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Jasmine Nights

3.47  ·  Rating details ·  1,499 ratings  ·  202 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 Atria Books (first published January 1st 2012)
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3.47  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,499 ratings  ·  202 reviews

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Jun 02, 2012 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
Bev Taylor
Dec 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
1942 and the war is tearing families apart

dom is a pilot who was shot down and badly burned. whilst recovering saba comes ti the hospital to sing to the patients and he is captivated

saba is very gifted and decides to follow her dreams by joining ensa to entertain the troops. but her father disowns her. her journey takes her to alexandria, the desert and istanbul where she meets up with dom again and they start an affair. she also rubs shoulders with double agents and diplomats and does her bit
Feb 28, 2013 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
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
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
May 16, 2012 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 rated it liked it
not normally a type of book I would read the story was okay
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
Jun 14, 2014 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
Aug 29, 2018 rated it liked it
I love Historical Fiction and was excited to read this book. The story is fine and the characters are ok, but something is missing. I wasn't drawn in or cared about anything very much. It also seemed the story sort of lost steam, ran off course and then just ended with all right resolution.
Jul 29, 2012 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 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
Beth (bibliobeth)
Dec 29, 2012 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
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.
May 21, 2014 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 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.
Andrew “superman” Hamilton
Oct 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
This was a great read. I wasn't as thrilled by the writing style, but enjoyed the characters, the plot line, the setting, Middle East, Cairo....the descriptions were very thorough. I like a mixture of historical fiction, with mystery, or suspense, along with romance. This fit the bill, for cold winter days! 23 year old Saba Tarcan escapes from Cardiff Bay, Wales by traveling with a group of musicians, and other acts, that will entertain the troops. She ends up in the Middle East working for the ...more
Jeannie Mehta
Apr 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A fascinating book, vivid characterisation, wonderful settings, the atmosphere of the ENSA well portrayed, and the various levels of conflict between Saba and her parents, her father and her mother, Saba's passion for music and performance, and Dom the pilot's guilt at needing to fly and his mother's fears for him. The whole spy element by artists in ENSA was news to me!
When Dom is shot down again, and lies in the desert, it reminded me of the English Patient partly.
Issues of war, women's indep
Jan 24, 2017 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
Mark Richard
Feb 17, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: general-fiction

Not very often do I like to use the word literally because people never use it correctly - but.... this book literally put me to sleep. Not because I was reading in bed or because I was tired but because it just happens to be very tedious. Why use one sentence when a hundred will do? why not indeed.
It wasn't the story itself that was the issue it was the amazing amount of pointless information we are given. Maybe the editor was off that day...
Jun 02, 2019 rated it it was ok
I found this book a bit uneven. The book in places would hook me and keep my interest, and then there were sections where it flagged or the pacing was off and I'd lose interest and set the book down. I did love that it was set in a non-European location during WWII.
Ines Norton
Jun 17, 2017 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 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
a wartime love story....really enjoyed
May 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
A satisfying historical romantic novel with enough depth to keep it interesting.
megan barhite
Aug 01, 2017 rated it it was ok
The book was ok but it was kind of slow. Not my favorite but the book looked really good!
Margo Murphy
Oct 19, 2017 rated it it was ok
Tried to like this because, as other reviewers have mentioned, the premise and setup were promising. However, the story became a slog and I couldn't sustain interest in the characters.
Emilie Lang
Mostly sucked, but it made me laugh a good few times.
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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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