The Last Time I Saw Paris
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The Last Time I Saw Paris

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3.73 of 5 stars 3.73  ·  rating details  ·  1,713 ratings  ·  279 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- p...more
Paperback, 354 pages
Published May 3rd 2011 by Berkley Trade (first published 2011)
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Community Reviews

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Virginia
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...more
Michelle Wheeler
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
Lois
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.
Kathryn
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...more
Kathy Duncan
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
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...more
Mackenzie
"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
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 Gruwell
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...more
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...more
Bookaholics
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...more
Susan
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...more
Tori  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...more
Megan
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...more
Linda
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...more
Lissa
Claire Harris Stone picks the wrong time to flee her husband in New York City for Paris. With the Nazis knocking at the door of France, Claire finds herself stranded without real papers once she reaches her destination. But she's enterprising, and she finds work as a florist's assistant and strikes a deal with the Resistance. Initially only concerned about her own needs, Claire begins to find her values changing as she continues to work with the Resistance operatives, especially Thomas Grey, an...more
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
Anna Huber
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
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.
Rochelle Staab
I loved this novel from the sexy beginning to the emotional conclusion. Lynn Sheene brought 1940s Paris to life through the eyes of Claire Harris, a heroine with a past who had me rooting for her from the first page and then never failed to surprise me. And the hero? To die for.
Melissa
A wonderful debut novel! I had a hard time putting this book down - the characters were enticing, the setting was full of suspense, and the last page of the book was predictable, I cheered for it. I would recommend this book to anyone!
Cristina
I had much more expectations from this book, based on the cover review of "..breathtaking tale of love, courage, intrigue and betrayal..." At the beginning, I liked Claire, she seemed smart and intriguing. I was looking forward to her adventures in Paris. However near the end I could not get any more of the "superwoman" Claire who excelled in everything she was doing, including the flower arrangements, spying for the Resistance, killing the enemy (how many german soldiers did she killed at once...more
Kara 'Tittle' Steinman
I won this book from the First Reads giveaway and am so glad I did. I thoroughly enjoyed The Last Time I Saw Paris. I loved the journey and transformation Claire went through.
Christine F
A quick, somewhat interesting read, but overall it was just okay. Main character wasn't really developed, could never figure out who she really was as a person. The author seemed to insert events into the story to move the plot along since Claire never appeared to have a game plan or did she seem to actively participate in her own life. She seemed to just wait for things to happen to her and then react. Who really goes to Paris on a moment's notice, oblivious to the war tensions throughout Europ...more
Jeanne
Apr 18, 2014 Jeanne rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Jeanne by: Stumbled across it in the bookstore
Being slightly obsessed with Paris and very obsessed with WWII I took this book on not knowing what to expect. A disappointed wife flees a difficult marriage with very little except emotional baggage and travels to Paris at the dawn of WWII - trying to locate a previous lover who asked her to join him there. The war moves into France and thwarts all of her plans. She begins as a shallow climber at the beginning of the book, but living through the pain and hardship of a war brings lots of changes...more
Janelle
Good premise, pretty nicely written, however there were glaring problems with the storyline - one of the worst was WHY WAS CLAIRE IN PARIS? WHY DIDN'T SHE GET THE HECK OUT OF DODGE WHEN SHE HAD THE CHANCE? If she went to be with Laurent, she was an idiot - wait, she was an idiot! What kind of idiot would stay in a foreign country that she had no business being in and stay while the Nazis took it over? Also, I kept wondering what happened to her husband - his death was never explained, only that...more
Brittany
I'm a Francophile and am always drawn to stories about France or Paris. And more often than not, many of those novels take place during WWII. There's just something so passionate and so real about that time that it'll never be in black and white.

So I was excited to read "The Last Time I Saw Paris." The plot sounds great: an American woman comes to Paris just before the Occupation and becomes part of the Resistance. While the story itself was perfectly okay, the writing itself and the editing mad...more
Megan
I was very excited to win this book on first reads, I haven't read a good historical fiction novel in a while.
The story follows Claire Harris Stone, originally a poor farm girl who escaped her family's dirt farm to the bigger city of New York. Using her feminine wiles to social climb her way up to a loveless, but wealthy marriage, Claire's time as New York socialite ends quickly as her true roots are uncovered. She runs away to Paris, a city glamorized by her previous lover Laurent Olivier, s...more
Katie
Claire Harris Stone escapes a life of lies in New York City and flees to Paris, to find a past lover, Laurent. However, the day she arrives in Paris, so do the Nazis and against the advice of Laurent and his English friend, Thomas Grey, Claire refuses to return to New York for her safety. A kindly yet elegant flower-shop owner gives Claire a job and a place to stay above the store. Soon she learns her new acquaintances are members of the French Resistance. Claire does not want to be involved but...more
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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...more
More about Lynn Sheene...
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“You must remember, Madame Harris, elegance is in the details.” 8 likes
“Beauty might be a gift to our souls from the heavens. Luxury, purchased. But suddenly she understood. There was strength in elegance.” 5 likes
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