Until Leaves Fall in Paris by Sarah Sundin
If you’ve been hanging around here for a while, you’ll know that I love historical fiction. Specifically, WWII novels. I’m always on the lookout for authors who can transport me to a new time and place — but in a way that feels creative, and explores little known historical facts. Sarah Sundin did exactly that for me in Until Leaves Fall in Paris!
For fans of books like, The Last Bookshop in London, comes a heartwarming and delightful historical romance that I didn’t want to end!
This story flips back and forth between two main characters: an American ballerina, Lucie Girard, and an American businessman and widower, Paul Aubrey. I cannot tell you the last time I was so invested in a relationship between two characters. I don’t normally gravitate towards romance stories. But Until Leaves Fall in Paris gave me characters that I couldn’t help but fall in love with!
The relationship between Lucie and Paul took me on such a lovely journey. I truly felt that tug-of-war of emotions between duty and heart. Often, romance stories rely heavily on miscommunication for the conflict. And while there was some of that here, it didn’t bother me because there was a purpose behind it. The character motivations were solid and that allowed me to simply settle in for a heartwarming and realistic-feeling story.
While Paul’s job running an automobile factory (while spying against the Germans) felt like a somewhat familiar role within historical fiction, it was still highly interesting. I thought the “gold standard” motto and all the “au” names was a fun little addition to the story. (And would make for a creative fit for our 2022 challenge prompt: “Related to the word gold.“)
I’m a huge fan of books set within bookstores, and this one was no exception. My one note was that it did feel like a quick transition from Lucie loving dancing in the ballet, to her being willing to give it all up to buy the bookstore. But later in the book, as I got to know her character better, it did make more sense.
The book itself was also beautifully written. The setting is one of my favorites, and the author quickly transported me to the streets of 1940s Paris. In addition to the beautiful characters, the story was packed with intrigue and suspense. Both Lucie and Paul are secretly involved in the war efforts, which gave us all sorts of hidden messages, encounters with the French resistance, sabotage and more… The quick pacing and detailed characters meant that I stayed up entirely too late, unable to put the book down until the very end. (And it was completely worth it!)
A wonderful blend of action, sacrifice, and love, I highly recommend this book for those looking for a clean, historical romance.
Readers who love clean romance stories set within the WWII historical genre.
Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. All opinions expressed are my own. This post contains affiliate links; as an Amazon associate, I earn from qualifying purchases
About Until Leaves Fall in Paris:
(From the publisher) When the Nazis march toward Paris, American ballerina Lucie Girard buys her favorite English-language bookstore to allow the Jewish owners to escape. The Germans make it difficult for her to keep Green Leaf Books afloat. And she must keep the store open if she is to continue aiding the resistance by passing secret messages between the pages of her books.
Widower Paul Aubrey wants nothing more than to return to the States with his little girl, but the US Army convinces him to keep his factory running and obtain military information from his German customers. As the war rages on, Paul offers his own resistance by sabotaging his product and hiding British airmen in his factory. But in order to carry out his mission, he must appear to support the occupation—which does not win him any sympathy when he meets Lucie in the bookstore.
In a world turned upside down, will love or duty prevail?