Book Review (and a Giveaway!): Heart’s Desire by Catherine Lanigan

Posted March 5, 2018 by meezcarrie in Catherine Lanigan, contemporary, giveaway, romance / 39 Comments

On Tour with Prism Book Tours

***Premiering as Sweetest Heart on the Hallmark Channel March 17th 9 PM ET***
(check your local listings for your air time)


about the book

His homecoming is bittersweet…for both of them

Café owner Maddie Strong is finally ready to take her burgeoning cupcake business to the next level. With the help of handsome businessman Alex Perkins, her future’s all mapped out.

Until her first love comes home.

At seventeen, Maddie adored Nate Barzonni with her whole heart and soul. But when he asked her to elope, she’d said no—she couldn’t let him throw away his dream of becoming a doctor. Then he vanished from her life for eleven years. Now the cardiac surgeon has returned to Indian Lake asking for a second chance, and Maddie has to choose between her new life…and the man she never stopped loving.

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SERIES: Shores of Indian Lake #2
GENRE: Contemporary Clean Romance
PUBLISHER: Harlequin Heartwarming
RELEASE DATE: August 1, 2014
PAGES: 191

Other Books In This Series

“She was a marvel to him and he hadn’t had enough time yet to tell her.”

I first visited the shores of Indian Lake in book #5, Fear of Falling. Which, combined with my out-of-control TBR pile, means I haven’t had time yet to catch up on books 1-4. In this series, that’s fine because – while we get to revisit familiar characters in each consecutive book – they can all be read as stand-alones. However, when word came that Heart’s Desire (book 2) was going to become a Hallmark movie and the Prism tour came up, I jumped at the chance to review it. And I loved seeing the Barzonni family in their ‘past’ lives!

Nate Barzonni returns home after a long absence and what greets him upon his arrival? His first love Maddie Strong in a wedding dress. Talk about a figurative gut punch… and a literal one may not be far behind. (He deserves it) For her part, Maddie is finally on the cusp of her dreams. Dreams that have evolved and matured over the 11 years since she last saw or heard from Nate Barzonni. A new relationship, a new life… and then Nate returns. Nate has one dream. Maddie has another. And just when they’re finally given a chance at each other again, they’re also given those dreams – dreams that don’t mesh well. Clearly this dynamic creates palpable tension between the two high school sweethearts, not only romantic tension (that kiss is a doozy!) but also the tension of ‘what could have been’ and the tension of ‘what could be’.

Lanigan does a good job of balancing this tension with lighter moments – while always keeping the tug-of-war between their hearts’ desires at the forefront of the story. Mrs. Beabots is a delight in the earlier books, just as she is later in the series, and it was fun to see Sophie from a slightly different perspective. I will confess, though, that I wasn’t a fan of the love triangle between Nate, Maddie, and Alex, particularly because it felt like Maddie was trying to have her cake and eat it too. Considering that she owns a cupcake cafe, I probably should have seen that one coming 😉

Bottom Line: Heart’s Desire reminds me all over again why I love Indian Lake and its characters. The small town is welcoming and quaint, with its own personality and atmosphere. At the same time, it’s close enough to Chicago to allow for a nice blending of the big city with the small town life. Through Nate and Maddie’s story, Lanigan explores our hearts’ desires – the way they evolve over time and the way they sometimes take a direction we weren’t anticipating. Every reader will be able to relate on this level to these characters, and in the meantime they are treated to a sweet romance and a not-sure-how-this-is-going-to-turn-out plot. Looking forward to its adaptation on the Hallmark Channel. Congrats, Catherine!

(I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the author. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.)

My Rating: 4 stars / Love it!

KissingBook Level: 3 / May forget to breathe on occasion

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about the author

Catherine Lanigan is the international bestselling and award-winning author of over forty-five published titles in both fiction and non-fiction, including the novelizations of Romancing the Stone and The Jewel of the Nile. Ms. Lanigan’s novels have been translated into over twenty-four languages. Lanigan was tasked by the NotMYkid foundation to pen a collection of compelling and informative true stories of teen addicts. Ms. Lanigan’s SHORES OF INDIAN LAKE series for HARLEQUIN HEARTWARMING includes LOVE SHADOWS, HEART’S DESIRE , A FINE YEAR FOR LOVE, KATIA’S PROMISE, FEAR OF FALLING, SOPHIE’S PATH, PROTECTING THE SINGLE MOM, FAMILY OF HIS OWN, HIS BABY DILEMMA, TOO CLOSE TO THE FIRE (2018) and MY RACING HEART (2019).


The Hallmark Channel will air HEART’S DESIRE on March 17, 2018.


Ms. Lanigan is a frequent speaker at literary functions and book conventions as well as inspiring audiences with her real stories of angelic intervention from her Angel Tales series of books. She is an outspoken advocate for domestic violence and abuse and was honored by The National Domestic Violence Hotline in Washington, D.C. She has been a guest on numerous radio programs including “Coast to Coast” and on television interview and talk show programs as well as blogs, podcasts and online radio interview programs. She writes a monthly blog for

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1 winner will receive a $50 Amazon eGift Card

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This giveaway is hosted by Prism Tours, not RimSP.
Follow along with the tour here.



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39 responses to “Book Review (and a Giveaway!): Heart’s Desire by Catherine Lanigan

  1. Hi, Carrie! I want all your readers to know that Harlequin is reissuing the book with the Hallmark Title: THE SWEETEST HEART, with a new cover and will soon be up on Amazon! Thanks for the great review! You’re a doll!

  2. Kay Garrett

    Thanks for the review and informtation on “Heart’s Desire” by Catherine Lanigan. I can’t wait to see it played on the Hallmark Channel! Absolutely adore the cover. It’s such a sweet moment between a couple that was captured.

    I’d very much love the chance to read the book. As good as movies are, they can never be quite as good as the book.

    • Carrie

      I love that cover too! And you’re so right – movies are fun but the book is always better 🙂

  3. Lori Smanski

    this is a pretty and fun cover. I have not read a book by this author yet. I am just starting to get into contemporary books

  4. Danielle Hammelef

    The cover makes me feel cozy and loved. I hope to see the movie, but don’t get that channel.

  5. Winnie Thomas

    This book looks great and sounds intriguing! How fun that it’s a movie! I’ll have to have my husband record it.

  6. Natalya Lakhno

    Lovely cover. I would like to read Maddie and Nate’s story…sounds interesting.

  7. Barbara R.

    Yes, I will watching Heart’s Desire premiering as Sweetest Heart on Hallmark? I love Hallmark. I like the theme of this book in a small town and love that survives distance and time.

  8. James Robert

    Just seeing the cover I can tell it would be a book my oldest sister would enjoy. Thanks so much for your great review and the giveaway as well. Great Post!

  9. Melissa

    Choices…I think I would choose the man who helped me presently because the doctor didn’t have to leave despite her instance for him to choose his career.

    So complicated because of second chances being great and the fact of the prospect of the underdog getting the girl.

    Can’t watch Hallmark presentation. No cable. Maybe I’ll watch on video one day.

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