Review: Whisper of Jasmine

Title: Whisper of Jasmine Image

Author: Deanna Raybourn

Rating: ★★★

Provided Synopsis: 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 and wild abandon.

There is the dashing explorer and archaeologist Gabriel Stark, a man at a crossroads in his life. Brilliant and restless, he’s just committed to a secret enterprise that forces him to play a public role very different from the man he truly is.

And then there is the charming if flighty Evangeline Merriweather. Evie has dreamed her whole life of adventure. Little does she know, she’s about to get more than she bargained for. Especially after her vivacious Aunt Dove acts as fairy godmother, if a saucy one, providing a scandalous gown and a whisper of jasmine on her skin….

Evie will shake cool Gabriel to his core, but just how far are they willing to take love at first sight?

One seductive night will change Evie forever. Watch for her next adventure, in the City of Jasmine.

Review: 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 adventure of these characters to stir intrigue in the reader. World War I has begun and Gabriel is clearly involved in something top-secret. The end of the story, as his superiors debate what to do with him, whet my appetite to know more. I may have not been whisked away by what I’ve seen so far of the romance, but I trust Deanna Raybourn to flesh out the characters and get to the heart of the story as she usually does. The stakes displayed at the end of this novella and the plot synopsis for City of Jasmine suggest the best will come.

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