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Whisper of Jasmine (City of Jasmine .5)

3.78 of 5 stars 3.78  ·  rating details  ·  501 ratings  ·  68 reviews
New York Times bestselling author Deanna Raybourn transports readers to a magical New Year's Eve party in 1914, where two guests will discover the passion of a lifetime in this prequel novella…

Notorious socialite Delilah Drummond won't be deterred by the war. Instead, she decides to throw the event of the year, and she's handing out invitations with an eye for wanton fun a
Published February 1st 2014 by Harlequin Mira (first published December 20th 2013)
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I am not a big fan of novellas – but this one broke all the rules! This was more than just a fill in, a prequel, a teaser. It had a good strong plot, developed characters, a sense of completeness yet cleverly left you wanting more. And luckily there is! This book serves as a prequel to City of Jasmine and also has connections with Raybourn’s Spear of Summer Grass, which I have read and highly recommend.

Whisper of Jasmine is a romantic tale with some humour and a sense of intrigue and mystery of
Find this and other reviews at: http://flashlightcommentary.blogspot....

Deanna Raybourn's prequel novella, Whisper of Jasmine, is a delightful short and an amusing lead-in to City of Jasmine. Building a foundation for the larger story, Raybourn hints at many of the larger novel's motifs in this humorous six chapter narrative.

Having developed a bit of a crush on Gabriel Stark while reading City of Jasmine, I was only too happy to see a bit of his carefree impetuousness in this piece, but I also l
I'm not usually a big reader of novellas because they're too short to be satisfying, but this leads up to the actual book I want to read. (Seems like it could have been included as a prologue instead???)

As far as novellas go, I think this was a good one. We see Delilah from Spear of Summer Grass before her husband goes off to the war, so if you've read that book this will mean a lot more. Delilah also introduces us to a new character for City of Jasmine, which I can't wait to read. So this was
Tara Chevrestt
A short review for a short book, but remember, short doesn't always mean not adequate. In this case, it was. Though quick, it's but enjoyable and serves as a great prequel. I feel I’ve been adequately introduced to the characters and am dying to know more, meaning I will certainly read the novel, City of Jasmine. We’re in England. There’s a war on, the Great War, the men are getting ready to leave and possibly die. It’s NY’s Eve with a party and some potent punch. Gabriel, the male love interest ...more
What a great little appetizer to the main book, and what a delight to see Delilah from A Spear of Summer Grass in 1914.
Mlpmom (Book Reviewer)
The early 1900's just happen to be one of my most favorite time periods to read about and when you combine that with one of my most favorite historical writers, you have a win win situation.

Raybourn is truly a master at her craft. She is just an amazing writer that creates amazing storylines and characters and her Lady Julia Grey series happens to be one of my all time favorite series.

I just knew with that series being put on hold (at least I am really hoping it is only being put on hold) I mis
Whisper of Jasmine is a novella that introduces readers to characters from Deanna Raybourn's forthcoming full length novel of 2014, City of Jasmine.

I haven't read A Spear of Summer Grass, Raybourn's second novel independent of the Lady Julia Grey series, so I was unfamiliar with Delilah Drummond and her husband Johnny, the couple who throw the party in Whisper of Jasmine that brings together Evangeline Merriweather and Gabriel Stark. I didn't mind Delilah and Johnny in this novella. Some review
I've read two of Deanna Raybourn's introductory novellas and none of them enticed me to pick up the main novel. Both novellas had somewhat intriguing set-ups but my aversion of the early 20th century era might have reduced my enthusiasm. And unlike the Lady Julia Series, these characters aren't interesting enough for me to care, let alone want to learn more about them.
Interesting set up of a bigger story. Wasn't that fond of the rush marriage and the impetuosity of the characters but the mystery of what Tarquin and his sister want Gabriel to do let me craving for City of Jasmine.
Clare O'Beara
I read this short story quickly because I didn't find it riveting. A couple are desperately in love but the WW1 call-up papers for the young man puts paid to their happiness, so the socialite young lady announces a party for New Year's Eve.

There's a lot of fuss about preparations and potential matchmaking, some of the guests are introduced and a girl makes a big effort by getting an older lady, well travelled and quite scandalous in her day, to sew her a dress cut down from an earlier fashion. T
Short this story may be, but it was as delicious and potent as the punch served during Delilah Drummond's New Year's party at which the hero and heroine fall in love.

Actually, this piece was the prequel that introduces a now greatly anticipated novel. Unlike some, this is not just merely a teaser. It had a good strong plot, developed characters and finished feel while exciting the interest in what is to come. And while this is a prequel to City of Jasmine, it is also directly connected and loose
4.5 Stars. When socialite Delilah Drummond's husband Johnny breaks the news that he's enlisted, she refuses to cry -- rather, she'll do what Delilah does best, and throw a New Year's Eve party to remember. She's determined that she and Johnny will ring in the year 1915 in style, making memories to treasure while they're far apart, separated by the conflict riddling Europe. In typical Delilah style this will be the party to remember, and as such she can't resist a bit of good-natured match-making ...more
Amy A
Whisper of Jasmine is the companion / prequel novella to the soon-to-be released City of Jasmine. Having received and reviewed and arc copy of City of Jasmine, I will say that I really enjoyed reading this prequel. Deanna Raybourn did a good job here of not only introducing readers for what is to come in City of Jasmine, but expanding upon Delilah Drummond's story from A Spear of Summer Grass. Having read Summer Grass recently as well, I found this part of the story bittersweet knowing the event ...more
I'm not a big fan of novellas because they are too short. In regards to a Whisper of Jasmine, I believe that the short length of the story was more of a hindrance to the love affair of Evie and Gabriel than an asset. There was very little time to even begin to know them as characters, which made it difficult to just accept their immediate attraction and whirlwind romance; it didn't feel genuine, it felt contrived.

