Night of a Thousand Stars Kindle Þ a Thousand

Night of a Thousand Stars “I say if you’re running away from your wedding you’re going about it uite wrong”There it was in black and white for all to see Viscount's Heir Jilted By American Society GirlThe girl Poppy Hammond decides at the last minute not to marry into a stodgy boring life with some blue blooded aristocrat and seeks refuge at her father's house long story she was raised in America by her mother and step father hasn't seen her real father in years The guy As Poppy plans her escape she's conveniently aided by the ever so helpful and handsome curate Sebastian Cantrip The resourceful curate gets her out to her father's and leaves her there and promptly disappears without a trace Oh and Cantrip's not his real name either Have you never heard the word before? A cantrip is an old Scots word It means a witch’s trick a spell The very word means deception”Hmmmm What's a plucky heroine to do but go after her mystery man and make sure he's OK? He could be hurt and dying somewhere and desperately in need of Poppy to rescue him And the adventure begins and Poppy and her intrepid maid are off to Damascus for whatever adventures might await them I loved every second of this book Lots of ups and downs and twists and turns Some delightful baddies and a surprise visit from a character in the previous book City of Jasmine Oh and plenty of laugh out loud lines as the relationship between these two shake outMy only disappointment is that it appears there aren't going to be any of these I hear the author's going back to Victorian era mysteries again There's so much potential at the end of this for poutsKindle copy obtained via library loan A bit silly really Even the connection to the Julia Grey books couldn't save it In fact it kind of made it worse Ah Deanna Raybourn I love you Please don't stop writing And please find a way to come back and write about Julia and Brisbane This book made me miss them so much I want to know about the Vespiary There's so much there I know it Night of a Thousand Stars was yet another enjoyable light romantic historical adventure I enjoyed seeing how Poppy ties in with Julia and how the mad March legacy continues But it also made me homesick for the old friends I still don't want to say goodbye to them for good And I want 1920s Middle Eastern treasure hunts now too Everything I read just makes me want So this one is 45 Stars because it didn't uite manage to match up to City of Jasmine I loved the wedding escape at the beginning that was hilarious And Sebastian won me over pretty much instantly before he disappeared I thought Poppy was really blind and stupid about him at times but she was also impulsive smart and stubborn and I liked her spirit The adventure wasn't as adventurous as the one in City of Jasmine but Poppy isn't an intrepid pilot and this is her first adventure So I'm cutting her some slack for not always knowing how to handle it and not always seeing what's going on And honestly treasure would have been nice tooIt was fun and I loved it I want Raybourn remains on my list of authors whose books I will actually pre order a very short list indeed I have yet to read a book by her that I didn't love and I only have one left that I haven't read so far I'm eagerly anticipating her new Victorian mystery series starting this Fall with A Curious Beginning I'm sure that I'll end up loving that series too once I can get my hands on it I've given this an A at AAR but it very nearly sueaked an A so I'm leaving it at 5 starsYou know how sometimes you read the opening line or two of a book and not only does it hook you immediately but you can just tell it’s going to be a great read? Well Night of a Thousand Stars is one of those books It opens with Penelope Hammond step daughter of a rich American industrialist running out on her wedding to a stodgy viscount’s heir with the help of a rather attractive and delightfully unflappable curate He introduces himself as Sebastian Cantrip and agrees to drive her to her father’s house in Devon On the way Penelope explains that she prefers to be called by her nickname “Poppy” and that her last name isn’t actually Hammond because her step father has never legally adopted her Her actual last name is March Which is where I might have suealed just a little bitBecause – as anyone who has read any of the books in Ms Raybourn’s series of Victorian mysteries will know – March is the maiden name of the eponymous Lady Julia; and as Poppy’s father turns out to be none other than Eglamour or “Plum” March it makes Lady Julia Poppy’s auntHaving safely deposited Poppy with her father the obliging curate leaves the following morning which for some reason she can’t fathom leaves her feeling a little flatPoppy’s parents are divorced and while her step father treats her as one of the family she has never really felt as though she belonged She was the same at school her uick wit and adventurous nature getting her into trouble often than not She tries to live up to her mother’s expectations of what a young lady should be and gets engaged to a worthy – if dull – young man but no matter what she does she just doesn’t do “conventional” Reading her aunt’s journals the first of which is entitled Silent in the Grave something finally clicks for Poppy and she determines it’s time to be herself rather than try to fit in with other