The Scent of Jasmine
The Scent of Jasmine is a fabulous story about wonderfully created characters engaging in an intriguing adventure while discovering passion and love. Cay and Alex embark on a journey fraught with peril and excitement. Unfortunately, in between the thrills were long stretches of boredom, but it’s worth muddling through the parts that drag a bit to get to the endearing romance, wit and compelling mystery that best defines this book. Cay rescues Alex from hanging for a crime he didn’t commit. He and she end up fleeing from Charleston, SC, to Florida, where they join an expedition set to explore the wilds of that state. The story of Cay and Alex falling in love is sweet, fun and everything a romance fan would want it to be. There is humor, moments of gallantry and romance. Unfortunately, you have to muddle through moments of lingering travel detail to unearth those. The setting for most of the book—Florida, in 1799—is different from most historical romances, and that makes it interesting as well. But what really makes this story intriguing is the underlying mystery of who framed Alex for the murder of his wife on their wedding night. There are also “mini” mysteries that reveal themselves throughout the book, like the true identity of the exploration’s leader. The Scent of Jasmine is part of Deveraux’s Edilean series that goes back and forth between contemporary times (Lavender Morning) and historical (Days of Gold and Scarlet Nights.) Cay is a spirited heroine with spunk, courage and wit. Alex is a hero who is able to balance his devotion and love for her lady, without losing his rugged masculinity. Deveraux ably portrays Alex as a gallant, loving and dedicated lover without emasculating him. He’s honorable and caring, and fully capable of defending Cay from marauders, injustice, and alligators. The support case adds character and interest, from the pair of desperate husband-seeking sisters, to the young boy who taunts Cay throughout their Florida exploration. Cay’s brothers are definitely intriguing, and hopefully will be featured in future Edilean series’ books.