had it in my hands I was transported to the remote Mojave desert and really could imagine the dust and the heat while meeting Mari the wildlife biologist and Jack the rough and gruff construction guy. Mari and Jack meet when she is allocated to his crew to monitor their work and make sure that no harm comes to the desert creatures who might be in the way. Until he meets Mari Jack has had no time for anything or anyone that gets in his way, but with patience (and brownies) Mari shows him why her work is necessary and when he rescues a baby tortoise we get to see that he does have feelings underneath it all. I love Michelle's writing style and the way she so skilfully portrays her characters, delving deeply into the reasons as to why they are who they are, and then she turns everything on it's head as we see how love changes them and makes them so much happier. Mari hides her strength behind her gentleness, she loves Jack but will never compromise her happiness for a man again. Jack learns that not all the world is against him and he is worth of love and he no longer has to have fears and insecurities, someone has his back. This is a not to be missed story that is set in a unique location. Although it is a familiar theme it it so enhanced by the descriptions of the beautiful animals that inhabit the desert. Ten stars and more for this one, one of my favourite books of the year. Thank you to Michelle and Hidden Gems for the chance to read this book early.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Wendy

    3.5 stars Thank you to Berkley Pub and Netgalley for a gifted copy of this book. All opinions are my own. This was my first book by Michelle Hazen and I binged the story within 24 hours. It's an quick read about two people overcoming their trauma filled pasts and starting new. It definitely covers some heavy topics so be mentally prepared. I liked the dual perspective of the story but to me, Jack's dialogue could have been better. He's so sweet to Mari and did so much for her but I felt like he ne 3.5 stars Thank you to Berkley Pub and Netgalley for a gifted copy of this book. All opinions are my own. This was my first book by Michelle Hazen and I binged the story within 24 hours. It's an quick read about two people overcoming their trauma filled pasts and starting new. It definitely covers some heavy topics so be mentally prepared. I liked the dual perspective of the story but to me, Jack's dialogue could have been better. He's so sweet to Mari and did so much for her but I felt like he never completed a sentence when he was talking to her, so it was hard to connect with him on a deeper level. On the other hand, Mari was such a strong character who overcame her trauma to find a new life and it was nice to see her take the steps to stand up for herself, develop new friendships and find love again. TW - domestic abuse, child abuse, animal abuse, alcoholism.

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