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Whisper of Jasmine [Kindle Edition]

Deanna Raybourn
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (47 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: $1.99

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Book Description

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.

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Product Details

  • File Size: 881 KB
  • Print Length: 53 pages
  • Publisher: Harlequin MIRA (February 1, 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00G79ZNJ6
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #44,446 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent teaser/set-up for CITY OF JASMINE. February 4, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
What I especially liked about this little short, which takes place in l915, is that Raybourn ties in her Victorian Lady Julia series to this new Edwardian one by having Lady Julia's family members Tarquin March and his sister Perdita as secondary characters.

Another more important secondary here is Delilah Drummond, heroine of A Spear of Summer Grass, set in l923 Africa, post WWI. In that book Delilah is a rather jaded and notorious socialite, but we had hints of what had made her that way: the loss of the love of her life, Johnny, during WWI.

So in this short, we find a happily-married Delilah and Johnny, with WWI now intruding in their lives, and the introduction of new characters Evangeline Merriweather and Gabriel Stark, who meet in the story. Now we must wait for City of Jasmine, coming in February, which takes place in the 1920s, to find out what happens to this new couple. I'm very much looking forward to it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars The Only Deanna Raybourne I've not finished. April 21, 2014
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Rambling and a trifle boring, I just didn't engage with the characters or the plot. I couldn't finish it as I just didn't care enough.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Delilah Drummond - Matchmaker March 10, 2014
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Last year Deanna Raybourn diverted from her Lady Julia Grey series and gave us the delightful "Spear of Summer Grass" set in 1920's mid Africa featuring notorious socialite Delilah Drummond. In this prequel to her next book "City of Jasmine" Raybourn brings back an earlier Deliah in 1914 when she was married to her beloved Johnny, who was about to go to fight in WWI. Not to be deterred by the war and Johnny's impending departure, Delia decides to throw a New Year's Eve party designed to be the event of the year.

When sending out the invitations Deliah has matchmaking intentions for Evangeline (Evie) Merriweather, an impecunious granddaughter of a Earl who seems to have no clear future. What Deliah doesn't know is that Evie has always dreamed of a life full of adventure, encouraged by her vivacious Aunt Dove whose life was full of scandalous affairs. Aunt Dove takes Evie under her wing and converts an old designer dress into a daring outfit for the party and sprays her with a scent jasmine "one of the most seductive scents imaginable".

What follows at the party is love at first sight, but is this the match that Deliah has planned? At the end a very changed Evie returns a book on "Practical Applications in Lovemaking ...." to Aunt Dove with the comment "It was a kind thought but not needed. At all."

All in all a charming and amusing prequel novella to whet our appetites for when we next meet a very different and adventurous Evie several years later in City of Jasmine
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3.0 out of 5 stars Cute June 3, 2014
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It was a good old school love story but kind of left you hanging at the end. Overall a good read.
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3.0 out of 5 stars It's Free, But... April 23, 2014
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Delilah throws a party which takes all her money before her husband goes to war. It is love at first sight for two of the guests Evie and Gabriel. We learn little about Gabriel except that he is involved in some intrigue and that he should not become involved with a woman. There really is not much of a plot and it ends abruptly. However, it is a prequel and it is free. I haven't read "City of Jasmine," but it seems to me that "Whisper of Jasmine" could have been included in it. I suppose the idea is to get the reader to buy "City of Jasmine." I don't know if I will.

On the plus side, what there is of it is well written.
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I was totally captured by the characters in this book. I love all Deanna Raybourn's books - and this short story is no different. I love the way she captures your attention from the first word and keeps it til the last. And then leaves you wanting lots more. Some of the characters in this book are ones you've met in others of Ms. Raybourn's - which makes it all the more interesting. I now cannot wait to read City of Jasmine. Keep them coming Deanna Raybourn.
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I rarely give short teasers like this more than 3 stars, but it IS well written, and it does add something to the experience of reading CoJ to have seen Evie and Gabriel in the giddy, impulsive delight of their first meeting and elopement. However, it is NOT able to stand on its own, with heavy, unresolved foreshadowing of the covert operations that will cruelly divide them. But at least Ms. Raybourn is not pretending otherwise -- she's giving it away free, so go ahead and grab it!
I'm part-way through CoJ right now, and just re-encountered Gabriel. So far, I like Evie better than I do/did Delilah (of "A Spear of Summer Grass"), although they share the irresponsible tendency to try to ignore unpayable bills. N.B. It was sad to see Delilah here with Johnny (Did I get both their names right? I'm terrible w/names!), before her beloved young husband goes off to die in the war.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fairytale Love March 24, 2014
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Whisper of Jasmine is a beautifully written novella by Deanna Raybourn. It is meant as a teaser prequel to her newly released novel, City of Jasmine, but can easily be defined on its own merits. A story of Disney-like fairytale love, it gives off a sense of subtle foreboding.

