Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “City of Jasmine” as Want to Read:
City of Jasmine
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

City of Jasmine

(City of Jasmine #1)

3.66  ·  Rating details ·  1,749 ratings  ·  297 reviews
Set against the lush, exotic European colonial outposts of the 1920s, New York Times bestselling author Deanna Raybourn delivers the captivating tale of one woman who embarks upon a journey to see the world—and ends up finding intrigue, danger and a love beyond all reason.

Famed aviatrix Evangeline Starke never expected to see her husband, adventurer Gabriel Starke, ever a
Paperback, 354 pages
Published February 25th 2014 by Harlequin MIRA (first published December 7th 2013)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about City of Jasmine, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about City of Jasmine

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
3.66  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,749 ratings  ·  297 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Dec 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
How to review this without spilling all the beans? Most of what you need to know going in comes from the book blurb, so I'll cheat (I am three reviews behind):

"Famed aviatrix Evangeline Starke never expected to see her husband, adventurer Gabriel Starke, ever again. They had been a golden couple, enjoying a whirlwind courtship amid the backdrop of a glittering social set in prewar London until his sudden death with the sinking of the Lusitania. Five years later, beginning to embrace life again,
Feb 20, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: library, historical
I loved the lush atmosphere and gorgeous prose of A Spear of Summer Grass, but this one just didn't work for me.

Evie was outwardly more likeable than Delilah from Spear. A dashing aviatrix who exploits publicity and society's expectations while traveling the world with an eccentric aunt? One with a late husband who may have faked his own death in a shipwreck? The back cover blurb couldn't be more perfect.

Maybe my expectations were a tad too high, but Evie had no hope of meeting them. There was l
Jan 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2014
Good story full of adventure. I think DR is good at painting the picture for you. I really felt like I was there in the desert. Just like when I read A Spear of Summer Grass--the story was so vivid that I was right there in Africa. I really liked Evie and Gabriel. I kind of had a crush on Gabriel the whole time. I also loved Aunt Dove--she was a great character.
Aug 30, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sep-15
Deanna Raybourn's writing is spellbinding and her "Lady Julia" series is an all-time favorite of mine.
In "City Of Jasmine" she paints a wonderful picture of the lush, exotic European colonial outposts of the 1920's and takes us on one woman's journey to see the world.
Famed aviatrix Evangeline Starke ends up finding danger, intrigue and a love once thought lost. Light hearted and entertaining we are taken on an action-packed adventure full of bloody sword fights, a high speed airplane chase, a lo
Nov 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Find this and other reviews at: http://flashlightcommentary.blogspot....

I have fond memories of the time I spent reading Deanna Raybourn's Silent in Grave, but I confess it has been more than three years since I've had opportunity to revisit her work and while I fully intend to track down the rest of the Lady Julia series, I can't say I was disappointed with her lastest standalone, City of Jasmine.

Much of my admiration is tied to Raybourn's protagonists, Eveangeline and Gabriel Starke. Her spunk
 Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books)
I was nervous about this book, because I love this time period, but I don't care much for estranged married couple romance. However, Ms. Raybourn tackles both with beautiful grace. This book has wonderful atmosphere and Evie and Gabriel are both very endearing characters. The adventure was a much appreciated bonus.

Overall rating: 4.5/5.0 stars

Reviewed for Affaire de Coeur magazine.
Apr 24, 2017 rated it it was ok
I really like Deanna Raybourn's prose, but the book didn't live up to the very promising blurb.
I loved this! It's a historical adventure set in Damascus and the nearby desert during the 1920s. We have an intrepid British female pilot and her scandalous old aunt, a parrot, a dead husband not quite dead, archaeological treasure, and deadly pursuit across the desert.

Once again, Raybourn brought both the place and the time period alive. She put me down right in the desert with the sights and smells, and awoke my sympathies with the personal nature of the cultural conflicts after the Great Wa
There are a lot of parallels between good writing and good cooking: it helps if you have decent ingredients but you need to be able to serve them up well too. While it's true the best cooks can make something delicious out of very little (read Courtney Milan's amuse-bouche here), over-cooking a meal or over-complicating the recipe is a sure way to ruin it.

All of which is a rather laboured way of saying that I think Deanna Raybourn has made an uncharacteristic dog's dinner of some decent ingredie
Dec 30, 2013 rated it really liked it
What a pleasant surprise this book turned out to be.

Evie is an aviatrix in the 1920s, a widow to a dashing young adventurer, she is flying around on adventures and collecting sponsors with her aging, but young at heart aunt, who herself is a known adventures from her youth.

Evie has never really recovered from her failed marriage and her early widowhood, so when she get a mysterious message hinting that Gabriel might not be dead after all she can't ignore it.

