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The Last Time I Saw Paris

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3.75  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,697 Ratings  ·  367 Reviews
A stunning debut novel of a young American woman who becomes a spy in Paris during World War II.

May 1940. Fleeing a glamorous Manhattan life built on lies, Claire Harris arrives in Paris with a romantic vision of starting anew. But she didn't anticipate the sight of Nazi soldiers marching under the Arc de Triomphe. Her plans smashed by the German occupation, the once- pri
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Paperback, 354 pages
Published May 3rd 2011 by Berkley (first published 2011)
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Madame Tussaud by Michelle MoranLily of the Nile by Stephanie DrayElizabeth I by Margaret GeorgeThe Second Duchess by Elizabeth LoupasDaughters of Rome by Kate Quinn
Historical Fiction 2011
50th out of 110 books — 656 voters
The Bronze Horseman by Paullina SimonsThe Book Thief by Markus ZusakThe Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann ShafferTatiana and Alexander by Paullina SimonsThe Lost Wife by Alyson Richman
Amazing WWII fiction (some with romance)
20th out of 160 books — 360 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Virginia
May 26, 2011 Virginia rated it it was ok
This is the literary equivalent to a B movie. If I had to read anymore about Claire fingering her diamonds, the word "damn", or had the author list another stupid street in Paris (either leave your knowledge of street names out, or provide a map up front), I would have burned the book. The author seemed to mostly write this book to show off her 5 french phrases and insult intelligent people the world over, especially American women. If she was trying to show Claire's growth throughout the book, ...more
Catherine
In most Fiction (outside of Romance and UF) I don’t need to like the main character to enjoy the story. I guess it’s because I don’t get attached to them the same way I do Romance and UF protagonists. It’s more like watching a movie as opposed to immersing yourself in a book. But the heroine, Claire, almost made a liar out of me. She irritated me so much in the beginning of the book that I wondered if I’d even be able to finish it.

Claire is an odd mix of innocence and cunning. She is not a very
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Michelle Wheeler
Jul 26, 2011 Michelle Wheeler rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book had so much potential and fell so flat for me. You would think the story of a self-made American socialite getting caught up in the romance and intrigue of WWII-era Paris would be pretty irresistible. But this wasn't. The writing was disjointed and sometimes hard to follow. The sexual references - and there were quite a few - felt salacious rather than honest. I ultimately just was not interested in the main character's journey and that was a real disappointment. I skimmed the last 100 ...more
Kathryn
Aug 26, 2013 Kathryn rated it liked it
Shelves: wwii
Why was this book called "The Last Time I Saw Paris?" Sure, the book takes place there, but I expected her to be recounting memories of Paris from some other place... remembering, well... the last time she saw Paris. But she is still there. Ah well. On to the actual review.

I walked into the bookstore wanting a quick entertaining read. Since occupied France during WWII is one of my favourite time periods to read about, I grabbed this, thinking it would be a good read, if not great literature.

I wa
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Lois
Jul 13, 2011 Lois rated it really liked it
I was excited to be a First Reads Giveaway Winner of this historical fiction. I like how it was set in Paris during WW II and enjoyed how the author contrasted the beauty of Paris against the horrors of the Nazi occupation with a wonderful love story woven throughout the plot.
Duane
A very good debut novel by Lynn Sheene. Historical fiction romance is probably my favorite reading combination. The setting of Paris during the German occupation of WWII made it perfect. There is intrigue involving the French Resistance and just enough romance to tie it all together. I'm amazed at the quality of first time novels today. Lynn Sheene comes right out of the gate with a winner.
Kathy Duncan
Apr 22, 2011 Kathy Duncan rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
Clara May Wagner flees her family’s decrepit, dusty family farm and heads for New York City, where she shakes the dust off her shoes and reinvents herself as the blueblood Claire Harris. Then she ruthlessly marries an extremely wealthy, but morally bankrupt, man to become the well-heeled, bejeweled, Claire Stone, socialite. By the time Claire flees her marriage, she is selfish and shallow. And those are her good points. She heads to Paris to reconnect with an old lover, another wealthy man who c ...more
Debbie
Jan 16, 2013 Debbie rated it really liked it
Thoroughly enjoyed this book. It was a complete page turner from the beginning. This is a must read for those of us who are drawn to the historical fiction of the WWII era. This book has all the drama & suspense of a 1940's Nazi occupied France novel with a romance theme. I loved it.
The main character Claire is part naive adventurer, part hard as nails 1940's dame. The author paints her so vividly I felt like I was watching an old black and white film. She was a trip to watch. All the charac
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Mackenzie
Aug 06, 2011 Mackenzie rated it it was amazing
"The Last Time I Saw Paris" was an extraordinary novel. I was hesitant to actually pick up the book because it looked like the typical star-crossed lovers story. But I was proved wrong. This story starts out with a young socialite woman who lives in New York City with a husband whom she does not love. She and her husband had a pact; he would marry her if she "helped" him in his business. Well something happens that was completely unexpected, so Clare (wife) heads to Paris to live the life she ha ...more
Tanya
May 07, 2011 Tanya rated it really liked it
I can't believe I won another book this week through first-reads!


