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Jasmine Nights

3.38  ·  Rating Details ·  1,170 Ratings  ·  184 Reviews

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 Do
Paperback, 416 pages
Published June 5th 2012 by Touchstone (first published January 1st 2012)
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Jun 02, 2012 Mitch rated it liked it
I don't know how I can be disappointed with Jasmine Nights when the book delivers exactly what the summary promises, but I am. There are a couple of good moments, great scenes, but it just feels like book's too long and missing things at the same time, even though when I reread the summary it is an accurate description of what Gregson has written. Maybe my expectations were just too high.

My biggest problem's the lack of magic. I don't know how else to describe it, but between the scenes and sett
Feb 28, 2013 MAP rated it it was ok
I picked up this book because it explores two things often overlooked about WWII: the war on the North African continent, and the role of British entertainers (especially in their roles as spies and special agents.)

Unfortunately, this book was a disappointment. Most of the book is way too fluffy and romancy feeling for a book set in World War II. Then all of the sudden the book takes a very dark turn, which is more appropriate to the gritty reality of WWII, but is a complete tone shift for this
Este livro aborda a temática da II Guerra Mundial pelos olhos de uma jovem rapariga galesa, que começa a cantar para soldados em hospitais militares em Inglaterra e depressa tem o convite para partir para as frentes de combate para animar os soldados longe de casa. Essa missão leva-a para o Egipto, onde se reencontra com um soldado aviador que tinha conhecido no hospital onde cantou e onde ele estava a recuperar de ferimentos. A história de amor entre os dois começa a desenrolar-se em paralelo c ...more
Patrice Hoffman
*I recieved this advanced readers copy through goodreads giveaway!

This is the first book I've read by Julia I'm really happy I had the oppurtunity to read this. The story is about a young singer asked to spy during the war efforts of World War II. The setting is very colorful and whimsical while trekking North Africa with Saba Tarcan. And Dom, the soldier she's smitten with is a real class act. It's easy to forget that the world was at war while reading.

There's really not much action in this bo
Tara Chevrestt
This had a great start full of humor, drama, fear, guilt, and the introduction of some interesting characters.

Dom is a pilot who crashed and now has his buttock grafted onto his cheek. As morbid as it sounds, that's where the humor comes in, when she kisses him, and he makes a cute and funny comment about where that skin came from. I had high hopes for this book as I laughed with them.

Saba's house is full of drama. Her father is abusive and cruel and against her singing. So when she runs off to
Jun 14, 2014 Darcy rated it did not like it
I feel cheated by this novel! The premise sounded so entertaining: a spirited young Welsh woman escapes her prosaic and cloistered life in order to travel to North Africa during World War II, where she experiences danger, love, and espionage. And the story did begin rather well, but just like one of Dom Benson’s airplanes, it went into a tailspin around page 150 and ended up in a smoldering heap of irrelevance and mooning.
There was too much sap and not enough development. The attraction between
May 16, 2012 June rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: world-war-ii, romance
I thoroughly enjoyed this wartime story of a half turkish girl singer working to entertain the troops in Egypt whilst carrying out secret missions to help the war effort.Add a romance with a heroic fighter pilot and you have a perfect summer read..
Oct 24, 2014 Stephen rated it liked it
not normally a type of book I would read the story was okay
Julia Gregson's "East of the Sun" was one of the most satisfying books I've ever read. That makes it all the more frustrating to read anything else by her; catching glimmers of the things that made "East of the Sun" so special while reading a decidedly mediocre work. That sums up "Jasmine Nights" for me in a nutshell. But you know I'm going to keep going anyway.
Gregson does female-female relationships well; I think they're her greatest strength in both her good book and her not-so-good books. Th
Jul 29, 2012 Natalie rated it really liked it
Sent to me to review by newbooks magazine!