people’s expectations She wants to have a “little adventure” and decides to start by going to London – where she will have to put on a brazen front to brave the gossip – in order to find Mr Cantrip so that she can thank him properly for his assistance Returning to the church from which she ran away she is disturbed to discover that the curate is in fact a Mr Hobbs who tells her that the name Cantrip is actually an archaic Scottish word meaning “trick” Something is obviously not right which makes Poppy – who has started to believe that perhaps Sebastian is in some sort of trouble even determined to track him down Her investigations eventually lead her to discover that Sebastian – whose real last name is Fox – has travelled to the Holy Land and Poppy must find a way to follow him thereNight of a Thousand Stars is a companion story to Ms Raybourn’s previous book City of Jasmine although it’s not necessary to have read that first in order to understand this one To say too much about the plot will spoil it so I’ll just say that it’s an eventful fast moving adventure in which the author expertly balances danger and treachery with humour and deadpan wit It is a little frustrating that the central characters spend a large portion of the first half of the book apart but there is much to enjoy in Ms Raybourn’s attention to detail which is very impressive and in the writing which just sparkles with wit and has a real “twenties feel” about it – by which I mean that it’s infused with that zest for life and desire to push boundaries that seems to have been commonly felt by so many young people after the horrors of the First World WarThe descriptions of Damascus –the sights sounds and smells of the souks and streets – bring the city vividly to life and the author also includes relevant details concerning the precarious political situation of the time which are both relevant to the story and interesting in their own rightThere is of course a nice dash of romance running through the story The reunion between Poppy and Sebastian is splendidly tongue in cheek with Sebastian turning up looking like a desert prince all billowing black robes and tall boots swoon The guy is Errol Flynn James Bond and Indiana Jones rolled into one and is for my money the sexiest Vicar ever written The dialogue is full of humour and the couple bickers in the manner of the best screwball comedies But it’s also clear that they trust each other implicitly and will do whatever is necessary to keep each other safe Ms Raybourn doesn’t write explicit sex scenes but the sexual tension between the pair is tremendous and done without repetitious mental lusting over exposed muscular body parts Not to say there isn’t any it’s just not overdoneThe only reason this isn’t a straight “A” book is that the denouement seemed a little too “pat” Many loose ends are tied up and co incidences explained but it didn’t uite work for me – perhaps because it’s just too perfect I suspect I may well be in the minority in that one and I certainly enjoyed the way Poppy turned the tables on Sebastian at the endNight of a Thousand Stars is a thoroughly enjoyable read and the characterisation is excellent all round Poppy is probably the most strongly drawn character but then it’s her story and hers is the greatest emotional journey as she gradually learns to believe in herself and takes charge of own life I loved the book and have no hesitation in recommending it very highly indeed I'm a huge fan of Deanna Raybourn particularly of her Lady Julia Grey series and her three latest stand alone novels are taking readers to some exciting exotic new locales for historical fiction Night of a Thousand Stars starts off in London shortly after the end of World War I as we witness our intrepid heroine Poppy who much to my delight is the niece of my beloved Julia climbing out of a window to flee a marriage she does not want just moments before it is to take place She is aided by a seemingly humble church curate Sebastian Cantrip who volunteers his rather flashy sports car as her getaway ride and inadvertently finds himself in the middle of a melee when the bride's family and jilted groom track them down Then just as suddenly as he appeared Sebastian disappears leaving a trail of maddeningly curious clues for someone who was supposed to be a simple man of the church uestioning what she wants out of life and convinced that an adventure is just what she needs and that Sebastian is in need of rescuing and she is just the person to help Poppy becomes obsessed with finding him And thus begins her trek across the globe as traveling companion to an elderly soldier with his handsome valet and her stalwart maid in towWith a copy of her Aunt Julia's memoirs and a trunk full of travel guides Poppy embraces life on the road and relishes the new sights and sounds around her But when her party arrives in Damascus she begins to realize that nothing is uite what it seems She suspects their hostess the beautiful Comtesse de Courtempierre and her son the smooth and charming Armand are hiding darker secrets Hugh the valet has set his sites on wooing Poppy but her skeptical nature suspects he has an ulterior motive and even her maid Masterman seems far too adept at subterfuge and ferreting out information As political unrest mounts and whispers of a long lost treasure swirl she discovers that Sebastian is far