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How steamy is it? Sweet

Publisher's Summary

New York Times best-selling author Hazel Gaynor has joined with Heather Webb to create this unforgettably romantic novel of the Great War.

August 1914. England is at war. As Evie Elliott watches her brother, Will, and his best friend, Thomas Harding, depart for the front, she believes - as everyone does - that it will be over by Christmas, when the trio plan to celebrate the holiday among the romantic cafés of Paris.

But as history tells us, it all happened so differently....

Evie and Thomas experience a very different war. Frustrated by life as a privileged young lady, Evie longs to play a greater part in the conflict - but how? - and as Thomas struggles with the unimaginable realities of war, he also faces personal battles back home, where War Office regulations on press reporting cause trouble at his father's newspaper business. Through their letters Evie and Thomas share their greatest hopes and fears - and grow ever fonder from afar. Can love flourish amid the horror of the First World War, or will fate intervene?

Christmas 1968. With failing health, Thomas returns to Paris - a cherished packet of letters in hand - determined to lay to rest the ghosts of his past. But one final letter is waiting for him....

Full narrative cast includes Alex Wyndham, Billie Fulford-Brown, Morag Sims, Gary Furlong, Greg Wagland, Antony Ferguson, Derek Perkins, Jane Copland, and Mary Jane Wells.

©2017 Hazel Gaynor and Heather Webb (P)2017 HarperCollins Publishers

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

A romance told through letters

A story of WWI told through letters. It was effective to use multiple narrators, helping to define the characters. Unfortunately, the story is absolutely predictable. Everything develops exactly as expected, and there is no dramatic tension. But as a story of a WWI romance, and as a tribute to the lost art of letter writing, it's a sweet story. For those who are looking for a "clean" romance, this qualify ( no swearing or sex).

11 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

As a sappy romantic, not what I had hoped for

First, let me say there are some spoilers here so proceed with caution. Second, I now realize that this is serious "chick lit." I probably should have realized that when I read the description but I was blinded by the Parisian setting - an aspect that is of limited relevance to the book - and the romantic nature of the book.

I am a sappy romantic at heart so when I read the description, I thought this sounded like a good "Christmas book." In addition, I was enthralled to read a book set in Paris. I love the city, and true to my romantic nature, I proposed to my wife there. So I set out listening to this book in early December. Sadly, there was little about Christmas in the book - it just happened that the contemporary aspects of the book were set near Christmas but could have well been at some other time of year. And about the only exposure you get to Paris are a few references to locations around the city, an apartment and a cafe. Both of these were disappointing.

That being said, what really disappointed me was how the book devolved near the end. It was a decent historical fiction novel for about 75% of the book. While the method of telling the story through a series of letters and telegrams was a little disconnected and did not let the story flow quite as well as it could have, that was a key aspect to the overall plot of the book. As a device it was not a flop...just different. Toward the end, however, the female protagonist, Evie, shifts from being a strong wartime woman to being whiny and uncertain and illogical.

For example, at one point, with Tom in France fighting in the horror that was World War I, after spending most of the book being sympathetic and supportive of him, Evie starts whining about why isn't he writing enough? I don't know...perhaps he is under constant attack in the trenchs by Germans? Later, when Tom learns of Hopper's proposal and misinterprets events and sends a meltdown letter, Evie takes over a month to respond and attempt to set the record straight. Granted, she was busy with her own war service, but she found time to write to her friend Alice with a hand-wringing letter of "Oh what do I do??" This from a woman who was gung-ho, determined and decisive enough to serve in some capacity in WWI.

The book was good. Not on par with a Nicholas Sparks novel and short on Christmas and Paris, but not a bad read. Unfortunately, the weaknesses in the plot near the end marred the book and left the story less powerful than it could have been.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Much more than just a historical romance!

History, literature, British perspective, poignant love story, full cast production, strong women, begins and ends at Christmas-loved it!
Listen slowly-if you can-as the letters travel between Thomas &Evie!

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

True love and war

Enjoyed this book immensely. A little predictable but worth the time. Refreshing to listen to a nook set in WW I.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

A beautiful and mesmerizing tale

This book was beautifully written and the cast that read it really brought the story to life. I had tears in my eyes! This gives “The Notebook” a run for its money.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Lovely

This audiobook is beautiful. The voices give it shape, warmth, character, depth. I couldn’t stop listening! It was if I was mesmerically floating in the air between Tom and Evie, anxious to pass on their next letter, waiting with bated breath at all it would contain and all that would be left unsaid.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Unique style of story telling - Loved it!

What did you like best about this story?

Such a unique style of story telling, yet all is revealed, so touching, brought unexpected tears

Which character – as performed by the narrators – was your favorite?

Loved all the characters and narration - Well done!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Sweet

I really enjoyed this book up until the ending. It provides a different perspective of WWI with being told all through letters. I story told through the letters kept me hooked and I devoured this listen. The only complaint I had is that the story came to an end all too quickly.. the story was going along and then all of a sudden, it wasn’t. Maybe that’s because I was enjoying the characters so much and hated to see this book come to an end, but it just seemed cut off without the right closure.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Is it Love? Are We Just Friends?

What did you love best about Last Christmas in Paris?

The novel was written in correspondence form. It requires the reader to pay attention to the changes all the time. I thought that the character development was wonderful. The horrors of war were discussed. PTSD though not used in that form, the psychological horror of battle brought up and discussed.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Due to the format, no it would definitely require a few sittings.

Any additional comments?

It was frustrating that all that letter writing and no one could ask if it was love? Even after the young girl joins the war effort, still no “I love you”. Hmm!?

I was surprised to see all the narrators. I will have to listen to the novel again to gain the different perspectives of all the voices.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Boring

I didn’t like the format of just reading letters. Very slow paced. Lost interest and dumped it.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • mszuch
  • 09-18-18

Wonderful, heart wrenching story

I smiled , I cried, I was enthralled with this story of letters set in the time of the first world war. Beautifully detailed events of the times. Wonderful narration and an engaging love story