Jasmine Nights is, at its heart a love story, set against the backdrop of the Second World War.
Saba Tarcan, half Turkish and raised in Cardiff’s Tiger Bay, goes against her strict father’s wishes and enlists with ENSA (Entertainments National Service Association) however, her role in the war effort is not as simple as entertaining the troops, as she is drafted as a spy.
Dom Benson, a pilot for the Desert Air Force meets Saba whilst recovering in hospital
Eric Wright
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.

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, for
May 06, 2012 Andrea rated it really liked it
If I am honest, after reading the first few chapters of this book, I wasn’t sure if I was going to like it, but as the story evolved a bit more, I became absolutely hooked! Then as the suspense started to build I couldn’t put the book down! The story set in the war years is about a singer and a fighter pilot, although it is a tale of romance and love, it is also a story about living life to the full. The adventurous spirit of the characters is evident as knowing that they may not have many days ...more
I really wanted to like this one, the premise sounded great - a young girl recruited to spy in Egypt with a love story thrown in! I thought I would be guaranteed to like it, but I didn't end up finishing it. It was one of the books that is put downable. The pacing was incredibly slow, I got to the halfway point and Saba was just starting to get into the spying and falling in love with the pilot, Dom (who goes to extreme lengths to track her down, I might add). I put the book down to read somethi ...more
I considered this book an average read. I was not impressed enough to ever read another book by this author. The romance was to coincidental; as the lovers kept meeting up in very convenient ways. Also, the spy storyline was very weak. I'm not really sure how well researched this historical novel was.
Elizabeth Moffat
Dec 29, 2012 Elizabeth Moffat rated it really liked it
This is a three and a half star book for me but have rounded it up to a generous four as I thought it was a great story. The characters are wonderful, I really warmed to Saba and Arleta, and the writing is so evocative when describing Egypt and Istanbul. Looking forward to more from this author.

Please see my full review at
May 21, 2014 Victoria rated it it was ok
Shelves: gave-up
Disappointed and gave up. A "nice" story, giving exactly what the summary promised, but I didn't care enough about the characters to read about their turmoils. Or maybe its because I was at a busy time of life myself. Gave up anyway.
Jan 18, 2016 Julia rated it it was ok
I loved "East of Eden" but Julia Gregson has failed to repeat the magic here in "Jasmine Nights." I liked this book for the first 100 pages or so but then I got bored. I wasn't compelled by the love story, especially since Saba and Dom spend most of the book apart. Overall, I was disappointed.
Jan 24, 2017 Bridget rated it really liked it
Actually listened to this book on disk, almost entirely while ironing. Therefore it took me a while to get through, requiring 2 three week library renewals. I was expecting an exotic, WWII story and although the locales were exotic, the story itself glossed over most of that flavor. Too bad. By the end of the 12th disk I was ready to choke Dom, for his feel sorry for me ramblings.
I think this could have been made into a period piece film (please tell me it has not!) with lots of luscious scenery
Ines Norton
Jun 17, 2017 Ines Norton rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's a lovely love story in times of war, I liked it but the last dialogue disapointed me a bit...


É uma agradável historia de amor em tempos de guerra mas o dialogo final foi um pouco desapontante...
May 06, 2017 Kath rated it really liked it
A satisfying historical romantic novel with enough depth to keep it interesting.
Mar 24, 2017 Elizabeth rated it it was amazing
I read this book almost 3 years ago and still recommend it to friends. The story is powerful, but my favorite part is the imagery and rich scenic details. It really gives you an image of another world.

