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From the award-winning author of East of the Sun, a powerful love story set against the unstable and exotic cities of Cairo and Istanbul during the height of World War II.
At twenty-three, Saba Tarcan knows her only hope of escaping the clamor of Cardiff Bay, Wales, lies in her voice. While traveling Britain, singing for wounded soldiers, Saba meets handsome fighter pilot Dom Benson, recovering from burns after a crash. When Saba auditions to entertain troops in far-off lands, Dom follows her to London. Just as their relationship begins to take root, Saba is sent to sing in Africa, and Dom is assigned a new mission in the Middle East. As Saba explores Cairo’s bazaars, finding friendship among the troupe’s acrobats and dancers, Dom returns to the cockpit once again, both thrilled and terrified to be flying above the desert floor. In spite of great danger, the two resolve to reunite.
When Saba learns that her position makes her uniquely qualified for a secret mission of international importance, she agrees to help the British Secret Service, concealing her role from Dom. Her decision will jeopardize not only her safety but also the love of her life.
Based on true accounts of female entertainers used as spies during World War II, Jasmine Nights is a powerful story of danger, secrets, and love, filled with the colors and sounds of the Middle East’s most beautiful cities.
|Product dimensions:||5.20(w) x 7.90(h) x 1.10(d)|
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Reviewed by: Robin Book provided by: Publisher Review originally posted at Romancing the Book In Jasmine Nights we find ourselves transported to 1942 during World War II. We are taken on a journey to many different locations during the course of this story. As we go the journey we follow Sabar who is part Turkish (father) and part Welsh (mother) a real stunner with a magical voice; along with Dom who is in the RAF but has been badly burned because his plane was shot down. Sabar wants to follow her dream but in order to do so she must defy her strict traditionalist father. Her mother who is a frustrated wife wants nothing but peace for her family asking Sabar to adhere to her father’s wishes. Headstrong Sabar leaves to go in search of fulfilling her dreams to sing. While singing in a hospital for those injured in the war we find Dom who is recovering from his burns. Dom to say the least is simply blown away by the grace and beauty of Sabar. Jasmine Nights is a well written story by Julia Gregson that shows love a love that is founded during the ravages of war. She gives us some historical background that helps in lending credibility to the story along with picturesque descriptions of the many exotic locations along the journey. The more you read the more intense the story becomes. Very powerful show of the inner working of the heart as it is tugged in all directions showing that the pain we endure is what alters us forming us into the people we become. A strong woman that fights for what she wants. Even knowing that things aren’t always as they seem. With war and love come danger and secrets. This was a very powerfully written love story with war as a backdrop. Ms. Gregson found a way to keep the drama, action and suspense coming so that you find yourself entranced to the very end. Trying all the while to have the characters stay well rounded while dealing with family, unpredictable assignments, secretive assignments as they fall in love amidst the war. The only problems that I had were that I wished the secondary characters where a little more in depth. I think this story has a strong appeal to all lovers of historical fiction and romance especially during World War II.
Gregson narrates a tale focusing on two characters during the North Africa campaign of the Second World War. It is a well-written love story with some historical background on England during the period and especially Cairo and Alexandra during the desert push by Rommel. Not usually one who reads romance, the time and setting peeked my interest. The characters are unusual and well drawn. Saba, a beautiful but headstrong singer from Wales defies her Turkish father and Welsh mother to strike out on her own. Her father, very traditional, forbids her to sing in public especially when he realizes the affect she has on men in the audience. The mother, herself frustrated in her early marriage, nevertheless pleads with Saba to heed her father. Instead Saba defies them to pursue her dream of singing to the troops. She joins the organization given the task of entertaining the troops and is sent off to Cairo. Dom, an RAF pilot badly burned in the crash of his Spitfire, is stunned by her poise and beauty when she sings for the injured in a rehabilitation hospital. His fiance had just left him, unable to cope with the disfigurement of his face. Dom is haunted by the terrible death of his best friend in a fiery crash, a friend who he had urged to join the RAF. He feels responsible. But the vision of Saba, leads him to seek her out. He follows her to North Africa where he is transferred in the squadron fighting Rommel. Their love develops against the backdrop of war; the unpredictability of her assignments and the secretive nature of his.
Set during World War II, this story is beautiful in some areas and really sad and hard to take in others. The story centers around Saba Tarcan, who is in her early 20's and is looking forward to a singing career. She lives with her family in Cardiff, Wales and it is certainly not a really interesting place. Saba feels like most of us felt when we had to get away from the hometown and seek greener pastures. As Saba is traveling around Britain, singing for wounded soldiers, she meets Dom Benson, a fighter pilot who was burned badly when his plane crashed. They have started a relationship when she is asked to audition for the Entertaiment National Service Association that sends entertainers to places in Egypt and Turkey to give shows for soldiers who are fighting in the North African desert. Much to her parents dismay, Saba signs up with the Association and, leaving Dom behind, she heads off to perform in Cairo. After a recovery period Dom is again able to fly and, in spite of the dangerous missions, he refuses to be grounded and goes back to combat flying. For her part, Saba is very happy in her chosen profession. Saba is soon contacted by the British Secret Service in the guise of an agent, Mr. Cleeve. Cleeve asks Saba to take part in a secret mission but she will have to conceal her part in the mission from her friends at the Association and Dom too. She is sent off to Istanbul to spy on a very rich Turkish gentleman who is associating with the Germans and doesn't realize that this could be her last gasp because her mission has been kept secret. Saba and Dom meet again but now they argue all the time. Saba refuses to give up entertaining and Dom wants to go up into the wild blue yonder - they never seem to be able to think alike. There is much time to go yet in the war and these two people want to keep working to help out their countrymen. The story is a well-written one that doesn't make the war years seem like some big love story. Bad things happened to good people, just as in real life, and the reader will appreciate the fact that things were not always rosy in Europe and North Africa and all the horrible places where these young people had to work. This is a powerful account of one such couple. Quill Says: Checking into some of the entertainment associations during the war, there were many stories of female entertainers who were asked to be spies. This is a story of one such singer (fictionalized) but sadly, the story holds true in what it was like for these women.