5/7/11
I couldn't get enough of The Last Time I Saw Paris, and read it in less than 24 hours. There's something so romantic about those heightened days during World War II. Sheene captures the mood of German-occupied Paris so well, showing how the people suffered as the Nazis partied. Her socialite heroine's transformation was believable, and I fell half in love with the novel's hero. All in all, a very enjoyable read.
Sarah
2.5 Stars

This book was a disappointment overall. It sounded interesting as hell, and I've been on a WWII kick lately. So a Resistance thriller in Nazi-era France sounded right up my alley. Weeeellll..... let's just say I'm impressed I finished the book at all.

The premise of the story intrigued me. An American stuck in occupied France? Yes please! And I did get the exciting escape scenes, the nail-biting confrontations with other Resistance figures and the Nazis, and the edge-of-your-seat tensio
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Dimity
I won this historic fiction novel from the First Reads program. I entered because I have been satisfying my historic fiction itch with a lot of WWII novels lately. I mainly read books about Great Britain during the war so I enjoyed that this one was set in France because it was a nice change of pace for me.

I had a bit of a hard time getting into this book because I didn’t really enjoy any of the characters. Thankfully, Claire grew on me with time but she started out awfully flat. In general, I
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Bookaholics
May 22, 2011 Bookaholics rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Last Time I Saw Paris by Lynn Sheene
Historical Romance – May 3rd, 2011
4 stars

Claire Harris left her rich industrialist husband and Manhattan life and fled to Paris. She wanted to start her life all over again in the fabled city with a new identity. But she ignored the fact that Europe was at war and that Hitler’s army could be coming for Paris.

Claire ended up working at La Vie en Fleurs where Madam Palain took Claire under her wing. In order to get forged identity papers, Claire had no choi
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Susan
Jul 18, 2011 Susan rated it it was amazing
One stubborn American woman, meets up with the French Resistance!

I loved it. It had everything I liked... drama. romance, suspense, a little action, a bit of history, and one of my favorite cities, Paris!

Although I did not like many of the characters at the beginning... especially Claire... they grew on me like friends. They were well rounded and I found myself rooting for them, even when they did things I just couldn't understand. I found that made the read even more interesting, discovering
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(Tori-Smexybooks) smexys_sidekick
Originally posted at http://www.smexybooks.com/2011/05/rev...

Favorite Quote: “You are late.”

Clare Harris reinvented herself from dirt poor farmer’s daughter into a dazzling socialite. She marries into money only to find out that her husband requires her to use her beauty and considerable charms on his clients. Claire has spent her whole life burying her emotions; this is a walk in the park for her. But when her past catches up with her, she knows that she must escape her husband before he forfei
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Megan Pegasus
Back-Story: I picked this up when Borders was going out of business. When that happened, I basically went to every Borders in my area and literally any book that looked interesting or the summary sounded good, I bought. This was one of them.

I got sucked in by the beautiful cover. I also have a thing for Paris and the war times so this book easily persuaded me to purchase it.

Review: For me, it was a very average read. I'm honestly really disappointed in it.

Looks- Cover is beautiful. I love the
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Vionna
Jun 20, 2015 Vionna rated it liked it
I was surprised that the book turned out better than I thought it would. There was some romance, which it not my preferred genre of reading, but the book became more a story of survival during World War II in Paris. The characters were well defined, some interesting and some stereotypical
Nancy Sweeten
Jan 05, 2016 Nancy Sweeten rated it liked it
I liked this book. It is somewhat similar to The Nightingale. Claire was an outright fool to go to Paris when Hitler was invading the country. She was lucky to survive and very lucky to find true love. I like stories that have happy endings.
Susan Ovans
Oct 03, 2014 Susan Ovans rated it liked it
This was actually much better than I thought it was going to be. The cover art made it seem like a Harlequin romance, and the first few chapters put me off the main character, but it turned out to be an entertaining read.
Linda
Feb 04, 2013 Linda rated it really liked it
I love Paris, flower shops draw me to them and I am intrigued by stories of the French Resistance during WWII. It was a good match for me. I was drawn in by the first page.

