Break Me Like A Promise – the second in the Once Upon A Crime series

Break Me Like A Promise – the second in the Once Upon A Crime series

If you enjoyed Hold Me Like A Breath, and even if you didn’t, you should give Break Me Like A Promise a chance.  Where Penelope was an over-insulated ingenue of a narrator, Magnolia is all steel and cynicism.  She is strong and driven (yay!) but she is also so self-absorbed you want to slap her.  Honestly, I quickly longed to be back in Penelope’s weak little hands, so I’m really glad I stuck around to see Magnolia’s character arc run its course.  It is her dynamic development that really is the heart of this story.

Break Me Like A Promise will publish on Tuesday, June 7, 2016.


Goodreads Summary

No one is unbreakable.

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. Maggie agrees, but has no intention of keeping her promise or every seeing him again. That night Alex shows up at her Family estate with copies of confidential Family files and a shocking revelation—the kidney is for him.

The Vickers aren’t willing to let Alex out of their sight, so he moves onto their estate and Maggie is assigned to be his keeper. A task she resents and he enjoys making as challenging as possible. But procuring black market organs is becoming increasingly difficult, and as Alex’s health declines, she’s surprised to find herself falling for him.

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.

My Thoughts

Like I said before, this is a book about character development.  The plot isn’t action packed – there is a lot of time shuffling around Magnolia’s ranch.  There isn’t a real sense of threat either, though there is a lot of tension and anxiety that develops simply because Magnolia is such a shoot from the hip kind of person.  There is a slow burn romance that is sweet and believable, but it, too, is really only part of the making of Magnolia.  Personally, I think that is what a book should be about, so I was pleased, but if you expected the suspense that drove the first book, you might be disappointed.  I was a little annoyed that the author seems to be disbanding the mafia of organ trade so early in the series, because that was a pretty engaging scenario ripe with potential story lines full of danger and betrayal, but I’m willing to see where the next book goes with the idea.  Overall, this is a nice juxtaposition of a sequel, and I think most readers will like it better than the first book.  Language and situations are appropriate for grades 9+.

I received an ARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.


About queenbook

When the final bell rings, I stash those messy piles of essays and analysis assignments in a desk drawer and I head home to a pile of good books. My kids and dog eat too many chicken nuggets and the house could be neater, but as long as I get my daily read, I guess we are doing all right. When I was twelve and fifteen and eighteen and twenty, I believed I needed to get out there and do those things I had just been reading about, which ended in disaster, tears, a tattoo that scares me every time I catch a glimpse of it in the mirror, and the realization that some of us are meant for action, and some of us are meant to critique the pace of action in a book. I read primarily YA fiction as I have a rather hulking classroom library and a hundred high school readers to engage daily. Nothing makes me happier than coming to school and finding an impatient teenager waiting by my door to turn in a book and get another one just like it. I adore a good zombie, a medieval princess, or girl assassin (I would like them all in one book if you are a writer looking for some inspiration). I add historical mystery to my wish list a year in advance, and you should get out of my way when the next Outlander book comes out. I have an embarrassing fondness for rock star books, but only if they don’t get too trashy and embarrass me. My favorite book of all time is The Blue Castle by L.M. Montgomery. My book boyfriends include Gilbert Blythe, Alonzo Wilder, and Jamie Fraser. They are mine and you can’t have them.

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