than a curate and she becomes even convinced that he is in danger and in need of rescue But there are those that will stop at nothing to deter her and she becomes intimately acuainted with the sinister side of the enchanting city of Damascus But her real adventure doesn't begin until she finally comes face to face with Sebastian again and Poppy finds herself on an epic journey across a foreign land facing a brewing civil war tested in ways she never imagined and confronted with life altering decisions she never anticipated Night of a Thousand Stars has a little bit of everything I love in a good novel adventure history intrigue betrayal and of course romance Poppy is a lot of fun She has the March zest for life in spades and it was wonderful to watch this new generation of the family while catching up with those we met in Lady Julia's novels Poppy always speaks her mind and that makes for some pretty zippy exchanges between her and Sebastian that had me laughing out loud And she's a smart cookie which I really appreciated She was not easy to fool in her uest The mystery had me burning through the pages the descriptions of Syria and Lebanon in the 1920s had me fully immersed in those lush lands of contradictions and the push pull between Poppy and Sebastian kept me on my toes as I tried to figure out how it could all possibly end well in the face of such adversity But end well it did I found some of the final revelations to be a little over the top but that last scene was totally swoon worthy and had me shedding a tear of happiness and closing the cover in complete satisfaction Another great read from Deanna Raybourn This book is frightfully silly Possible spoilers belowPoppy Hammond decides she's had enough of high society life and decides to make a run for it On the day of her wedding to a staid and proper lordling she tries to escape through the windowEnter mysterious man #1 A curate who aids her dash to freedom and drives her to her estranged father In a shiny fast car Who is kind and dashing an excellent companion and has a sense of humour After depositing her with her father he promptly disappears the next day Our heroine chases after him discovers that he keeps an alias and it leads her all the way to Damascus Don't askMysterious man #2 Poppy's employer's valet Astonishingly handsome Has moonlit waltzes with her on the ships' deck Mysterious man #3Poppy's host's son Also astonishingly handsome Woos her rather aggressively Something about him puts Poppy offAll de rigeur as in an old gothic novel Except in those the author builds upon the characters' their motives and heightens the suspense Here it all fizzles out uicklyPoppy this silly chit has no sense of self preservation Creepy encounters intended to scare her off she thinks it's all a 'grand adventure' Bullets flying left and right murders happening; and she's super excited I found her self absorption uite shallow and stupidThe book ends her getting recruited as a special agent for England On basis of her handlers' observation of her on the mission She's shown zero common sense and lack of any spy worthy skill altogether Except her adeptness at lying which is explained away as a by product of her boarding school education Special snowflake syndrome anyone? Night of a Thousand Stars is a historical fiction adventure and unfortunately for me I was a reluctant adventurer While there were some elements that really worked for me I had a really hard time finishing this book as it simply didn’t capture my attentionPoppy Hammond is on the brink of marriage to a wealthy aristocratic; a comfortable life awaits her But Poppy wants ; she doesn’t feel like marriage is the right decision and she wants an adventure So with the help of an unusually accommodating curate Poppy jilts her groom Determined to thank her rescuer Sebastian Cantrip Poppy heads off to London only to discover that Sebastian has disappeared and is really known as Sebastian Fox What could have happened? After a little bit of digging Poppy discovers that Sebastian traveled to Damascus Convinced that Sebastian must be in trouble Poppy follows finally embarking on the adventure that she always wantedDespite the fact that I’m not normally a fan of this author’s style I wanted to read this one because the premise sounded amazing I loved the idea of adventure in a foreign land and after reading other reviews and uotes of the book I was intrigued And while I loved the descriptive setting and the humour I personally just didn’t enjoy reading about the main character PoppyPoppy is impetuous and comes across as rather immature in her desire for an adventure On the one hand the reasoning behind Poppy’s flight from the altar is solid She explains to Sebastian that she would be stifled as a future Viscount’s wife“I realised with Gerald my life would always take second place I would be his wife and eventually Viscountess Madderley and then I would die In the meantime I would open fetes and have his children and perhaps hold a memorable dinner party or two but what else? Nothing I would have walked into that church today as Penelope Hammond and walked out as the Honourable Mrs Gerald Madderley and no one would have remembered me except as a footnote in the chronicles of the Madderley family” p 13I think Poppy’s lack of individuality and need for recognition speak to the concerns of women of the time as well as