However, there were plenty of hints at what is to come in the novel-length adventu
50ish fabulous pages sucked me into London at the end of 1914 and left me yearning for more. WHISPER OF JASMINE is a prequel to ‘City of Jasmine’ which is due out in the next couple of weeks. The story opens with Delilah, a familiar character who I first met in East Africa in A Spear of Summer Grass. In this novella she is in London and her husband is about to leave for war so she is throwing him a huge New Year’s party to see him off and also match-make a couple of friends, Evangeline Merriweat ...more
I am typically less than impressed by novellas, but this one is absolutely BRILLIANT! Raybourn packs an incredible amount into this small package and leaves you dying to read the subsequent full-length novel!

Full review on the blog: http://greatreadsandtealeaves.blogspo...
A sweet little read! Raybourn mixed her series together a bit as a special treat for her fans, providing a hint of the later March scions, a bittersweet taste of Delilah's life before the maelstrom of tragedy and scandal which would eventually lead her to Kenya, and introduced the spice of a brand spankin' new couple in the first breath of romance and what promises to be high adventure.

Evie is bored with her dull, penniless life of dead-end jobs and a roommate who would irritate a saint. She lon
Whisper of Jasmine is the e-book, short prequel to Deanna Raybourn's City of Jasmine, which is her new full length novel. It, of course, hooked me right off the bat, as Raybourn's stories always do. One of the aspects of her writing that I most enjoy is her witty dialogue between characters, as well as the wonderfully interesting characters themselves. Once you start reading a story by Deanna Raybourn, you just can't stop. They are adventures that may deal with some more unpleasant aspects of li ...more
Lisa Wolf
Whisper of Jasmine is a prequel to City of Jasmine, the new novel about to be released by Deanna Raybourn. It's also a nice connection to the author's previous novel, A Spear of Summer Grass.

Whisper of Jasmine introduces the main character of City of Jasmine. In 1915 London, Evie is single, ready for love, and about to embark on a romantic adventure that she'd never dreamed possible. It's sweet, charming, full of flair, and captures the feel of a society about to be swallowed up by war.

Brief bu
Actual Rating: ***1/2

This 50-page novella prequel promises some good reading in City of Jasmine. Evie and Gabriel will be, I think, a couple that will set their social circle on its ear.

Opening Lines
Christmas, 1914
Delilah stared at the printed words on the sheet of paper and knew that her life had just changed forever.

On punch being served New Year's Eve
That stuff is a bowlful of rather bad decisions waiting to happen.

And when I'm reading a book that easily classifies as a romance, I enjoy
"Whisper of Jasmine" is the prequel to City of Jasmine, and it's a fun little novella with several new characters and a bittersweet nod to characters from A Spear of Summer Grass. The romance is too swift to be believable, but the characters are engaging, especially the audacious Aunt Dove, and the set-up for the novel is intriguing. I'm in!
Review Posted on

In Whisper of Jasmine, we meet an interesting cast of characters living in London just after the turn of the century. Delilah Drummond lived out a whirlwind romance by eloping with the love of her life, but now Johnny is going away to war. Before that can happen, Delilah is going to throw the New Years’ Eve party to end all parties. And she wants to spread her joy around. Read More
Andrea Seaver
Of course, I downloaded this as soon as I was able. So definitely interested, but cautious. Novellas are not my favorite thing, I prefer large, fat complicated novels. But I've enjoyed all of the novellas from Deanna Raybourn so far. This was no exception. In Whisper of Jasmine, we meet the hero and heroine of the much anticipated City of Jasmine, Evie and Gabriel. They meet at a party thrown by Delilah Drummond of A Spear of Summer Grass. I loved the insight into the relationship of Delilah and ...more
Betty Strohecker
In this prequel novella, Deanna Raybourn introduces Gabriel Stark and Evangeline Merriweather who meet at a 1914 New Year's eve party. From that moment on their lives are changed forever. As guests of Delilah Drummond, the reader gets to see more of Delilah's life before her African adventure in A Spear of Summer Grass set in 1923. There are interesting details that explain some of Delilah's future scandalous behavior. This is a very enjoyable novella.

I really loved this! I am not a huge fan of Novellas but this one is just fabulous! The story is engaging and unravels at a brisk pace that captures and holds your interest right from the first page. The characters are all vibrant and I fell in love with them all! Dashing and brave Delilah, loving Johnny, adventurous Gabriel, and fun Evie and adorable Aunt Dove are characters that make you want to know more about them and I can't wait to start City of Jasmine!
Kris - My Novelesque Life

(I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review).

