Book Review

The Medical Mafia

Hold Me Like a Breath

Hold Me Like A Breath

by Tiffany Schmidt

Once Upon A Crime Family #1

Young Adult, Thriller, Mafia, Romance

Penelope Landlow has grown up with the knowledge that almost anything can be bought or sold—including body parts. She’s the daughter of one of the three crime families that control the black market for organ transplants.

Penelope’s surrounded by all the suffocating privilege and protection her family can provide, but they can’t protect her from the autoimmune disorder that causes her to bruise so easily.

And in her family’s line of work no one can be safe forever.

All Penelope has ever wanted is freedom and independence. But when she’s caught in the crossfire as rival families scramble for prominence, she learns that her wishes come with casualties, that betrayal hurts worse than bruises, that love is a risk worth taking . . . and maybe she’s not as fragile as everyone thinks.


Little fact about me is that I don’t do thrillers, I don’t have the nerves for thrillers and I don’t know if that will ever change. I am a person who gets deeply emotionally involved with all types of entertainment. I get emotionally involved with the story and I feel for the characters and what they go through, for example if some character I love dies I feel that so deeply so profoundly. I have to look away during certain scenes in movies and TV, I put the book down when I feel something bad is coming or a character I like is starting to embarrass themselves (and in YA, you have to know this happens way to often), so can you imagine how I would feel with thrillers? I would be an emotional mess. However I could help but want Hold Me Like A Breath because I always have had a weird thing about the Mafia. I am so fascinated with it and then I read a book a few weeks ago that had a Mafia and I loved it so of course I moved on to another Mafia type book.

The Landow’s are part of the Mafia but instead of the expected they deal in organs, organ transplants to be clearer. The government has such tight hold and regulations on transplants that hardly anyone is able to get them that is when the Family steps in. There are a few leading families and the Landow’s are one of them. The do all kinds of transplant operations in safe environments helping those who need the help. Penelope Landow is right in the middle of it but because of her illness she is also not apart of it at all and it maybe up to her to save the day. Lately there have been some unrest in the household, someone is keeping a dangerous secret and a big betrayal will change Penelope’s life forever, that’s if she can stay alive long enough.

Hold Me Like A Breath is a dark and intense crime thriller that had me trying to put all the pieces together and while I did at some point see certain things coming I will say that I didn’t figure everything out. But I am a book person and that is sort of what I do I figure things out, I mean if you read enough books you can guess where any plot (books, movies or television) is going. Also that is the purpose of a thriller is it not? To try to figure out how is the bad guy, who did what, to whom and why?

While I did enjoy the story and manage to read it faster than I would most physical books I would have to say that I am a little disappointed in some characters. First there is the fact that I would have liked a better concept of Pen’s parents than the glimpses I got and I would have like a stronger personality from the Wards, all I got was a brief impression of most of them and finally there is Penelope herself. While I understand that she was sheltered all her life, in order to keep her safe from her disease I think that she was a little more immature than I though she should be, I mean her family is still the Mob and she should have a little more maturity than she exhibited. She almost comes across as childish. However I did like the fact that she was able to grow more in this book and start becoming her own person because she had no other choice.

Hold Me Like A Breath did shock me in a lot of ways that I didn’t see coming and let me tell you there are some moments when I held my breath other moments when I wanted to ball. I really enjoyed read the book and the ending is what got it for me. Everything in the book was leading up to this action-packed ending and I loved it, it was what an crime-thriller is supposed to be. There was action, revelations, moments of confrontation, lives hanging in the balance and a conclusion I could live with. I however have a slight problem, I am happy with how it ended but there is a sequel and it’s called Break Me Like A Promise and that title almost guarantees that I am going to have emotional problems with the book, so should I let my happy ending stand or venture in to the world again with Penelope … I think we all know what I am going to do.







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