Book Review

Book Review: A Hand-Me-Down Heart (Texas General Cases of Romance #1) by Becki Willis

Rating: ☆☆☆
Audience: Contemporary Romance
Length: 148 pages
Author: Becki Willis
Publisher: Self-published
Release Date: November 24th, 2019
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads


Grace Stavenaugh has lived her life in the shadow of her older sister. Even as children, Hope was always the talented one and Grace the smart one. Hope received the attention, the boyfriends, and the beautiful clothes; Grace received the hand-me-downs.

The leftovers never bothered Grace, until it came to one boy. Her sister went through boyfriends and their affections like she did her clothes, carelessly tossing one aside in favor of another. Often left to stall her sister’s adoring public, Cruz Colton was the one boy Grace never objected to entertaining. As their friendship grew and Grace found herself falling for the boy with the quiet sense of humor, she began to imagine he really came to see her, and not her sister. But one fateful night changed that perception, and she realized his was only a hand-me-down heart, after all. Long ago, Grace banished thoughts of Cruz from her mind, even if her heart was reluctant to let his memory go.

Ten years later, their paths cross again. Grace is living her dream as a registered nurse, Hope is a brilliant concert violinist, and Cruz has a distinguished career in the military. Recently discharged from service, Cruz checks in at Texas General Hospital where Grace works.

And just like that, Grace’s heart picks up where it left off.

She tells herself she’s over him. These sparks between them are nothing but leftover embers from bridges burned, a decade past. The adult Cruz is a changed, hardened man. The shadows in his dark eyes speak of hidden secrets and the horrors of war. Is Grace strong enough to help him battle his inner demons? And with Hope back in town, can Grace stand up to her sister’s domineering presence?

Grace may have been content in the shadows as a girl, but she’s a woman now, and she knows what she wants. It’s time to let her own light shine, because Cruz Colton’s is definitely a hand-me-down heart worth fighting for.

From the best-selling author of Texas General Cozy Cases of Mystery, The Sisters, Texas Series, and Forgotten Boxes, don’t miss this first book in the series! 


This was a quick and well-written tale of second chances. I was impressed that within 150 pages that I felt some emotion and attachment to these characters. The set-up for their second chance worked out really well for them.

It’s a cozy read with two characters coming to terms with a lot from their pasts. I thought the banter was cute and made for an enjoyable read. There’s not a lot here to dive down into but it is engaging. Some aspects were a bit silly (i.e. what the main issue was from their past). Overall though I’m happy with this simple, romantic read and am curious of the authors other novels.

The side characters made me laugh, and completely roll my eyes. I did like the charm they added to the book and helped round out some of the situational aspects. If you’re looking for something light to get lost in for the afternoon it’s a satisfactory choice.

Overall audience notes:

  • Contemporary romance
  • Language: none
  • Romance: kisses
  • Trigger/Content Warings: PTSD (from being a war veteran)

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