Delilah Drummond, heroine from A Spear of Summer Grass, is throwing a grand New Year's Eve party in 1914. She will not let a little thing like war stop her from having the party she wants. Also on the socialite's agenda is matchmaking for four of he friends. But within minutes of them all showing up the dashing archaeologist, Gabriel Stark tries to sweep Evangeline Merriweather, a practical girl wanting adventure and lov
I gave this 4 stars, but that is on a scale as compares to other novellas. They don't really compare against normal novels. For a novella, this was quite good. It helped develop the characters of both "A Spear of Summer Grass" and "City of Jasmine." It also gave some important and interesting back story. Since it was so short it wasn't able to develop into much of a plot, but what was there was enjoyable and fun to read.
Kimberly V
At only fifty pages, this novella introduces a lot of characters and moves fast. I didn't like the first two-thirds of the novella because I felt Evie and Gabriel's relationship moved unnaturally quickly; however towards the end, we learn that there is more to Gabriel than meets the eye. Of course, we don't learn what secrets he is harboring and this left me greatly anticipating City of Jasmine. Thus, this novella served its purpose and left me wanting more.
Sweet Cinderella story. I enjoyed it and it definitely whets the appetite to see what is going to happen next, I can't help but wonder what is the story between Gabriel and Tarquin and Perdita. I also want to know how is Tarquin related to the March's and who is his father and his relation to Lady Julia. I also loved seeing Delilah and Johnny so happy together, only making it more heartbreaking knowing what happens there.
Linda Baker
Whisper of Jasmine is a nice prequel to City of Jasmine which I will be reviewing closer to it's publication date. It was nice to get a little more back ground for Evie and Gabriel's relationship and whirlwind romance. I was fascinated to see more of Tarquin March and especially his sister, Perdita. I hope to see more of them in future books! I love reading more about the post WWI era.
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A sixth-generation native Texan, New York Times bestselling author Deanna Raybourn graduated from the University of Texas at San Antonio with a double major in English and history and an emphasis on Shakespearean studies. She taught high school English for three years in San Antonio before leaving education to pursue a career as a novelist. Deanna makes her home in Virginia, where she lives with h ...more
More about Deanna Raybourn...

Other Books in the Series

City of Jasmine (1 books)
  • City of Jasmine
Silent in the Grave (Lady Julia, #1) Silent in the Sanctuary (Lady Julia, #2) Silent on the Moor (Lady Julia, #3) Dark Road to Darjeeling (Lady Julia, #4) The Dark Enquiry (Lady Julia, #5)

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“Aunt Dove stepped behind her and looked at her reflection in the cheval glass. “You haven’t been to India, pet, but in the Nilgiri Hills, there’s a flower called a kurinji flower. It doesn’t bloom often. In fact, you can go a dozen years or more without seeing a single blossom. But then, just when you’ve given up hope of ever seeing one, they burst into flower, whole mountainsides at the same time, carpeted in the most astonishing shades of purple. It’s as if God himself shook out a rug of petals and spread it at your feet. It’s unexpected and magnificent, and very much worth the wait.” 1 likes
“He slipped his arm around her waist and gathered her close to his body. “What are you doing?”

“Dancing with you,” he told her, easing her into a slow waltz. “Don’t you hear the music from the neighbours’ party?” She couldn’t hear anything above the blood beating in her ears for a moment, but then it came, faint and haunting and lovely. “What is it?”

“It’s ‘Salut d’amour.’ Elgar. Pretty piece.”

“It’s sublime,” she murmured, relaxing in his arms. “The most romantic thing I’ve ever heard.” He moved her about the small rooftop, guiding her around chimney pots and wires and stacks of bricks, holding her carefully out of danger as if she were the most precious thing he had ever seen. Evie tipped her head back.

“I’ve never seen so many stars in the city,” Evie breathed. Gabriel came to stand behind her. “Must be our lucky night.”

“‘A night of nights,’” she agreed.

“What did you just say?”

She turned to face him, flapping a hand. “Oh, nothing. It’s embarrassing, really. It’s a quote from Peter Pan. You must have seen it as a child.”

“About a thousand times,” he said slowly. “It was my favourite play. I took Peter and Wendy with me on my last Himalayan expedition.”

“You went to the Himalayas? With Peter Pan?” “And Wendy and Hook and all of the Lost Boys.”

“What on earth were you doing in the Himalayas?”

“Trying to climb an excessively elusive mountain.”

“You’re a mountaineer!” Her eyes were brilliant with excitement.

“For my sins. I’m also an archaeologist and explorer. I’m seldom in England, which is why I think Delilah decided to take pity on me and find me a lovely girl to coax me to stay home.”

“You’d be better off with a lovely girl who’d want to go with you,” she blurted out, clapping a hand over her mouth. He reached out gently and took her hand. He brushed his lips over the love line running across her palm. “And now I have one.” She swallowed hard. “I should tell you that you’re mad, you know. We’ve only just met.”

“You haven’t just met me,” he said, his voice low and mesmerising.”
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