ARC Review: Break Me Like a Promise by Tiffany Schmidt

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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.


3/5 Stars

***I received this eARC as a gift in exchange for an honest review via NetGalley & Bloomsbury USA Childrens


  • The banter between Alex and Magnolia is perfect. It’s a fiery mess of insult and teasing that forces Magnolia to really look at the kind of person she is and how she can make herself better. The tension is palpable. The attraction is fierce. The heat is slow building and feisty. 
  • The interplay between both of their unique cultures is cool on many levels. Alex comes from a hispanic family and Magnolia full on Southern privilege. The accents, the expectations, the views of what a lady should be doing, and what’s proper, it’s a delight. The phrases, the sweet twang, the food, everything. Perfect. The characterization is on point. 
  • Insight into the organ black market, the laws, the processes for finding organ matches, everything seemed well researching and so interesting. The political platforms and  reasoning behind legalizing organ sale and incentives is complex and intriguing and so, so relevant. It will make you think, maybe about things you’ve never considered before. 


  • There’s a huge underlying threat to the Family dealing with cyber security and outsiders trying to steal critical information. It’s there, simmering under all the drama and angst. It seems insanely important, like it should have been a huge deal, I mean someone trying to steal client lists from a black market organ business, seems pretty crucial to iron out. BUT no. NO. This got lost in everything else. It became more romance than mob, and things were ignored that shouldn’t have been. Focus was scattered and by the end no resolution, only more questions and threats. 
  • Initially, Magnolia (Maggie) is every bit of the spoiled princessa that Alex labels her. She’s pretty selfish, rude, and careless with everyone’s feelings. It’s a little difficult to like her and though she’s mourning, it doesn’t make up for her attitude. 
  • Secondary characters don’t have a huge part. There’s more insight from Maggie’s mom than James or even her best friend Lupe. More interaction might have shown more sides of Magnolia’s character, adding more dimension to who she was before her heart was ripped out. 

If you like any of the following, you’ll enjoy this:

Thrilling reading,