The devious and delightful Delilah Drummond (the heroine of Raybourn’s previous book, A Spear of Summer Grass) decides to give a party where she’s playing matchmaker among all of her lonely friends. Much to her chagrin though, none of the couples she has in mind wind up leaving the party together. Evangeline Merriweather is hungry for excitement. She meets Gabriel Wilberforce Stark, a charming, adventurous, and mysterious adventurer. Before they even know each other’s names, they are talking of love and elopement.

The story of Peter Pan comes up multiple times in this short narrative, each time supporting the idea of not growing up. Both Evie and Gabriel are childish and impulsive in their love. It’s New Year’s Eve, 1914. War is tugging at the hearts of everyone. Romance in all forms is an escape, the more adventurous the better–the hurried rush is part of the thrill! At one point during their whirlwind night of infatuation, Gabriel tells Evie “Perhaps you aren’t Wendy after all. Perhaps I’m marrying Captain Hook.” To which she replies, “I can think of worse professions than piracy. I might make a rather good pirate. I’d like to see the world, sail the seven seas. I’ve always thought it the most romantic phrase in the world, haven’t you? The seven seas…” They are both clearly deluded and overly indulging in the idea of romance, to the point that piracy–which really involves lots of raiding, thieving, killing, and raping–is contorted and glamorized.
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More About the Author

A sixth-generation native Texan, New York Times bestselling author Deanna Raybourn grew up in San Antonio, where she met her college sweetheart. She married him on her graduation day and went on to teach high school English and history. During summer vacation at the age of twenty-three, she wrote her first novel. After three years as a teacher, Deanna left education to have a baby and pursue writing full-time. Fourteen years and many, many rejections after her first novel, she signed two three-book deals with MIRA Books.

"Sex, lies and awesome clothing descriptions" is how one reader described Deanna's debut novel, SILENT IN THE GRAVE, published in January 2007. The first in the Silent series, the book follows Lady Julia Grey as she investigates the mysterious death of her husband with the help of the enigmatic private inquiry agent Nicholas Brisbane. From the drawing rooms of the aristocracy to a Gypsy camp on Hampstead Heath, Silent in the Grave deftly captures the lush ambience of Victorian London.

The series continues with the second book, SILENT IN THE SANCTUARY (January 2008), a classic English country house murder mystery with a few twists and turns for Brisbane and Lady Julia along the way. Silent on the Moor (March 2009), set in a grim manor house on the Yorkshire moors, is the third adventure for Lady Julia and the mysterious Brisbane.

March 2010 saw a departure from the series with the release of THE DEAD TRAVEL FAST, a mid-Victorian Gothic thriller that chronicles the adventures of novelist Theodora Lestrange as she leaves the safety and security of her Edinburgh home for the dark woods and haunted castles of Transylvania. Deanna takes Lady Julia and her companions to the exotic foothills of the Himalayas with DARK ROAD TO DARJEELING (October 2010). The fifth book in the series, THE DARK ENQUIRY, sees the return of Lady Julia and Brisbane to London for their most puzzling adventure--one that strikes painfully close to home.

Deanna plots her books from her home in Virginia. After one too many hot Texas summers, Deanna and her husband packed up their daughter and moved to the mid-Atlantic state, where they enjoy the fall leaves but deeply miss good Tex-Mex cooking.

Still Virginia has been good to this author. Deanna's novel SILENT IN THE GRAVE won the 2008 RITA® Award for Novel with Strong Romantic Elements and the Romantic Times Reviewers' Choice Award for Best First Mystery. The Lady Julia Grey series has been nominated for several other awards, including an Agatha, three Daphne du Mauriers, a Last Laugh, a total of five RITAs, and two Dilys Winns. Her fourth Lady Julia novel, DARK ROAD TO DARJEELING, was a finalist for the Romantic Times Reviewers' Choice Award for Best Historical Mystery, and her fifth Lady Julia release, THE DARK ENQUIRY, was a New York Times bestseller.

Lady Julia's holiday adventure, SILENT NIGHT, a digital novella, will be available November 1, 2012, while her next stand-alone novel, A SPEAR OF SUMMER GRASS, debuts May 1, 2013. Set in Africa in 1923, A SPEAR OF SUMMER GRASS follows the daring flapper heiress Delilah Drummond as she travels to Africa in disgrace only to find the adventure of a lifetime.

You can find her blogging three days a week at, and be sure to sign up for her newsletter, check out her contests and book trailer videos, and catch her latest appearances at

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