From the award-winning author of East of the Sun, a powerful love story set against the unstable and exotic cities of Cairo and Istanbul during the height of World War II.
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 Dom Benson, recovering from burns after a crash. When Saba auditions to entertain troops in far-off lands, Dom follows her to London. Just as their relationship begins to take root, Saba is sent to sing in Africa, and Dom is assigned a new mission in the Middle East. As Saba explores Cairo’s bazaars, finding friendship among the troupe’s acrobats and dancers, Dom returns to the cockpit once again, both thrilled and terrified to be flying above the desert floor. In spite of great danger, the two resolve to reunite.
When Saba learns that her position makes her uniquely qualified for a secret mission of international importance, she agrees to help the British Secret Service, concealing her role from Dom. Her decision will jeopardize not only her safety but also the love of her life.
Based on true accounts of female entertainers used as spies during World War II, Jasmine Nights is a powerful story of danger, secrets, and love, filled with the colors and sounds of the Middle East’s most beautiful cities.
This steamy, sweeping historical draws readers into the seductive world of WWII Egypt. Half Turkish and half Welsh by birth, Saba Tarcan is a young British singer. Performing at a hospital in southern England for convalescing soldiers, she meets Dom Benson, a British pilot injured in the war. She leaves home to join the Entertainments National Service Association, which supplies entertainment for the British armed forces, a move that leads her parents to disown her. Once signed on, she's sent to Egypt, where she meets up again with Dom. Their romance is cut short by Saba's secret intelligence mission in the Middle East, about which she cannot tell Dom, who, feeling rebuffed, leaves on a combat mission. Saba risks her life and Dom, shot down, is presumed dead. Gregson's latest (after Band of Angels) displays the author's command of wartime fiction. Saba is a modern woman struggling with old-fashioned ideas and Dom is a surprisingly complex hero. Seen through their eyes, the wartime Middle East is a heady, intoxicating place and readers will be swept away by the lush prose.