One of the sidelights of the novel, one that hasn't been explored much (at least in my readings)was the lives led by the Parisians who remained during the four years of Nazi occupation ... how people manage to find a new normalcy in spite of their lives being turned upside down. I'm not referring to the American Claire, but th
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Moye
Jun 05, 2015 Moye rated it really liked it
Great book about the French resistance. Claire was an unwilling hero, as an American who ran away to Paris at just the wrong time - right before the Nazis took the city. She learns many life lessons and we are carried along with her story of danger, deception, and most of all, love.
Chuck
This author knows and loves Paris, she finds the French resistance during World War II fascinating and personnally has a high degree of sensuality. If these ingredients also attract you as they attracted me, this book is an excellent choice. I had no slow pages or sections throughout the book and I only wish the ending had been as surprising as the journey. This book deserved a more tragic ending rather than "they live happily everafter and ride into the sunset". A worthwhile and enjoyable novel ...more
Charlotte
Aug 16, 2012 Charlotte rated it did not like it
I have read about three quarters of this book and, well, it's time to quit. Yet another spoiled and insipid heroine in the tradition of Scarlett O'Hara. This plot is loaded with cliches. None of the characters seem "real"--just stereotypes lifted from other stupid romantic historical fiction novels. I think the story might make a good movie. As a book it is poorly written and completely lacking in originality. I don't know why my book club picks this stuff.
Penny Linsenmayer
Jul 06, 2016 Penny Linsenmayer rated it liked it
Cover - 5 stars
Historical setting - 4 stars
Heroine - 2 stars

Sheene's historical setting is nicely done, and the gorgeous book cover carries through on its promise of a novel set in a dramatic time and place. The Parisians suffered hunger, cold, and deprivations while living under a state of near constant anxiety in the face of the Nazi occupation. Sheene does a good job of painting the picture of the beautiful historic city in a dark time in its history. A bit slow in the beginning, the last thi
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Mary
Jul 21, 2015 Mary rated it liked it
Shelves: own
I wish I could give this book 3.5 stars... I definitely enjoyed the book once it got more to the meat of the story and Claire's work with the French resistance. As the story progressed it got more intense and exciting, Claire's character slowly evolved, and I found myself excited to see what happened next. However there were several moments that seemed contrived and implausible to me. For one, the reasons behind why Claire so abruptly left Manhattan didn't seem very realistic at all, and came of ...more
Jane Mccrimmon
Aug 23, 2015 Jane Mccrimmon rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Enid
Mar 10, 2013 Enid rated it did not like it
Save yourself and don't read it- it is too late for me. Pure drivel. Read like a bad pulp mystery for the first 50 pages, then just plain sophomoric for the next 100 or so, then like a bad romance for the next bit, and then back to plain sophomoric. If it had not been for a book club, I would have put it down after only 20 pages...
Michelle
Aug 18, 2014 Michelle rated it liked it
This book is tricky to assess. With a different title and more accurate description, I have a feeling I would have enjoyed it more. That isn't too say that I didn't enjoy it, but I was expecting a slightly different narrative than the one I got.

A bit difficult to empathize with in the beginning, Claire grows into someone for which I found myself rooting. I just wish that the other characters had as much substance, as all of the secondary characters didn't develop beyond their initial dimension.
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Anna Huber
Mar 18, 2012 Anna Huber rated it really liked it
Nazi-occupied Paris comes alive in Sheene's debut novel. The story is gripping and touching, filled with details I never knew about the sufferings of Parisians during WWII. If you like Paris, World War II, or just a good story of transformation and survival even in the darkest times, you will enjoy this book.
Wendy
Apr 03, 2011 Wendy rated it it was amazing
Shelves: first-to-read
This was an amazing novel from start to finish. Claire Harris is such a deep charactor. She changes before your eyes as you are made to believe one thing about her - then throughout the story she becomes so much more. A brilliant tale of love and espionage and a very brave woman.
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 2 Oct 09, 2015 05:09PM  
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  • Next to Love
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  • A Parachute in the Lime Tree
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Lynn Sheene grew up in the mountains of Colorado, pen in hand, gazing through the quaking aspen trees and dreaming of far off places and eras. Her passion for stories came early from her book-loving parents and poet grandfather.

After graduating from University of California, Santa Barbara and working as an environmental consultant and science writer, Lynn turned to her dream of fiction writing. He
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More about Lynn Sheene...

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“You must remember, Madame Harris, elegance is in the details.” 11 likes
“Beauty might be a gift to our souls from the heavens. Luxury, purchased. But suddenly she understood. There was strength in elegance.” 4 likes
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