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Break Me Like a Promise

(Once Upon a Crime Family #2)

4.06  ·  Rating details ·  338 ratings  ·  70 reviews
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.

Hardcover, 404 pages
Published June 7th 2016 by Bloomsbury USA Childrens
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Average rating 4.06  · 
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May 12, 2015 rated it really liked it
Grade: A-
An ARC was provided by Bloomsbury in exchange for review consideration.

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: I didn't realize how much I wanted to return to the Once Upon a Crime Family world until I started reading Break Me Like a Promise. It's a world of medical and technological jargon, but still altogether fun because how many of us are part of organized crime families? (Don't answer that.)
I definitely felt like the two main plots stayed strong throughout the entire book. I loved how a l
*Source* Publisher
*Genre* Young Adult, Fantasy
*Rating* 3.5


Tiffany Schmidt's Break Me Like a Promise is the sequel to Hold Me Like a Breath and the second installment in her Once Upon A Crime Family series. This time around the story revolves around 19-year old Magnolia Grace Vickers, the daughter and heir apparent to her families black market organ business. In this world, there are only THREE main families who control the black market organ business; Vickers (Maggie), Landlow (Penny),
I liked BREAK ME LIKE A PROMISE a lot more then HOLD ME LIKE A BREATH. It's situations like these where I'm glad I pursue a series until the end. While I didn't hate book one in the Once Upon a Crime Family series, I had rated it a perfectly acceptable three stars, it also was a bit of an up and down adventure. Where this one, barring a few moments, was consistently excellent. I liked the bit of overlap between plot and characters but this one stood on it's own and didn't mirror the plot or dire ...more
Shae McDaniel
Wow. WOW. That hurt. Like, suck-you-in-and-give-you-stomach-ulcers-because-you-care-too-much hurt. (Figuratively. I have a healthy stomach.) I liked the first book, but this is a whole different level.

Maggie is so much more than the brash Texan we met in HOLD ME LIKE A BREATH. She's fierce and loud and pushy and so incredibly lonely. I'd hug her, except neither of us do hugs, so that attempt really wouldn't end well at all. I LOVE that she's business-minded and so focused on profits. I love tha
Jun 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Join us at Tales of the Ravenous Reader for 5 Days of Boldly Bookish, which includes a review of Break Me Like a Promise, an event recap of the Boldly Bookish Tour, and giveaways!

Inspired by the fairytale, The Frog Prince, Break Me Like a Promise is sure to shoot to the top of your favorite list in 2016. Within the first 5% of the book, I was utterly and completely sucked in and just could not put it down. I went to a music festival…Didn’t matter, I was reading. It’s THAT good.

Break Me is the se
Thanks to Bloomsbury for providing me with an e-ARC!
I really liked this--it was a lot more than Hold Me Like A Breath.
I found the portrayal of grief so accurately written and reading about someone as strong as Magnolia go through bouts of it throughout the book... It was really heartbreaking, but it also felt so real. Schmidt doesn't gloss over it, doesn't pretend that it's gone. If anything, it made Maggie an even stronger main character.
And, honestly, I loved Maggie on her own. She was always
Rachel (The Rest Is Still Unwritten)
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Becca Fowler (PivotBookTotes)
Jan 19, 2016 rated it really liked it
break me like a promise broke. my. feels.
Dec 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
If you don't want an emotionally wrenching read, avoid this book.
If you don't like learning new things, avoid this book.
If death bothers you, avoid this book.
If you can't fathom a loved one dying, avoid this book.

I loved Hold Me Like a Breath, so reading this was an easy decision. Still, this book hit pretty close to home and it was a quick yet difficult read. Death is a tough subject, and Schmidt captures it rather well.

Jul 05, 2016 rated it really liked it
Whoa! Now this is how you write a killer sequel. Break Me Like A Promise was even better than Hold Me Like A Breath! In the sequel, we go from the NorthEast to Texas and instead of following Penny, we follow her brother, Carter's longtime girlfriend, Magnolia (Maggie) who is grieving shortly after Carter's murder.

Maggie would be a sophomore in college had she stayed in school so this is upper YA and I haven't read an upper YA in awhile so this was so totally refreshing and just what I needed to
Cynthia (Bingeing On Books)
I received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.

