Review: BREATHE THE SKY by Michelle Hazen

Two strangers start out saving animals and end up rescuing each other in this heartwarming romance from Michelle Hazen, 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…


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.  

Michelle Hazen is a nomad with a writing problem. Years ago, she and her husband ducked out of the 9 to 5 world and moved into their truck. She found her voice with the support of the online fanfiction community, and once she started typing, she never looked back.
She has written most of her books in odd places, including a bus in Thailand, an off-the-grid cabin in the Sawtooth Mountains, a golf cart in a sandstorm, a rental car during a heat wave in the Mohave Desert and a beach in Honduras. Even when she’s climbing rocks, riding horses, or getting lost someplace wild and beautiful, there are stories spooling out inside her head, until she finally heeds their call and returns to her laptop and solar panels.
She’s currently addicted to The Walking Dead, hiking, and Tillamook cheese.
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