Source- Review copy courtesy of DMCPR Media
Publisher- Hachette (Orion)
Publication date- May 2012
Synopsis- 1942 and the world is at war. It is a war that has already shattered families and devastated countries. But for some, it will also mean the greatest of adventures
In a burns hospital in Sussex, a beautiful young singer performs to a ward full of burned and maimed soldiers. Saba is captivating and one pilot, Dom, shudders as her gaze turns his way. He can’t bear her to see his scars but resolves to write to her once they have healed.
Saba heads to London to audition for ENSA. London is recovering from the darkest days of the Blitz and everything is broken or taped up. Dom tracks Saba down at the Theatre Royal and they spend a heady few days together. The world is on the brink of enormous change and as they try to stop themselves falling in love – every girl knows you don’t fall for a pilot, as he won’t make it home – Saba is posted to Egypt to entertain the troops. But their paths will cross again…
Saba’s journey will take her to the fading glamour of Alexandria and the heat and decadence of Turkey. On the glamourous Middle Eastern social circuit, Saba rubs shoulders with double agents and diplomats, movie stars and smugglers. Some want her voice, some her friendship and some the secrets she is perfectly placed to discover…
Review- Jasmine Nights is a love story that spans Europe, the Middle East and North Africa during World War II.
Saba’s captivating presence in a burns hospital strikes at Dom’s core. He is a RAF pilot recovering from an accident and when he hears Saba’s tunes, it is the first time he felt he had something to look forward to. He writes to her once he has recovered and is surprised when she responds.
Saba is estranged from her family when she accepts a position with ENSA and follows her dream of singing on stage and entertaining the troops. She chickens out on her deal to meet with Dom following her audition, but he tracks her down anyway and takes her out to dinner. There’s an instant attraction, she is taken by his intelligence and he is captivated by her exuberance and youthfulness. They both share a passion, her for singing and he for flying. It is this passion that brings them together and ultimately keeps them apart.
When their first date ends poorly, Dom is not disheartened. He continues to try and find her, his heart beginning to open again after so many months of despair. Although Saba tries to deny her attraction to him, she finds herself wondering about him as she is whisked across the globe to sing.
While Saba learns of the reality of the entertainment business and becomes caught up in secret agent operations abroad, Dom returns to flying and the thrill of this keeps him occupied.
I enjoyed Saba and Dom’s individual adventures as much as I enjoyed them being together and I think this was a deliberate attempt to solidify them as two individuals with very different paths who are trying to find a way for them to merge. There’s clearly chemistry, sexual tension and a meeting of minds. Their passion is executed via an intense affair at the height of their attachment and in fiery tempers and disputes when their insecurities surface. There are also plenty of misunderstandings and I was emotionally moved by Dom’s longing and heartbreak when Saba suddenly disappears and Saba’s naivety and fear in the underworld she has become caught up in.
Jasmine Nights has a slow but steady start, but once I was at the half-way point I became completely absorbed in this world and desperately wanted Saba and Dom to find each other and resolve their issues.
I really enjoyed this love story set in an era when the world was ending and where love may be the only thing that drives them to survive. Historical fiction with romantic elements, suspense and intrigue amidst a backdrop of exotic and dangerous locations- what more could you want?