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.
Dear Hold Me Like a Breath,
What a tumultuous relationship we’ve had. First I didn’t like you. I was confused between all the Family (Big F) versus family (little f), and then you throw a random romance my way before I even had a chance to decide if I cared. But then you began to win me over. I started genuinely liking you, I did. I mean, black market organ donations? Yes please! Weird illness that leaves Penny unable to function as a normal young woman? Consider me intrigued!
I read along thinking that this was going to be one hell of a ride. And for awhile, you didn’t disappoint me! The twists were totally shocking, and I was SO into it. We were talking about the ethics of organ donation, and the importance of it, and a weird criminal business, and Penny wanting a more active role/live, and things were happening! And then after the second, most ginormous twist… you failed me
You turned into a sappy, wholly unbelievable romance (complete with insta-love™ and a bit of a triangle to boot), and the worst part is, I can’t even fully talk about all the things that happen in it because it would be spoilers. It’s like you cheated on me, then swore me to secrecy, and I am not okay. I knew where the romance was going with Guy #2. I knew who he was from the start, your attempt at trickery did not fool me. And what happened to all the feels for Guy #1!? Where are they!?
I know you thought I would be okay with this romantic plot point, but it didn’t work on so many levels. For one, if someone lives in a crime family, they are not likely to trust any random dude they (literally) run into on the street. This is actually what you wanted my mind to believe. For her entire existence, Penny is told to trust no one outside the family (or Family, because hell, I can’t keep track) and then she does exactly the complete opposite. And if a girl is dealing with things like “rivals” and “black market” and “casualties” (which, let the record show, are things in your actual synopsis), she’s not going to really feel like macking on randos from the street. Furthermore, if she must be entertaining gentlemen callers, can we at least have them had a modicum of chemistry and/or feelings? Because not only did I think it was ridiculous in the first place, but I never even started to care because it was quite bland anyway. Not only that, the romance minimized every twist that had happened thus far. Huge things are happening in Penny’s life and with her health and then… no matter, romance to the rescue!
I know you think you redeemed yourself a little by the ending, but… meh. I am not convinced. Frankly, I saw the twists coming, and therefore the ending, while much better than the maudlin and befuddling romance that dominated half the book, didn’t hold a ton of weight. So, it is with great sadness that I must reject your meager attempt at reconciliation. I hope your next reader has far more success. And in case it wasn’t clear….