today for that matter I expected this need for action to manifest in a way that demonstrated that Poppy controlled her own destiny instead she seemed to blunder into an adventure that I don’t feel actually changed her character Further Poppy continued to be identified as someone extraordinary by those around her and while in some cases this was a subterfuge this extraordinary uality was never really effectively conveyed Why is Poppy so spectacular? It is because she’s pretty intuitive? Beyond that I never really got much of a sense of what really made her so worthy of the attention that she received throughout the book And because of this weak exploration Poppy’s adventure never fully captured my attentionWhat was really well developed in Night of a Thousand Stars was the luscious sense of place and the great humourI loved the exotic setting of Night of a Thousand Stars; this is a great example of armchair travel in fiction Poppy’s experiences traveling and the way that this was described is stunning and evocative Take Poppy’s first sighting of Damascus as an exampleLong rays of sunshine slanted over the city gilding the stone and causing it to shimmer on the flat plain Mount Hermon newly carpeted in soft green on its lower flanks rose to snowy heights in the distance and I could smell the mingled scents of freshly turned earth and fruit blossoms and smoke on the air p 101Whenever the setting is discussed the author excels at presenting a sensual picture of the place rather than a visual simulation This style of description brought a strong sense of place to the novel and I feel that it is the strongest element to the novel and it is because of this that I would recommend it to fans of exotic locales; it is these readers that will appreciate this level of detailSecond to the setting I also liked the humour in the Night of a Thousand Stars While I found the first third of the book to be hard to get into when Poppy once again meets up with Sebastian I found that the humour really stood out The one liners between these two put a smile on my faceWe’d been riding for hours and although I would have died rather than admit it to Sebastian I was thoroughly exhausted I gave a sigh of impatience and dropped my head to his back He jerked nearly throwing himself off the horse His sudden lurch irritated her and she tossed her head crossing her feet sideways “For God’s sake” I muttered irritably “What’s the matter with you? Anyone would think you were the Gothic heroine” p 234Poppy is uite willing to dish it out to Sebastian and I found this interactions highly amusing But since there is a strong romantic current in the novel between Poppy and Sebastian I was surprised that the witty banter didn’t move forward into something a little reliant on character development My impression of Poppy and Sebastian’s relationship is that they had the romantic tension but not the depth of emotion that you expect in the romance genre I realize that Night of a Thousand Stars is not a book that would be found in the romance section of the library but since it does feature in the book I feel that it could have been further developedMy verdict on Night of a Thousand Stars? Fans of Deanna Raybourn will like this new book; it has her signature wit and uirky characters and those will continue to appeal to her fans While there were certain elements that I didn't care for as a reader I maintain that this is a book that will go over with many audiencesReview originally published with similar reads on The Book Adventures Review copy provided by the publisher via NetGalley New York Times bestselling author Deanna Raybourn returns with a Jazz Age tale of grand adventure On the verge of a stilted life as an aristocrat's wife Poppy Hammond does the only sensible thing—she flees the chapel in her wedding gown Assisted by the handsome curate who calls himself Sebastian Cantrip she spirits away to her estranged father's uiet country village pursued by the family she left in uproar But when the dust of her broken engagement settles and Sebastian disappears under mysterious circumstances Poppy discovers there is to her hero than it seems With only her feisty lady's maid for company Poppy secures employment and travels incognita—east across the seas chasing a hunch and the whisper of clues Danger abounds beneath the canopies of the silken city and Poppy finds herself in the perilous sights of those who will stop at nothing to recover a fabled ancient treasure Torn between allegiance to her kindly employer and a dashing shadowy figure Poppy will risk it all as she attempts to unravel a much larger plan—one that stretches to the very heart of the British government and one that could endanger everything and everyone that she holds dear 45 starsI'm not sure how to summarize the plot without giving it away so read at your own risk Penelope Poppy Hammond can not bring herself to marry Gerald Madderly the crushing bore her mother has chosen for her it would be too too Victorian Poppy hoped they could be compatible but it is not meant to be so she leaves the church by way of the window assisted by the affable curate Sebastian Cantrip Along the way to her estranged father's cottage in Devon she makes a full confession Poppy then meets her father Eglamour Plum March Lady Julia's brother for the first time and finds him lovely but is bored When she heads back to