by Teri Brown
Publication Date: October 20, 2015
Samantha Donaldson’s family has always done its duty for the British Crown. In the midst of World War I, seventeen-year-old Sam follows in their footsteps, serving her country from the homefront as a Girl Guide and messenger for the intelligence organization MI5. After her father disappears on a diplomatic mission, she continues their studies of languages, high-level mathematics, and complex puzzles and codes, hoping to make him proud.
When Sam is asked to join the famed women’s spy group La Dame Blanche she’s torn—this could be the adventure she’s dreamed of, but how can she abandon her mother, who has already lost a husband to the war? But when her handlers reveal shocking news, Sam realizes there’s no way she can refuse the exciting and dangerous opportunity.
Her acceptance leads her straight into the heart of enemy territory on a mission to extract the most valuable British spy embedded in Germany, known to the members of LDB only as Velvet. Deep undercover within the court of Kaiser Wilhelm II, Samantha must navigate the labyrinthine palace and its many glamorous—and secretive—residents to complete her assignment. To make matters worse she finds herself forming a forbidden attraction to the enemy-a dangerously handsome German guard. In a place where personal politics are treacherously entangled in wartime policy, can Samantha discover the truth and find Velvet before it’s too late…for them both?
From author Teri Brown comes the thrilling story of one girl’s journey into a deadly world of spycraft and betrayal—with unforgettable consequences.
Well, that is already a long and accurate summary so you now have an idea of what this book is about. But first, let us take a second to admire Velvet Undercover’s beautiful cover. One of my most favorite this year. It’s what caught my attention in the first place. The second thing is, well, historical espionage, women's spy group... You probably don't know this but I love the Gallagher Girls Series by Ally Carter. I read it a really long time ago but I still remember being so obsessed with it.
I really enjoyed reading Velvet Undercover from the start. I got an instant liking to Samantha. It's obvious she has a great relationship with her family which I value a lot in books. She's smart, competitive, observant. What I like most about her is she questions herself, thinks carefully about her choices and decisions which makes it believable. The book is more into mystery than action which was fine because I so did not see the twist coming. Believe it or not, spy life is boring most of the time. The toughest is the paperwork. I’d know *hint, hint, wink, wink*.
The story is okay for a stand-alone book. It has a bit of romance which I hoped would develop into something more since Velvet Undercover isn't all about that. I love the way the book ended. I think it was realistic and just... hmmm. You know what? I won't say more. 'Coz talking about endings lead to possible spoilers. The only thing I wished to see as the story progressed was more side character developments. That's all.
So if you like spy books, you should definitely pick this up. If you don't, you should still pick this up. You never know until you actually read it :)
*An ARC was provided by the publisher for this review.