Off to Damascus she goes and into an a
Five years ago Evie married the handsome, charming, boyish Gabriel Starke after once dance. He then promptly broke her heart before dying on the Lusitania. Or did he? Evie has made her own way in the world first as a war nurse and now as a famed aviatrix. Just before setting out on one final trip in her beloved ancient plane, The Jolly Roger, she finds a mysterious photograph of Gabe in the desert she knows was taken recently. With her eccentric Aunt Dove in tow, Evie sets out for Damascus to fi ...more

City of Jasmine by Deanna Raybourn is a 2014 MIRA publication.

This book has a very long 'wait' list with my library so I've had to cool my heels waiting with much anticipation to read this book. Finally, this week, it became available to me after being 'on hold' for what seemed like an eternity. So, once I got it downloaded, I dropped everything else and dived into this book immediately.

This is a unique novel for this author, best known for her 'Lady Julia' historical mystery series. Set in th
Sheri South
Jul 25, 2016 rated it really liked it
If Mary Stewart and Indiana Jones had a love child, it would be City of Jasmine, a fun read featuring a plucky aviatrix, a man back from the dead, a lost (and found, and lost again) treasure, a handful of archaeologists with hidden motives, and a tribe of Bedouins. Although the title refers to Damascus, most of the action (and I do mean action!) takes place in the Syrian desert. My only quibble was that, with WWI just over and the Mideast in turmoil, it never occurred to Evie to suspect that her ...more
Famed aviatrix Evie Starke and her charming Aunt Dove are flying the seven seas of antiquity as part of a publicity tour when Evie recieves a mysterious photograph of her late husband. In Damascus and very much alive. So, naturally, Evie goes to Damascus to do some amateur sleuthing and what follows is a historical romance of the action-adventure variety. There is a lost relic and a desert hideaway, a high-speed airplane chase and a bloody sword fight, a band of Bedouins and an archaeologist or ...more
Oct 08, 2014 rated it really liked it

Famed aviatrix Evangeline Starke married her wildchild husband after knowing him just one night, and though it was a relationship full of passion they were on the verge of divorce when he died suddenly in the sinking of the Lusitania. Or did he? Five years later Evie discovers he just may be alive, which sets her off on a crazy quest to find him and get some answers. With lovely sensory-rich writing and a charming cast of international characters, including Evie’s Aunt Dove who in her younger da
Feb 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Oh, I really enjoyed this book so much! Loved this new part that this book really joined the Lady Julia series! Can't wait to read more!
Allison (The Allure of Books)
Thanks to the gorgeous writing, the sense of place was incredible, seriously. Deanna Raybourn outdid herself there!
Oct 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing
After the set up in Whisper of Jasmine, I was properly intrigued to jump into this story. It is set against the days just following WWI in the politically unstable area of newly emerging Syria. Against the back drop of mystery and intrigue along with desert adventure, a woman intrepidly pursues the truth about the husband she once thought dead. From the sweeping colorful descriptions of the place and time period, to the deft handling of the characters, and to the engaging twisting plot, this boo ...more
2018 Monthly Challenge: December "My favorite things": 2. favorite scent or fragrance: Jasmine

The book has the necessary ingredients to be of my liking, but the final result has not been as I expected, too many unnecessary complications in the relationship between Evie and Gabriel, especially the unfair way in which he treats her. In spite of everything, the book has wonderful scenes, especially those carried out by Aunt Dove.

Featured in a "Pair It With" on Intellectual Recreation.

I am a longtime fan of Deanna Raybourn's Lady Julia mysteries. City of Jasmine is the first time I have read one of her 1920s novels.

City of Jasmine stars aviatrix Evangeline Stark (I love her name). She is doing a tour of the seven seas in her airplane when she receives a mysterious photograph of her husband Gabriel Stark taken near Damascus. Everyone thought that Gabriel drowned with the Lusitania. Evie makes a detour from her tour to he
This is a hard book for me to review. I listed to the audio book and absolutely hated the narrator. Her voice was so wrong for Evie Starke and was so annoying to listen to that I almost didn't continue with the audio book. It must be a credit to the story and writing since I did push through the horrible narration and even found myself enjoying it after a while but it did take me a while.

I felt like the story took a while to build steam and really capture my interest but I did really enjoy the
Christy B
Dec 18, 2013 rated it really liked it
First of all, I highly recommend reading the prequel to this novel: Whisper of Jasmine. It shows how Evie and Gabriel met, and gives good insight into the beginning of their relationship.

That being said, City of Jasmine takes place in 1920 Syria, and seeing as how I didn't know a whole lot of what was going on in that area then, I learned a lot. Evie and Gabriel were thrown into lots of adventures and came across a lot of suspicious characters, some dangerous, some just shady. The descriptions a
Oct 31, 2014 rated it it was ok
I'm abandoning this one. I gave it a good try but halfway through, I've decided to move on. I wanted a lighthearted adventure, which it is, but I don't like either of the main characters. I think I've also grown weary of Deanna Raybourn's (to me) formulaic characters: headstrong woman determined to have her way, ignoring any warnings from growling, exasperated man, jumping into impossibly dangerous situations and coming out unscathed. More than that, I'm tired of bickering, bantering couples who ...more
Sep 08, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Oh my god, this book was terrible. I don't even know why I finished, except, I suppose, if the author went with the completely predictable ending or if she actually took the road less traveled (spoiler: she didn't).