London accompanied by her maid Masterson to find Sebastian and thank him properly she discovers that all is not as it seems Sebastian left in a hurry for the Holy Land and left a precious possession behind Poppy feels he's in trouble and it's up to her to rescue him She manages to find a way to get to Syria under her real name Poppy March with Masterson following discreetly behind In Syria she discovers a wild wonderful land filled with twinkling stars and fragrant Jasmine blossoms There's also danger afoot as the Syrians are making a bid for independence from their French rulers and a half French Comte tries to seduce her Then there's Hugh her employer's valet who makes impassioned speeches and kisses her without emotion When Poppy is reunited with Sebastian the adventure she has longed for finally begins She discovers that with adventure comes danger and the passion she's always longed for There I hope that summarized things properly without giving it away The next part is telling you how I felt about this novel It was amazing I could not put it down My favorite part of this novel is Deanna Raybourn's beautiful prose She describes the Middle East so vividly I can imagine away the present images of conflict in Syria to see the land the author seems to love so much Certainly Poppy fell in love with it I also love all the literary allusions The title refers to Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens by JM Barrie The stars play an important role in both stories There are also Austen allusions The heroine and hero have both read and enjoyed Miss Austen's novels There are lots literary references to be found here A for literary geekiness Then there's the plot There's almost non stop adventure and intrigue that kept me turning the pages long after I was nodding off I finally had to stop the first night but stayed up too late the second night to finish I could not put it down I was really shocked at some of the plot twists and surprised at how some turned out Others I wasn't surprised at all I pretty much figured I knew who the villain was and I was certain I knew that all was not as it seems with Sebastian but there's plenty there to keep the story interesting I was so happy to catch up with the Marches but sad to learn some of them are no longer living The story takes place in 1920 making Julia 60ish and her siblings elderly I was SUPER excited to learn view spoilerwhat happened to Perdita The whole time I was thinking this is the adventure she should be having hide spoiler I am the newest member of the passionate Deanna Raybourn fan club This historical novel set in 1920 has the snappy banter and flirtatious manner of 1930s screwball rom coms with the bouncy breezy intrigues of Lauren Willig Add a dash of Indiana Jones and you have this delightful novelI was sucked in from the first page and completely taken with our impetuous heroine exotic locale and yummy romance  The story opens with Poppy March Hammond attempting to crawl out a church window in her wedding dress having realized she absolutely cannot marry her fiancee the dullish but rich Gerald A handsome and mostly sanguine clergyman Sebastian helps her out by whisking her away to Devon where she shelters with her estranged father  There she learns her paternal aunt Lady Julia Grey yes that one was a detective and spy and Poppy is inspired  Deciding to seek out Sebastian to thank him for his help she discovers he wasn't uite what he implied and that's when the real adventure startsSetting off for the Middle East as the companion to a retired Colonial working on his memoirs Poppy embarks on some amateur sleuthing helped by her extremely capable and mysterious lady's maid Masterson  She's flirted with heavily by a variety of hot men and gets whisked into some serious hot water with her investigation Everything about this story worked for me and it was a playful frothy read that was perfect for sleepy nights after work and busy weekends I could dive in and escape when I needed  I laughed out loud than once Poppy is delightfully snarky a lovely mix of ingenue and flapper and Raybourn gives Poppy and her men some wonderfully flirtatious banter that I just lapped up The setting couldn't get any exotic and escapist the Middle East in the 1920s and Poppy is the perfect companion to travel with Admiring everything open and curious she plunges into life with vim I wish I could channel  On a serious note I'll add I appreciated Raybourn's handling of attitudes about colonialism in this era It would have been inauthentic to have a cast of characters who understood why the divvying up of the Middle East by European powers was bad but unapologetically pro colonialist attitudes would have rang oddly in a novel like this Raybourn manages to recognize name and present the pro colonialist sentiments through her characters while having our heroine feel uneasy about those attitudes all without seeming anachronistic or heavily whitewashed It's a real skill to manage that respectful without getting preachy and it made me really able to appreciate the storyWhile loosely connected to Raybourn's previous novel City of Jasmine through a minor character and in the same universe as her Lady Julia Grey novels this is a delicious standalone that one can dive into without being familiar with the other books as I was

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