Learning to Breathe by Marisa Oldham

Publication Date: May 31, 2016

Genre: Romance, Women’s Fiction, Contemporary Fiction

Book links: Goodreads | Amazon



Like the ocean, life is a beautiful force. One that can tear you limb from limb or lavish you in perfect moments.

Michelle Hathaway has it all: a view of the Eiffel Tower from her loft in Paris, a successful career as a fashion photographer, ownership in an up-and-coming art gallery, and jet-setting days filled with excitement. But, even with all that luxury, her life feels aimless.

Over the years, Michelle drifted on the tide of a long distance, on-again off-again relationship with Micah Roberts, a hot bass player in a popular rock band. When he finally asks her to move to Los Angeles to be with him, she risks everything, taking the leap into a new life.

Drowning in the wake of her decisions, she struggles just to breathe as destiny threatens to take everything. As unexpected events devastate her, will Michelle surface from the depths of despair?

“I have never cried so much while reading a book. This story touched me in a very deep and emotional way.” – Jackie Fire and Ice Book Reviews

“5 stars, Marisa. If I could give more then I would in a heartbeat. Beautiful job. Absolutely amazing.” – Aubrie Brown ARC Reader

“I have never read a book, that felt it was as much mine as it was the authors. This book has pieces that will parallel your life, and probably affect you in a way no other book has…or ever will.” – Devine Warnes ARC Reader

***Recommended for ages 18+ due to sexual content.***



Giving a dirty look and a huff, Michelle rolls onto her side and closes her eyes. Tears threaten to escape, but she won’t cry…not in front of him. She refuses to give him that kind of control over her, at least, not when he’s inches from her in their bed. Every part of her heart shatters from his words. It might have hurt less if he had just come out and said they were over. Frustration builds in her chest as a tear rolls down her cheek. As if he can see it, she wipes it away quickly. Long, deep breaths come from his side of the bed, and the sound shatters her. What’s happening to us? Is he right? Is that all we do…”fuck and fight?”


Love is one of the biggest hopes and fears in a woman’s life. Oldham’s story lays out a relationship that goes through a lot of hardships, some that a young couple should never have to experience so early. This story is tragic, yet heartfelt and hopeful. Oldham engages the reader by sharing the lives of these characters, captivating them with their emotions, thoughts, and even dreams for the future.

Michelle and Micah have been in a long distance relationship for what feels like forever. It is an on-again, off-again type situation, but Micah doesn’t seem to want the long-term commitment. When he does asks her to move in with him, she has a very hard decision to make. Does he really mean it this time? Will he get tired of her? She’ll lose everything that she’s ever worked for if she moves back to the United States and he figures out that this is really not what he wants? But, when she looks into his eyes, she sees the love and she feels that just maybe he is being truthful to himself and to her. He wants to try to make the relationship work and that should be good enough for her to risk everything. Love is worth taking risks, right? Only, when they are finally able to call Micah’s bachelor pad their home and everything seems to be growing stronger, a devastating diagnosis takes the relationship to an impossible level. An unbearable and unimaginable level that would take the breathe away from anyone, leaving a feeling lifelessness or complete numbness. Can they fight together through something that they have absolutely no control over?

The author does a superb job with character development and credibility. As this story unfolds, so many factors come to play into these character’s lives. It is not difficult to sympathize with Michelle and Micah in stories such as this because the story is so genuine. The events that take place can really happen to someone; these instances do happen and it tests faith, relationships, strength, and life itself. With such emotional conflict, taking the high road and doing some of the things that these characters do, all for love, is deeply heartfelt and riveting—Oldham has a compelling novel that will leave readers with hope and determination to read until the very end. If you are a reader of contemporary fiction, romance, and women’s fiction, you may want to pick this up—but, fair warning…this is another book that may not be easy to put down and definitely will be difficult to read due to emotional content.

A copy of this book was provided to Turning Another Page by the author, but this in no way affects our honest opinion of the book or the review that has been written. We provide a five-star rating for Learning to Breathe by Marisa Oldham.




Marisa loves telling stories that “reach into your heart and rip it out.” Her main goal is to make her readers feel all the emotions that her characters go through. She’s an avid reader herself and some of her favorite books bring tears to her eyes when she talks about them. She wants to give her readers the same type of experience.

Marisa loves to connect with readers and has set up a group, Marisa’s Groupies, on Facebook where she interacts with members frequently.

Marisa is currently working on a story based on The Falling Series, Learning to Breathe and hopes to release it before the end of the year. She plans to release a BBW contemporary romance that will explore the self-esteem issues of the main female character with a romantic, witty, and heartwarming story. She’s also working on more stories for the Naughty & Nice series of erotica novellas that she co-writes with Emma Payne, Noah Wilde, and S.M. Rose.

As a self-proclaimed thriller lover, Marisa is very excited to be co-authoring a novel in this genre with suspense/thriller author Angie Martin.

Connect with Marisa here: Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Amazon | Website | Google+