It feels poorly researched, reductive, and full of stereotypes. I felt zero sympathy for Evie - she's sad because the man she married after knowing him for ONE DAY isn't the knight in shining armor she thought she was? No kidding. The only worthwhile character was Aunt Dove, and she
Jun 20, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: adventure, historical
First Deanna Raybourn that I am not particularly fussed about. Sort of got bogged down in the middle and I was like ho hum get out of the desert already. Which is telling in itself because all her other books I have been riveted from the very first page.
Jan 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I loved Deanna Raybourn's novella Whisper of Jasmine, so how did her full-length novel City of Jasmine measure up? Stop by the blog to see the full review of this wonderful book!
Jan 31, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Deanna Raybourn's new book took me from the bitter Midwestern winter to the warm, exotic environs of Damascus in 1920. Five years after Evie Starke's short marriage imploded when she left her cold, distant husband, she is still reeling. Gabriel was presumed drowned on the Lusitania, but Evie, beset by self-doubt, has been unable to move on. One of the things she has learned is "how to put things in a cupboard and shut the door when it isn't time to deal with them."
Her marriage is a rather larg
In the prequel e-book Whisper of Jasmine, Deanna Raybourn introduced readers to her two new wonderful characters, Evangeline Starke and Gabriel Starke. What was a tantalizing tidbit grew into a sumptuous full course of these two characters five years after they had eloped on the first night they met. Deanna Raybourn is a born storyteller, and with each new series, she mesmerizes the reader with sweeping landscapes and intriguing characters. The dialogue she creates between all of the characters, ...more
Linda Baker
Jan 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Deanna Raybourn's newest book, City of Jasmine, set in the wide open 1920's, takes us on a quest from Damascus into the Badiyat ash-Sham or the great Syrian desert. Evangeline Starke has gained fame but little fortune as a celebrity aviatrix. Accompanied by her eccentric and adventuresome Aunt Dove, she is embarking upon a flight across the seven seas of antiquity. Just before embarking from Rome she receives a photograph of her husband, Gabriel Starke, marked "Damascus, 1920". However, Gabriel ...more
Mlpmom (Book Reviewer)
Jan 09, 2014 rated it really liked it
Raybourn is one of my most favorite authors of historical, well, anything and when I saw that her latest book was going to be set in the 1920's (another favorite for me) I knew it was going to be a must read.

I started with the prequel and instantly fell in love with the characters, setting and of course Raybourn's writing. She truly is a genius with description, mystery and most of all a sweet endearing romance that isn't the main focus of the story. She lets the mystery and characters take over
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Passion of the Purple Plumeria (Pink Carnation, #10)
  • India Black and the Shadows of Anarchy (Madam of Espionage Mystery, #3)
  • Star of the East (Lady Emily, #9.5)
  • Beneath a Silent Moon
  • A Lady's Wish (Rogues of the Sea, #1.5)
  • Daughter of the God-King (Regency, #2)
  • What Darkness Brings (Sebastian St. Cyr, #8)
  • Mortal Arts (Lady Darby Mystery, #2)
  • How to Master Your Marquis (A Princess In Hiding, #2)
  • The Highest Stakes
See similar books…
New York Times and USA Today bestselling novelist Deanna Raybourn is a 6th-generation native Texan. She graduated with a double major in English and history from the University of Texas at San Antonio. Married to her college sweetheart and the mother of one, Raybourn makes her home in Virginia. Her novels have been nominated for numerous awards including five RITAs, two RT Reviewers’ Choice awards ...more
“I went to the window, opening the pierced shutters to look out over the sleeping city. The moon was waxing and hung half-full like some exotic silver jewel just over the horizon. From the courtyard below rose the scent of jasmine on the cool night air. A slender vine had wound its way up to the balcony, and I reached out, pinching off a single creamy white blossom. I lifted it to my nose, drinking in the thick sweetness of it as it filled my head, sending my senses reeling. There was something narcotic about that jasmine, something carnal and ethereal at the same time. I crushed the petals between my fingers, taking the scent onto my skin. It was not a fragrance to wear alone. It was too rich, too heady, too full of sensuality and promise. It was a fragrance for silken cushions and damp naked flesh and moonlit beds. I rubbed at my fingers, but the scent clung tightly, keeping me company as I sat in the window, listening to a song I had almost forgot and thinking of Gabriel Starke and the five years that stretched barrenly between us.” 2 likes
“I turned my face to the east and the first star that shimmered on the horizon. He held my hand, and it was the hand of the man I had married, lost and found again in the Badiyat ash-Sham, the fabled land of camels and caravans that lies just beyond the walls of the city of jasmine. To live with him would be a very great adventure indeed.” 1 likes
More quotes…