Break Me Like a Promise

304p. (Once upon a Crime Family). ebook available. Bloomsbury. Jun. 2016. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780802737830.
Gr 8 Up—In this engaging follow-up to Hold Me Like a Breath, the saga of the black market organ business and the three families who control it is revisited. Action picks up seamlessly from the previous novel, although the narration has switched to Magnolia Vickers. Maggie spends her days in her bed, moping around the house in her pajamas and mourning Carter Landlow's murder. On the fast track to becoming her dad's successor to their organ empire before Carter's death, she realizes she must get past her grief. The government is about to pass a bill that will make organ buying legal, and her dad has given Maggie the task of ensuring that the family business is still viable. Carelessly, Maggie infects her dad's computer with a virus. She takes the infected computer to a local computer shop, where a young man named Alex Cooper is able to clean up the computer but not before he discovers her family's secrets. A sick Alex blackmails Maggie into getting him a kidney. Once Maggie's dad discovers what she did, he requires Maggie to take Alex into their mansion and serve as an escort for him. Maggie and Alex form a deep bond while she accompanies him to daily dialysis treatments. The action is fast-paced, romance is inevitable, and the illegal organ trade business makes for a unique catalyst. Unlike Penny, the narrator in the previous volume, Maggie is hearty and less fragile, yet she still must learn to trust herself and grow up.
VERDICT A satisfying sequel that continues black market organ drama with liberal doses of romance, angst, and suspense. Purchase where the author's previous books are popular.

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