Wednesday, June 1, 2016

BOOK REVIEW: Break Me Like A Promise (Once Upon A Crime Family #2) by Tiffany Schmidt

I received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. The scheduled publication date for this book is June 7, 2016

All Magnolia Vickers has ever wanted was to follow father’s path as head of the Family Business. But new legislation is poised to destroy the Family’s operations in the black-market organ trade and Maggie’s recent behavior has wrecked the business-savvy reputation she’s worked her whole life to build. She’s given an ultimatum: shape up or step aside. Then Maggie messes up: she downloads a virus onto her father’s computer, and must sneak it off-estate for repair. When Alex, a tech whiz, uncovers the type of information on the machine, he offers Maggie a choice: her Family can give him a kidney, or he’ll irreparably scramble the data. Like it or not, Maggie must accept that if she wants to save Alex’s life and carve out a place in the new legalized organ business, she’s going to have to fight for both. 

This book was such a pleasant surprise. I wasn't that fond of the first book in this series, so I hesitated to request the second one. The main reason I did was because it involved different characters. One of my issues with the first book was that I didn't like the main character of Penelope very much. I thought there was a possibility I would like different characters and I was right.

One thing that was different from the first book was that there was a LOT more political talk and a lot more about the actual criminal element regarding the black market of organs. I loved that. The main character is Maggie Vickers. Maggie was kind of in the last book, but she had a very small part. She was in a secret relationship with Penny's brother, Carter. The book starts with Maggie grieving over Carter's death. No one she knew had any idea about the relationship, so it's hard for anyone to understand her feelings.

Maggie was so strong and very determined. She is the heir to her father's organ harvesting business and she manages to pull herself out of her funk to start. She's not the easiest character to like at first, mainly because she doesn't care at all about the patients at first. She only sees numbers and profits; she doesn't see the behind the scenes stuff and she doesn't get that some people actually die without a transplant . . . that is, until Alex. Alex desperately needs a kidney transplant. I don't really get the reason why he was dropped off the government list. This author has taken some liberties with the real organ transplant system so it seems like the government goes out of its way to deny people a transplant for stupid reasons. Then he finds out about Maggie's family business and of course he blackmails her.

The relationship between Alex and Maggie is slow and very sweet. They have good chemistry and of course, they have the whole hate at first sight thing going on. Besides the whole blackmail thing, their relationship is also dampered by the fact that she is still grieving and he is very sick, getting sicker by the day. There is a lot of character development and growth with Maggie. Thanks to Alex, she slowly realizes how important the transplants are to people and that getting people an organ isn't always about the profit margin.

Another thing I liked about this sequel was there was a lot more explanation about how the black market organ harvesting worked and the political ramifications of the new Organ Act being debated in Congress. Maggie is against the Act and her dad starts realizing that it may be a good thing. After reading this, I kind of get both sides of the issue. It was annoying that Maggie had such a hard time seeing the bigger picture and she refused to research it to see both sides of the coin.

There was a lot of action going on and a couple of subplots that never got resolved, so I am looking forward to the next book in the series. Yes, I do intend on finishing this series. I definitely recommend this one.

Buy/Borrow/Skip: Borrow this one.


  1. Okay, so I don't know what to make of this information! See, I hated the first book, like a lot. I broke up with it. And I was like "NOPE avoiding sequel!", but I was also mildly intrigued? Like, never enough to read it, but kiiiiind of? And now that my actual BOOK TWIN says it's good... I question everything.

    I mean, no ridiculous insta-love this time!? Worldbuilding!? This is why I broke up with the first book! Well, that and the characters were dumb, which is yet another thing you are telling me is fixed. CRAP, guess I will have to read this one, huh?

    1. Shannon, yeah I didn't despise the first book but I definitely didn't like it. I hated the main character and I wanted SO MUCH MORE about the organ donation business. When I saw it on NetGalley, I didn't even consider it at first. But when I read the premise and saw that it had different characters and a different plot, I decided to give it a chance. I LOVE that there is no insta love and no love triangle. I actually LOVED the romance in this one. I do think you will like this one so much more than the first one. Of course, since you despised the first one, there is nowhere to go but up, right? :)