Enjoyable, but not particularly exciting- 3.5 stars

**Full disclosure: I received an ARC of this novel through Librarything. All opinions expressed are my own**

The third novel from award-winning author Julia Gregson is a billed as a `powerful love story' and moves from the back streets of Cardiff Bay to exotic Africa and then to dangerous, unstable Cairo during World War II. We meet twenty-three-year-old Saba Tarcan, a singer who encounters fighter pilot Dom Benson in a burns hospital whilst she
Πάνος Τουρλής
1942. Σαμπά Ταρκάν. Μεγαλώνει στο Κάρντιφ, μέλος μιας αυστηρής και καθώς πρέπει οικογένειας. Το όνειρό της; Να τραγουδήσει! Η θετική απάντηση της ΕΝΣΑ ( υπηρεσία ψυχαγωγίας στους στρατευμένους) στην αίτησή της να περάσει από οντισιόν στο Λονδίνο τη γεμίζει αισιοδοξία! Επιτέλους θα ανοίξουν τα φτερά της. Δυστυχώς σε αυτό είναι αντίθετος ο πατέρας της αλλά τον αγνοεί επιδεικτικά και ταξιδεύει στο Λονδίνο, για να του δείξει πως θα τα καταφέρει και πως οι επιλογές της θα φέρουν μόνο θετικά σχόλια στ ...more
Kathy Hamilton
Aug 14, 2013 Kathy Hamilton rated it really liked it
How often does a book introduce the protagonist through the eyes of the love interest? That’s what Julia Gregson does here. Dom is recovering from his burns in hospital- he’s feeling sorry for himself and he’s feeling guilty for surviving. But what was really clever is that whilst he is convalescing the hospital hold a morale boosting concert and the singer is Saba. I was really fascinated by how Gregson introduces Saba first the way Dom sees her. We view her from Dom’s perspective and are privy ...more
Lauren K
Apr 28, 2012 Lauren K rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: romance, historical
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
Holly P
May 08, 2012 Holly P rated it liked it

Saba Tarcan wants nothing more than to see the world and knows her voice is her ticket to doing so even if it draws the ire of her strict Turkish father who thinks his daughter's performing is shameful. Saba follows her heart anyway and in one of her performances for injured soldiers she meets recovering pilot Dom Benson. After their brief encounter, Saba soon joins a troop entertaining soldiers fighting in the exotic climate of North Africa but Dom can't forget her face or voice and resolves
May 24, 2012 Amanda rated it liked it
Shelves: 2012-releases
Full disclosure: I've never read a Julia Gregson novel before. I know, that probably makes me a terrible historical fiction fan, but I was just never drawn to any of her books before. Then, I had the opportunity to read Gregson's newest novel, Jasmine Nights, and the concept seemed incredibly compelling -I mean, what's not to like about WWII-era female spies in Cairo with a little romance on the side? Virtually everything I've read about Gregson's other novels praised her writing skills and movi ...more
Jul 30, 2012 Alethea rated it really liked it
This review first appeared at

Jasmine Nights, by Julia Gregson, is a historical romance set during World War Two, which immerses the reader in richly crafted details of the life of a traveling ensemble who perform for British troops in North Africa.

Saba Tarcan, a young talented singer, half-Turkish/half-Welsh, leaves her home in Tiger Bay, Wales, risking estrangement from her family, to join ENSA, the entertainment arm of the British Armed Services. Gregson’s fine portrayal o
Romancing the Book
Jun 09, 2013 Romancing the Book rated it really liked it
Shelves: historical, romance, war
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 d
Jan 16, 2012 Lisa rated it liked it
This is a wartime love story with a twist. Saba Tarcan is a half-Turkish girl who lives in Tiger Bay with her overbearing father Remzi, a merchant sailor, her mother Joyce who is oppressed, Lou, her little sister who has been evacuated, and Tansu her Turkish grandmother. Saba feels the need to get away and do something with her life and is offered the chance to join ENSA which her father promptly bans her from doing as this would disgrace him in the eyes of the Turkish commmunity. Saba ignores t ...more
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 1 Feb 22, 2015 08:48AM  
Another wartime story? 3 10 Jun 14, 2012 08:55AM  
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My father was in the Air Force, so after thirteen schools I left early longing to travel and have adventures. I worked as a jillaroo in the Australian outback, a girl groom, a shearer’s cook, a secretary, a hospital cleaner, and later, back in England, as a house model for Hardy Amies in London.

In the seventies, and back in Australia again, love of horses led to riding out with Mick Jagger on the
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