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The Last Time I Saw Paris

3.80  ·  Rating details ·  3,718 ratings  ·  444 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
Paperback, 354 pages
Published May 3rd 2011 by Berkley Books (first published 2011)
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Renee I wouldn't call it 'clean' as there are some sex scenes.

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Average rating 3.80  · 
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 ·  3,718 ratings  ·  444 reviews

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May 26, 2011 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
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
Mar 07, 2012 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
Michelle Wheeler
Jul 20, 2011 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
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.
Mar 25, 2011 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.
Jun 13, 2011 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 characters
Kathy Duncan
Mar 25, 2011 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
Aug 05, 2011 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
Mar 25, 2011 rated it really liked it
I can't believe I won another book this week through first-reads!

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.
May 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
*You must always see the difference between what the world says is beautiful and what your heart says is beautiful.*

I quite enjoyed this one. I found our main character lovable, I wholeheartedly pulled for her throughout this novel. She made sacrifices and took risks. I found the romance charming, believable, a nice slow build.

I loved the flowers/flower shop aspect, it was a neat part of the story. I was pleasantly surprised with how much I enjoyed this, especially because I haven't heard any
Laura Brown
Jul 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: own
This is probably my second favorite WWII book behind The Nightingale.
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
Apr 05, 2011 rated it really liked it
Originally posted at

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
May 22, 2011 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
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
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
Jul 18, 2011 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
Mike Sumner
Dec 21, 2016 rated it really liked it
A romance, a drama that unfolds in occupied France during the 2nd World War. Lynne Sheene is a longtime Francophile (I count myself as one) and her research for this novel has been impeccable. I was able to follow the exploits of Claire Harris Stone through familiar streets of Paris, with ease. Claire flees a glamorous Manhattan lifestyle built on lies and follows her lover to Paris. Perhaps rather naive of events unfurling in Europe she finds herself in a city overrun by Nazi soldiers and, in e ...more
Feb 02, 2013 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
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
Aug 16, 2012 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.
Anna Lee Huber
Mar 18, 2012 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.
Feb 05, 2013 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...
Rochelle Staab
Mar 11, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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.
Mar 19, 2011 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.
Dec 04, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: on-my-shelf
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!
Sep 10, 2014 rated it did not like it
Awkward writing, lots of plot holes, zero character development..... The author couldn't even keep names straight. One time, someone was called Sylvie, and halfway through the book she becomes Sophie. This book is confusing and disappointin.
Susan Ovans
Oct 03, 2014 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.
Jun 05, 2015 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.
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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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