I Looked for the One My Heart Loves by Dominique Marny with Giveaway

Welcome to my stop for I Looked for the One My Heart Loves by Dominique Marnay. Please be sure to check out the other tour stops, and don’t forget to enter the Tour Wide giveaway where one US winner will get a paper ARC copy of the title, and one International winner will receive an eBook copy of the title.

Book Review:

Spanning time from the late 1930’s just before the advent of World War II, and continuing through the early 1980’s this story is rich in historical events and details, but a touch lacking in the actual  emotional connection to the characters for me.  And that is all due to the main character and narrator Anne.

Anne is a child when we first meet her, with a crush on her older brother’s friend and a solidly ‘average’ life of a French Schoolgirl of middle-class parents living in Montmartre.  With the occupation and exodus from Paris to the country, and the struggles that the French faced during the war, Marny excels in detailing the small simple moments and difficulties.  But, for me there was always something lacking: Anne’s early neediness as she expected someone to ‘take care’ of her is not unusual – for a child, but as an adult it left her with a heavy burden, especially when added to her innate distrust of everyone.  And I mean everyone.

The early promise of a child to a child in a time of turmoil should NOT have been the one event that 10, 20 even 30 years later “I should never have trusted him again” is her first and instant go to. Yet, that combined with the “who will take care of me” approach and thoughts when she is a successful, professional woman just annoyed me to no end.  THEN we add in her rather callous disregard and disinterest for her husband and his family, and her inability or unwillingness to share important moments with him that clearly showed a broken relationship held by glue of children, and little else.

Don’t get me wrong – I was engaged, I disliked Anne immensely even as I admired her ability to find her own professional path and move forward, but once she and Alexis find one another again, her character regresses to a spoilt and withholding teenager. Sneaking around, keeping secrets, adultery and the never-ending daydreams and bipolar-esque reactions to silence or communication. It was frustrating to read, as there was so much she COULD do, and did – but she was led by her constant need for validation in Alexis’ eyes.

And he was no gem.  The “I can’t leave her until our son is grown’ is such a cliché, yes adding the mental illness into the mix gave a solid reason, but really – I just wanted to roll my eyes.  He was the master of that relationship, preying on her childish adoration and some rather obsequious reunion moments.  Yes, the relationship between them, for me, was less romantic and more obsessional and unhealthy.  BUT – I read on – as the settings, the historical references and even the conversations were gold. Pure Gold.  The slow reveal of Simonetta and her friendship with Anne, the growth that Anne DOES display (without Alexis in the picture) as a successful gallery manager and later owner. The art, the feel of Paris, the streets and moments when Montmartre becomes a character in and of itself, first welcoming and comfort, then a place to avoid because of bad memories, then reborn in Alexis’ memories and shown as if newly discovered once again.  The love for the city with its contrasts of old and new, whole and damaged, silent and bustling are woven throughout this story and imbue every page with sights, sounds, scents and a near palpable feel for  the setting.

Dominique Marny may not have, in my eyes, made me believe in a great romance, but she did give me the chance to walk the streets and feel the setting, and produced characters intrigued and entertained. All I can ask of a good read is that I feel something, remember someone and feel the ending has brought me satisfaction – and this book did all of those things.


I Looked for the One My Heart Loves by Dominique Marny with Giveaway

Title: I Looked for the One My Heart Loves
Pages: 384
Rated: four-stars
Heat: One FlameOne Flame

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Anne and Alexis are separated by war as children and reunited later by destiny. A powerful and dramatic love story that spans decades in spite of its seeming impossibility.

Anne, 9, and Alexis, 11, grow up together in the Montmartre area of Paris. While she has a major crush on him, he merely sees her as his friend’s little sister. After WWII begins, the two are separated as their families flee Paris to avoid the German occupation. When they say goodbye, Alexis promises to always protect Anne.

Anne holds on to this promise for years as she constantly thinks of Alexis, wondering where he may be. Anne grows up, finds works in an art gallery, and marries a kind, devoted man with whom she has two children. But her heart still belongs to Alexis and she never stops looking for him. Their paths cross fatefully one day in Brussels many years after they were separated.

Alexis, living in Canada and soon to be moving to San Francisco, has a family of his own; a wife in constant depression and a son. Despite their responsibilities to family and the geographical distance that keeps them apart, Anne and Alexis find a way to love one another, secretly yet passionately.

But after all this time, will they ever manage to be truly together, completely?

See a Video where Dominique Marnay speaks about the book and Paris as an Inspiration

A copy of this title was provided via Publisher for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.


See a Video where Dominique Marnay speaks about the book and Paris as an Inspiration



About Dominique Marny

Dominique Marny was raised in a family that loves art, literature, adventure and travels.

In addition to being a novelist, she is a playwright, screenwriter, and writes for various magazines.


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