JASMINE NIGHTS – Julia Gregson
Historical Fiction / Romance
England and Egypt – 1942
Saba Tarcan lives to sing. Encouraged as a child by her English mother and Turkish father, she has no wish to do anything else. But singing in public is frowned upon by her father, so she is less than forthright when she goes to a hospital for wounded soldiers to sing one day. She meets young fighter pilot Dom Benson who is recovering from burns after his Spitfire blew up. After her performance, her father is furious when a few days later she is asked to join a group of performers who will play for troops overseas. He forbids Saba to go, but she leaves anyway, with tearful good byes to her mother and grandmother, and wondering if her father will ever forgive her?
Saba and Dom have one date in London which, despite an enjoyable time, ends on a bad note when Dom runs into the wife of a fellow pilot who died the day Dom's plane crashed. Saba misinterprets the friendly kiss from the other woman, and flees, leaving Dom confused, but determined to find her and explain the situation. He discovers that she is leaving for Egypt and eventually wrangles duty there.
Early days on the show tour are busy and Saba has little time to think of Dom or her family. She gets to know her fellow performers and learns things about herself that surprise her every day. But Dom is always somewhere in her thoughts, and she's disappointed when she doesn't receive an answer to her letters. In Cairo , she meets an Englishman who convinces her to do a little spy work because of her Turkish background. Saba doesn't think much about it, but soon is thinking she may have bit off more than she can chew. Just how dangerous is this mission? Will the Turkish man she is instructed to befriend discover what she is up to? And when Dom reappears on the scene, can she keep her assignment a secret from him?
JASMINE NIGHTS is an exciting, richly presented novel of mystery and romance. Saba is a bright young woman with a rewarding future if she can survive the war. Her love for Dom grows despite the knowledge that his own future is in great jeopardy due to his career. The secondary characters, especially the traveling show people, are well rounded and essential to the story.
Historically accurate, beautifully written, JASMINE NIGHTS is a terrific story with unforgettable characters set in a dangerous, but exciting time.