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 fir
Suze Lavender
Jun 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Magnolia wants nothing more than to be the head of her family's organ transplant organization. She's doing everything she can to be a worthy successor of her father. She didn't expect to be facing her future alone though. Carter was the love of her life. They were childhood sweethearts and spent every possible moment together. Now that he's gone she misses him terribly and nobody seems to understand what she's going through. Together with the new rules the government wants to accept for organ do ...more
Jul 05, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2016
I read this for a book club and while it was an easy read, it was just too full of spoiled teen angst. The plot was fairly obvious, the "problems" resolved easily, and the characters weren't terribly engaging. I can see how some early teen readers might like this but it's not as engaging for an adult, IMHO.
Jul 12, 2015 added it
Shelves: dnf
I can't. My head wants (view spoiler) forever and ever and all the teasing at the beginning didn't help. Plus, Alex is very not my type so blarg. Maybe later. ...more
Aug 19, 2015 added it
My want for this book knows no limits. #INeedItNow
Aug 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I LOVE these books so much. The feels are strong, the tension is intense, and the characters are just the absolute best. So much fun, want more please!!!
Stephanie Kaye (In Wonderland)
Oct 29, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: own
This review was originally posted on In Wonderland My Thoughts

Number 1. I have not read the first book in this series. Thankfully, that's not a big deal. Because each book deals with different characters. I've been told the characters in BREAK ME LIKE A PROMISE were in HOLD ME LIKE A BREATH but they played very, very small parts. So, if you haven't read the first book, you can easily read and figure things out with the second book. Normally, I don't like to read a book without reading the first

Mandy Webb
May 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ya
Having read two books by this author I can now safely say that I'm addicted. Tiffany Schmidt creates such unique storylines and her characters are vivid and detailed in ways that give me goosebumps. If you haven't read Hold Me Like a Breath I really suggest reading that first. There's enough backtrack in this story that you can get the gist of what happened, but then you miss the whole comparison of the main characters. Penny was a character considered to be fragile, unaware of her own capabilit ...more
Jul 03, 2017 rated it it was ok
This book started off a good note for me. Just two young kids planning a life together. They try to run off and have that life, only to get caught by the parents and the plan is put to a halt. But nothing will stop them. A few more years down the road and they finally meet up after years of calls, texts skype, etc. Only moments with each other and they were happy. But that was cut short when one of them dies.

Fast forward a few years and the story is still going well, but once it hit the halfway
I loved this Once Upon a Crime series (#2 book) and totally rooted for Magnolia Grace as she struggled first with Carter's sudden death and then her father's crime family demands to give a patient a kidney (remain with Alex through his journey to a new kidney). Maggie was one tough girl; going against everything to be a part of her father's crime family business of black market organs. This book kept me riveted because Maggie was difficult, grieving, insensitive, and against the new Organ Bill, ...more
Jul 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: from-publisher
*Break Me Like a Promise is the second book in Schmidt's Once Upon a Crime Family series which begins with Hold Me Like a Breath. This review features spoilers for book one*

Magnolia Vickers has spent years convincing her father and the other Family men that she is much more than a decorative young woman destined to spend her life on the periphery of their Business in illegal organ trafficking.

After a staggering loss, the future Maggie has been planning as her father's successor is precarious at
Candace Wondrak
Dec 30, 2017 rated it liked it
This one was definitely more steady than the first. I didn't hate the second half, like I did with the first one. A lot of moping around, but the MC's grief is understandable.

If you read the first and enjoyed it, or even was so so about it like me, give this one a shot, too. It's a worthy sequel.
May 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: faves
I really like this one. <3 This one is a beautiful book. I like how strong, brave and interesting heroine she is. I hope there's a part 2. But well, it's open-ended. Sigh. So I guess it's still okay if there's no part 2. But I would have loved to have one. Pretty please, author? xD ...more
Aug 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, 2017-reads
OMG!!! I LOVE LOVE the series!!! Book 2 is AMAZING!!! Maggie is AMAZING!!! This series
just keeps getting better!!! Iam so hooked!!! I want ro know: What is Garrett up too, Penny being
left in the dark about Garrett, & Char KEEPING SECRECTS.
Emily S.
Jun 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
I really liked this! Great follow up. I'm anxious to find out how it all ends up, so I NEED a third book!
Jun 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
While she may have loved Carter, Magnolia and Alex are soul mates. He makes her a better person.
Dec 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
Easy to keep up with the story line. Enjoyed the twist at the beginning. The protagonist was a bit whiny at times, which I totally understand. Curious to see what direction # 3 is going to go.
Jan 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
I still prefer the first book which was AMAZING! But this book was just as good.
Apr 19, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: owned
3.5 stars. Not as cute and quirky as the first one, but still enjoyable. I like reading about dialysis with a fictional story-line backing it up.
Nov 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Love it
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Tiffany Schmidt is the author of Send Me a Sign, Bright Before Sunrise, and Hold Me Like a Breath (Once Upon a Crime Family book 1).

She’s found her happily ever after in Pennsylvania with her saintly husband, impish twin boys, and a pair of mischievous puggles.

You can find out more about her and her books at:, or by following her on Twitter @Tif

Other books in the series

Once Upon a Crime Family (2 books)
  • Hold Me Like a Breath (Once Upon a Crime Family, #1)

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