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The Last Time I Saw Paris

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3.73 of 5 stars 3.73  ·  rating details  ·  2,259 ratings  ·  330 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
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Paperback, 354 pages
Published May 3rd 2011 by Berkley (first published 2011)
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Historical Fiction 2011
50th out of 114 books — 649 voters
The Bronze Horseman by Paullina SimonsThe Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann ShafferTatiana and Alexander by Paullina SimonsThe Book Thief by Markus ZusakThe Lost Wife by Alyson Richman
Amazing WWII fiction (some with romance)
17th out of 140 books — 300 voters


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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
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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
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
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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.
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
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
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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
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
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
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
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
Susan Ovans
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
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
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.
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
Mary
Jul 21, 2015 Mary rated it 3 of 5 stars
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
Michelle
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
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.
Deborah
I read The Nightingale recently, as well as All the Light We Cannot See last year, so perhaps this book suffers from comparisons to better recent books about the Nazi occupation of France during World War II. Claire, an American living in, well, Paris, transformed herself from farm girl to New York socialite to modern Parisian courtesan, and her connections and her ability to trade romantic favors become critical to a segment of the French resistance. The book is cinematic -- gun battles, narrow ...more
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
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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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“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.” 5 likes
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