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.
Read an Excerpt
Queen Victoria Hospital, East Grinstead, 1942
It was only a song. That was what he thought when she’d put her hat on and gone, leaving the faint smell of fresh apples behind. Nothing but a song; a pretty girl.
But the very least he could say about the best thing to have happened to him in a long time was that she’d stopped him having the dreams.
In the first, he was at the end of a parachute with about three and a half miles between the soles of his feet and the Suffolk countryside. He was screaming because he couldn’t land. He was rushing through the air, a light,... see more
Reading Group Guide
Saba Tarcan is a talented but naïve young singer stuck in Tiger Bay in Cardiff, while World War II rages on around her. So when she is offered a position with Entertainments National Service Association’s traveling group to sing for the troops behind enemy lines, she jumps at the chance. She leaves her overprotective family and a budding romance with Dom—a young fighter pilot she met in a hospital where he was recovering from a near-fatal crash—behind.
But Saba is never far from Dom’s mind. When he is transferred to the Desert Air Force, the two are reunited. Yet starting where they left off proves difficult: Saba has been recruited to spy on the Nazi elite, while Dom is flying increasingly treacherous missions. Set in the most exquisite cities of the Middle East during one of the most dangerous eras of world history, Jasmine Nights is a story of intrigue, heart-pounding encounters, and ultimately of the sacrifices made for love.
Topics & Questions for Discussion see more